I’m delighted to feature Bailey Tomkinson for the first time today, a day which sees Bailey release her brand new single ‘7 Minutes in Heaven’. It’s a wonderfully catchy song, full of energy and character, with a striking originality too – a perfect slice of country pop. I caught up with Bailey for a chat this week, where she told us about her brand of country music, which artists influenced her, and where the inspiration for the single came from!
Hi Bailey, as we’re featuring you for the first time on Belles and Gals, can you describe your sound to anyone who hasn’t listened to you before?
Hi! Thanks ever so much for having me on, as I’ve said to you on Twitter, I genuinely think what you guys do with Belles and Gals for British artists, particularly British female artists is an example of ‘what could be’ for our industry. Describe my sound…well, I’m a Country artist, so you can expect guitars and storytelling, I have a pretty diverse set of influences so I like to experiment a bit…I mean, I love George Strait but then I also love Maggie Rodgers…so you’re going to get all of that. It’s still 3 chords and the truth right? But I think it’s important to be authentic to my truth. I’m a 19 year old girl, so I’m not going to write authentic songs about whisky fuelled bar brawls in a Texas Honky Tonk…what do I know about that? I sing about boys, the beach, bad dates – things that are relevant to my experience. Obviously American Country Music is at the root of what I do, but I make British country music, I’m not interested in doing impersonations.
The new single ‘7 Minutes in Heaven’ is just brilliant – a fantastic listen, with a quirky charm! Can you tell us how the song came about?
Thanks so much, I’m really glad you like it. 7 Minutes in Heaven came about because I’m a huge movie fan, I love stories and I especially love those movies like Dazed and Confused or Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist where you feel like in a single night, one great party can change EVERYTHING! We’re only a little town here in St Ives but we throw awesome parties! I wanted to capture that feeling in a song.
Despite being a teenager you’ve lived in a number of places including Brussels and Milan. What influence would you say that has had on your music?
I think the thing travel and new experiences gives you is the ability to be adaptable and open. It’s an incredible experience because you become very aware of both the differences and the similarities between cultures. In a musical sense it makes me a little bit adventurous, if I want to add 80’s synth, for example, to a song then I’m going to try it, I don’t feel constrained by boundaries. That whole too pop for country and too country for pop thing that they said about Kacey Musgraves makes me furious. Why would anyone think they have the right to tell you where a genre classification starts and ends? They’re just lines on a map someone else drew.
And which artists have influenced you in your music career?
I grew up listening to Taylor Swift so she’s a big influence, and very relatable to a teenage girl. But I also admire her for willingness to experiment and innovate with style, that she wanted to expand the ‘box’. I really admire Kacey Musgraves for the same reason. I listen to Sinatra. I love John Denver because he’s my Grandad’s favourite. Also Sam Cooke, Madonna, ABBA, Cyndi Lauper, Jewel, The Eagles….I just love great music tbh.
To finish, tell us where we can download/buy/stream the new single!
It’s on Spotify, iTunes, Deezer, Amazon Music all the usual suspects! Just search Bailey Tomkinson and you’ll find it!