It’s always fun when you find an exciting new artist from the state you call home. Us Washingtonians are pretty proud of our beautiful corner of the world after all.
For those of you outside of the Pacific Northwest, you might know Seattle, Spokane and perhaps even our capital, Olympia, but our friends out on the Peninsula tend to fly under the radar a bit. It’s highly unlikely Bailey Bryan will remain under the radar for very much longer. The 19 year-old country/pop singer hails from the “rain shadow” city of Sequim, WA, but is starting to make a name for herself in Nashville, as well as the rest of the country.
I recently had the delight of speaking with the rising star over the phone for a few minutes to talk a little bit about Sequim, The Grammy Awards and what 2017 holds for Bailey Bryan.
Brandon Enyeart: How’s it going Bailey?
Bailey Bryan: Really really good. I am out here on the first day of the Dan and Shay tour, so I really couldn’t be happier!
BE: Whereabouts are you starting?
BB: I am in Rosemont, Illinois. I am freezing, but I am excited. I am a little nervous, because this is going to be the first night. I hope it goes good and I don’t mess up. *laughs* I’ve heard that they have amazing fans everywhere, so it should be a really good time.
BE: You’re from here in Washington. I live in Bellingham, and you’re from Sequim, right?
BE: Over there in the “Olympic Rain Shadow”. The rest of us are jealous of that aspect of the area. What was it like growing up in Sequim?
BB: It was a great place to grow up. As a musician, there weren’t a ton of performing opportunities, but it’s beautiful. I lived about five minutes away from the beach. I think having such beautiful surroundings and spending so much time out in nature really helped inspire my songwriting early on. I’ve always wanted to sing and write songs and I got my first guitar was I was 12. I probably wrote my first song when I was 13. When I wanted people to hear what I was writing, I would just take my guitar and start playing on the sidewalk in front of my favorite taco place, Jose’s Tacos. I am kind of promoting his place all over. People are always asking where I got my start and I am like, “Well, I was singing in front of Jose’s.” Jose is a real person, his tacos are great. You should visit it next time you’re in Sequim. Nobody ever goes to Sequim. *laughs*
BE: Well, I mean some of us know Sequim as the place that – I think Robbie Knievel had an address there…
BB: He did!? I didn’t even know that.
BE: Yeah, well, I mean I remember something about him being arrested a while back and it being a thing on the news here. Lots of lavender farms there too?
BB: Yeah, Lavender Capital of the World. We have the Lavender Festival, I have played on the sidewalk during that. That was probably my most lucrative season as far as sidewalk playing goes.
BE: I imagine you will have a lot more lucrative seasons ahead of you now. *laughs*
BB: *laughs* I hope so!
BE: You actually have the support of one of the bigger names in country music, Hillary Scott (Lady Antebellum). You have something coming up here involving The Grammy Awards, tell us a little about that.
BB: Yeah, so it’s the Grammy Artist of Tomorrow Award and I was fortunate enough to get to meet Hillary about a year ago. Now we’re on the same management and she’s been a really big supporter from the beginning. She nominated me for this award and it’s one of the most surreal moments that I have had in the year and a half of my life since I moved to Nashville. It’s just me and two other up and coming artists. Both of the other artists have a much bigger following than me, so I am not sure how I got here. *laughs* I feel really lucky. Voting just closed yesterday, but you could vote up to 20 times a day, so I am more nervous about it than I have been.
BE: It’s crazy. You have The Grammy Awards, an interview with Lemonade Magazine, how huge, right? *laughs*
BB: I know! I’ve seen your guys’ tweets and stuff! I know who you are!
BE: That’s really sweet of you, but we’re humble…
BE: We’ve interviewed some really awesome people, but you’re obviously our favorite. Ellie Goulding? Pfft…she’s alright, she may do okay.
BB: I mean, yeah, she’s up and coming…
BE: Your video for “Own It” is absolutely genius. I could spend 15 minutes just talking about the video, but I will try not to. The concept though was yours, right?
BB: Okay, so I can’t take credit for the being shot vertically part of it, I really wish I could, everyone keeps telling me to. When the time came to start thinking about doing a video for “Own It”, the idea I had was that I wanted to incorporate social media like SnapChat, Instagram, Twitter, all of that. If you go on my social media accounts, you’ll see I do a lot of posts like, without makeup, inspirational stuff, random stuff, I am really active on there and I try to be a positive presence. I feel like social media can be used in a really negative way or a really positive way that can make someone’s day better.
I wanted to use the “Own It” video to sort of further that idea, because it’s a positive song and I felt it would be a good idea to make those things go hand in hand. I wanted it to have a very homemade feeling, because the song is kind of quirky, it’s personal, it’s not pretentious. I wanted it to feel like I made it on my phone. That’s the idea we put out to different production companies just to see who would do the video. This little production company in Peoria, Illinois sent back an idea that included all the things I wanted to include and a vertical video that you could watch on your phone like you’d watch a SnapChat.
As soon as I saw that idea, I was like, “That’s perfect! That’s exactly what I want to do with this.” They’re like a five person production company called Green Shoe Studios, they’re amazing. Immediately that’s what we chose and I flew to Peoria and I basically got to spend a day dancing around in a shark onesie and they filmed me. *laughs* Then they did all the cools stuff in post to make it look like it was on Instagram and all of that.
BB: *laughs* It was awesome.
BE: It really is an awesome video. The concept is perfect. They thought of everything, it’s really brilliant.
BB: Thank you.
BE: You mention Jay Z in the song, so I have to ask…what is your favorite Jay Z song to sing along to?
BB: So this isn’t going to make me seem like a diehard Jay Z fan, but you know *starts singing “Empire State of Mind”*, hat’s the best in the car, maybe it’s cloudy out, but you’re still feeling it, you know?
BE: It’s a classic. I was fortunate enough to see him and Justin Timberlake in Vancouver, Canada with my brother. He’s an amazing performer live.
BE: You’re going to be receiving a ton of exposure with The Grammy Awards, the music video has a ton of views and you’re just getting started! This year is going to be quite the whirlwind for you. What else do you have planned?
BB: I’m going to be travelling a lot and playing my music for people. There’s this tour I am on and…I’m trying not to give away too many details, since I don’t know how much I can yet, but I will be doing some other tour dates and opening for some other people. Travelling near, travelling far, so it will finally be playing a lot of music for people. The last three years has been a lot of songwriting and writing with other people, going into the studio, recording songs. It’s been a lot of the behind the scenes stuff. A lot of people have been asking me, “When are you going to play out? When are you going to do some shows?” I am finally entering that first part of my career and I am really excited about it.
BE: Not sure if you can elaborate much on this, but do you have any EPs or a full-length album in the works?
BB: We have a lot of songs to choose from right now. We’re in the process of deciding how we want to release them, whether it’s going to be a couple of EPs or a full album. We’re also looking at what is going to be my next single and the one after that, so it’s kind of all in the works. There isn’t a definitive decision about that yet.
BE: What city are you looking forward to visiting on tour besides here in Washington?
BB: I love New York, so it would be great to play there. Also – it isn’t the United States – but I would love to play in London. I have heard about the C2C Country Music Festival over there and it sounds like a lot of fun. I really am excited to play my music anywhere and I really really can’t wait to get back home to Washington.
Check out the video for “Own It” by Bailey Bryan below and see what everyone is talking about. Also pick up the single on iTunes now!
Editor in Chief of Lemonade Magazine
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