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Interview with Whitney Bjerken

Whitney Bjerken is a great new artist whose EP 'Mental Gymnastics' is out now! I caught up with Whitney to discuss the EP as well as her incredible single 'i'll drown'. I have absolutely loved listening to this project and hope you do too.

Hi Whitney, how are you? 

Hi! I’m good! Nothing super crazy going on just working a lot! 

How would you describe your sound to the readers? 

I would probably describe my sound as alternative pop. I like to use a mixture of real instruments and electronic sounds and I usually lean towards a darker/ethereal vibe. 

Who would you say are your biggest musical influences? 

As far as songwriting goes, I’ve always looked up to The Beatles, Elton John and Billie Joel. More recently artists like Lizzy McAlpine, and Finneas have influenced my songwriting. As far as my sonic inspirations, Labyrinth, The Weekend, Billie Eilish, and Madison Beer are some of my favorites. 

How did your music journey start? 

I’ve always had a love for music and singing when I was little. I used to secretly sing in my room when no one could here me. When I was 11, I started writing songs and really loved doing it. It became one of my favorite things to do in my free time. I released a couple singles and an EP when I was young but I ended up taking them off streaming because It wanted to start fresh when I started taking my music career seriously at 16. 

Your new EP ‘Mental Gymnastics’ is out now, congratulations! This EP is said to “capture the essence of grappling with inner struggles and the fear of the unknown”. How was the process of making this EP for you?

I wrote this EP when I was making the biggest decision of my life so far. I was a high level gymnast since the age of six and was committed to go to school and compete in college for gymnastics. I also gained quite a large following from doing that sport. When I was deciding to retire I felt like I had let so many people down including myself. Writing this EP in the middle of that decision helped me express my feelings and deal with the stress in a way that I enjoy. Music has always been something I turn to when I’m going through life, so I’d say the process of writing, and recording ‘Mental Gymnastics’ was super comforting. 

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

I’m most excited for people to hear ‘favorite failure’. I don’t think I could’ve written anything closer to how I felt at the time. It’s was one of the easiest songs for me to write because I knew exactly what I wanted to say. 

Do you have a favourite memory from recording this EP? 

My favorite memory from recording this EP is definitely tracking the background vocals.I have always loved arranging vocal stacks and different harmonies and I think we did a great job with them in these songs. 

What’s something you want listeners to take away from listening to ‘Mental Gymnastics’? 

I’d say, to always listen to your gut. No matter how much pressure is put on you, no matter how much you love something or someone, it’s not worth it if you aren’t happy at the end of it all. 

Your new single ‘I’ll drown’ is also out now! I have really enjoyed listening to it recently, why was this a song you wanted to write?

Thank you so much! I wanted to write a song that used a lot of visual imagery. I had the idea of writing a song with lots of metaphors. In ‘I’ll Drown’, the metaphor is continuous throughout the entirety of the song so you feel like you’re in another world in a way. 

Can you explain more about the inspiration behind the lyrics for this song? 

Sure! This song is about feeling like you’re stuck in a toxic relationship with someone, or something. It’s about knowing you shouldn’t be there but loving it too much to leave. I think the use of the water and drowning metaphors help paint that picture in an artistic way. 

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

My favorite lyric from ‘I’ll Drown’ is “As the waves get taller over my head, my heart gets smaller cause I wish it were you instead”. 

What’s next for you? Do you have any more music on the way? 

Yes! I do have more things on the way! I have some fun things in the works and I go back to the studio at the end of this month!

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

Recently I’ve been listening to all sorts of artists. I think Lizzy McAlpine’s newest single ‘Older’ is stunning and I am so excited to hear her new album. 

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

Thank you so much for having me! 

You can listen to 'Mental Gymnastics' by Whitney Bjerken here.

You can follow Whitney Bjerken here.

You can find all things After Midnight here.


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