Palestine-born and Ottawa-raised multi-talented artist, songwriter, and producer Belly is the musical genius behind many of your favourite hits. Growing up listening to the likes of Jay-Z and Biggie, his love for music first sprouted after high school when he began releasing a selection of mixtapes that led to his 2007 debut album ‘The Revolution’, a project which ended up going Gold in Canada. Now signed to XO and Roc Nation, the international phenomenon is the songwriter behind Ariana Grande and The Weeknd’s ‘Love Me Harder’ hit, Beyonce’s ‘6-Inch’, not to mention his role as co-writer for The Weeknd’s ‘Beauty Behind the Madness’ and ‘After Hours’ albums – the list goes on!
Having now accumulated over five billion streams as both a songwriter and artist, Belly returned earlier this year following a brief hiatus to focus on his mental health and wellbeing, with the release of ‘If You Know You Know’, alongside tracks with Benny The Butcher and Moneybagg Yo on both ‘Zero Love’ and ‘Money On The Table’. Following what’s been a challenging time for many across the world, although overcoming a pandemic wasn’t a part of anyone’s plan, he was still able to find the silver lining in an unprecedented period; “As the pandemic went on, I used the downtime to make things better, including myself.”
As we gear up for the release of his highly anticipated forthcoming album, his refined pen game and ability to adjust with the times is as potent as ever. Clash got the chance to catch up with Belly over Zoom to talk about all thing’s music, becoming a top lyricist, his forthcoming album, cooking the best rib-eye steaks and more. Tap in below to see what Belly had to say!