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Singer-songwriter wows judges of Quebec TV contest despite lack of fluent FrenchMario Carlucci · CBC News · Posted: Mar 19, 2018 3:10 PM ET | Last Updated: March 19Ottawa's Katrina Robert, a.k.a. Bella Cat, performs on the TVA singing contest La Voix. (TVA)When Ottawa's Katrina Robert belted out her soul-spilling interpretation of Koko Taylor's classic Voodoo Woman during her blind audition on La Voix, Quebec's version of The Voice, last week, all four judges spun their chairs around and stood, captivated by her raw talent.One even popped a bottle of champagne, reserved for the contestant he thinks will win the singing competition.Literally, the only thing going on in my mind at that point was, I hope the world can hear the heart, soul, passion in my voice and I come across as a loving person who wants to put good into the world," Robert told CBC's All In A Day.Robert, 26, who goes by the stage name Bella Cat, opted for the team led by Belgian-Canadian pop singer Lara Fabian. I was so nervous because I saw videos on Lara where her fans knew all the words to her song and she was crying, and I just wanted her to see that I hope to one day have the same effect on people," Robert said.The blind audition was Robert's TV debut. She said she was inspired and encouraged to enter the contest by her friend and fellow Ottawa-area singer-songwriter Rebecca Noelle, herself a runner-up on La Voix a year ago. Rebecca gave me advice and boosted my confidence so that I would apply for the show.... We have a huge respect for one another and I'm looking forward to having more of her in my life.Language backlashWhile social media reaction to her performance was generally encouraging, there was also some criticism about her lack of fluent French.The language thing stressed me out 100 per cent, especially because some people don't think English people should be on the show. But it is an international competition and it's called La Voix, not The Language.The next episode airs Sunday and Monday evenings on TVA. Contestants are forbidden from revealing how the competition unfolds.Whether Robert continues to the final or not, she said the exposure has been good.I want people to find me through social media and discover my music.... I just want people to listen to the words and find some sort of connection or sense of feeling that they're not alone in the world.” - Mario Carlucci

CBC News

PHOTOS COURTOISIE OSA IMAGES ET TVA   Sur les conseils de Rebecca Noelle, finaliste de l’équipe de Marc Dupré l’an dernier, Katrina Robert a décidé de tenter sa chance à La Voix au Québec, même si elle ne parle quasiment pas français. « Comme j’habite à Ottawa, j’ai seulement vu quelques émissions de La Voix ». Dimanche, les quatre coachs se sont retournés sur sa voix rauque et modulable qu’elle a parfaitement mise en valeur sur Voodoo Woman de Koko Taylor. Chanteuse à temps plein, Katrina souhaite maintenant que La Voix lui apporte un peu plus de visibilité”

Journal de Montreal

First Alan Bleiken brought music to Jojo’s cafe. Now he’s taking it to the mountain. The Osoyoos small-concert promoter has arranged a show at Almighty Summit Estates — an indoor mecca of music at the summit of Anarchist Mountain — this evening featuring Bella Cat. Admission is by donation for the 7 to 9 p.m. show; the trick is finding the Almighty.   “It was actually her idea once she saw the place I lined up for her and the band to stay,” Alan says in a Facebook posting. “Bella and band put on a very good show, and the venue up the mountain is something you might want to get introduced to. Simply amazing does not quite describe it.” Bella Cat sold out Jojo’s when she performed October 12. The 25-year-old singer from a small town in Quebec was keen to do a second show in the Osoyoos area and also plans to shoot a music video in the area. So, what is the Bella Cat sound? As her bio puts it, “Try and imagine two of the world’s most soulful and unique voices — Janis Joplin and Eartha Kit. Now imagine them producing a beautiful love child and that would be as Clyde Stubblefield dubbed her “The Princess of Soul.” Better, though, you have a listen. Live.  (VIDEO AVAILABLE, Click on Link Above for original Article)  ” - Andrew Stuckey

Osoyoos Today

Ottawa’s Princess of Soul, Bella Cat, gave listeners a power-packed performance inside the Bluesville Stage tent at Bluesfest Sunday afternoon. She is another one of those artists that once you discover her, you cannot help but become an instant fan. Freshly back from her western Canadian tour in support of her second album, “It’s Not What It Looks Like”, Bella Cat and her band of six gave the crowd a taste of classically written blues, soul, and R&B that transported us back to the speakeasies of New Orleans in the 30’s. Bella talks to Apt613 about her latest album, her tour, and how she came to be named the Princess of Soul:“I wrote all my own lyrics and melodies. I was really lucky to have met Lindi Ortega’s guitar player one day, and he wrote all the music to this new album. His name is Champagne James Robertson, and he’s one of the best guitar players I know. The album was recorded in Chicago. It’s got Aretha Franklin’s and Chaka Khan’s backup singers, and Marvin Gaye’s guitar player. There’s a bonus track which we are releasing with James Brown’s drummer, Clyde Stubblefield, who just passed away. He put his hand on my shoulder, looked me straight in the eye and said, “darlin’, you’re the Princess of Soul”. We released the album June 17th and left on our tour June 18th. We headed all the way to Vancouver Island and back, stopping at other places in B.C., Regina, Saskatoon, Calgary, Revelstoke… all across western Canada.”Bella Cat, performs inside the Bluesville tent during Bluesfest. Photo by Terry Steeves.Each song she and the band performed had a different flavour, a different tempo, and varied in combinations of blues, soul, jazz, R&B, and even a touch of disco. As versatile as the music is, so is Bella Cat’s voice, which boasts a wide range of colour and style. In the song “Love God”, there’s a slinky sexiness that she sings with the playful sassiness of Amy Winehouse; whereas in “Dead Woman’s Grave”, she reaches into some low-toned Etta James fullness. Her robust voice came through in one called “This Morning” that had textured segments ranging from soft and sultry, to heavier, grittier soul. “Good Girls”, a steady rocking blues number, was given a rich Motown polish with the addition of the horns. In a tremendously powerful version of “Hit The Road Jack”, Bella wrapped her big mama blues voice around the melody, moving from her lower buttery register to belting some gripping high notes and edgy growls.Bella Cat. Photo by Terry Steeves.Another from her new album, “Tonight’s The Night For Freedom”, was heavy in gospel tones, and Bella filled the song with every ounce of her passion. She worked the entire stage that was quickly becoming surrounded by the growing crowd. There were also a couple of slow burning 12-bar blues numbers that were soaked in 30’s torch goodness where she sank her teeth into the raw passion of the song, and unleashed her deep tones, heavy vibrato, and high searing notes that brought a rush of cheers from the audience. I must also give a tip of the hat to guitarist, Daniel Grewall, and Michael Grewall on the Leslie for their great solo work. Also to Matt Aston for showing such great versatility on the drums, and to lead singer of Ottawa band Nile Groove, Roxy Lecuyer, for her fantastic backing vocals.RBC Bluesfest runs from July 6–16, 2017 at LeBreton Flats. Visit for the lineup and schedule. Keep checking back for more Apt613 Bluesfest coverage and follow us on Instagram for the latest photos.For more info on Bella Cat, upcoming shows, and to buy her new album, “It’s Not What It Looks Like”, please visit” - Terry Steeves

APT 613

Dead Woman's GraveFor Immediate Release: 1/30/2016Vocalist Bella Cat new debut single "Dead Woman's Grave" will be released world wide February 1, 16 at;iTunes, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Play, Groove, Rhapsody, iHeartRadio, Gracenote, Shazam, KKBox, Slacker Radio, ClaroMusica and Facebook.The upcoming Mini Lp "It's Not What It Looks Like" will have its world wide release this spring.Try and imagine two of the world's most soulful and unique voices, Janis Joplin and Eartha Kit now imagine them producing a beautiful love child and that would be as Clyde Stubblefield dubbed her "The Princess of Soul" BELLA CAT. Her 1st single from her forthcoming album promises to entertain you with a passionate sound coming straight from the inner sanctum of her heart and soul. Recorded in the US and Canada Produced by Jack LeTourneau in association with Neal Ford Sundet. This new Canadian voice shows the kind of new talent which will sure to be a major contender in the future of musical landscape.JLP Entertainment ” - Jack Letourneau


Opening act for Lolo from Boukman Eksperyans (PAPJAZZ 2015) . Bella Cat sings for 5000 people and again two days later at the same festival ! Click the Orange headliner above to see the interview !  ” - PAPJAZZ

International Jazz Festival - Haiti Port- au- Prince

In recent years Bella Cat has been on the prowl around the Ottawa music scene, shocking audiences with the intensity of her performances. When the petite 24-year-old with golden hair steps up to the microphone people often don’t expect what comes next. With the soul power of Aretha Franklin and the rock wail of Janis Joplin, this cat can howl! Now she’s ready to set fire to the Westboro FUSE Festival.Bella grew up in the little town of Chelsea, Quebec. She was greatly influenced by the nature that surrounded her. Summer days would be spent jumping off the rock behind the local grocery store to cool off in the Gatineau River and she could often be found painting in her backyard. As a Chelsea kid, she liked to dance and recalls coming into an appreciation for music only in her early teens. Singing wasn’t necessarily her first choice. In fact, some might say she was quite literally driven into it.“My mother picked me up from school when I was 12 and told me she signed me up for classes,” Bella tells Ottawa Life. “She was always pushing me to grow, not always willingly, but today I am very thankful.”Since then, once a week, every week, she’s been taking lessons at Rob’s Music. Early on, she remembers her confidence levels being fairly low. She would put herself down, didn’t feel her voice was good enough. Shows would turn into fights with those around her, the singer lashing out to cover up for her stage fright. A chance meeting with her idol –Toronto, now Nashville, country singer Lindi Ortega– when Bella was 19 invigorated the young singer.“Lindi told me that I have to be happy playing no matter where I am. I realized then I could not continue singing the way I was. I decided from that day on I would dedicate my time to writing my own songs. If I could just help one person every time I sing on stage and that one person can find peace in whatever they are battling then I have done my job.”A few moments into any Bella Cat song, you can tell the work has paid off. Despite the early reluctance to embrace her voice, when she really put the work into it she realized it was something she was made to do, something she wanted to continue doing for the rest of her life. She started publicly performing more at small festivals and cites her music teacher, Rob Clarot, for recognizing her talent and taking care of her first bookings in local piano bars.Clarot would train the singer in a theatre jazz style, teaching her pieces from musicals like Chicago. This led her to the blues and inspiration from vocalists like Etta James and Billie Holiday. Her first boyfriend was also an influence. He showed Bella rock and roll.“He was that classic cute boy with long hair, light blue 70’s jeans, and a band shirt. It was his positive and happy energy when he danced to this music that rocked something inside of me,” she says, adding that the two are still friends today.Growing up she was given the nickname “Cat”. An email from her cousin one day which read “I love you, Bella” would provide the missing piece to a stage name she has continued with throughout her career. For her, it is more than a simple pseudonym; it’s also a persona, but one not far from who she is in her regular day to day life.“I do tend to step into character when I hit the stage. It’s my raw energy and honest performances that I think people are most attracted to, though. Today I find people –including myself– want to hide who we are when really we are just covering up our originality and beauty. It is important for me to stay as real as possible.”Bella released her first album, Corrupted, in 2014 to much acclaim. The Revue said she had “the most enthralling, soulful voice in the area.” Not too shabby for a vocalist who, only a few years before, had little confidence in her own talents.Take “Shy Woman” from her debut. In the first minute the singer moves from smooth and, within the same breath, twists her vocals inward to release a sound that could be coming from a totally different performer. You can hear it on the title track or on tunes like “Swampy Water”. There’s this grunge to her voice, like she put Tom Waits, Etta James, Ella Fitzgerald, and Nick Cave’s voices inside a blender and hit the mix button. She moves effortlessly from silk to sandpaper and back again.The singer plans to release her 2nd album in 2016. Recorded in Wakefield, Ottawa and Chicago and taking on a more soulful edge than Corrupted, the album features work by three-time Grammy nominee Billy Branch and James Brown drummer Clyde Stubblefield. Bella looks back on her performance at the International Jazz Festival in Haiti as one of her favourites. She sang her opening line and 5,000 people went ballistic. “Bella! Bella!” they chanted. What can you expect from her coming 7 p.m. Westboro FUSE performance on Friday June 10?“My shows are never a disappointment, they are full of high energy and can be extremely emotional. People get overwhelmed and generally rise for a standing ovation, they see the hard work and talent my band has put on for an incredible performance,” Bella says. “Audiences are compelled to enter my world as I write songs about truth, love, hurt, and just all around everyday life experiences. People can expect a Tina Turner performance with vocals that sound like Eartha Kitt and Janis Joplin.”” - Andre Gange

Ottawa Life Magazine

We get a taste of some great soul music when Bella Cat performs live on the show" - Rogers TV ” - Bella Cat with Jesse Greene

Rogers TV

Bella Cat & Michelle Valberg work together on her upcoming album cover ” - Michelle Valberg Photography

Michelle Valberg

Bella Cat a surpris la scène musicale canadienne avec ”Corrupted” enregistré à Nashville, Tennessee en 2014! Bella sait plaire à une vaste audience et les garde en haleine avec sa présence incomparable. Avec un mélange de blues et de rock, sa voix envoutante et son magnétisme sur scène, Bella Cat occupe une classe à part.  La force de ses performances sont à la fois magnifiques et authentiques, surprenant pour une jeune femme de 23 ans. Bella continue de performer à coup d’amour au coeur et entraîne son audience irrésistiblement à danser.  Soyez prêt pour son prochain album qu’elle enregistrera à Chicago.” - -Lakshmi Sundaram & Ben Yung

Kreol Magazine