Bella: Uganda/GLI




What brought you to CU Denver, specifically the College of Arts & Media?

I’ve been a performer for pretty much my entire life, and have been writing music for over 7 years now. But when I was searching for colleges, like many students who seek a career in the arts, I wasn’t entirely sure how sustainable that idea was. I had been looking into psychology and communications programs at other schools with music minors, but that never felt quite right to me. The second I stumbled upon CAM during my search, I knew almost right away that it was the perfect place for me. The MEIS program here is exactly what I had been looking for: A well-rounded education about the ins and outs of the industry, that would continue to support me as I perform and write, but also teach me valuable skills within other career areas. Since I’ve been here, it’s made me fall even more in love with music, and has really enhanced my perspective of what having a career in this industry really means, as well as how valuable it can actually be.

Why did you want to become a part of the CAM Ambassadors group? What do you think it will do for you and the school?

When I first came to CU, I made a goal to become as active within my community as possible. I started working in the CAM offices my sophomore year, and in doing so, have fallen in love with the amazing students, staff and faculty I see and spend time with every day. Becoming an Ambassador felt like a way for me to give back to them, as well as continue to grow my relationships within the CAM family. I am so proud to be a part of this school and the people within it, and am honored to be able to travel around the world to return the favor of sharing all the wonderful things they have given me with others. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and is something I will always hold close to me.

What is your favorite part of being in the CAM program?

Being in CAM has created a family on this campus for me, and that sense of community is something I’m grateful for every day. I’m surrounded by people who I know are continuously rooting for my success and who will be there to help support me through all the twists and turns along the way, and I couldn’t be more thankful for that.

What is your favorite location to go to in Denver?

The Cat Café! I have three little fur babies at home with my parents that I can’t have at my apartment, so I like to go visit the café whenever I need a kitten fix (and a caffeine boost).

What concentration do you find yourself leaning towards the most? Why? When did you get started?

I switched my emphasis to Music Business this year, simply because I’ve fallen in love with exploring the industry outside of just performance and songwriting. While those will always be my two true loves, I’ve found myself becoming drawn to the business side of things. It’s great because the things I’ve been learning are not only applicable to myself and my own art, but are also applicable to other artists around me, and allow me to interact and become involved with them in ways I had perviously been unaware of. I’m really drawn to promotion and event management right now, and am starting to explore career options in those fields – But I will forever be singing and writing my heart out above all else.

What helps you get inspired?

Interacting with other people. Whether that’s by reading songs, poems, or stories others have written, to sitting down and having an engaging conversation with someone. I find that some of my biggest inspirations have come from the things other people say, and the way they say it. I’m a psychology minor, and I’ve always been fascinated by the things that make each of our minds so different from one another. Learning about how other people experience the world around them and express those experiences has broadened my perspectives and really enhanced my creativity and knowledge as a whole.

Do you have any rituals to help get yourself motivated when you work?

I take LOTS of power naps. I find that when my brain starts to shut down and doesn’t want to work anymore, the best fix is to hit the reset button for a bit!

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done for your music? Do you regret it?

A few days after I moved into the dorms my freshman year, I decided to take my guitar out to the stairwell next to my room. I lived on the fourth floor, so I sat all the way at the top, and wrote music there for about an hour, since the acoustics were incredible. I don’t usually do things like that, mostly because I get embarrassed – I would get a lot of weird looks from people walking up and down the stairs who didn’t know what I was doing, and would stop singing/playing any time I heard a door open or close. It ended up being one of the best decisions I’ve made, though, since I ended up meeting one of my favorite people at this school because of it. We wrote and recorded a song together that same week, and it ended up on local radio a month later!

Do you think anything can be art? Explain.

Yes! Even the smallest and seemingly silliest of things. My personal definition of “art” would be anything that is created in order to affect others in a meaningful way.

Where is the best place to see art, in your opinion?

Just go for a walk outside 🙂 You can find art everywhere and anywhere – It really just depends on your perspective. I also think it’s important to make a conscious effort to surround yourself with art, whether that be physical art or the presence of creative people. It’s so good for you!

What is your favorite movie/film that you’ve ever seen?

Monty Python and The Holy Grail. It’s the perfect mix of being both stupid and smart.

What would you say to yourself five years ago?

Everything you think is going wrong is actually going very, very right.

Read about Bella’s Uganda/GLI experience here.