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Interview: Erny Belle 'Venus Is Home' Album Release Show

Interview: Erny Belle 'Venus Is Home' Album Release Show

Interview by Annabel Kean / C.C. / Wednesday 2nd February, 2022 10:38AM

Erny Belle, the musical nom de plume of Aimee Renata (Ngāpuhi), made a massive impact on our student radio airwaves last year with singles 'Hell Hole' and 'Burning Heaven', and has just announced her keenly awaited album release show is proceeding this month at Auckland Polish Association. Originally set to perform at The Others Way festival, Annabel Kean caught up with the fast rising Tāmaki Makaurau / Maungaturoto songwriter for a snappy yet insightful conversation via the magic of the internet. They chatted about the ten year road towards the launch of Venus Is Home, the origins of Belle's visually striking videos, family inspirations for the new record, plus hints of what punters can look forward to on 19th February...

UPDATE 3/02/22:
Erny Belle's 'Venus Is Home' album release show on 19th February is now sold out — to join the waitlist for extra tickets head along HERE.

Erny Belle 'Venus Is Home' Album Release Show 
Saturday 19th February - Auckland Polish Association, Auckland [new location]

Tickets available HERE via UTR

Vaccine passes will be required on entry
You will have the option to sit at a table or stand to watch the show, however food and beverages must be served to your table

Annabel Kean: Hello Aimee! We first met approximately 4 years ago at a karaoke NYE party, so let's start with a *fun* question. What are your go-to karaoke songs?

Erny Belle: Yes we did and what a memorable night that was! Last I was at Charlie’s bar I did 'Stumblin' In' by Suzi Quatro and Chris Norman.

When did you first dip your toe into songwriting and performance?

I started singing and playing drums when I was 17, with my father on bass and my current guitarist Tiare Kelly on electric guitar. The song writing started in collaboration with them. After that, I learnt basic chords on the guitar and starting writing alone.

Have you always leaned towards a folk sound? Where did that come from?

It feels natural to lean towards a folk sound when writing alone at home with an acoustic. I need more to say how I feel in words, over the need to be turned on by complex chord progressions. I think where I am now, stemmed from growing up around country music.

You moved away from Auckland nearly a decade ago with the plan to write and record your own music, yeah? What was the catalyst for Venus Is Home getting made and released in 2021/2022?

Yeah it was. I made a clear decision ten years ago that I was going to make a record. I just didn’t know what was to be of it and how long it would take me.

Re: your music videos for 'Hell Hole' and 'Burning Heaven' — are there any specific visual references you drew from for those? They're cinematic as hell.

I didn’t really have any references, the visual side is another creative outlet for me that I’m passionate about. I worked closely with Matthew Hunter whom shot both videos, we worked things out together, he co directed with me, we edited together and I owe a lot of what came out of it to him. I’ve worked in film doing costume for many years and come from a film family. We shot the videos during Covid restrictions so only had two to three on the crew and had to use what was already in my wardrobe and the locations available to me.

When you're not writing songs and shooting music videos, what does one do for fun out in Maungaturoto?

Eat fresh Kaimoana, drink wine, raid Dad’s book collection, go to the beach.

Where did the title 'Venus Is Home' come from? Are you Venus??? Where is Home??!

Venus is the name of my Grandmother from Maunagturoto, whom passed away not long before I finished the album. Home is where the heart is.

How much did you plan ahead for the visual side of the album? Will we see that carried through into your live shows too? Will chaps be worn?

I definitely think about the visual aspect of performing live, whether it be set dressing, projection of visuals, location and the vibe I want to create for people watching. Not sure if I’ll be pulling out the chaps again anytime soon though. Will you still come though?

Who's playing with you live?

Tiare Kelly, William Jackson, Dave Khan, Rewi McLay and Navakatoa Tekela-Pule. Dream team.

Also can you please give us a hint to who the special guest is? Cryptic clues accepted.

Loves a hangi.


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Erny Belle 'VENUS IS HOME' Album Release Show
Sat 19th Feb 7:30pm
Auckland Polish Association, Auckland