Emerging singer-songwriter Bryony Williams on her EP, creating zines and looking like Ellen Page
"The idea behind GRRRL GROANNN is to give female musicians a platform of their own"
BRYONY WILLIAMS. 2018.
Alongside our November issue's music special, (a little nod toward next month's DIVA Music Festival) we spoke to the fresh-out-of-uni, Birmingham-based singer-songwriter Bryony Williams about her new EP; the feminist zine she's set up; gigging, and "using Tinder as PR".
You saw her here first, DIVAs.
DIVA: Hey Bryony! So, you graduated from university earlier this year – did you study music?
BRYONY WILLIAMS: Yeah, my graduation was in August 2018. I studied media, though it was a very broad course, so you could tailor it to whatever you want. I went for music business, radio, and photography.
And you've just done your first UK tour?
Yeah! It was really cool, one of the most fun experiences I've had.
How did you manage balancing your music alongside finishing your degree?
Uni was like my secondary "net", whereas music has always been my first passion. Luckily, I was able to tailor the making of my EP into my studies – one of the projects which ran throughout the year was a production project. [Handy, eh? – DIVA] I also made two music videos for two of the tracks as part of my programme.
Your new EP, Conscious – what was the idea behind it?
In the beginning, I had four tracks. I knew the EP had to be a five-track, but I just didn't have this unknown, fifth track in me. Still, I knew it would happen in the studio and it would be a really fun track, and that track turned out to be "Honey", the first on the record.
My next music video I wanna' do is for "Honey" because that's one of my most popular songs. It's sooo gay. I just wanna' tap into that gay audience. It's about going out and having a one-night-stand with a girl.
And the zine you created – is that still going?
Yep! It's called GRRRL GROANNN. It's about riot girl kinda' stuff. The idea behind it is to give female musicians a platform of their own. The "big times" are all guys and I'm just a bit sick of it, really. I got these photos that I shot at a festival in Birmingham last year, and so it started with that.
I made my first zine using my photos and content... I somehow managed to wind an interview with Jen Cloher, Courtney Barnett's wife. I love Jen's music. She was one of the nicest people I've ever met.
Who are your musical influences?
Again, Jen Cloher – her self-titled album is album of the year for me. PJ Harvey too. At the moment, I'm also listening to a lot of this band called US Girls, who are from Canada, I believe.
My dad is a huge music-lover too. He brought me up, annoyingly, on male artists, whereas now I predominantly listen to female artists. I love Grimes. She's one of my favourite artists. I predominantly listen to electro-pop, really. My Spotify is literally just all surfer chics, like Chastity Belt.
Has anyone ever told you that you look like Ellen Page?
Yes. A lot. I get it at least once a week. On Tinder, people use it as a pick up line like, "Oh my god, is that Juno?"...at the moment though, I'm 100% using Tinder for PR purposes. I put "Honey" up there this summer – it's working too.
Bryony plays Sunflower Lounge in Birmingham on the 8 November 2018, and 1 December 2018 she'll play The Hummingbird in Wolverhampton. Her EP, Conscious, is available now. Find her on Twitter @bryonywmusic and Instagram @thelifeofbryony. Interview by Danielle Mustarde.
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