Website created by Richard Hildebrand © March 2016
Arwen Arabella Hardy (born 1984), known as Bella Hardy, is a contemporary folk musician, singer and songwriter from Edale in Derbyshire. She performs a combination of traditional and self-
She was named Folk Singer of the Year at the 2014 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, having previously won the award for Best Original Song in 2012 for "The Herring Girl".
Bella Hardy is from Edale in Derbyshire's Dark Peak where there is an abundance of communal song. Born into a family of singers, she began singing locally at an early age.
Having played the fiddle a small amount at school, she attended a Folkworks Youth Summer School in Durham aged 13. Motivated by the number of young people playing folk music, she began working on folk fiddle. She also met the 11 musicians who formed The Pack. This 12 piece band toured across the summer folk scene, and they played on the Cambridge Folk Festival main stage in 2003. In 2002, The Pack's only album 12 Little Devils was released, with fRoots calling it "... a genuine feel good album. Get yours now!". The Pack performed for ten years before disbanding in 2007. In 2004 she was a finalist in BBC Radio 2's Young Folk as a solo artist.
She released her debut solo album Night Visiting in 2007, to critical acclaim. Mojo gave her a 4* 'Brilliant' rating, fRoots wrote "Bella Hardy is more than a new generation folk revivalist... Her potential is massive", and Taplas Magazine noted "...her debut CD solo album is a piece of wondrous beauty and inventive incisiveness". The following year she was nominated for the Horizon Award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. She was also nominated for Best Original Song the same year with Three Black Feathers, which Jim Moray went on to record on his 2008 album Low Culture.
In July 2008 she performed in two concerts at London's Royal Albert Hall as part of the first Folk Prom. She opened the event with a set of unaccompanied traditional songs and played an evening concert with long-
Other TV appearances include The Truth about Carols (2008), a Christmas Day BBC Two show on which she sang 'The Coventry Carol', and BBC One's Songs of Praise in February 2010 singing her own version of 'The Lord's my Shepherd'.
She released her second solo album In The Shadow of Mountains in 2009 at the Cambridge Folk Festival. Again it gained critical acclaim. English Dance and Song Magazine wrote "It's astounding and somewhat daunting to realise this is only Bella's second album... Surely no-
but In The Shadow of Mountains is stunning".