BBC Folk Singer of the Year Bella Hardy found her first home in folk music through a childhood love for ballad books. A self-taught ‘fiddle singer’, she began performing at Cambridge and Sidmouth festivals from the age of 13. Her debut album Night Visiting established her reputation as a talented songwriter when her first original composition Three Black Feathers earned a BBC Folk Award nomination. Since then, Bella has sung unaccompanied ballads at a sold-out Royal Albert Hall, taken a band of drums, brass and electronics to the National Concert Hall of Budapest, and learnt the songs of Chinese farmers during her time as British Council Musician in Residence in Yunnan Province. She’s sat on the moors of her beloved Peak District with only her fiddle for company. She spent a year in Tennessee as a ranch hand, looking after horses, fiddle-singing in the diners, and immersing herself in the music culture of Nashville. With her mesmerising voice and ability to conjure and twist stories that call straight to the heart, Bella has beguiled audiences from Canada to Japan, from Spanish bars, to Castles, to Concert Halls.
With unflinching courage, Bella has explored and blurred musical boundaries. From her mastery of traditional music and the stripped back strings and concertina of her debut album Night Visiting (2007), to the electric guitar and drums in the self-penned humanist hymns and feminist battle cries of Hey Sammy (2017), via the Derbyshire ballads of The Dark Peak & The White and ancient Chinese poetry of Eternal Spring, an album of songs and poetry recorded in China, her themes of displacement and home, lost and found love, heartache and joy, are delivered with her unique, disarming honesty, and, of course, the acclaimed crystalline voice that won her BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Singer of the Year.
In 2019, she released 'Postcards & Pocketbooks: The Best of Bella Hardy', a double CD celebrating her incredible first 9 albums of musical adventures, alongside 'The Complete Lyrics of...', a hardback book containing over 100 songs.
“Brit folk's finest” Mojo Magazine • “Enduringly seductive” The Telegraph • “A fine, no-nonsense interpreter of traditional music and an excellent songwriter” The Guardian • “An aura of sophisti-cation that will win over listeners who never set foot in a folk club” The Sunday Times • “…a shining star in the folk scene’s firmament” fRoots Magazine • “Hardy’s vocals are magnificent; clear and strong with a direct emotional resonance” R2 Magazine • “A triumph of folk art-pop” Songlines Magazine • “...unveiled, committed, uncontrived, persuasive, passionate, empowering, and utterly wonderful” fRoots Magazine • “…few are as adventurous and intriguing as Hardy” Songlines Magazine