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Interview with Bonner Black

Bonner Black is a Nashville based indie pop singer-songwriter who has just released her debut album 'Hopeless RomANTICS'. I caught up with Bonner black to talk all about working on the album, the song that she's most excited for people to hear, and what she has been listening to recently.

Hi, how are you?

Happy as a clam at high water! I googled that by the way because as soon as I typed it I was like… why do we say that? Apparently it’s because fisherman collect clams at low tide, so they’re safe from being plucked at high tide… I love google.

How would you describe your sound to the readers?

I’ve recently started saying “Driven Singer-Songwriter Dunked in Glitter” I’ve gotten placed on Pop, folk, americana, and singer-songwriter playlists so it’s a nice little buffet of sounds. 

Who would you say are your biggest musical influences?

Sheryl Crow, Miley Cyrus, Eagles, Heart, Norah Jones, Stevie Nicks (i just saw her in Dallas and balled my eyes out), Faith Hill, Beyonce… I love music so much and I listened to everything I could growing up so it’s hard to say. OH also Gwen Stefani.

How did your music journey start?

I found my love the stage as a little 4 year old ballerina. I would sing to the radio and write little songs as a kid, but when I started learning guitar at 12 that’s when I started writing songs with real structures and chords. I still have a notebook of all the songs I wrote at 13 years old with my glitter gel pens. I asked my parents for a vocal lesson in Nashville for my 14th birthday (I grew up an hour and a half south of Nashville in Hot Rock, TN). My Mom drove me up and during my lesson, songwriting got brought up and i told my coach, Jamie Wigginton, that I wrote songs. I played him one and he sent me over to NSAI (the Nashville songwriter’s association). I met Bart Herbison, the director, in the lobby a couple weeks later and he took me under his wing. It all snowballed from there!

Your debut album ‘Hopeless RomANTICS’ is out now, congratulations! This album has been described as a “A watercolour painting of charmingly bright acoustics, driven retro pop groovers, and timeless straight forward ‘Music City Storytelling’ ” which I absolutely love, how was the process of creating this album for you?

As far as songwriting, this album just fell out of my heart and soul. I wrote all of the songs except for 2 with Jake Ohlbaum, my producer, and the other 2 i wrote by myself. We just got on this roll and it wasn’t until we recorded the 5th song that we decided to put everything together on an album. I came up with “Hopeless ROMantics” after listening to the project as a whole and realizing the overall theme was “idealistic romanticism”. 

What’s the song you are most excited for people to hear from ‘Hopeless RomANTICS’?

Oh gosh. All of them. I’m sorry that is the worst answer, but I love them all so equally. I guess if someone asked me what song I would want them to listen to first, it would be “I’m Not Your Girl” or “Take Me On”.

Can you explain more about the inspiration behind the lyrics on this album? Why were these songs you wanted to write?

I was inspired by the beginning of relationships.. This album is mostly based on curiosity and mystery. I’ve always been so enamored by the idea of “true love” since I was a little girl. Any time I see a happy couple, I always have to interview them. As far as songwriting, I can’t help but write songs. There is no conscious decision, they just happen.

Do you have a favourite lyric or line from a song on the album?

“Nothing makes sense without a sense of humor”

What was it like working with producer Jake Ohlbaum on this album? What is it you love about working with him?

Jake is the wind beneath my wings. He just freaking gets it and gets me. I’ve never worked in a safer more inspiring environment and I am not talking about the room, I am talking about the energy in the room. Jake always lets me trying out my ideas and explore every path i want to go down, while also not being a “yes” person and telling me exactly what he thinks with gentle brutal honesty. I’m so unbelievably thankful for him.

Do you have a favourite memory from recording this album?

I blacked the entire time honestly I don’t even remember what happened.

What’s something you want listeners to take away from listening to ‘Hopeless RomANTICS’?

I hope it makes them feel a little less jaded, a little more hopeful, and a little bit seen. 

What’s next for you?

A tour and another album! 

And lastly, what music have you been listening to recently? Anything you can recommend to us?

GO LISTEN TO MY FRIENDS! Otness, Julie Williams, JJ Wilde, Struan, Ellis Melilo, Sinclair, The Foxies (Jake’s band), Sonia Leigh, Chelsea Gililand, Moody Joody, Bonner Rae Rhoden (we have the same name and found each other on instagram. We have a song coming out together this summer!), Mel Bryant, Eva Cassel, Denitia, Sam Johnston, Thomas Baldwin, Molly Gracy, Dani Stacy… Ugh I have so many incredible talented friends that deserve all the recognition. 

Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions for us, it's really appreciated!

You can listen to 'Hopeless RomANTICS' by Bonner Black here.

You can follow Bonner Black on Instagram here.

You can find all things After Midnight here.


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