Olivia De Melo & Bitter Belief Interview Each Other About New Single 'She Can Have The Moon'

Olivia De Melo & Bitter Belief Interview Each Other About New Single 'She Can Have The Moon'

As indie pop singer-songwriter De Melo continues her ascent, she teams up with veteran West Aussie MC for a genre-bending new single and they had a chat all about it

Image credit: Supplied

After having a mammoth 2023 that saw the release of four distinct singles, including most recently SOAK featuring Wesley Black that saw praise and airplay from ABC and community radio stations all around the country, Boorloo’s Olivia De Melo has opened her 2024 account with another collaborative single, She Can Have The Moon featuring Bitter Belief.

Exploring all aspects of relationship betrayals and their consequences, She Can Have The Moon was born where many of De Melo’s songs are - in the car while driving. After quickly getting the idea down a voice note and later adding guitar chords, Olivia took the song into the studio where her lifelong love of 90s rap and r&b shone through, with boom bap style drums added alongside a buttery smooth bassline.

After finishing what she thought would be the single, one thing was missing - a guest feature from a rapper. That missing link proved to be West Aussie OG Bitter Belief (Syllabolix Crew). Instantly vibing on the cut, Bitter Belief wrote his verse in one afternoon, with the final version coming together quickly and effortlessly. The result sees De Melo’s smoky, sultry indie-pop meets 90s r&b style vocals perfectly complemented by Bitter Belief’s storytelling bars that pack clever rhyme scheme and witty wordplay, while the titular chorus proves to be an instant earworm.

Speaking on her new single, Olivia explains "'She Can Have the Moon' is an intergalactic moment in time where I put my big girl pants on and, with self-love and pride, own a stark reality - the realisation that the promise of all the stars in the sky mean nothing without trust and integrity. For anyone that's ever been betrayed or let down by someone, this is your moment to let your inner sass sparkle."

To celebrate the release of their new single, Olivia and Bitter sat down to interview each other:

Olivia is represented by 'O'
Bitter Belief is represented by 'B'

O: G’day.

B: G’day.

O: Nah I won’t say that…

Hey, I'm Olivia De Melo.

B: And my name is Bitter Belief.

O: And we are here for Pilerats doing an interview for us, by us.

B: That was actually pretty good…[chuffed].

O: With multiple Australian tours, a loyal following, and a reputation as one of WA's hip hop legends, have you reached the heavyweights? And what is success to you?

B: No, I don't think I've reached the heavyweights yet. I definitely don't consider myself as someone that's reached the heavyweights. But, with that said, I do know that I am extremely tough on myself. That's a very flattering way to word that question, but I don't really allow for myself to feel flattered by, like, props or I guess recognition, because I just feel like it kind of hinders my ability to stay motivated and I become a little bit complacent.

So I'm definitely very harsh on myself. So I definitely wouldn't say I've reached that yet. And there's a ways to go, but  the definition of success for me or what defines success anyway, is just to be able to be doing what I love and be happy doing that.

So you and your husband, Reuben, are both musicians. And I'd love to know how you guys kind of find the balancing act also being, um, parents to two young children with one on the way. Actually, I probably shouldn't say that yet, should I?

O: No you can…[laughs].

B: Okay, cool. How do you guys kind of juggle the balancing act of having to manage both and do you guys kind of have any strategies between you guys to do that?

O: If you asked me this two years ago, I would have been scared to talk about it because I feel like being a mum in the music industry is still very taboo, so I'm getting quite passionate about it, especially with my third on the way; that I'm not going to shy away from motherhood and music. And having been more outspoken about it, I've realised that musicians that I didn't even realise were mums, are mums. But yeah, we're definitely out there, it's just not spoken about.

Our strategy is literally to live day by day; because our lives are so busy and overwhelming and all over the place, that's all we can manage to do. So, um, I go through constant roller coaster rides of trying to be a good mum,  but also trying to follow my dreams still and fill my own passion cup.

When I do focus on music, I start to feel guilty about being a mum, and when I focus on motherhood, I start to lose a bit of lustre and, I guess, go into a depressive state really. So it's definitely a balancing act of having a role as a mum and then having my own life and my own dreams. And so at the end of the day, we just kind of got to mould them together and involve our kids in everything that we can - bring them to as many shows as we can, which we’ve done since they were born.

We've always brought them along to gigs. There's always been, you know, someone to babysit in the crowd. We've just been lucky and we just trust that it will all work out. And it always does. Yeah. Sometimes we bring them up on stage with us. We just do what we have to do. We'll see what happens with the third one though. I don't know how I'm going to manage, but we'll get through it.

As I mentioned before, you've got a long list of Aussie tours under your belt.  What's your silliest moment on tour?

B: I'm not going to lie, there's a lot to choose from. But I would say, look, for the most part of touring we toured as a massive group. So there were the support acts, the band, myself, tour managers, sound guys. So there was always a big group of us and after the shows is kind of where things would get rowdy. And I was always the youngest as well, so I felt like it was my duty to get the rowdiest and I actually earned myself a nickname as Champagne Bits.

So Bits is obviously from the Bitter Belief, but the Champagne part is because I was quite drunk at an after party once. I forgot what festival it was for, I think it was Groove in the Moo. And I ordered, uh, there was a bar tab and I ordered a bunch of bottles of Moet, not realising how much Moet was. And I was sculling it in the nightclub, so I ended up pretty loose and pretty rowdy and…

O: And broke?

B: And broke. Well, I wasn't broke, it was the festival that put on the bar tab. So that's where I kind of earned the name Champagne Bits, and then every time I would get that level loose, everyone would refer to me as Champagne Bits. So it was kind of like an alter ego, if you will.

O: Sure, and did Groove in the Moo ever invite you back?

B: Uh, I don't think they did, now that you mention it.  So, I hope they invited Drapht back, because otherwise I might feel like I've ruined it for Drapht. But, um, yeah, look, I think, we did it twice, so if that was the second time, then they definitely didn't invite us back. If it was the first time, then all good, because they did, yeah.

Now, we are both happily married, however this song that we've created together is about heartbreak or kind of having mistrust within a marriage - a situation that neither of us are really in. So how did you kind of put yourself in that place to be able to speak from, I guess, a perspective that you're kind of not really immersed within at the moment?

O: I get this a lot because a lot of my songs are from a perspective that you wouldn't necessarily think that I'm in. And you'd be right because I can write songs for myself but then sometimes I just have a mood or a feeling and I take on like an alter ego or a character and I embody that character and imagine this experience that they've gone through and all the feels that they might feel from that experience. And I was just in a, I don't know, I must have been in like a female power zone or some shit I don't know.

Yeah, so this song…I was betrayed in my made up imaginary character in my head and this was my response to that betrayal. And I guess it was also a space that I was in where, like with the kids stuff as well, um, being more outspoken and more authentic about who I am and sharing my life. It was kind of along those lines, being proud of yourself and having self love. And when you're in that space, you can turn away from the people that are letting you down and that aren't beneficial to your life - because we've all had those.

B: Yeah. Agreed. And to be honest, I found it a little bit, um, challenging as well to write that because I wasn't really in that place anymore. I've been in that place before, so at least I had something to kind of harken back to and try to remember how I felt at the time. So that's why I asked that question. I was curious, like, is it something you felt before or did you kind of look at it hypothetically, like, what if I was in that situation, what would I feel?

O: Yeah, it was definitely hypothetical, but I've had, I guess, experiences that lend itself towards that feeling. So I didn't have to dig too deep!

Bitter Belief, I'm sure you're many young aspiring hip hop artists’ idols, but who's yours?

B: I would say, uh, there's actually two different idols for me. I think when it comes to actually the ability to rap and write and be technical with the, with the way I’m rapping or writing, it would be Eminem, obviously.

But in terms of kind of holding myself as a man and kind of navigating through what is the entertainment industry, which can be prickly at times, I would definitely say Jay Z because I watch a lot of Jay Z interviews and yeah, just kind of the way he conducts himself, he's extremely composed all the time and he's very calm and collected. And yeah, I've just always really, really idolised the way that Jay Z carries himself. He's obviously doing something right because Beyonce's his wife [laughs].

So which part of the creative process do you enjoy the most?

O: This is a hard one. I think a lot of musicians love the performance aspect of music and that's kind of why they pursue music.

And I do love performing. The high can last for a long time after an amazing show. But for me, I think it's the songwriting. I love songwriting. I wish I could get paid to do it every single day because I could do it every single day. And, yeah, I could sit there and write song after song. And then that feeling when you've got this, this fresh new piece and you play it until you memorise it on the guitar, well for me, on the guitar.

And then the thought of how it's going to sound after I take it into the studio and the vision of it. And then taking it to the studio and being involved in the production of it. That's definitely my cup of tea.

So our new single coming out is She Can Have The Moon. Why did you agree to collab with me? I'm a total stranger. Well I was…

B: You were, yes.

Firstly, Uncool Sam, bless his heart, definitely bigged you up and gave you props to me. So yeah, Uncool Sam bigged you up to me, said there's this girl I've been working with in the studio, she's an amazing singer, she's looking for a rapper to kind of fill this gap, or kind of spit a 16, so that there was like a bit of a back and forth feeling, a bit of perspective from both ends, so I liked the idea of it, and then when…The simple and short answer is I heard the song.

I heard the song and I just loved it straight away. It was stuck in my head. I was definitely focusing on my own solo stuff at the time, but I wanted to do some more collabs as well leading up to it. And I definitely want to be putting myself outside of my comfort zone and doing less of the rappity rap stuff and kind of,  I guess, collaborating with a lot more artists that are in a different genre.

And then, yeah, when I heard the song, it was an easy decision to make, to be honest with you.

O: The rest is history…

B: It was a wonderful song, and it still is.

So your children, would  you be happy if they pursued a musical career and followed in your footsteps? And if they did, what's one piece of advice that you would give them?

O: Good question. Yeah, I'd love it if they loved music. And I think just being surrounded by it with us, daily, that they'll either love it or hate it. But yeah, I'm not going to force them, but obviously try and  support them if they want to. And the biggest piece of advice I would give them if they did want to pursue music was just go for it and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

And that's not just for music. That's for any passion or dream. One of my big regrets is not following my gut and my dreams when I was younger. It took me a long time to start following them. So yeah, I would just say, don't listen to the external pressures of what's going on around you and just follow your gut.

B: Nice.

O: So Bitter, what's next for you?

B: So I told myself at the start of this year, I would put everything into the music and I wasn't gonna cut any corners. I wasn't gonna, I guess allow for my motivation to disappear. So I'm definitely trying to stay motivated this year, trying to stay inspired, trying to release as much music as I can.

I've got a lot of songs and videos that I did last year that are yet to come out so I'll be dropping them soon whilst I'm kind of working on my own solo album. Hopefully I can release the solo album by the end of the year, but I've also got some touring coming up. And apparently I'm going to feature on somebody's collab EP, so I'm looking forward to that as well [slyly].

O: Thanks for tuning in, I'm Olivia De Melo.

B: And my name is Bitter Belief.

O: And our new single, She Can Have The Moon, is out…

B: February 22nd..? February 22nd.

O: Check it.

Olivia De Melo's new single She Can Have The Moon featuring Bitter Belief is out now

She Can Have The Moon Artwork

Follow Olivia De Melo: Instagram / Facebook

Follow Bitter Belief: Instagram / Facebook

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