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Making music outside the box


Lisa Bello

Some find Boston singer-songwriter, Lisa Bello, hard to define as an artist. This is partly attributable to her diverse musical influences. While she was still very young, her father, Lou Bello, who is an accomplished musician, exposed her to Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra. Later, she discovered Stevie Wonder, who remains her foremost muse. But, over the years, she has equally embraced Lauryn Hill, India.Arie, and Amy Winehouse as sources of inspiration. So, any attempt to put a label on Bello would be useless. “I don't have a genre. I am not going to be put in a box,” she says.

Yet this singing dynamo, who can do it all, does favor certain music such as R&B, soul, and hip-hop. On occasion, these musical choices have surprised some because Ms. Bello is white. However, her strong vocals and performances, punctuated with gusto, draw the attention back to her talent. On May 22, 2009, a performance at the Alchemist Lounge in Boston proved this. Throughout the night, the crowd's enjoyment was evident as Bello played a set filled with a nice mix of material, including some original songs.

Getting a warm reception to her set, particularly to her own material, pleases Lisa. Her short-term goal is to have one of her songs recorded by a major star. In each song, she endeavors to offer something apart from the usual commercial fare. “I try to vent others' pain and share others' joy.”

As for long-term, Bello simply wants people to love her music. She says, “I'm fun. By the end of my life, I want to have lit up yours.” A master's degree in special education allows Lisa to pursue a music career without the financial worry that many artists can encounter.

In addition to economic stability, Lisa Bello equally benefits from having a supportive family, that also includes brother and noted singer, Louie Bello. As she lays down tracks for her first full-length CD, she values all of the advice.

So, what can fans expect from Lisa's first CD? She says that people should expect both a polished and substantive effort rather than a mere piece of slick production. “I don't have gimmicks. This is who I am,” she says. Judging by the crowd's reaction to her aforementioned performance at the Alchemist Lounge, people will not hesitate to accept Lisa Bello on her own terms.