idea the artist
Idea The Artist is the project of west-coast singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Inés Beltranena. Fusing folk, rock, jazz, and electronic music, Idea’s mellifluous and dynamic classically-trained voice paints over the soundscape of her eclectic musical background. At age three, her inclination to compose songs and perform became abundantly clear, and she has been pursuing it ever since. Her first album, The Northern Lights Are On…, released in 2012, was produced by Grammy Nominated and multi-Juno-Award-winning Producer and Engineer Joby Baker at Baker Studios Ltd in Victoria, British Columbia. The album, which is a beautiful and lush soundscape, features three musicians: Idea, Joby Baker, and Adrian Dolan, who composed and tracked all the string parts for the record. It was a thorough and exact execution of a vision Idea had been dreaming up for many years, and a moving, heartbreaking and deeply inspiring and visceral work that continues to surprise and enthrall its listeners.
Her second album, The Seafloor, says Idea, was “an attempt to broaden the genre and lighten the colors. I wanted to write an accessible and fun pop album that still had great depth.” Recorded between Los Angeles and San Francisco, California, the album was a tremendous success for her, and now she is delighted to announce she is continuing to move forward.
Idea is currently hard at work recording her third release, which will return to the cathartic roots of her first record, while also moving deeper into the electronic scope. The album is being tracked in New York, San Francisco, and Portland, and produced by the bay area’s own Aki Ehara. “Aki is a sparkling gem of a producer,” says Idea. “I am thrilled by his ability to push me into new arenas I wouldn’t have explored, and rising to that challenge has allowed my songwriting to mature. These songs are poignant. I’m saying what I want to say, I’m reaching into people’s chests and touching them where they’re vulnerable. It’s a mix of the old, classic beauty of the Northern Lights, with a new and explosive emergence. It’s both a natural extension of what I’ve always been at my core, and a shedding of skin, allowing my music to really shimmer. I’m very proud of this new work and ecstatic to share it with the world!” The release date will be announced soon.
The artwork for both full-length albums was crafted by Idea, who is also an accomplished painter, pastel artist and illustrator who specializes in fauvist-expressionist magical-realism. Still devoted to executing the beauty of the physical product in a digital age, Idea has made sure that her mixed-media projects are accessible to both those who want to purchase music online, and those who want to hold art in their hands. She also completed her first children’s book illustration in June of last year and works steadily as a commission oil painter.
In addition to her musical accomplishments and artistic endeavors, Idea is currently hard at work finishing the first installment of a seventeen-year project; a six part illustrated magical-realism/fantasy epic about the origins of fairytales. A story fantastic and other-worldly, and deeply human, Idea has taken all the fairytales, myths, and legends of the world that you thought you knew so well, and spun them together in an extravagant and meticulous embroidery that is both terrifying and delightful.