The global pandemic may have caught our entertainment industries off guard, but it's masks off for the creative talent that's thriving despite closed sets, limited crew and social distancing. The filming of Kyle Meagher's fiery new single "Know Better" is a perfect example of young artists adapting to the 'new normal.' Starring Bella Martinez, the music video was flawlessly executed despite being filmed separately in their respective homes, between two different countries. The Teen Magazine had the opportunity to interview both Kyle and Bella for a behind the scenes take on the new music video, on their first meeting and about their shared passion for acting.
Behind the Scenes of the "Know Better" Music Video
The "Know Better" music video is the unofficial 8th part of Kyle's visual album, 'Beats in a Bagel Shop' which is about the rollercoaster experience of falling in and out of love, set to a musical score. Bella reprises her role as the 'Bagel Shop girl' or Kyle's on-screen toxic ex-girlfriend, and "in that on-camera relationship, I’m hoping to get back together with her but as we start to reconnect, all the things to drove us apart in the first place are still there and I should’ve “known better” that the mean girlfriend was “no better, " Kyle says, quipping the song title.
On the experience of doing an at home filming, Kyle reminisces about being back on the set of the Netflix series Anne with an E with 150 cast and crew versus having just two people, the performer and the videographer, keeping in mind social distancing. But Kyle describes the new reality as "refreshing" as with fewer people on set, "I can focus on what my vision is and it lets me call the shots and allows me to workshop ideas with someone who shares my vision."
For Kyle, his one-person crew was made up of Zac Spence from Capital Arts Productions and as for Bella, in a lucky coincidence, her own brother, Alex Martinez, has a background in filmography. However, Bella reveals some awkward behind the scenes moments: "I know that it was awkward for me, because I was filming with my brother, and I was supposed to be seductive towards the camera, but however strange, we managed to get the shot. A unique takeaway for me is if you can put your mind to anything, it can be accomplished!"
Despite the ups-and-downs of their relationship on-screen, we were curious about their friendship off-screen, and Kyle & Bella shared a laugh as they remembered their memorable first meeting. Throwback to the filming of the visual EP 'Beats in a Bagel Shop' in Los Angeles, where Kyle was looking for someone to play the role of the 'mean girlfriend' (the best friend role is played by his Anne with an E co-star Delila Bela). From the 350 submissions from the casting call, Bella's audition tape stood out and Kyle knew the role was meant to be hers. But Bella made her presence known with a bang, since she accidently punched Kyle in the face while filming the "ex-video." As Kyle says, "When someone punches you in the face, you usually don't forget them!"
Kyle on Anne with an E, His Music & Beyond
Social distancing doesn’t mean you should stop living your life, it just means that we’re all living it a bit differently now. You could still Skype some friends or awkwardly wave at them from outside your window. You could still pick up some new hobbies like juggling or learning a new language. Become left-handed if you aren’t already, I don’t know. Hope you guys stay positive, and stay at home to help those that might be at risk. Stay safe guys :)
Kyle had a recurring role on the Netflix series Anne with an E, based on the classic novel Anne of Green Gables, and when asked what it was like experiencing a different century in the fictional world of Green Gables as a 21st century teen, Kyle says:
Even though I was playing an 19th century teen on Anne with an E, a lot of 21st century issues carry over. We had themes of racism, sexism and LGBTQ topics. We also brought up social media, which obviously doesn’t seem prevalent in the 19th century but the town had notice boards where they exemplified how people react on social media in a 1890s setting. This is a 19th century production featuring 21st century teen matters. In that sense, it was still very close to home for me.
Given that there will unfortunately not be an upcoming season for Anne with an E, Kyle looks forward to a new visual album that will feature both his music and his acting skills. And while he will not be touring or doing live performances due to the ongoing pandemic, Kyle is instead doing live virtual concerts, such as one on September 12th on the streaming platform Sessions Live, and will keep fans updated via his Instagram.
Regarding musical influences, Kyle is a fan of Shawn Mendes, considering him to be both a great musician with a down to earth, friendly personality. The new single "Know Better" is an infusion of modern rock and pop elements (available in both versions), and has musical inspirations like Imagine Dragons, Green Day and Nirvana. For his other single "Game for 2", Kyle had musical inspiration from the American ska punk band Sublime and while he does learn a lot from different sources of music, every one of Kyle's songs experiments with something unique from the others, making him a creative force to be reckoned with.
Bella Martinez on yA and Future Projects
Bella stars in the spinoff of Amazon Prime's popular web series The Bay called 'yA' as Brooke Hudson in this coming of age high school drama, also starring the D'Ambrosio Twins, Indiana Massara and Tessa Brooks. Filmed in 2019 and set to release near the end of 2020, Bella talks about the group dynamic and incredible talent on set, whether it be Tessa's dancing, Indiana's singing or the twins' acting skills, and how it was a fun experience to be able to all work together seamlessly.
Seeing her acting in Kyle's "Know Better" video, we were interested in getting to know Bella who's based in Los Angeles, California, a little better. "I’m very passionate and dedicated towards the arts. I love acting and it’s my biggest passion. I’m just going to keep working hard till it all pays off!"
With her large social media following, we asked Bella if she considers herself to be a social media influencer and here's what she had to say: "I consider myself to be an actor rather than a social media influencer but if the opportunity comes along, I would totally welcome it. I love working on my social media platform and I could be an influencer to some. And it helps for staying sane during COVID-19 and not being able to work…my socials have been a good outlet for me!"
Since Kyle and Bella have collaborated and worked together before, we asked them to share an aspect about each other that they respect or admire the most. In a very wholesome section of this interview, here's what they had to say about each other:
You’re playing your games, but I don’t play like this... Episode 4 of “Beats in a Bagel Shop”, which is the official video for “Mean It” and a short film trailer, is up! Watch this and the rest of the “Beats in a Bagel Shop” visual EP on my YouTube! Link in bio. #beatsinabagelshop #musicvideo #visualalbum #music #ILookSoSadSiriPlayMeanIt
"Kyle has a great work ethic and he’s really passionate about everything he does. He’s super talented in both his music and acting. He’s also very mature for his age, and I was shocked when I found out his age because I thought he was much older. He’s just wise beyond his years when I was listening to him. I really think he’s gonna achieve everything he wants to in life, I really do."
"Bella is the most dedicated person I know and when I see her get into a role, it’s really something to behold. I remember the first time I saw her audition tape, she was deep into the character and when I met her on set, she was the most down to earth person and super nice despite the mean audition! I really think she’s going to accomplish some great things, as she already has. I really respect that."
Rapid Fire Questions:
Do you consider yourself an introvert or extrovert? ~ Kyle: Introvert, Bella: Extrovert
What is your go-to karaoke song? ~ Kyle: In My Blood by Shawn Mendes, Bella: Yesterday by The Beatles
List two pet peeves ~ Kyle: I hate it when people don’t tuck in their chairs and when you’re washing dishes and the plate screeches, there’s a really specific sound it makes.
What is something you would like to tell your younger self? ~ Bella: This too shall pass. Kyle: Don't Limit Yourself. Just go for it.
What is something your younger self would be most proud of you for? ~ Kyle: My younger self would be proud of my music and acting career. Bella: I always wanted to do something in the entertainment industry. I loved talking and performing and I loved movies, acting was always the right choice for me.
If you could be any celebrity for a day, who would you be? ~ Kyle: Ryan Reynolds, Bella: Margot Robbie
Where is the funniest place you have slept in? ~ Kyle: Parking Lot. Bella: When I was in France and I insisted on sleeping on two chairs put together
If you could make a club about something unique, what would it be about? ~ Bella: Acting or Improv club Kyle: One with an Anne with an E theme, where everyone wears 1890s clothes.
Who would you like to play you in a movie of your life? ~ Bella: Margot Robbie, Kyle: Hugh Jackman, but standing in a trench, so he looks shorter.
Make sure to check out both Kyle & Bella on their social media platforms: