An Ever-Evolving Concept: An Interview with Belle Mt.

Photo courtesy of Sara Lincoln

When singer/songwriter Matt Belmont found some down time in 2014, he dedicated nearly two years to developing his songwriting technique. He experimented with new sounds, found inspiration in the French alps and ultimately began the project Belle Mt.

Belmont has described the project as ‘an ever-evolving concept’, meaning its sound will grow and change without being defined by old tropes. The core of the project will always be himself and longtime collaborators Chris Burgess and Ben Worsley, and right now they’re in a stage where they are still establishing a cohesive foundation.

“...On occasions where a song may be best served by just myself and a guitar then that’s how I’ll create it,” Belmont said. “If it’s best as the three of us plus a choir then that’s what we’ll try to do. It’s about serving the music in a fluid, evolving way more than serving our own egos.”

From the inception of Belle Mt. to today, Belmont thinks his biggest discovery has been the power of collaboration.

“Surrounding yourself with incredible people who share your vision can really help you to grow and to be the best that you can be as an artist,” he said. “A lot of people try to do it all themselves so they can claim what they create 100% but I’ve found that it doesn’t have to be a choice of collaborate or go totally solo; I still write alone often and when I collaborate I create extra songs that I’d have never created alone. It’s a bonus and you learn a lot about yourself by letting others in.”

Belmont recognizes all the incredible and unique aspects that Burgess and Worsley bring to the project, as well as their producer, Grammy award-winning Femke Weidema. Burgess, he said, has that perfectionist gene that helps the songs become the best version they can be. Worsley uses his emotions to deeply connect with each song and is one of the most loyal people Belmont has ever met. Weidema has the ability to envision a song from a wide perspective, even in its early stages, and is confident in her decisions.

Their latest collaboration has actually been a partnership - a deal with Warner Records. It was one that Belmont spent time deliberating but in the end felt like it was the right decision.

“I believe that the people I work with [at Warner Records] understand what Belle Mt. is about and can help us to get this music heard by way more people,” he said. “They’ve only convinced me further as they’ve tried to support and facilitate what we do and I’m very grateful for that. Any relationship I start in this industry - label or otherwise - I go into it hoping that it’s going to be good for everyone in the long term.”

Their latest single, “The Way A Young Heart Breaks”, was Belmont’s attempt to distill the feeling of a first heartbreak in a little more than three minutes.

“I woke up one morning in Nashville thinking about that period when I was young and hurting and I realized how much that had shaped me and caused a big shift in my direction, leading me to where I am today,” he said. “There’s a tendency to dismiss the feelings of teenagers as though they are less important or less valid but I think it’s often the opposite. You’re less guarded as a teenager and you aren’t jaded by life yet, so you feel things so viscerally in those years and scar deeper.”

He crafts his lyrics as a way to document his personal life experiences and heal himself in the only way he knows how, which can also been seen in his previous single, “Famous Son”. He just released an acoustic version that shares new feelings to those powerful lyrics.

Belle Mt. is a project that isn’t afraid of the barriers of genre or sound, surrounded by solid relationships and an overall love for creation. As the project evolves, so do the people involved, and that is what makes for the best music.