Interview: Danielle Bradbery talks C2C Festival, UK fans, her current album and more

Since winning the US version of The Voice in 2013, Danielle Bradbery has made quite the impact on country music fans. Signing to Big Machine Label Group,  Danielle released her debut self titled album in 2013 and quickly built a very strong fan base. With singles such as Heart of Dixie and Young in America, Danielle proved that despite being a young, shy girl, she was in fact one of the strongest vocalists in the industry and was here to stay.

Since her debut album release, Danielle had been a bit quiet but for good reason. Finding her feet, her direction and her story, Danielle spent the last two years in the writing room writing about her life and experiences. During those two years, Danielle teased fans with new music by releasing the single Friend Zone which showed a very different side to Danielle in a fun, quirky yet daring way. However, in 2017 Danielle came back in full swing with the release of her single Sway followed by her second album I Don’t Believe We’ve Met. 

I Don’t Believe We’ve Met delivers everything we love about Danielle with her distinctive and stunning vocals and a her vulnerability and it also brings a much more mature and honest side to Danielle as is the first album that she has had a hand in writing. This album shows what a strong and gifted songwriter Danielle is and brings a collection of gorgeous ballads and sensational tracks as a whole.

Danielle made her very first trip to the UK in March to play C2C Festival. Danielle will also be returning to the UK to play the first ever Long Road Festival in Leicestershire as well as supporting Thomas Rhett on his UK tour in November.

We caught up with Danielle during her UK visit and she was such a joy to talk with. Danielle is very gracious, down to earth and a good laugh.

Enjoy!

Hi Danielle, how are you?

I am great, thank you.

I bumped into you at the songwriters’ show before C2C Festival – did you enjoy it ?

Yeah, it’s been a while since I had seen Natalie Hemby and Kip Moore do something like that, so it was really cool.

When Natalie sang Jealous – oh, my goodness!

Yeah, we stopped in our tracks, she sings so beautifully.

How was C2C Festival? How has your first UK experience been?

It was amazing; it was so cool to see everything and the history.

Were you at all aware of the fan base here?

I knew a little bit, just from social media. A lot of fans were here who wanted me to come and do a show, but it’s a lot bigger and different from what I expected. There are a lot of people who know every single song -even my new ones, not just my old ones. It’s been crazy; it’s been mind blowing!

Social media is one thing, but you never really know until you’re in the thick of it.

Yeah, it’s incredible. I am like ‘This is crazy’!

You have had a mix of avid listeners and people singing along to every word of your songs – how did that feel?

It’s one of those moments when you don’t know how to explain it, but it was just really, really satisfying – listening to them sing from top to bottom at the end of the song, even some songs that people don’t know just yet, all the way through. It was really cool to see those who were singing up close and personal and then all those people that were just listening to every word. It’s definitely a moment, for sure.

One of the questions I have seen from fans was about some of the songs that you had recorded on YouTube, but not released, and were asking if they will ever be on an album?

Yes – that was even a question that I was like ‘Woah, you know those?’ Hahah!

Last time I saw you was in 2014 at CMA Fest and we had such a great time. At that point, your debut album hadn’t been out that long. Tell us about the progression from the debut to now?

It’s a pretty big progression from the first album, there being a lot of songs that I wasn’t a part of writing. A lot were sent to me to really listen to and see if it was a song that I personally liked and would want to sing every night; it was straight out of the Voice and a very fast process. There were, I think, 12 songs on that album and it was very Voice driven.

I sang a lot of older Country on the show and the first album had the more moody Country songs. A lot of them were a little more mature than my age was at that point, haha. It was a different process, so I am really thankful for how everything went, because it all happened for a reason.

After that, I took a year to a couple of years’ break, not really doing much, not really doing many shows, just staying in Nashville and getting into songwriting for the first time. That really helped me figure out a lot of who I was as an artist, what my sound was going to be more towards and what I was going to say; it was a lot of honest stuff. I wanted to write about what was actually going on in life, and I feel like fans can relate better by listening to songs like that, so that is exactly what I did. That time off, being quiet, was very much needed for me to grow up a little bit and before we knew it, we had some songs that I was kind of getting the hang of in the writing room.

So, we made the second album and then we made all the artwork and the photos and everything that goes into an album, and it was definitely really cool to hold a hard copy after it was done, because it has been a while. To this day it has been five years since the shows, so when we think about it like that, it is so crazy, haha. Life goes too fast, haha!

You came back briefly and did a song called Friend Zone…

Yep, haha!

Why are you laughing? Haha.

I just think that song was one of those when we were like, ‘OK, we’re not putting that much out right now.’ It was one I wrote in Los Angeles, with writers who have become close friends of mine. We have written incredible songs that are in our folders waiting to see the light, but that was one that we were like ‘OK, this is definitely dipping our toes in the water.’ We were just really testing out something that was a lot different from what I was used to, haha, I was rapping, hahah, in the song!

But you pulled it off.

I hope so, haha. I feel like it was an awkward stage of mine, but people loved it, hahahahah!

What does I Don’t Believe We’ve Met mean to you?

It means a lot, because even going back with the first album, I can say a little bit about both being phases of my life, I think. My first album was inspired by Voice, which was a huge moment in my life that changed my life forever, even if I wasn’t a part of writing the songs. The second album shows what I was going through in the past few years and you can hear a bit of everything and moments of my life. It means a lot to hear that work in a song. It’s exciting to know what my third album may sound like and cool to hear what life sounds like, haha.

The title I don’t Believe We’ve Met – is that because you feel people haven’t got to know you till now – as this is your first hand in writing, as you said?

Yeah, it’s a little bit more mature and vulnerable. I had a rollercoaster ride in my relationships and some songs were inspired by friends or fans. I have those songs where I turn up the volume in my car and I can listen to every word and relate to them- so I thought why not do that – why not let my fans know who I am, finally.

What song gets the best reaction from fans when they meet you or tweet you and which one gets the best reaction live?

I think the song which does that is Worth It. It’s one of those songs I didn’t expect to be such a big message after I put it out. When I wrote it, it was very personal obviously – and it was just a thought I had that day of wanting to speak out more, as I am a naturally shy girl. I have moments of wishing I had said something, wishing I sounded stronger in that moment – and I know friends who go through that same thing. After I put it out, it sounded like a relationship song, but it could really be about anything you can make in your head. I actually got a lot of reactions from dads telling me, ‘I love that my daughter got to listen to this song’, and that is so cool, as I have never had my music impact fathers before. I know my father feels that way. I was like ‘Wow, that’s amazing!’. I hope it continues to reach people and be a big message.

Congratulations on having your first ACM nominee for New Female Vocalist.

Where were you when got the news, and were you expecting it?

I was just waking up, haha! My phone was buzzing a lot and I checked my messages and instagrams – there were a lot of messages and I couldn’t believe it. It’s been amazing to know that.

You say you’re a shy person, what advice would you give to anyone wanting to pursue a dream of any kind, but are just too afraid?

Yeah. Again, as I’ve said, I am a naturally shy person and I meet so many people who have a little bit of shyness, or still get embarrassed or are a little bit hesitant about something – but you just have to get past that point. I know it sounds cliché but you have to get past that comfort zone because that’s what I did. Stepping onto the Voice stage, I never thought that I could do that – and that’s a true story – I was terrified. But you just have to find that comfort in whatever you’re doing – whether you want to be a singer, hairdresser, office worker; just find your confidence no matter where it is.

What music are you listening to right now?

Ooh, man, I have a wide category in my music, but I love Hip Hop Artist Post Malone, I love Ed Sheeran, I love Carrie Underwood – it goes all over the map, haha!

Favourite movie?

I think right now it has to be Creed. It’s a boxing movie.

What do you do in your spare time?

I love to hang out with my two dogs and my boyfriend. I love to go to the gym and watch movies at home and relax.

What are your dogs called?

Haha! They have human names and they are called Mike and Brad, haha!

Awww! Are they named after anyone in particular?

Haha. One’s a middle name of my boyfriend and one after an actor.

Let me guess – Brad?

Hahaha, yep, it’s Brad Pitt, haha!

What have you got planned for the rest of the year so far?

Definitely touring for sure.

Thank you so much for chatting today and we can’t wait to see you soon.

Listen to I Don’t Believe We’ve Met here

Purchase I Don’t Believe We’ve Met here

Buy tickets to see Danielle at Long Road Festival here with information here

Buy tickets to see Danielle with Thomas Rhett here

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