Bailey Bryan's song "play w/ me" went viral on Tik Tok and you can instantly hear why. It's insanely catchy and edgy, and her voice is so unique. Her music bleeds authenticity but all with these perfect little earworms. We talked to her about the song, being vulnerable, and what's been inspiring her lately.
How did you get started in music?
Bailey: It’s kind of always been the only thing I’m good at! I can’t remember ever wanting to do anything besides music. But I guess you could say I really got started when I got my first guitar when I was 12… That’s when I started writing whole songs.
Tell me about your “Fresh Start” project?
Bailey: Fresh start will be my very first project as a full-on pop artist! It means a lot to me. Each song on the project is inspired by a moment or a lesson that triggered a fresh start in me. The concept or the inspiration behind the whole thing is that you have everything you need within you to have a fresh start each day… When you’re a single 20 something, trying to figure out who you are and what you want out of life and love, the world likes to make you think that there a certain things you need to have and levels you need to achieve before you can truly feel confident and be your best self. I want people to listen and know they’re not alone in their mess, or their heart break, or situationships, or their bad-bitchery. It’s all a part of the process.
Your lyrics are so relatable, is it hard being so vulnerable in your writing?
Bailey: Thank you! And it’s not super hard actually… It’s just the most natural approach for me. I like to say that vulnerability is my super power, I feel more connected to people when I share my truth, even if it’s not always pretty or perfect, so it’s easy to do from that perspective..
How have you been staying motivated/creative lately?
Bailey: The only thing that keeps me from getting burnt out these days is being gentle with myself. It’s easy to put on this pressure to constantly be creative and productive when you see people constantly posting and promoting things… I’ve been on my grind, but I’m more consistently motivated when I don’t make comparisons and I set aside time to not be productive, and let that be ok.
What else has been inspiring you lately?
Bailey: Mostly just my inner thoughts and feelings!! This year has given me a lotttt of time alone with them, and let’s just say there’s a lot to unpack. Which is great if you’re a songwriter!
What’s been the biggest challenge for you in your career?
Bailey: Turning myself into a business!! My music is so personal to me, every song is a piece of who I am… So figuring out how to sell that, and make it a career, in a way that doesn’t feel icky can be a challenge. And keeping the art feeling like art, like the thing that frees me, even though it’s also my business. Super important but also not always easy!
What’s your best piece of advice for young women?
Bailey: Society sells you one version of what it means to be sexy, successful, and empowered.. Don’t be afraid to make your own. Find what makes YOU feel that way, and don’t freak out if it doesn’t look like the ideal life or body or romance that’s painted on your phone, there’s infinite ways to live and find confidence and happiness.
How did it all work with “play w/ me?” How did that come to you? How does it feel to have the song become popular on TikTok?
Bailey: I started writing play w/ me when I got a “u up?” text late at night from a guy I was talking to over a year ago. I found it a little disrespectful.. So instead of replying, I started writing the song on my guitar in my living room!! To have the song gain so much traction on tik tok, months after the release, has given the song so much more meaning for me… The post that started it all was one where I was crying going through an actual breakup. I actually really needed the message of the song in that moment, even more so than when I wrote it.. And that’s when it started resonating with people. Another testament to staying vulnerable I guess!
Music aficionado and editor-in-chief at The New Nine. I'm most at home at festivals and concerts. I would love to start a band of all Kanye covers all on keys. I'm a dedicated Jack White fan and when I saw him in concert it changed my life. I'd never seen someone so passionate about music and preserving its history. Every project he does I just worship. Follow me on Twitter and Insta: @etreadgold