Meet Bellah: The Soulful Star of Hulu's 'Queenie'

North London-born Bellah, known for her soulful music and charming personality, is set to captivate audiences in Hulu's "Queenie," premiering June 7th. Discover her role as Kyazike and why she's the BFF you didn't know you needed.

If you're unfamiliar with Bellah, get ready to meet a new best friend (in your head). This North London-born talent is known for her soulful music and charming personality—evidenced by her nomination as one of the ​​Viewers' Choice Nominees for Best International Act at this year’s BET Awards.Her new show "Queenie," airing on Hulu on June 7th, is based on the best-selling novel by Candice Carty-Williams and explores the life of a young Black Jamaican British woman navigating love, career, and identity in London. The series stars Dionne Brown as Queenie and Bellah as her best friend, Kyazike (pronounced Chez-Kay).As Bellah prepares to reach an even bigger audience with her role, she embodies the soul of what she calls “diaspora kids” living the Black British experience. In this exclusive interview, we dive into her character Kyazike, the importance of Black female friendships, and why she's the BFF you didn't know you needed.

BET.COM: Tell us about Kyazike; how are you like her and how are you different?

BELLAH: Kyazike is Queenie's longest-standing best friend. She offers comic relief, support, and just the "ride or die"-ness of it all. And I'm exactly like her, minus the heels. I like a trainer! But she's a go-getter, she knows what she wants. She sets her mind to something and she achieves it. We're both hilarious, too.

BET.COM: How would you describe the dynamics of friendships among Black women, especially for those of us who might feel like a Queenie and still figuring out who we are, but trying to get to the self-assuredness of Kyazike?

BELLAH: As Black women, sometimes we feel like we're all we have. So whether you're wrong or right, I'm going to support it all. But we also hold each other accountable when we need to. We might pull each other to the side and say "hey, girl, that was not very cute of you." But I'm not going to tell the outside world I didn't think that was cute of you. We're going to have a united front. And I think that’s very important for Black women. I think it's something me and Dionne portray really well on screen. We can laugh about it and we can joke about it, but if it means something to you, then it means something to me. And we will navigate that together.

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BET.COM: How do you feel about the inevitable comparisons to the series "Chewing Gum"?

BELLAH: It's surreal. I was on a FaceTime call with Michaela [Coel] recently, and she sang one of my songs! Michaela is a trailblazer, and being compared to her work is an honor. It's amazing to see Black women creating and telling our stories.

BET.COM: Since you're also a musician, if you had to give Kyazike and Queenie theme songs, what would they be? Even better, the songs have to be yours.

BELLAH: I'd give Kyazike "Evil Eye" because it's affirming and embodies a "don't bother me" attitude. For Queenie, I would give her "Always Something" because there's always something going on with her!

BET.COM: And what song is your personal anthem right now?

BELLAH: Right now, it's "Yeah Glo!" by GloRilla. It's on heavy rotation for me. And any song by Tyler, the Creator gets me moving. They just get you in the vibe. 

BET.COM: You were raised in North London but spend a lot of time in South London now. Any thoughts on the North vs. South London debate?

BELLAH: (Laughs) Listen. I spend most of my time here anyway, so I feel like I can't talk too much mess about South London.

BET.COM: For viewers who aren't familiar with the version of London we see in "Queenie," what cultural takeaways do you hope they get from the show? And we imagine there will be more than a few viewers who watch the show with subtitles on.

BELLAH: The subtitles thing is funny because we have our own vernacular here. Our slang is influenced by many cultures in London, and I want people to see how multicultural London truly is. It's a melting pot of everything—we're diaspora kids living out our unique mix of cultures. I always say we're now the genesis of what African Americans are because many of us are mixing cultures and dating outside our inherited cultures. Eventually, our grandchildren or great-grandchildren will identify as Black British, with a mix of Nigerian, Jamaican, Ghanaian, Grenadian, and other ethnicities. We have our own language, culture, music, and way of life. I love that it's being amplified. And I hope they learn some cool slang.

BET.COM: What are some of your favorite slang words?

BELLAH: I'm a "wagwan" girl. And I use "buki" a lot—it means weird or "off vibes."

BET.COM: As we wrap up, is there anything you want to share with the BET.COM audience about "Queenie"?

BELLAH: I want everyone to enjoy "Queenie" with all their hearts. I want you to be open to receiving a new perspective of culture, a new corner of the earth. And let me know what you think about Kyazike! She's that girl.

With her infectious energy and relatable personality, Bellah is truly set to become the internet's best friend. Be sure to catch her as Kyazike in the new Hulu series "Queenie," airing June 7th.

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