Published on April 19th, 2023 | by MuzikScribe0
Bailey Bryan: Journey To Self-Love
Of course, “RIP,” comes courtesy of your brand new EP, SENSITIVE BAD BITCH MUSIC VOL. 1 — Conceptually, what does this title represent both to and for you?
Not to sound completely pretentious and gross, but “RIP” represents the constant state of growth and rebirth that is a part of life as (a) person. We’re always changing, and it’s always scary, but I think that learning to embrace change and let go of things and people – including versions of myself – that are holding me back is so important to finding success and joy in every moment. It’s something I still really have to work on, but “RIP” embodies that mindset I want to have everyday.
How then does SENSITIVE BAD BITCH MUSIC VOL. 1 either differ and / or compare to previous BAILEY BRYAN entries?
I think …Vol. 1 is my most confident songwriting yet. I didn’t have any co-writers on the project besides my favorites producers in the world, Boston and Pat.. speaking of, “RIP” to the old me! I used to work with some people who convinced me that I wasn’t a strong enough writer to top line an entire project on my own. But the guys trusted my lyrics and melodies from the jump, and I trusted them to make it all sound amazing. I wanted the project to include the sensitive lyrical moments I feel like define me as an artist, but I think I also wanted to prove – to myself mostly – that I could make a bunch of Pop bangers! It’s all heavily influenced by some of the ‘80’s Funk and ‘90’s R’n’B that I listened to growing up in a way that I think is more intentional than any of my previous projects.
As a songwriter, when you sit down to pen your lyrics where do you draw your inspiration from?
Just the constant mess of emotion that exists in my brain at all times! I feel everything really deeply like most artists, so it’s easy for me to take an experience, positive or negative, and blow it wayyyy out of proportion for the sake of a song. My anxiety helps with that as well.
Reflecting, tell me your whole inception into music — When did you first become interested in it? And, how did it all begin for BAILEY BRYAN?
I can’t remember a time in my life where music wasn’t what I wanted to do forever! I don’t remember when I learned that it was a career that people can have…I just know I always saw myself doing it. I grew up in a really small town without a lot of performing opportunities, so I would play my songs on the sidewalk from the time I was 12 and learned how to play guitar, and I would sing on the worship team at church growing up.
Now you’re a native of Washington State, correct? So growing up in ‘The Evergreen State,’ who all did / do you consider to be your strongest musical influences?
It’s hard for me to pinpoint the strongest influences because I listened to so much growing up. Taylor Swift was the first artist I was ever obsessed with, and definitely the reason I began writing Country music like a decade ago. I would also listen to The Chicks in the car with my aunt when I was even younger. But my parents introduced me to a little bit of R’n’B and Hip Hop at a young age, too, and that always stuck with me. My mom and I wore out Brandy’s debut album! In high school, my best friend and I got really into the Seattle rap scene and we would go see smaller independent artists’ shows whenever we could on the weekends. I had a huge Red Hot Chili Peppers phase, and I’m not sure where that came from. That was followed by a huge Arctic Monkeys phase because who didn’t have that in like 2016? I think it all played a role in developing what my sound is today.
In having said that, how do you classify your overall sound and / or style?
I started calling it Sensitive Bad Bitch Music because no genre label has ever felt right. I started in Country music, but I never felt like a Country artist. Now if I have to pick a genre, I guess I would describe my songs as Pop / R’n’B, which does feel more like me because it’s more broad. But the common thread no matter what genre I’m leaning toward is that with most of my music the subject matter in each song tends to find some sort of balance between sensitive / vulnerable and carefree / confident. If you really listen to the lyrics, I think you can find elements of independence and badassery in heartbreak [track 3, “Tragic”], and elements of vulnerability and longing to be loved even in the most carefree, sexy song [track 1, “Passion”]. I identify with the subject matter and message of embracing the full mess of human emotion a lot more than I do with the sounds of my music, that’s just whatever I’m into at the moment. But, yeah, right now it’s SBB / Pop / R’n’B, and I’ll probably stick somewhere in that lane for a while, haha!
Switching gears here…
What do you feel has and will continue to be the key to your longevity?
My songwriting, I hope. I believe that lyrics and melodies that come from a real place are always able to stand the test of time, and will always have the greatest ability to cut through the rest of the trends, and noise and bullshit of the music industry, if anything can.
What do you want people to get from your music?
When I was going through my first huge, heart-wrenching break-up like 4 years ago, the only thing that made me feel better was blasting Lizzo’s Cuz I Love You album and Ariana Grande’s Thank U, Next album. I was crying every day and my confidence was so low.. Those bodies of work helped me to feel my feelings AND start to see my worth again, and made me feel like it was okay to want to dance again and to feel myself and love myself exactly where I was at. That was when I started to learn that my emotions and my sensitivity does not disqualify me from being a bad bitch, as silly as that sounds. You can be broken, you can be struggling, you can have things that you hate about yourself and still love it all, and still walk confidently through life and celebrate how far you’ve come. As silly as it might sound, those projects helped show me that, and that’s exactly what I want to do for other people with my music.
On a more serious note, are you happy with the current state of music?
I think there’s less boundaries and rules and more creativity and weirdness when it comes to music, than ever before. And that makes me really happy. The music industry and the way that music comes out and the pressure to keep up and be even MORE different all of the time makes me anxious and keeps me up at night.
Do you have any other outside / additional aspirations, maybe even completely away from music?
I love fashion and art and creative direction. Some day I would love to have my own clothing or sneaker line.
To date, what has been your greatest career moment(s), at least thus far anyway?
“Greatest” is so hard for me to define…one of my favorite moments was playing for a full tent at Bonnaroo for the first time. It’s the only music festival I’ve ever attended as a fan, and I went every summer for like 4 years in a row when I lived in Nashville and I always said I would book it one day. Last summer, I finally did and I had zero expectations, just happy to be there…and then people actually showed up for my set and sang the words and I cried.
What’s an average day like for you?
An average day for me currently involves a lot of procrastination, but I’m working on that, usually plans to work out and move my body that may or may not come to fruition, trying to find at least one small way to promote my music for the day, probably getting distracted and caught up in some sort of little creative task like a craft or a very detailed Pinterest board that I might hate and delete the next day. And this is all if I don’t have a session; half the time I have a session and I eat and I write a song and that is my entire day, and I like those days the most.
Please discuss how you interact with and respond to fans…
I feel like I’m at a point where it still feels a little weird to call other human beings fans…it’s really, really cool and surreal to me if someone recognizes me out somewhere or even just posts about my music. If I’m on tour, I’m having 5 minute conversations with people at the merch table after the show; I don’t care, I just want to connect. If you love my music, then we’re kindred spirits because it’s an extension of me and I think that’s the coolest part.
What is your favorite part about this line of work? Your least favorite? And, why?
My favorite part is songwriting, hands down! It feels like doing magic, and helps me understand myself better. The fact that I can lock myself in a room with my thoughts and create something, and it might even help people, is the coolest thing in the world to me; I will write songs until I die. My least favorite part is the way that artists today are expected to incessantly promote their work, and turn their lives into a brand. Some days it can feel fun and creative, but other days it feels cheap and like way too much. The pressure to be in people’s faces all the time and find new ways to stand out as a person so that people will even give your songs a chance, can be a real creativity killer.
What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Throw your timeline away and don’t compare yourself to anyone else.
Lastly, what’s next for you, BAILEY?
I’m praying that I get on a really cool tour soon! I think it’s gonna happen. Stay tuned.
Is there anything I left out, or just plain forgot to mention?
Nope, Stream SBB Music Vol. 1!
Any “closing” thought(s) for our readers?
STREAM SBB MUSIC VOLUME 1!!
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