Charlie Belle is an Meet 'Alternapop' rising stars Charlie Belle The Hype Magazine: Unveiling the Pulse of Urban Culture - From Hip Hop to Hollywood! Explore a Diverse Tapestry of Stories, Interviews, and Impactful Editorials Spanning Fashion, Gaming, Movies, MMA, EDM, Rock, and Beyond! - The Hype Magazine The Hype Magazine - News From Hip Hop To Hollywood!

Issue #98 - Digital Cover

Published on May 29th, 2016 | by Dr. Jerry Doby


Meet ‘Alternapop’ rising stars Charlie Belle

Charlie Belle is an Austin-based sister-brother pop duo comprised of 17-year-old songwriter, vocalist, and guitarist, Jendayi Bonds, and 14-year-old drummer and vocalist, Gyasi Bonds.

The Bonds siblings, who began playing together as a band in 2011 (promptly landing in USA Today with a cover of “Strange Powers” by Magnetic Fields), made a splash earlier this year with the breezy debut EP “Get To Know,” which recalled the English “alternapop” sound of the 90’s in a succinct and memorable handful of songs that reflected Jendayi’s mature-beyond-her-years songwriting.

On the live front, Charlie Belle has recently become a stand out in Austin, drawing crowds to a live show that is just as potent as its songs and recordings. That show, both powerful and fun (putting a brother and sister on stage together will always result in some sort of moment, right?), will venture out to national stages this, with festival spots and major market club appearances to be announced soon.

This amazing brother and sister duo answered a few questions for us to get a better idea of how their career is growing and what’s next for them.

From the outside looking in, who is Charlie Belle?

From the outside looking in, Charlie Belle is really just a group of young people who write and play music about the thing they’re going through.

What brought you all to the entertainment industry, music specifically?

It was a house rule that we were supposed to learn how to play at least one instrument while growing up in our parents’ house, but playing music professionally is kind of something that we just stumbled into. When we moved from Philly to Austin and saw how many people were playing in bands, we kind of looked at each other and were like “hey, we have the tools for this!” and just started doing it. We would play a show and then get invited to play another show, and things just snowballed from there.

What do you want people get from your music?

I really want people to listen to my music and relate. One of my main goals in songwriting is to take an experience I have had or am currently going through, and express it in a way where anyone can access that emotion. I want people to listen to my music and say “wow, I know what that feels like” or “yeah, that’s happened to me before.” I really want people to listen to the words, because they’re the most important to me.

Tell us about your current project.

We’re currently working on a full length at the moment! No hard announcements or deadlines, but it’s on the horizon. I hope to continue to tell stories as we progress in this project.

For new listeners, what song of yours would you pick as an introduction to you as a band?

I think a good song to listen to if you haven’t heard us before is Petting Zoo, off of the second EP ‘I Don’t Want To Be Alone.’ I think it most represents our vibe and is also a great song to listen to for changes, self­realization, and newfound confidence. If you’re in that kind of mood.

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Tell us a bit about your work and passions OUTSIDE of music…

Jendayi: Outside of music, I honestly just love chillin. Chillin with my cat, a book, some netflix, anything. I like watching movies a lot, hanging out with my friends, sleeping, all of the cool things. At the end of the day, my passion has always been writing. When I’m not writing music for the band, I’m just writing some stuff for myself, and when I’m not writing music, I’m writing poems or reading short stories or novels.

Gyasi: I really like playing ultimate frisbee (and a ton of other sports), hanging out with my friends, reading, and watching tv shows. Honestly my whole life is music. I started playing when I was only four so it’s hard to do things that don’t have to do with music. If I’m not playing, then I’m looking up videos of famous drummers like Miles Kane or Questlove.

Last but not least, HYPE wants to know…What’s your CRAZIEST “Where they do that at?!” aka WTF?! Moment…

Our craziest wtf moment was probably when we played at this show that was definitely tearing at the seams. Leading up to the show the bookers changed the venue about three times, and pushed our set time back about 3 hours later. The day of the actual show was raining and nasty outside, and when we got to the venue they told us that instead of our set being at 10pm, it would be at 11. We ended up playing the show at 1:30am, and the only people there were the bookers and the other bands playing. We got home at about 3:30 in the morning and slept in all of the next day. It was a great show though!

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About the Author

Editor-in-Chief of The Hype Magazine, Media and SEO Consultant, Journalist, Ph.D. and retired combat vet. 2023 recipient of The President's Lifetime Achievement Award. Partner at THM Media Group. Member of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture, the United States Press Agency and ForbesBLK.

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