Artist Interview: “Doll House” by Jenica Bell

Q: Hi, Jenica! I was mesmerized by your voice and your ability to not only project emotions through every fragment of “Doll House,” but also to get the listeners to feel those emotions. How do you do it?

JENICA BELL: Thank you! I’ve always been a pretty quiet person, so I think creating and performing music is the time when I finally make sense of things and let things out. Writing lyrics and adding music is such a satisfying and therapeutic process.

Also, the use of metaphors really helps me organize my thoughts and memories into music; sometimes, I learn more about myself as well. I never want to take myself too seriously in music, but all of the emotions are genuine!

Q: I also must commend you for being so vulnerable and open in this piece. What was that like? Tell me about the possible hesitations.

JENICA: This song was sort of written in layers and over time, the first draft told the same story but in a more surface-level way. When I finally went back to it, a lot more came out that I didn’t fully expect, but it made it much more personal and real.


Q: What were the easiest and hardest parts of making “Doll House”?

JENICA: Getting the lyrics written was the most difficult part–this is a song about some fairly old emotions that I just sort of shook off and never processed. I really had to dig deep to get it right; after that, the music came pretty effortlessly. 


Q: Were there any parts of the song where you thought “I don’t think I should say this/that,” “Maybe I shouldn’t put that in there”?

JENICA: I did take out a line or two from the original draft, I felt like they were a bit overly-simplified and not relevant to the time; they were the first things that came to mind when bringing up these older feelings. But when I went back to it, I was able to dig a lot deeper. There wasn’t anything I thought I shouldn’t say necessarily, I think I actually share more with the final version.


Q: What inspired the song?

JENICA: The song was inspired by someone from my past who sort of led me on; it was a constant on and off situation with some serious whiplash of emotions. At the time, the feelings of frustration were muddled with admiration and friendship and it was hard to get away.

The title of the song, “Doll House” makes a lot of sense in my head for my specific experience; I felt like we were “playing house,” but below the surface everything was fake because the other person was never able to be emotionally available, or take a risk. It was also a drawn out thing, so it became the norm for awhile and it was hard to get back to real life and escape the fantasy/romanticism of the whole thing.


Q: What do you want your listeners to take away from listening to “Doll

JENICA: I hope it helps my listeners feel validated if they’ve ever been dragged along before; I hope they stand up for themselves and love themselves enough to get out sooner than I did. Life is too short to waste time trying to read every signal someone is giving off; don’t let others beat around the bush!


Q: Who is Jenica Bell? What do you want people to know about her, as an
artist and person?

JENICA: Jenica is my middle name, and my artist name is used to help me share and process things that I’ve let fade away and never fully expressed. While a lot of my songs may seem melancholic, there’s a lot of hope and growth behind them. I’ve been making music since I was six and I’ve always felt a bit different from others (always been a huge dreamer and more introspective).


Q: Do you have any upcoming projects we’re allowed to know about?

JENICA: Tons! I’ve got three new releases coming shortly that are a bit older and about my past, and two more that will be coming after that relate a bit more to present-day. After that, I’ll be releasing a lot of new stuff!


Q: Is there anything you want to say to your listeners?

JENICA: I’ve just begun releasing my music to the world pretty recently. I so appreciate every listen and want nothing more than to offer a cathartic and real experience. My music is honest and not afraid to touch on difficult subjects. For example, my last release, “It’s Me,” is about a period of dissociation I experienced after a lot of severe anxiety; I was never able to find a song written specifically about how I felt at that time, so I made one!


Interviewed by Taylor Berry





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