Houston-Bred Musician Bel-Ami Releases Soulful Debut Album ‘(Muse)ic’

On the album title he shares, “Without a muse, there is no art, there is no music.”

Brooklyn-based musician Bel-Ami unveils his debut album Muse(ic).

Co-produced with Errick Lewis who has previously worked with Stevie Wonder and Erykah Badu, the release is neo-soul through and through. There are no features on this project and that’s ideal as it allows him a moment to showcase his sheer talent. Muse(ic) is the latest arrival from the artist following a recent EP from Herbivores, an NYC collective he fronts.

Bel-Ami is a self-taught musician who was born into a family of musicians and singers. Growing up he solidified his skills and affinity for singing in local school and church choirs in Houston. Later on he joined the well-known Houston Symphony Chorus. Yet, he shifted and found a higher purpose for his sound following a nearly fatal car accident.

Since then, he’s gone on to create his version of freeing music. In 2013, he dropped his debut EP, Know U. This was his formal introduction to the entertainment industry at large. The title track is filled with an air of honesty with a calming jolt of soul. Other tracks including “Plead” explore his intense sound and knack for emotional lyricism.

As the years have passed by, Bel-Ami has unleashed singles and other compilations. He’s also headlined two indie tours and shared stages with Bilal who is one of his greatest influences and Dwele. Muse(ic) presents Bel-Ami’s rawness and authenticity that has carried him over the years. On it, he shares his thoughts on the muses that have come in and out of his life. As far as the sound and subject matter, he describes both as “gritty as the basement in Jersey, where the songs were recorded.” 

Photo Credit: WPGM

When expanding on the album he adds:

“Looking back, it’s almost as if we were living a dream. Everything was so effortless. To reference Malcolm Gladwell, it was definitely an outlier moment, where preparation meets opportunity at the most perfectly divine time. If I could have determined early on what the perfect outcome would have been, it would not have been as good as what now exists.”

The bones of Muse(ic) were recorded in a single live take. This allowed him to prioritize freedom of expression. This is heard in the project which has an eccentric gist and authentic feel. The tracks which evoke reflective moments are “Healing,” “Raindrops,” “Muse(ic)” and “Find Love.” In total, the album is intricately written and expansive in the way Bel-Ami pulls from his personal musings to create his biting sound.

On the topic of muses Bel-Ami shares, “Without a muse, there is no art, there is no music.” For those curious about the title of the album, here’s his explanation, “Adding the suffix ‘ic’ typically forms an adjective, which means of or pertaining to and as such, this project is pertaining to and inspired by my many muses.”

Stream Bel Ami’s Muse(ic) below. 

Robyn Mowatt

Robyn Mowatt is a Staff Writer at Okayplayer where she covers culture, music, and fashion. You can see what's on her mind on Twitter at @robyn_mowatt.

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Robyn Mowatt

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