Actually Bri Bagwell’s social media posting said: “Eeek! I am the happiest girl in the world. Come celebrate the CD release with us Wednesday at Main Street Crossing in Tomball (8PM)! Thursday at The Rustic in Dallas, Friday at Gruene Hall, and Saturday at Wolf Pen Creek Amphitheater in College Station!”
Bri’s new CD is called When A Heart Breaks and you can click here for the info: iTunes!
She has had some incredible support for the making of this CD from her fan base and I wanted to make sure we talked about the release and more in this week’s spotlight! Enjoy!
Katie: Tell me about the Kickstarter campaign. How did it go? Without giving names, what was the highest donation amount? As the biggest donor, what did they get?
Bri: The Kickstarter campaign went well beyond my wildest dreams. Because of the time crunch we were on, we did the entire thing in only 14 days! I exceeded my goal by a few thousand dollars, which has allowed us to purchase a much needed guitar vault and some equipment for the road! (#EverythingIsBroken) I really didn’t want my parents to have to chip in this go-around, because my mom and dad have helped along the way when the gas tank and the pockets were beyond empty. It was a big deal to me to have the album/video/radio single/Kickstarter project completely supported by fans and friends (almost 300 backers by the way). The highest donor was $5,000, which gets that person a private acoustic concert with me and The Banned… aka a party! The concert hasn’t even been scheduled yet, because many people just wanted to DONATE to the project. They seem far less concerned about their immediate return, and they just wanted to help with something so precious to me. Is this real life?? (Note: Everybody is getting their rewards regardless.)
Katie: Did you write all the songs for the new album? How has your writing changed since the first song you wrote?
Bri: I co-wrote about half of the album, and wrote the rest of the songs by myself. I haven’t put out a full-length record in four years (ugh), and I really wanted to showcase the range of songs that I’ve been writing since then. There’s tunes about pure heartbreak, then fun beer songs, and everything in between. There are songs written with fellow Sony ATV songwriters, songs written with my father and brother, and songs written by myself in 30 minutes. When I first started writing, it was always about getting really emotional and deep. I was a sucker for the sad, slow 5-minute ballads. Not to say that I still don’t love those, but I’ve gotten more concise and more diverse in my writing. I enjoy writing the fun songs just as much as the tear-jerkers. I think people appreciate that, too.
Katie: Do you remember the first song you wrote? What was it?
Bri: I believe it was called “Most Perfect Night.” I wrote it on piano when I was 14. I used to think if anyone ever heard my first songs, I would absolutely die of embarrassment. But now I think they are raw and kind of cute (in a pitchy, innocent sort of way)! Ha. It was nice to write without any rules in the back of my mind.
Katie: Performing or songwriting. Is one better than the other? Why or why not?
Bri: They are completely intertwined for me. I don’t think I would love performing as much if I couldn’t sing at least some of my songs. I don’t think I would love writing songs if I couldn’t ever perform them for people. Both are a combo of practice and natural talent. If I had to choose, though, I’d say songwriting prevails. I know some amazing songwriters who are terrified to perform. Songs can speak for themselves.
Katie: How do you define success for yourself?
Bri: That varies for me. I filed my taxes recently, and thought “hot dang, I had to pay the government this year!” and treated that as a major success. Sometimes it really does help to make a little money at the end of the day to feel “successful” in this business, as does getting some awards, etc. But really, to me, success is knowing that I am truly following my dreams as a singer-songwriter. That is hard enough on it’s own, and I wake up everyday with the attitude that I am successful already (it helps me tackle the day a little better, and my parents have instilled that attitude in me). Of course I have bigger goals (hello, Opry and a record deal), but this business will beat you down if you’re too hard on yourself when defining what “success” really is!
Bri’s new CD is really, really good. I think, wait, scratch that, I KNOW Bri is well on the way to completing those bigger goals!