‘My latest song ‘Just Chillin’ explores the advantages of just hanging out with a person before they are your intimate partner and that in the new world, men that can have great mutual friendships with women are at an advantage.

‘Men have been under fire over the past few years. Many celebrity ‘blokes’ have had to fight highly charged allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault related matters. In many cases, I suspect (and court systems have found) that there is without doubt substance to the allegations. In other matters media platforms have allowed serious allegations to fly unfettered and that ultimately remain unproven despite the damage they create.

‘Whatever the truth, men have been left to question, if not change, their approach to women. It’s good stuff as long as the intent is fairness not political gain. To think about that joke, to think about that touch or to think about that suggestion before they act. Think before you do. Police are even talking apps. geared to signal mutual consent to sexual relations – part of the one night stand tool kit.

‘Having spent all of my secondary education at a single sex boys school I was starved of a proper education in relation to what really mattered to women; collectively and individually. We really were not encouraged to be good listeners and definitely were taught little about building lasting friendships and bonds with women who were not our partners or relatives. This was a mistake many prodigies of secondary boys schools (in particular graduates pre-nineties) have paid for; not to mention the women around them. How to be just friends with a woman and not to judge her worth based on how attractive you find her. Fortunately many of us learned about meaningful friendships with women as we matured. Others, of course, didn’t.

‘I have marvelled at my sons inclination to have great friendships with young women. At 22 he has a mass of female friends that he can just ‘hang-out’ with. It’s a different time and expectation for him. Perhaps he was greatly helped by three years of his secondary education being at a mixed sex school. He also has an amazingly respectful group of friends (many of the from single sex schools) – culture, culture culture.

‘The song ‘Just Chillin’ is about friendship between a young woman and young man. They have just hung out for years and obviously help each other out during difficult times. It’s a friendship of substance; mutual respect and care for one another. This friendship is enduring and fulfilling. There is no having to think before I talk because the friendship and the openness is mutual. Maybe here lies the key – that learning to be friends before learning to be sexual partners is the key, for many, to more enduring partnerships.

‘The twist in the song comes when they are out on an ‘platonic’ date together, gazing at city lights and basically ‘Just Chillin’. She reveals to him that she has recently split with her boyfriend. As he provides the usual support that their friendship demands, there is a realisation. ‘I’m glad you are here with me, I’m glad you feel safe to tell me this, I’m even glad you broke up with him’ he thinks to himself. So the song ‘Just Chillin’ is about realisation. It’s about the moment of ‘I love this person and I desire more from them.

‘In a time where ‘one night stands’ present a new risk and ‘consensual sex’ is an increasingly more debated concept the idea of ‘safe relationships’ may become more appealing by the day – especially to males. First being friends with the person you decide to develop intimate bonds with will become an advantage rather than a taboo. The idea of not mixing friendships with intimate relationships is becoming less appropriate by the day. At the same learning to have cross gender friendships is not only advantageous, it’s fast becoming a risk mitigation factor.

I love Teddy Bardwell’s (such a respectful young man) vocals on this track. He crooned it and then we put a layer of dream pop guitar and retro synth sounds on top. I had so much fun creating the drum vibe – inspired by Justin Beiber’s ‘Peaches’.

You can also find the song on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/track/2VAFupPlJA5sYfj8aEFMMf?si=QOnxtdZhSHGFSPXIW_x2jw&dl_branch=1 or Apple Music http://itunes.apple.com/album/id/1573914735

Follow us on http://www.instagram.com/thestevebellprojects

Published by thestevebellprojects

‘My thrill is to take relatively unknown, very unique and talented singers and compose and arrange retro songs that they record.’ Born in Melbourne, Australia, Steve Bell was brought up on seventies and eighties pop, soul and funk. He was obsessed with Earth Wind and Fire, Bee Gees, Al Jarreau, Gino Vannelli, TOTO, George Benson and, the great, David Foster. He liked class music with rich melodies - a big feature of his own writing today. While at college he played drums in numerous bands, but in his own words ‘wasn’t much chop at that’. But he did have a knack for playing piano by ear and writing ‘kind of cool’ ballads and soul songs. In his twenties he had a part-time role (on top of his day job) as a pop music critic for a local arts magazine, where he interviewed acclaimed artists from across the world. His interviews were always deep and focused on learning more and more about great songwriting and performing. Then he took a break - for over 25 years, running his company and being a family ‘guy’. However, he yearned for creative endeavours and once locked down during the COVID crisis, he started writing songs again. His first song ‘Lonely View’ was written looking out across the local bay from his composing studio and recorded using the amazing vocals of Jennifer Davids. Thus he started the journey of identifying a talented singer every few months and penning them a song with rich 70s and 80s melodies and jazz pop inspired chord structures.

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