Catching up with Brandy Clark
If you are unfamiliar with Brandy Clark then I reccomend getting familiar. Not only is she one of Country Music’s finest singers, she is also one of Country’s finest songwriters. Having penned tracks for artists such as Kacey Musgraves, Miranda Lambert, The Band Perry and Reba – Brandy has also just released her second solo album Big Day In A Small Town – which has been praised by pretty much every music critic in the Country Genre as well as Rolling Stone who not only gave the album four stars but quoted the album as ;
A country visionary puts a fresh spin on drinkin’, cheatin’ and small-town life
I caught up with Brandy to briefly discuss the album, the first single Girl Next Door and her new single Love Can Go To Hell and her return to the UK for a headline tour.
Hi Brandy, thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview today.
How are you?
Brandy – I’m good. Pretty tired from a lot of traveling. I’m currently on a bus heading to Arkansas to do a show with Dwight Yoakam which will be a lot of fun. I haven’t seen him since we sang on the Grammy’s together.
Having just released your second studio album Big Day In A Small Town, I can imagine you have been very busy. What have you been up to since it’s release?
Brandy – I’ve been doing so much traveling since the record release. I’m constantly on the road but it is a whole different thing when you are touring and releasing new music at the same time. There are so many things added to the daily schedule – tapings, photo/video shoots, interviews, etc. I haven’t spent much time at all in Nashville this summer but I really do love road life so that makes it easier.
Big Day In A Small Town is an outstanding album, I have only heard raving reviews. I have to say my favourite tracks are probably Broke and debut single off the album Girl Next Door. The whole album holds such a strong element of traditional country which helps make it such an infectious and refreshing album. How, in your opinion does it compare to 12 Stories for example, were you in a completely different place in your life when your wrote the songs and how did you draw inspiration for this album?
Brandy – I don’t compare the two. I was very conscious that I didn’t want to make the same record twice. I didn’t really want them to be siblings, so to speak but more like cousins. There are obvious similarities because I’m the constant in both albums but there are also differences stylistically. I’ve gone out and spent a ton of time on the road and in between records I’ve grown as an artist. I just think it’s a natural evolution.
As I mentioned, Girl Next Door was the first single off this new album. It has received a lot of positive attention all over. We have already talked inspiration for the album but what was the inspiration behind this song? Also, was the selection process easy for choosing this as the first single?
Brandy – The inspiration behind GND came from a conversation with my cowriter Jessie Jo Dillon. She had been seeing a guy who seemed to want her to be a bit different than the way she was when they first got together. It was pretty easy picking that as the lead off single. It has such a great energy and feel to it.
I love the video for Girl Next Door, in fact all your videos are so much fun to watch and have a bit of comedy to them. How much Input do you have for the idea behind one of your music videos?
Brandy – Thanks! I’ve got a lot of input in my videos. I actually picked Lindsey, the actress in GND. I was sent pics of several actresses and I knew the minute I saw her that she was the perfect choice. In previous videos (“Stripes” and “Get High”) I used my friends for a lot of the acting roles. Jessie Jo Dillon – the cowriter of “Girl Next Door” was the lead in “Get High” and was the girl in the opening scene of “Stripes” and it’s so much fun to get to work with friends and see them in those situations.
Can we ask what the next single will be?
Brandy – I’m really excited that “Love Can Go To Hell” is my next single. It’s one of my favorite songs on the record. I get such a huge response when I play it every night and I can’t wait to hear it on the radio.
Is Shane McAnally as hilarious in songwriting sessions as he is in songwriters rounds? I think I speak for everyone when I say he was one of the highlights at this years C2C festival because he was just so very funny in a way that seems to come so naturally to him.
Brandy – Shane is one of the funniest people I know. We have such a great time when we get together and his humor is a part of who Shane is so it definitely comes into play when we are writing. Not only in the songs but also in just how much fun it is for us to collaborate. There is never a dull moment when Shane is around.
How did you and Kacey Musgraves come to first work together?
Shane (McAnally) played her “Get High” and after hearing that song she wanted to write. She’s such a creative person and I love the collaboration with her. She’s very brave and confident as a writer and as an artist.
You took part in the Southern Family Compilation album with the song I Cried, which is fantastic by the way. How were you approached to take part in that project?
Brandy – Producer Dave Cobb’s manager and record label rep contacted my manager and asked if I would be interested in being a part of it. I didn’t think twice! I’m a huge fan of everyone on that record and I loved the concept of it so much. It was a thrill getting a chance to work in the studio with Dave Cobb.
Listen to I Cried by Brandy Clark on @AppleMusic.
You played at C2C Festival in London 2015, how was the overall experience for you, did you have any expectations? Did Kacey Musgraves give you any good tips about the UK as country music fans and as an audience?
Kacey loves touring the UK and she (and many other artists) have told me that the audiences in the UK are really a special group of people who appreciate music and really listen. Not sure if you know this but you should – UK fans are favorites for us to play to. You have a reverence for music and artists that is wonderful.
Thank you, well we are very excited to have you return to the UK in September. Was this something you have been wanting to plan since your performance at C2C and how do you feel about coming over to do a number of headline shows for us and what can we expect from the shows?
Brandy – I’ve been wanting to come back since C2C. That was an incredible experience for me. I had no idea what to expect and I was so humbled by the reaction I received. I’m going to be doing a stripped down acoustic show with just my guitar player. We are going to tour the rest of the year like that. It’s a very intimate way to bring these songs and stories to life.
Will you be doing any sightseeing whilst in the UK and are there any places you have a burning desire to visit?
Brandy – I wish! Unfortunately we won’t be there long enough to really get much time seeing things. So often on tour we aren’t able to see much outside of the venues and car windows. I’m most excited about meeting the fans. The response I get from the UK is truly incredible and I couldn’t wait to announce these dates!
Country Music is about story telling and being able to sing about things other genres may never dare to sing about. Were you ever hesitant in releasing songs such as Get High and Follow Your Arrow due to some of their lyrical content or were you happy to take such a risk, baring in mind country radio may never play them?
Brandy – As an artist you just write what comes from inside and you can’t let radio be the critic or play a part in what you say in your songs. Both of those songs are very meaningful with listeners. When they can see themselves in your songs and feel good about what they see – that’s the only voice that matters.
That’s wonderful to hear, we don’t really get Country Radio in the UK so discovering country music is pretty much down to us, the fans, to find oursleves- country radio plays no part in what songs or artists we listen to.
Last question – Do you own any clothes that are orange or anything with stripes?
Brandy – My favorite college sports team is The University of Tennessee and the school colors are orange and white so I have a TON of orange!
Well thanks again for your time, it is very much appreciated. I cannot wait for your tour over here and hope to see you at either London or Birmingham.
Take care and enjoy the rest of your day
Brandy returns to the UK in September for a headlining tour, details and tickets can be found here: http://www.seetickets.com/artist/brandy-clark/785703
Big Day In A Small Town – is available now.
Listen to Big Day in a Small Town by Brandy Clark on @AppleMusic.