Tāmaki Makaurau’s midnight sunshine, Erny Belle, is a sweet enigma adorned by dark dreams, wild wonder, and spellbinding song. The musical veil of Ngāpuhi singer-songwriter Aimee Renata emerged onto the scene with a billowing aura of mystery but swiftly enamoured audiences with her heartful and haunting abstractions of life weaved into gorgeous composition. From stoking the flames of the Aotearoa music scene – Russian net bowtie in hair, spicy margarita in hand, Otara Millionaires Club playing in the background – she is now setting the scene ablaze in tight style.
Her meteoric rise followed the independent release of critically acclaimed debut record Venus is Home (2022) with singles ‘Burning Heaven’ and ‘Hellhole’ paving the way for its summer twilight unveiling. A sublime and swellful record, the nine-song voyage of graceful ruminations was a stunning introduction to the neorealismo yet rich world of Erny Belle. The gothic double entendre that Renata lyrically dances between emanates a pensive, almost prayerful, album experience – a depth is held steadfast by stunning vocal harmonies, tremolo-washed strings, lilting steel guitar, and beautifully catchy melodic writing. A landmark alt-folk, pop-kissed record written “For the Kaipara – For Nana Venus”, captures and radiates a heart shaped by the deep landscape of Te Tai Tokerau (Northland) with all of its magical, satirical, and intimate memoirs. Raving reviews and enthusiastic profiles reflected the phenomenal release with the record since being nominated for both the Taite Music Prize and Best Independent Debut Award in 2023.
Hailing from a background and family steeped in the film world, Renata is a visual artist through and through, a detail that shines through the heavenly synesthesia of her sonic offerings. An actor before transitioning into costume design for eight years, it is no coincidence that poise and picture is a focal point for the music. Naturally, the interdisciplinary charmer has added film directing and producing to her credentials with six videos under her hefty rodeo belt since Venus Is Home came on the scene.
From a sold-out album release show, a spectacular headline feature at the esteemed Hollywood Cinema, and opening for the renowned likes of Andy Shauf, Billy Bragg and Orville Peck, Erny Belle and her band have well cemented their place as powerhouse performers. Magical in every sense of the word, audiences continue to be enchanted by what is whimsical theatre alchemised with decadent seance, musical misty dives uplifted with wonderful spectacle. Within only a stone’s throw amount of time since kicking down the industry door – Tarantino-style – Belle and band have traversed and swooned the hearts of the country with the 2023 Hōtoke Tour – their inaugural headline tour that garnered widespread acclaim and sold-out venues.
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