Sometimes, a nickname just sticks. It says everything without necessarily revealing any-thing, and its namesake’s actions and body of work become what matter. Dallas-born, Nashville-raised, and Los Angeles-based singer, songwriter, and performer Noelle Bean began going by the surname “Bean” after her high school music teacher chose to ad-dress the budding musician by the one word alone. Now, you’re going to remember Bean after only one listen.
While living in Dallas, TX, the daughter of two preachers began to follow her lifelong passion for music after graduating in 2010. Electing to focus on her art full-time, she chose playing coffee shops and building a name for herself locally instead of going to college. At that time, Bean began to discover and solidify her identity as an artist.
“It’s pop with a twist,” she smiles. “My influences and inspirations span everything from Motown to sixties and seventies classics like The Beatles, The Bee Gees, The Tempta-tions, and The Jackson Five. I’m traveling down my own lane though.”
She formally started her journey by releasing “Like To Love You” on YouTube. It caught the attention of Columbia Records’ A&R department, and the label began court-ing her as part of a development deal. Hopping around the country, Bean ended up in enlightening writing sessions everywhere from Austin to New York, learning a ton in the process.
“It all spawned from me getting the guts to put up a video on YouTube,” the artist re-calls. “However, it wasn’t the right time for the deal so I went with my gut and just kept doing my thing.”
That “thing” independently became something of a phenomenon. In 2012, she was handpicked as 1 of 25 artists in the Macy’s and iHeartRadio “Rising Star” campaign, while both Pandora and iTunes created a “Bean Radio” channel. Her music appeared everywhere from OK TV to spots for Mitsubishi and Coca Cola’s Fantasy Soccer Camp. Meanwhile, she became a live draw opening for the likes of Colbie Caillat, Megan & Liz, Hot Chelle Rae, and Austin Mahone as well as giving a show-stopping set at Bonnaroo 2013. Everything has merely led up to the impending release of her two 2014 digital mini-albums—one in the spring and one in the fall—culminating in a physical special edi-tion with extra tracks for the holidays.
Bean’s latest single “Cops and Robbers” opens up the doorway into her wonderful world. It’s a clever and catchy anthem bolstered by her soulful delivery and a little doo wop-style charm. “The inspiration came from a past relationship I had,” she admits. “I was with a guy, and he cheated on me with my best friend. After he had his fun, he tried to come back to me. I wrote a song about how silly it is to try to have your cake and eat it too. However, I get the last word!”
Another standout, “Sunshine”, illuminates Bean’s empathetic songwriting. Penned after her father’s passing, the song’s lilting refrain and vivid lyrics prove heartwarming and hypnotic. She goes on, “’Sunshine’ is my sister’s nickname from my dad. She had asked me to write a song for her. After I heard Copeland’s version of ‘You Are My Sun-shine’, I picked up my guitar and just went for it. The song ended up being this really intense ballad, and it helped our family pay tribute to our dad’s memory and get through everything.”
Ultimately, that kind of truth and vulnerability cement Bean’s legacy. “I write about real life,” she leaves off. “There’s a message in all of it though. No matter what, don’t give up on your dreams. Things can happen for you if you pursue them long and hard enough. I hope I’m proof of that.”