Image via Wikipedia
I was scheduled to meet the recording artists, Bella Czar, at noon. Upon my arrival the day before, I noticed my hotel was within walking distance of Bella Czar’s recording studio. The building was three-stories adorned with art-deco angles and fresh colors, nestled in downtown Sacramento, CA. Originally, we had planned to meet at their studio in San Francisco, but the renovations being done had not been completed by the time I was scheduled to visit.
My first challenge of the day was the elevator. It was a wide metal cage with a door you pulled down by pulling on a rope attached to the door. I had seen these kinds of elevators on television but had never used one. I was at a loss when, pull or tug as I might, the elevator doors would not come down. At one point, I even swung on the rope hoping my weight would help. Hi. Me Jane! I felt more than silly when another passenger entered the elevator, flipped a switch, tugged on the rope and the doors slid together like butter on a hot plate. How did I know there was a safety switch?
Czar Dain of Bella Czar
As we climbed, I noted that the building housed 6 recording studios, two on each floor, in various stages of operation. On one floor I noticed a long line of people, all with sheet music in their hands, some humming notes under their breath. As we passed the second floor, the soft strains of a lone violin wafted out. Finally I came to the third floor. I knocked and a dark-haired man with a very annoyed expression opened the door. It was Czar Dain. As soon as he realized it was I, he broke into a smile of greeting and opened the door wider to allow me entrance. I had always thought Czar a handsome man, a cross between Santana and Chuck Norris, but once I saw him, up close and personal, I knew none of his photographs had done him justice. The man was… excuse me…have to fan myself…gorgeous! If I had to narrow it down to one detail that struck me more than most about Czar, I would say it was his eyes. They were as blue and frosty as an Arctic sky; yet they held all the heat of a Sahara sun. Sorry, wandering off the track a little but you can bet Czar will be a character in one of my romance books that’s for sure!
Bella Lamora of Bella Czar
Czar called out to the back rooms and a moment later Bella appeared. What can I say about Bella? Her name speaks for itself. I live in New York, and see tons of beautiful women on a daily basis, but Bella was different. She was wearing jeans and a flowing blouse but the way she entered into the room said tiara and gown. There was an air of warmth and regality about her that was not pretentious. Her eyes were the blue-green swirl of a Caribbean sea kissed with a touch of humor. What put me at ease with Bella was her hair. I have seen it in a multitude of pictures so I knew her reddish-chestnut locks ended past her waist. That day, the glorious mass was piled haphazardly on top of her head and held in place by a plethora of pencils. You could tell she didn’t care. As if reading my mind Czar confirmed, “She always looks like that.” I had to laugh. “What?” Bella asked, and Czar laughed too. It was refreshing to see a woman with looks like Bella’s who was real. I would not say she was unconscious of her beauty or the affect it had on people, but you could tell it wasn’t what made her world go ‘round.
I Asked Bella Czar and They Answered
After a few pleasantries we got down to the interview.
NWTW: Are you both originally from California?
Bella: Laughing. Is anyone really from California? It seems to collect people with dreams. Having heard Bella’s voice in many ranges on their songs and narrating the video they made for me, I am slightly taken aback by the rich soothing tones of her speaking voice.
NWTW: How long have you two been recording together?
Czar: We have been together about five years? He looks over at Bella who nods in agreement.
NWTW: At Bella. You’re dreamy. Czar’s dreamy. Is there anything romantic going on between you?
Bella: Laughing. We get asked that a lot. No. Czar and I share the same passion and vision in our music. His music speaks to me, calls to me to give it life with words, but when the music stops, I go back to my planet.
NWTW: And where is that?
Bella: Laughs. That would be telling. She laughs again and we all join in. Her laugh is contagious.
NWTW: How long have you both been in the music industry?
Czar: Since I was in diapers. He gives me a deadpan look.
Czar: I am serious. He rises from his seat, walks over to a desk across the room and returns with a picture in a frame, which he hands to me. In the picture, a baby of no more than two, wearing a diaper, is picking at a bass guitar bigger than he is.
NWTW: No way!
Czar: Grinning broadly. Way.
NWTW: Uh, so you’re saying there might to some truth to you being spawned by a bass guitar and a piano? Czar shrugs.
I turn to Bella. What about you Bella?
Bella: I can’t lay claim to as far back as diapers, but on and off most of my life.
NWTW: I’m assuming it’s obvious, but why the name Bella Czar?
Bella: We incorporated both our first names into one name. Bella from Bella Lamora and Czar from Czar Dain.
NWTW: Who is Bella Czar? What do you want to tell the world about your music?
Czar: Bella Czar is about the ‘heart and soul’ of music. Bella Czar is not just about what the artists go through; a vocal purging of their own personal highs and lows in life. Our songs are echoes of what everyone experiences at one time or another in their life.
NWTW: What do you think your strengths are?
Bella: Czar has a strong ability to express his inner thoughts through a myriad of instruments. It’s astonishing. Each time I see him pick up an instrument I haven’t seen him play before, and play it well, I’m always amazed.
Czar: I’d swear Bella was an empathic. She seems to know what people are feeling and goes right to the heart of it. Sometimes we’re talking to people and she’ll reach out and grasp that person’s hand in both of hers and if she really knows them, she’ll hug them. Bella does not say a word but sometimes the person will tear up and say “Thank You.” Leaves me in the dark, but with her, I have grown used to that. He smirks.
NWTW: Are there any musicians who inspire you. If so, who are they and why?
Bella and Czar: Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush. They have some of the most intimate duets we have ever heard. Sade. She has a distinctive voice and style. Sting. The man is brilliant! Santana. No one plays like him. We could sit here all day with this question. We admire so many artists.
NWTW: Do you have any parting words for my blog readers?
Bella: Believe that good wins over evil more times than you know. We all make mistakes and bad choices. Love yourself. Forgive yourself.
Czar: People will tell you no all your life. It’s up to you whether you accept that answer or not.
The Rio City Cafe
We went out to dinner at the Rio City Cafe that evening and had a great time. For my remaining two days in California, Bella and Czar took time out of their busy schedules to show me the sites. I loved that Bella and Czar were so down to earth and considerate.
Be sure to visit YouTube and check out Bella Czar’s Videos for their recently released CD, Don’t Forget. You can also hear samples of their music by going to bellaczar.us or by clicking “Like” on their Facebook page.
Bella Czar, Recording Artists
I want to thank Bella Czar for inviting me to visit them in California and being such gracious hosts. Hopefully one day they will visit New York and I can reciprocate. Maybe when they come to collect a Grammy perhaps?