DALLAS — In case you don’t know her, allow Karla P. Bell to introduce herself.
A native of San Antonio, Texas, listening to Bell, widely known in the world of entertainment as “Kbella, it would become virtually easy to tell that there are no filters when it comes to this vibrant, progressive woman of color . Need more proof? During a recent, in-depth interview with longtime journalist Andre Johnson, Kbella didn’t hold back, proving time and again to be blunt and forthright unlike never before. So what else does this ever-evolving, ever-so-competitive entertainment universe want to know about the rising entertainment icon known as Kbella. We bring to you a thorough introduction from the woman herself.
“Well…I went to a Catholic school as a child for many years. My parents always made sure I had the best schools and education. After I transferred to a more different environment, which meant going to a public school, it only furthered my skills in music. In fact, I went to St. Phillips College as well as DBU (Dallas Baptist University), getting my Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management And Finance. My mother is Wanda Darden and father is Karl Bell. My siblings are Tabatha Allen, Stacie Marshall, Jeanette Winston, Edwin Bell, and myself; the youngest is Karla Bell.
“My childhood growing up was great for the most part. I was a spoiled little girl who had everything and never could recall going without as some people who have endured some of the less-fortunate things life. The environment I grew up in was Baptist and Catholic, but learning both religions were actually a great thing to me. The close people in my life who inspired me was my father, Karl Bell, who also was a member of the Ohio Players for a short while before their great success. My father was originally from Ohio, and worked and lived across from the group Roger and the Zapp Band, which led up to him pushing me further in my career because of wisdom from Roger Troutman.
“Also my cousin, (rapper) ‘YoYo’ kept believing that I could do this dream of being a recording artist as I persevered in making my dreams come true, not to mention Jalon Woods, who said, ‘I’m gona make sure the best comes out of you. You are really a star. Ericka Sodie, Panzie Johnson, Christie Glenn, and my favorite cousin, Madella Mosley, have been with me on this journey of success. As an entertainer, I love music and acting. This has been my love because; of course, God is my First, and my parents and children are after that. But next to the ones I care about in my life, I have to say my music is right there, next to my heart, and has always been ever since I was performing as a child in Catholic school.
“Ms. Doris Callis, my first music teacher had me perform Diane Ross, ‘Muscles.’ I’ll never forget it. I was a total knockout. I have met a number of famous people: YoYo, my cousin, Scarface, and Bushwick Bill of the Geto Boyz, not to mention a short lived relationship with Scarface at a young age. It was very intriguing and fun, but when you’re young with a lot of money and power, you don’t tend to pay attention to the valuable things in life. Marvin Sapp, J. Prince Ceo of Rapalot Records, UGK, 5th Ward Boyz, George Clinton, and the Parliament and etc….the list can goes on and on. Being with the group PKO at 15, I was signed and performed rap battles all in middle school and high school, and nobody could hang with me…and I meant nobody (lol).
“And hearing a man say, ‘You never know, you might get discovered one day soon,’ I’ll never forget that. I was graduating high school at 16 and I got signed and discovered by a man name Authur Smith, who then was an AR rep for Rap-A-Lot Records. Performing on the stage with the Geto Boys and Bushwick Bill has really been a great success for my life…exposing me to the spotlight with a number of artists has kept me going and growing. My cousin YoYo would always say you have to stay focused and that people like us have a blessing on our life through God and that no one can take it away.
“Thanks for that Cousin. YoYo and I are very close. Even if were distant, I can call her for anything and she will pick up the phone for me and say what’s up ‘Poo’….her nickname for me. Her sister, Dawn, and their family would always come for the summer here to visit our whole family and everybody would stay at my mom’s house. It was just plain fun-loving… cousin love, you know, getting fused at playing and fighting and back together again. The Geto boys are like brothers to me. I get tired of talking to Bushwick, but I love him a lot. He knows this business inside and out. After all I been through, I feel God has kept me covered under His blood because he has a purpose for me in life which is to mentor to people of a deeper situation. Meaning I’ve been through fame, sex, celibacy, and relationships that I can speak strongly on now, because of what I’m going through and have been through…and not to mention parenting.
“Life can throw curve balls, which is why you have to be patient and here the word of God to bring you through. I may not be where I need to be, but I can say I’m not where I started. My start is definitely not my finish. My motto is, ‘Live what you represent, which is success.’ I was taught to pay tithes, sow seeds, and God would keep the enemy off of you. And with all I been through, I can say God has definitely did that for me. The comeback is for me just to know I can still do it after a hard fall in my life. From everything I’ve been through, God is still keeping me while He’s on the thrown; my children all love me. They see everything I’ve been through and they embrace me and my personal relationship is coming forth. God is definitely working it out the way He sees fit, and whatever He chooses to do from now on, I can say I can finally rest at night, knowing God is giving me my breakthrough with everthing!
“After all I’ve been through, God said, ‘Now it’s your turn to shine.’ I have a performance on stage with Geto Bosy and Bushwick Bill at the South By Sothwest in Austin, Texas March 11-20, with a great number of artists such as Snoop Dog, Nelly, and all the BET performers…Gospel and Radio and Executive record companies will be there. I also have radio interviews all over Texas in various cities and states, and I have a current video shoot that is coming out in the Dallas area, so look out for that my first single, which will be called, ‘Real Square Biz,’ a remake of Teena Marie.
Thank you all for your support, and look out for all the upcoming events.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: If you are an entrepreneur, business owner, producer, author, musician, barber, life coach, motivational speaker, cosmetologist, tax preparer, model, athlete, or pastor/minister who is seeking exposure and would like to share your story with an in-depth news feature, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him under “Andre T. Johnson” for details.
Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.