Belly Rachel unleashes her feminine rage on her punchy new single and video Cynical — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
The most emotionally raw and authentic song the Malaysia-born, Glasgow-based singer-songwriter artist has penned to date, Cynical — which seamlessly intertwines elements of indie, alternative rock and pop with her soaring vocals — calls out the sort of inappropriate male behaviour she and other women have faced for far too long.
“I wrote this song after an unfortunate encounter with a pervert while I was out walking my dog in Glasgow,” she recalls. “I went home shaken as hell, more out of rage than fear, at the fact that I’m about to turn 30 and things like this still happen to me to this day. At 11, I was groped in a shopping mall while I was out shopping for school uniforms with my mother, flashed by a stranger at a bus stop at 17, received dick pics by a weirdo who got my socials when I was busking during my 20s.
“I’m starting to think it will never end. And the most depressing thing is, I guarantee I’m not the only woman out there who’s had these experiences. So I wrote this song, just because I needed a way to express my disgust and fury. I hope that this song will resonate with other women. And I want more people to understand that us women didn’t start off as cynical and distrustful of men, we were moulded that way because of the world.”
Naming artists like Alanis Morissette, Joni Mitchell and Phoebe Bridgers as her main influences, Belly thrives on the ability to experiment with her music and the concepts and emotions she’s able to portray through her songwriting. She spent her childhood in the coastal state of Sabah, developing a passion for songwriting at a very young age and penning her first song when she was just eleven. Early in her career, Belly experimented with different sounds, from catchy dance-pop to punk. But two distinct features of her music remain throughout her experimentation: Painfully honest lyrics and searing vocals.
Having relocated to Glasgow from Malaysia in April 2022, Belly has moved away from the constraints of living in a conservative society and has fully embraced the notion of expressing herself to the fullest. “When I was growing up, there were far and few opportunities for singer-songwriters in my hometown, so making music seemed like a pipe dream. My biggest influence was my dad, who was and still is a fantastic singer. He was the reason why I picked up the guitar at 11 and started learning chords to popular music. Then I discovered Joni Mitchell and my life was forever changed. Eventually, I gravitated towards the music of other strong female singer/songwriters like Alanis Morissette. So I guess you can see why feminine rage is a prominent theme in my music.”