Belle and Angel behind ECHOES Abu Dhabi sat down with Tempo to tell their story, citing their vision for their artistic gathering venue.
Tell us about your background – Who are Belle and Angel?
Angel: We are both expats living in Abu Dhabi. I am a flight attendant by profession. I am also a spoken word artist, frustrated singer and a past life broadway star.
However, Belle on the other hand is a marketing professional. She also has a big passion for art and a frustrated painter. Together we make a good combination because one is in-charge in the creative side, and the other is handling marketing side.
How were you able to come up with Echoes Abu Dhabi? What was your inspiration?
Angel: It was a funny story because we do not know each other personally; we were introduced by a common friend. I am more of the performer and Belle is the one in-charge in marketing. Being an expat in this country, most times I still feel like an outsider. Abu Dhabi is buzzing with careers and competitions that I felt like I needed to touch my roots and that are art for me. I needed to identify myself through beauty, and create an inspired community which would in turn inspire others.
Through this, I was inspired to create Echoes Abu Dhabi, a community that ties up expat artists to share their talents and inspire each other discover their hidden gem.
What specific needs within the community do Echoes Abu Dhabi aim to provide?
Belle: We provide a very open and warm platform to everyone, may you be a pro or a newcomer. In fact, we love it every time. In the middle of an event, some people decide that they are ready, right then and there and that is amazing. That means so much to us knowing that we could use “ECHOES” as a vessel to give people a stage to explore another dimension of themselves.
I think all events have their own feel so to say. I know that each event has their own individuality, but at the end of the day, we are all just aiming to create a big community of artists which could uphold and start more avenues for the art scene in Abu Dhabi.
As an art community, ECHOES aim to provide a relaxed vibe for the aspiring artists. Abu Dhabi has a lot of hidden gems waiting to be discovered and we would like to give them an opportunity to perform and share their art.
How did the people around you react when they saw the event for the first time?
Belle: The reactions we got on the first night of “Echoes” were priceless, we felt very in touch with people. The feedbacks we got are in the lines of “intimate”, “cozy” and the likes. Everyone contributed to the success of that event and it is a very memorable one.
Which poetry icons / open mic icons inspire you?
Angel: Since I have started performing, I have always admired Anis Mojgani and Andrea Gibson, but there are so many spoken word artists nowadays that it’s such a feast to indulge in every individual performer. In Abu Dhabi, our plate is filled with impeccable talents. And in time, more will be discovered, it’s very exciting!
How has your life changed after you launched Echoes Abu Dhabi?
Belle: The experience we had when we first launch Echoes was really amazing. It is more on experiencing genuine human connections. This was what I was missing before “ECHOES”. Now I meet a lot of people who have the same passion for art and it makes a lot of difference when you connect on a level of genuinity, it transcends all barriers and differences.
What are the challenges that you face with Echoes Abu Dhabi and how do you manage to overcome them?
Angel: It’s not about the challenges we face, these are normal occurrences like weather, venues, technicalities etc. We concern ourselves more on challenging ourselves on how to make it better, how we could provide an avenue wherein artists’ creative processes will be stimulated.
That’s why we are taking a break on April to overhaul “ECHOES”. Our trial period has ended and we have very exciting ideas which will only push through by careful and detailed planning. This is what we are doing to provide a memorable experience to everyone, every time they attend our event. We are also moving venues to better suit our needs and our performers’ needs.
How do you see Echoes Abu Dhabi growing?
Belle: It all boils down to intention. I know that if your intentions are good, you will be blessed accordingly. Our hope is that the event continually grows with the people. As for the performers, we hope to encourage people who have just been watching for a long time with their pieces hidden, to finally embrace the stage and let their voices echo.
Any future plans that you would like to share with the community?
Angel: Yes! Please stay tuned for our comeback in May! We will feature amazing performers and will open our doors to collaborations with exciting artists! We have special performances in store for you all!
How could we connect with Echoes Abu Dhabi? Is it on any social media platform? Do you have a website? Please share with us.
Belle: Like our Facebook page @echoesabudhabi, checkout our Instagram account by typing Echoes Abu Dhabi and email us for inquiries on firstname.lastname@example.org Hope to hear from you soon!
Finally, what’s your message to other people who wish to engage with your platform?
Angel: It’s never too early or too late to start. The stage is open, and it’s warm and inviting. Let yourself occupy space, and never doubt your light.