There are some artists that you just get this feeling that they are someone you think would be really fun to talk to so I was really happy to see Bailey Bryan was returning to the UK to open up for LANCO on their May 2019 tour and was delighted that we managed to arrange to hang out before her show in London on the opening night of the tour. Through catching her at C2C back in 2017, following her on social media and also seeing her in Nashville last year just before CMA Fest she just gives out this vibe of someone that is down to earth, funny and someone who is really chatty. So this combined with seeing her holding her Irish whiskey namesake on St. Patricks Day in Kalie Shorr’s Instagram story told me that we would have a lot of fun and her banter is strong for an American so I loved that!
We had started off talking about accents and the American fascination with trying to learn and copy all the different British variations then talking about how she had spent some time earlier in the day with UK funky house artist Kyla who is from Cambridge which we would say is typically a “posh” accent and she was intrigued by the way we used the word in this context: “Why do you call it posh? Why do you describe an accent as posh? I think posh and I think like fashion or whatever.” Which I explained how they kind of go hand in hand and it’s more a stereotype of middle class areas. Bailey was really excited about seeing new places, just talking to people and learning new words (minging was the other one she had picked up already! – Minging is the word we use as the equivalent of gross) then trying to use them.
The Kyla connection is a really good lead in to one of her biggest musical influences with Bailey’s passion for hip-hop as Kyla best known for her track “Do You Mind” being sampled in Drake’s 2016 global hit “One Dance”. However her musical perspective is very diverse and this is reflected by her style and personality as an artist as “growing up near Seattle, like Nirvana, like there’s rock and I got into country because I would listen to the Dixie Chicks in the car with my aunt Lyla when I was like 5.” To incorporate these different aspects and influences is something that she has look to incorporate with her forthcoming EP due in early Fall which she feels is really to her debut EP “So Far” back in 2017.
I think it’s changed mostly in the sense that I feel like I really have started to figure out how to be intentional when including all of my different musical influences whether this is in the production or anything melodic or the lyrics. That’s always been a part of it for me, but it wasn’t until this last project that we just finished up that I really dove into the production process and kind of tried to figure out how do I implement and record to represent these different influences rather than just writing a song and then handing it to a producer.
In regard to the production aspect it is something fairly new to Bailey and something that she hadn’t given much thought about herself until making the forthcoming EP and the desire to become more involved is because “The influences that I have go really deep so I was like, I think I need to figure this out! The songs that I wanted to cut in my mind, called for a little bit more thought in the process and I think there’s so much room to like play around with sound nowadays so I just dove into that!” She worked alongside Clint Lagerberg who allowed her to just sit in the studio for long periods to ask questions and learn what she could do with things. In regard to the process for the new project:
We’d get a song almost all the way done and I’d have an idea of a whole different thing in my head then we would go back to the drawing board and start from scratch which is why it took almost a year for us to finish 6 songs!
The current release which is off the record due later this year is “Perspective” which she feels it “captures the confidence that I have” that was written from a basic long song position but “The meaning of the song has evolved a ton since I have written it. It can be about self-love and what love should be in general to me which is something that should make you feel whole and confident as an individual rather than incomplete.” She told me that the writing process was really straightforward with the first line of the song being “Never used to wanna get out of bed but this morning, this morning I woke up with an idea in my head” was literally how the song started with her waking up one morning with a song idea and had put the chorus together before her co-write for the day.
This is Bailey’s second trip over to this side of the Atlantic with C2C festival back in 2017 being the previous visit where she only came to London and didn’t get to see too much of it as “I kinda feel I was just in the o2 the whole time, which was cool but we didn’t do a ton of exploring and stuff.” This time she will visit some new cities (Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow and Bristol) which she is very excited about so she can experience some new accents but also she had enjoyed getting to spend some proper time in London which she has incorporated work and pleasure including taking some fans on the London Eye to see the city from the sky and let people hear her new EP. The one thing she is really keen on is the food here in the city especially the variety available because “I’m very passionate about eating so it’s a good fit for me!” and loves the ease of using her oyster card (or her clam card as she liked to call it) “hopping on the tube to go different places and eat” where she had already enjoyed Japanese, Italian (which surprisingly she told me they don’t really have too much of in Nashville) and like every other American country music artist before her: Indian food.
We sort of exchanged eating tips, where she gave me some recommendations for my trip to Nashville later this month where she said there is great food particularly Bar-B-Que and chicken. She mentioned Hattie B’s which I suppose is just standard but this was echoed by some of the guys from LANCO when I spoke to them the following day who also were in agreement with what Bailey said about Edley’s being the best place for Bar-B-Que. My trip to the States and being #BasicOnBroadway coincides with CMA Fest where Bailey is playing on the Firestone Country Roads Stage at Ascend Amphitheatre on the Friday night (June 7th) at 7:30 and then on Sunday (June 9th) at 1:10 in the Hall of Fame Park on the Chevy Breakout Stage where she says “I’m gonna try to pop up all over, I’ll be doing some signings and showing up at things.” The best way to keep track of what she is up to is on her social media where you can find her on Instagram Twitter & Facebook
Her Insta and Twitter handle is @baileymyown which is not to be confused with WWE wrestler @itsmebayley who she had been tagged as before “I kinda liked it. Sure it’s not too far off, you know I can throw down if I need to! Just kidding, I can’t at all so nobody fight me Haha” Myown is actually her middle name which she feels is cool. So cool that on her second morning in London, rather than continuing to die in bed with jetlag and continuing to crave more Indian food like most artists from Nashville seem to do, she got it tattooed on her arm. “All of my tattoos have been spur of the moment, I only have 4 and you would think the first couple would be like a lot of thought going into them but I have already adopted this attitude of ah ok, sure!” Her tour manager and videographer were getting ink and they had been talking about getting another one anyway then “I thought of my middle name and thought let’s do it.” and as to Myown as her middle name:
It’s fitting for me and I don’t know if I am the way that I am because of my middle name or I like my middle name because of the way that I am but I’m trying to approach everything in my life with I’m gonna do it my own way, just because something hasn’t been done before doesn’t mean that it can’t be done, it just means it’s a new thing – now I’m quoting my other tattoo which is I’m doing a new thing. So that’s what we did our second day in London!
As to the UK in general she is really keen to be coming back more to visit and building a strong fanbase over here as “I like the people a lot, everybody I meet is like very laid back and I like everyone’s sense of humour but the fans of country music as well! It’s a different kind of receptivity! In Nashville people are inundated with all kinds of music and especially country so having it all the time people can be a little numb to it almost! But you come here and people are excited to have new artists coming to visit. The energy is just like a recharge! In the UK there is a very different outlook on country music from a commercial standpoint due to the limited availability of country radio so there is no airplay or hits to consider so people just listen to what they like which is why there is a lot more interest particularly to the emerging female artists. We have seen Lindsay Ell and Kacey Musgraves come over after their first EP as a support act (similar to Bailey opening up for LANCO here) that have become not only regular visitors but playing bigger and bigger shows each time they return so this just shows the value of building up the following and interest through good support slots.
Straight after these UK dates with LANCO, Bailey heads back to the US and returns to the West Coast for 3 dates opening up for Gone West which she is really excited about. “I played a show in New York with them and opening for them was one of my favourite shows I’ve played in a long time! I felt the crowd were just like my people because they have a West Coast vibe and that’s where I’m from and that’s the people it draws in.” Gone West are a four part vocal harmony group comprising Nelly Joy, Jason Reeves, Justin Young and Colbie Caillat who have recently released their debut EP “Tides” and I absolutely love what they are doing with their sound and harmonies. Like Bailey I have been a big fan of Colbie Caillat for a long time and it is over 10 years since I last saw her live over her (fittingly at the same venue where Bailey and LANCO played) while “I mean Colbie was one of my first real songwriting influences around the time I picked up my first guitar when I was like 12 or 13. All I listened to was like Taylor Swift’s first album and Bubbly along with the rest of Colbie Caillat’s big songs in that moment. That was my sensitive pre-teen hearts journey!” Hearing this puts more emphasis of how diverse and varied her musical background is to shape this upcoming record from Colbie Caillat to Nirvana to Drake are just at such different points on the musical spectrum and she wants it to be reflective of them all.
You can catch Bailey opening up for LANCO in the UK over the next couple of days before her dates with Gone West and during CMA Fest. The dates are listed below and more details along with ticket information can be found on her website HERE but hopefully this will not be the last time we see her over here and with any luck not as long a wait like we had since her last visit for the next time.