Behind the Music: Interview with Bryony Williams

“I’m so grateful for every interaction and act of support. It’s super heart-warming.”

Describe your music style in no more than 5 words: Fun. Ethereal. Harmonies. Clever. Spunky.

Where is your go-to place for writing new tracks? Simply at home – there I have access to all I need; a pen, some paper and a guitar. Though when it comes to songwriting, that can be done anywhere really. I often like to go out on my own into the city, settle down in a corner of a bar somewhere and let my writing do the talking.

Who else is involved in the creation of your music and what do they bring to the sound? The only other person involved is my producer, Matthew Pinfield. When it comes to the recording process, I will play my existing demo’s and we will then start the songwriting stage. This involves deciding which ones make the cut for the record *gulp!*  and possibly improving upon the lyrics (rarely) or the structure of the song itself. For example, changing a verse into the chorus vice versa. For all my songs (minus the Wanderlust EP), Matt has played drums and bass, and we collaborate together when it comes to harmonic ideas and additional guitar parts. It’s all a lot of fun. We work very well together and have a lot of fun experimenting with sounds and messing around with guitar pedals. 

How has creating tracks in lockdown differed from your normal process? Honestly, not that much as all the songwriting is pretty autonomous. Though in regards to recording, we did try remote recording during lockdown. But within the same time, restrictions began to ease so we were able to record in-person like normal. However, Matt did create a makeshift vocal booth in a separate room to normal because we thought singing would project more air particles and thus, more potential corona. I nicknamed it ‘The Chokey’ as a Matilda reference. Though I’m pretty sure that singing theory has been dismissed and that Matt isn’t Mrs.Trunchbull!

“I think it’s integral to showcase yourself in a range of talents that reflects who you are.”

Who/what are your biggest influences? People watching is definitely my thing. Sometimes I can song write in a public environment and I guess project a combination of my own thoughts and feelings into the mix of strangers interactions. It’s definitely about life experiences and being stimulated by visuals. Though musically my influences range from Anastacia to Courtney Barnett, Girls Aloud to Wolf Alice and everything in between.

What does a Bryony Williams recording session look like? A typical session consists of 5 cups of coffee, maybe a handful of peanuts if I’m lucky, and 10 hours in the studio recording. In order, we first track the guide guitar and vocals, then the percussion, bass, rhythm guitar, vocals, lead guitar, and any twinkly/experimental bits to finish off.

With two incredibly polished EP’s already released, what can people expect from your forthcoming one, ’State I’m In’?  They can expect versatility, an anger, a hunger and attitude. I’m out to prove myself with this record, with each song adding something new. I think people will be very surprised, and hopefully shed a tear at one particular track.

As a new artist, what has it been like to have gained so much support and see your fan base/listeners increase? Overall, it’s a slow and painful journey, especially as an independent artist. However, since being signed to Beth Shalom Records, there seems to be a constant buzz around my music and I’m so grateful for every interaction and act of support. It goes a long way and is super heart-warming.

What are the three albums/tracks that you never get tired of listening to? Grimes – Oblivion, Flight Facilities – Clair de Lune, The Chemical Brothers – Hannas Theme (vocal version)

“A recording session typically consists of 5 cups of coffee, maybe a handful of peanuts if I’m lucky, and 10 hours in the studio.”

What is the most vivid music memory that you have? Hmmm, well ask anyone, I have the worst memory going! I can’t even remember what I’ve done yesterday. BUT music wise… I’ve got to say playing the Freshly Squeezed stage at Camper Calling festival in 2019 with my band mates (CJ from All South, Billy from The Calamity, and Tasha from Jump the Shark). We made a weekend of it! I drove us all down to Warwick, we did our first band practice the night before, crashed at Tasha’s house – where we ate and drank rum into the night (but not too late, we are possibly a little sensible) – then hit the big stage with them! Ah! It was just such a feeling of unity, accomplishment and excitement. And we… rocked… it!

The music video for ‘Knockin’ looks like it was amazing fun to create. Are there any plans for your family to appear in more? Ha! We’re currently negotiating contracts as we speak.

What’s more important to you: having an opportunity to express a feeling through a song or making a hit track? For me, songwriting is about pure expression and interpretation. If I make a hit track along the way then so be it.

It sounds like there are some really telling lyrics within your forthcoming release ‘Knockin’. Do your personal experiences generally lead the lyrics of a track? Yes, 100% whether that’s literal or subconsciously. There’s a track on the new record called Cherry Red that is all about a date I went on to… Cherry Reds. Shock! Whereas ‘I Can Be’ and ‘Knockin’ are great examples of other times where I generate lyrics fuelled by my emotional subconscious. These are usually empowering and brutally honest for myself and others.

Listening through your releases to date, there are some real contrasts in sound. How important do you think it is for new artists to demonstrate the different sides to their music? Though I have never consciously said to myself to push the boundaries or produce something different the next time round, my music simply develops with me as a person. I think that comes with some risk-taking, experience, and a good ear that is constantly on the mend. It shows versatility, which is not always valued in the music world when listeners just want a quick fix. But for an artist like myself, I think it’s integral to showcase yourself in a range of talents that reflects who you are.

And finally… what has been the biggest learning curve in your career to date? Know. Your. Worth.

Thanks Bryony for chatting with Listen to Discover

Follow Bryony Williams on: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
Listen to Bryony Williams on: Spotify
Find out more about Bryony’s music at: Guest Writer Track Review: Bryony Williams: Knockin’

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