Danielle Bradbery Talks ‘I Don’t Believe We’ve Met,’ The Voice and More
2013 was an instrumental year for country singer Danielle Bradbery. At just 16, she had gone from singing in the shower to winning popular singing competition show The Voice and releasing her self-titled debut album. Four years later, Bradbery steps into the next phase of her adult life and professional career as she puts out her sophomore effort, I Don’t Believe We’ve Met, delivered on December 1.
Prior to the album’s release, Bradbery sat down with TIDAL to talk about the project, developing her personal style and getting to know herself.
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Let’s talk about you, a brief background on who you were prior to The Voice.
I didn’t have much experience performing or putting myself out there because I was probably the shyest person you’ll ever meet. But I think it helped that I wasn’t that experienced because I always just stayed in the moment, and I knew right where I would be on set [on The Voice] and a lot of the other contestants knew what they were doing already. I was just taking it one step at a time, which I think helps with everything all at once. Before that, I wasn’t doing much, just singing in my room. That’s about it.
When do you think you developed your own personal style?
Honestly about maybe two years ago. That was a huge thing. I was 16 years old on the show. As a 16-year-old girl, you’re wanting to do so much and figure out what your style is, and even just the little things like dying your hair and wanting something that you don’t have. I had the blonde [hair], and I wanted the dark [hair] and all of that stuff. So I really had to go through all of the looks to figure it out. So about a year and a half or two years ago was when I was like, ‘OK, I’m finally getting somewhere.’ I’m where I think I need to be right now.
So after The Voice, you wanted to take some time to find yourself and who you really were. What were you doing during that time?
I was in Nashville. I’ve been living there for about three years. The rest of my family is back in Houston, Texas, but I was in Nashville, just writing a bunch, which was another very new thing for me. I didn’t write my first album, so that was something my management, the label and everybody wanted me to really try out to see if that would really help me with this next record to see what would change, and a lot did. I co-wrote a couple songs and I was like, ‘I think this is what we should shape the album around.’
So that was the top of what I’ve been doing the last couple years as an artist, and my sound and what I wanted to say. Songwriting was number one along with finding myself and my style. Every week was something new with that. Just meeting people, doing one-off shows, but not much. I was just in Nashville trying to get things done
Talk to me about the single, “Worth It.”
“Worth it” was a song I wrote in Nashville with these two writers, Jeff Pardue and Molly Reed. It was my first time writing with them, getting in the room and having some conversations about what we’ve all been up to. That’s kind of how the writing started. We got comfortable with each other very fast because you gain a friendship with these people because they’re so talented and they connect with you immediately. It’s very nice when that happens in the writing room because you get a song pretty quickly, and it comes naturally.
That’s kind of how “Worth it” came about. It was as simple as me having a personal feeling about me and standing up for myself over these past couple years, remembering some situations and learning how to say no in some meetings and situations. I shared that with them and they were like, ‘Well, as songwriters, let’s turn it into something that could be a relationship.’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, I can relate to that too.’ So it’s kind of a flexible song. You can put it to anything, which I love. Performing it at radio shows and wherever I am, I’ve gotten a lot of dads that come up to me and were like, ‘Thank you for writing a song that my daughter can hear.’
Your album, I Don’t Believe We’ve Met, is coming out soon. Tell me how you’re feeling about that and what we can expect.
I’m feeling a lot of emotions because it’s been a full four years since the debut album. There’s a big gap. It took a bit longer than normal. The fact that those same fans have stuck with me since the beginning is just mind-blowing to me. It’s been so amazing to see. I’m anxious. I’m excited. You’re always looking to see what people think because it’s been so long, I’ve actually been able to write so it’s a little bit of me in there. It’s kind of like a huge diary, so if people don’t like it, that’s my life. It’s weird and kind of scary. There’s a lot of emotions in this album. There’s a lot of fun ones and like I said in the beginning, it’s a lot of different sounds because I was influenced by so many different genres growing up, so not all of the songs are the same, and that’s kind of what I wanted anyway.
You mention having different influences. Who are some of the artists that are on your playlists right now?
I listen to just about everything. Growing up, I had both sides and both worlds because my dad’s side of the family [listens to] country and my mom listens to hip-hop, dance, R&B, dance, and some Latin music so I get it from everywhere. I’ve always listened to so many things that I never fit into one thing so when people ask me what do I listen to, it’s like they expect me to say straight up country and they are not expecting my playlist right now to be Post Malone, Logic, and all of the Rap/R&B. I love everything. My category is very expandable.
What’s been the most shocking part of this experience so far coming from singing for fun to now releasing an album and winning The Voice?
Every week is brand new. I’m always learning. This isn’t a job that’s 9 to 5. You never know what hours you’re gonna be doing, what time you’re gonna be waking up or when your off days are. Every day is a surprise.
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