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March 2019

Opening Act

Bella Dose

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Artist: Bella Dose

Socials: Instagram/Twitter/Facebook

Hometown: Miami, FL

TrunkSpace: When Bella Dose first came together to create music, what was the initial goal and has that goal morphed and grown since those earliest days of the group?
Bella Dose: The initial goal was to first find our sound and figure out who we are in terms of music. Through trial and error, we were able to discover and craft a unique

global sound that caters to a universal audience.

TrunkSpace: What has been the biggest surprise on this musical journey thus far for each of you? What is something that has occurred as a result of your music that you could have never planned for?
Bella Dose: The biggest surprise on this musical journey thus far for each of us has been our strong sisterhood and bond that we’ve developed. We’ve become one with ourselves and our music. Also, the amount of love and support we’ve received in such a short amount of time as a result of our music is definitely something we could’ve never planned for.

TrunkSpace: Is there something artistically inspiring about working together as a group that you couldn’t achieve as a solo artist? Does creativity inspire creativity… and by that we mean, do you feed off of each other in the quest to create and entertain?
Bella Dose: There is definitely something artistically inspiring about working together as a group because we are able to share our own individual ideas that have the ability to come together and fit like puzzle pieces. We always feed off of each other’s energy, which we feel is a very important part of being in a group. We are always open to listening to each other and work as a team, which is what we hope to portray through our music.

TrunkSpace: Often times pop groups get labeled as “manufactured” artists and aren’t known for writing their own music, but you four do exactly that. Can you walk us through what your writing process looks like and how a track goes from inception to completion?
Bella Dose: Our writing process starts off by creating a concept that we’ve all been through so that others can relate. We inform the producer of our concept and the beat is created around what we’re feeling. We then brainstorm melodies and add on lyrics to finish off the song.

TrunkSpace: Beyond the music itself, what do you enjoy most about being a part of Bella Dose? Is it shooting the videos? Is it performing live? Something else entirely?
Bella Dose: What we enjoy most about being a part of Bella Dose is honestly every aspect of it. From shooting videos to live performances to meet and greets to traveling the world, everything we do plays a role in this journey and how far we’ve come!

TrunkSpace: Having a visual brand is such a big part of music these days. How would you describe the Bella Dose visual brand in just a few words?
Bella Dose: We would describe the Bella Dose visual brand as fun, trendy, cultural and chic!

Courtesy of International Hub Records

TrunkSpace: You’re all from Florida. Does a location impact a band or the music they produce, and if so, how have the towns and neighborhoods you grew up in directly impacted your creative POV?
Bella Dose: Being from South Florida, the towns and neighborhoods we grew up in have definitely impacted our creative point of view because we are surrounded by our Latin culture. We always want to incorporate our culture within our music and we have a lot of pride in our Hispanic roots and being where we’re from.

TrunkSpace: Can you envision a day when music is not a part of your life?
Bella Dose: Never! Music is always something we include in our day-to-day activities. Even if we weren’t artists we would make sure to be a part of the music industry somehow.

TrunkSpace: Where are you hardest on yourself as artists?
Bella Dose: We are hardest on ourselves when it comes to vocal arrangements. When we sing live we want to make sure every harmony blends with one another and deliver the song to the best of our abilities. When it comes to videotaping a cappellas, we will not stop until we feel we’ve delivered perfectly. Which means we will do 30,000 takes if we have to in order to get the best one! (Laughter)

TrunkSpace: Finally, if we were to sit down with you again one year from now, what do you hope we’d be talking about? In other words, what would you like Bella Dose to accomplish in the next 365 days?
Bella Dose: A year from now, we hope to have at least one song appear on the Billboard Top 100 Chart! We hope to go on our own tour, and have performed at major events!

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Musical Mondaze

Driftwood

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With their new album “Tree Of Shade” set to be released on April 5, we’re catching up with TrunkSpace alumni Driftwood to discuss the various changes that have taken place within the band since we first chatted back in 2017.

Their latest single, “Lay Like You Do” is available now.

We recently sat down with Joe Kollar (banjo/guitar) to discuss marching to the beat of a different drummer, finding creative freedom in expanding their team, and what recording “Tree Of Shade” taught him about tinkering.

TrunkSpace: We first profiled the band back in 2017. Where do you think Driftwood has changed the most since then?
Kollar: Well, leaps and bounds. Sonically there’s been a big shift. I think having a management team now has sort of shifted things. I think the writing has developed. I think the performance… me not being the primary drummer, now we have a drummer… that alone is a big change. But, beyond that, because we have a drummer it allows other songs to be available to us that we used to sort of shy away from in the live scenario. I’m able to play instruments that I actually play, like not the drums. (Laughter) I actually play guitars and stuff, which is what I grew up playing. I could get by on the drums, but I certainly don’t call myself a drummer.

But, overall? Everything.

TrunkSpace: Bringing in a drummer and allowing you to focus on those other instruments, does that impact the songwriting directly as well?
Kollar: Yeah, it has. I don’t know that it showed up on this last record, because I did all the drum work on there, and we wrote songs with the band in mind. But, now there’s a handful of new tunes that are coming out, that we’re playing on the stage, that’s definitely… it’s crazy. It’s wild how much it changes and shifts what I do. I don’t even have to play, really, which is just wild. It used to be me standing on one leg beating this kick, singing and playing banjo, and being this rhythmic component – this heartbeat element. But now, sometimes I just stand there and dance. I don’t do anything. And I’m like, “This is crazy.” But, it’s entered my mind now, and I’ve been writing a little differently, and playing parts that are more conducive to having somebody else sort of driving the bus where I’m free to decorate, or paint in a different way sonically.

So, yeah, it’s started. We’re just now embracing the drums as the heartbeat, and writing around that. At least in my mind… I can’t speak for everyone. But, yeah, there’s a handful of new tunes that I’m really proud of, that I think are really fun. We probably should be playing stuff off of “Tree Of Shade,” but we’re already beyond that. (Laughter)

TrunkSpace: That must be tough creatively, as songwriters, because you never stop writing, and yet, here you are having to nurture a particular batch of songs that, while are the listeners present, are actually a part of your past.
Kollar: Definitely. That’s the hardest thing for me on anything. They’re old to me. They’re new to everybody else, but I’m past it. Everyone in the band is always like, “Come on, Joe. We’ve got to do this song.” It’s like, “Oh, man. That was so last year, man.” (Laughter) But it’s okay. It’s good. It’s a healthy balance.

Photo By: Jacklyn Dyer

TrunkSpace: When you finish a song, can it sometimes be difficult to let go and relinquish control over it by way of releasing it out into the world?
Kollar: It is in the business sense of the idea. I’m sort of shifting in my own mentality to where there is all the ducks in a row – you have to get the publicist on board, and you have to get the artwork – there’s all these steps to putting out a record. You have to build buzz, and you get all this stuff happening on your socials, and blah, blah, blah. And I’m just sort of distancing myself from that, which is kind of nice because we have the management team, and we have some people in place that are sort of taking that role. It’s nice, because I’m caring less and less about it, basically. In other words, I just want to write, and put music out, and the faster that can happen – the more efficiently that can happen – I think the deeper the music is, and the better it is, really.

We haven’t gotten there yet. This one’s been taking a long time, but there’s a lot of new things to this record. It was the first time with a producer. It was the first time that we demoed songs. We’ve never done that. It’s always been just, “Bring the song to the table, let’s record it and that’s going on the record.” This time it was like, “Let’s each of us demo 15 songs and then we’ll have somebody else pick the best, or whatever they think fits together.” So, that whole process has changed for sure, and I think we’re still adjusting to management, and adjusting to the hoops and things you have to do to put music out. But, I’m trying to come to terms more and more with just having something that’s really close to me, recording it, and just putting it out without really too much. You know, I think it’s so acceptable now, and it’s so easy to do, that it’s kind of like, “Why make it more difficult?” But, I understand. I get that you’ve got to build the buzz, and momentum, and get people talking about you… try to make the biggest impact you can. I understand all that, but it’s not as conducive for creativity in my mind. And this is where I’m living.

TrunkSpace: There does seem to be a turn in the industry where it’s almost starting to feel like the 1950s in that artists are more likely to release singles now rather than full records.
Kollar: Right. Yeah, I love that. I think that’s so advantageous to the creative world. The more you spend time doing that in that space, the more proficient, and the better it gets. I’m all about that. We haven’t gotten there yet, though. This album, I mean, it’s been recorded for a year. It’s just now happening, but for good reason.

TrunkSpace: What are you most proud of with “Tree Of Shade” now that it’s finally making its way out into the world?
Kollar: Well, primarily just the course of recording it. Like I said, we demoed things out, so that was a first. And that was a fun process, and a really useful one for me. I just really got into recording, and some of my demos ended up being on the record, and we just sort of fleshed them out. Actually a handful of them. And then the efficiency in which we did it. We recorded the whole thing in 10 days, sort of the bones and the guts of the thing, and then just added a couple little things here and there. So, I’d say, it’s about a 12 day record, and that is unheard of. In Driftwood world it’s usually like a year process. That’s just how long it seems to take. We have a really rigorous tour schedule, so it’s not like we’re on and off, and when we’re home, we’re sort of nested and in the studio for a certain amount of time. So, I’m really proud that it only took that long for us to do. And with the help of the producer and engineer, I mean, that was certainly a big part of that, I think. That’s really been the biggest difference for this record.

TrunkSpace: Was it creatively inspiring to block those 10 days away and just say, “Let’s focus on the album and nothing else?”
Kollar: Definitely. It was kind of scary, honestly, just because of our track record. I was like, “There’s no way!” It usually takes us a year, and we’re condensing it into 10 days. It was more nerve wracking than anything. But there’s something that comes out of that, too – being a little nervous. And then, about half way through I think we found our rhythm, and sort of got an idea with how… because there was a lot of new things being introduced with the producer and stuff. It was kind of scary. It’s a really intimate thing to lay out in front of someone like that, and put these songs out, and try to sing and play with other people’s ears in the room. It’s just a different experience altogether. But, creatively it was amazing. And I’ve learned so much from that ever since. I’ve been a lot more fruitful in my writing, and my making of music, just because I’m realizing the closer you can get to that original inspiration the faster you can get it out, the more connected it is with that original seed of an idea. And for me, as an artist, that seems to be the most potent version of things.

I used to like to tinker with things, but the issue with that is I have songs that are 10 years old that nobody’s ever heard, that I’m still tinkering with. And it’s not really conducive to producing music. So, that’s what this experience has definitely taught me is just kind of to get in that zone – a couple of takes of something, and that’s it. And that’s hugely changed my course.

Tree Of Shade” drops April 5.

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Wingman Wednesday

Tammy Gillis

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Photo By: Kyrani Kanavanos

As a star of the popular Freeform series “Siren,” Tammy Gillis was ecstatic to discover that the fantastical mermaid drama was greenlit for a second season. Not only was she eager to explore where the narrative would take her character Deputy Marissa Staub, but she was also excited to return to her on-set family, which includes Eline Powell, Alex Roe, Ian Verdun and many others. With Season 2 currently airing every Thursday, we recently sat down with Gillis to discuss finding her footing heading into the latest story arc, engaging with fans on a weekly basis, and embracing the creativity of the show.

TrunkSpace: Like many series today, “Siren” was shrouded in secrecy heading into Season 2 and an alert would be sounded should any accidental spoilers take place. Does that make this part of your job difficult… promoting a show where the who, what, where and whys need to stay a bit vague? Because honestly, if it was us, we’d be living in fear of saying the wrong thing!
Gillis: It definitely makes it challenging. I always stop and think about it for a second. I don’t want to give any spoilers!

TrunkSpace: With all that said… what can you tell us about what excited YOU the most when you learned “Siren” would be getting a second season and you’d be returning to set?
Gillis: So many things! To see where the story goes. To see where Marissa’s story goes. Does Marissa get a love interest? (Laughter) And most definitely, to work with everyone again! I keep saying it but we are really lucky to have such an amazing cast and crew that have become like family.

TrunkSpace: We read that you went back and watched Season 1 before diving back into your character Marissa. From a character’s arc standpoint, how important was that to you in order to find your Marissa sea legs and where she begins her Season 2 journey?
Gillis: It was so important because I needed to be very clear on what I knew and what Marissa knew. I also created more of a backstory for her so I could add in a bit more of a personal story with her and the other characters.

TrunkSpace: What have you enjoyed the most about getting to explore a character like Marissa over an extended period of time? Does it keep things interesting to learn new things about her as the writer’s explore her relationship within the universe more?
Gillis: I love when the writers add in more information for Marissa. It lets me explore more of my creativity and see how I can weave the new information in with the choices I’ve made.

TrunkSpace: We’re curious, from the first moment you read for Marissa to where we see her today on screen in Season 2, did she change within that span, either because of creative choices behind the scenes or as a character who is simply growing within the story itself?
Gillis: I definitely think she is changing based on the story itself as well as some choices I’ve made. This season she is being forced to step up to a new responsibility – a new authority so that changes my interactions with the other characters. By creating more of a backstory to each of the relationships with them, it gives some conflict with having to carry that new authority.

TrunkSpace: “Siren” is becoming a rarity in that, it’s a series that airs a new episode every week. As a performer, does that prolong the experience for you on the back end of shooting something, as opposed to having it all released at once for the binge-hungry masses?
Gillis: It makes it more fun to engage with the fans. Being able to Live Tweet with them when the episodes are airing is so fun. We love seeing/hearing their reactions. If it was released all at once, we would miss out on that. I’ve been on other series where it was released all at once and you really had no idea if people were watching it or not.

TrunkSpace: Is there something kind of empowering… even subconsciously so… about getting to don a deputy uniform? We’d imagine it’s pretty difficult not to walk the walk or talk the talk from time to time, especially when you catch a glimpse of yourself in all of your authority-figure glory!
Gillis: There absolutely is. Even though it’s just a costume, it feels different and people do treat you differently. When I have the gun belt on, it forces me to carry myself in a different way. I love that costumes can do that for you.

Gillis in “Siren”

TrunkSpace: For the audience, the end product is always what’s memorable, but for you, we would think the experience of shooting “Siren” would be more important than the final cut. With that being said, what’s been the most memorable aspect of your journey on the series thus far?
Gillis: I love working on set. It is such a collaborative, creative experience and I find that I learn so much from show to show, episode to episode. “Siren” is such a creative show and every episode I love seeing how they are going to tell the story and what the other actors are going to do. There are so many memorable moments but one thing I am very grateful for is Gil Birmingham, who plays Sheriff Dale. He is such a powerhouse of an actor and such a generous, kind man.

TrunkSpace: You grew up in a town of 800 people. When you dreamed of a career in the arts, did it seem attainable in those early days, especially coming from such a small town?
Gillis: Definitely not. I’d never met an actor or even dreamt of the possibility of becoming one because I just hadn’t experienced it.

TrunkSpace: Time machine question. If you could jump ahead 10 years and get a glimpse of what your career looks like a decade from now, would you take that journey? If not, why?
Gillis: No. I like not knowing where the road will lead. There is more possibility in it.

Siren” airs Thursdays on Freeform.

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