Breakout Artist Bailey James Is Stamping Her Name On The Music Scene
Bailey is making her mark with a Top 40 hit under her belt, chart-topping singles, over a quarter of a million combined streams just on Spotify, a golden ticket to Idol, and many more noteworthy accolades including recently joining The Highway Women group.
This PA native has been receiving positive feedback from radio and press including renowned music critic, Robert K. Oermann, who said “I’ve liked everything she’s ever put out so far…she’s a master chef as a singer…” She has she appeared and performed at legendary venues such as the Bluebird Café, the Wildhorse Saloon and The Listening Room as well as the home of the Grand Ole Opry — radio station WSM-AM, and taken part in multiple Country Radio Seminar opportunities and also CMA Music Festivals with performances and autograph signings.
She has also followed in the footsteps of country music icons, Rascal Flatts and the late Charlie Daniels by joining The Jason Foundation as their first national teen ambassador. This foundation is dedicated to the prevention of youth suicide by raising awareness through education and empowerment.
By teaming up with this foundation, Bailey has been able to spread their mission to the forefront and has partnered with them for numerous campaigns including Won’t Be Silent and their current Tennessee Won’t Be Silent campaign which helps raise the conversation about the silent epidemic of suicide.
We interviewed with Bailey about her upbringing, defining moments in her career, favorite inspirations, and what to expect from her in the future.
Tell us a little bit about you…
I’m a 17-year-old blues/soul/country singer. I’m a self-proclaimed hippie. I’ve always been a free spirit for as long as I can remember.
Where is home?
What city, neighborhood or country helped inspire and inform your art?
My hometown, actually. Where I come from it’s so blue-collar. People don’t become musicians or singers there, but it gave me the most realistic insight on life. I go back often.
What was the last thing that inspired you?
A guy was speaking on the TV about politics and he said, “The world needs better angels.” Turned into a song for me that completely tears at your heart.
What was the defining moment that made you realize you wanted to do music?
I think my defining moment was when I won this radio contest back in Pennsylvania they used to have for country music. You’d get up and sing a song and everybody would vote to let you play at this country festival. I sang “Girl Crush” by LIttle BIg Town. I was completely new to music and I didn’t expect to get picked to play the festival. As soon as I did, the adrenaline and the realization of knowing other people like my voice… I couldn’t get enough.
Has music always been your career plan?
I wanted to be a brain surgeon when I was younger, but I have shaky hands.
The Fox Magazine is all about inspiration, what/who inspires you the most?
My mother. She’s a warrior of a woman. My father too. They both are so strong. I’ve seen them fight things nobody should have to go through. They remind me to keep going even when I don’t want to.
How much has your style changed since you started doing music?
Completely. I started singing old country when I was about 12 years old. Very Patsy Cline inspired. She was my world back then. I still admire her but as I’ve gotten older, my musical inspiration has broadened. The blues hits me so hard. The first time I heard Amy Winehouse she just shot through my heart. I knew I wanted to do music like that. I love Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, the risk takers of music. I decide that’s what I want to do. It’s my most authentic music yet. I do a mix of country/blues/soul now.
What’s the best part of being a musician?
You meet really amazing people. You get to hear stories of how your music has helped people though times in their life. It’s amazing how music is a universal language. I know people from all across the world.
How do you feel artists stay relevant locally, nationally, or even globally?
Social media. It is an amazing tool to keep yourself relevant everywhere.
The past, present, or future. Which period would you like to recreate in a form of art?
Past. My favorite eras have to be the 50s, late 60s, and the 90s.
What medium or instrument is your favorite to work with and why?
Guitar. I’ve written all my best songs on the guitar.
What sets you apart from other artists?
My honesty. I’m only 17, but I feel I’m more honest in my lyrics and my own voice than most 40 year old artists. I’ve seen pain, happiness, and all in between. That’s my advantage. I’ve lived so much life in my not so many years.
As an emerging artist today, what would you say are some of the challenges you face?
Finding yourself as an artist is difficult. You have to be somebody else so you can get played on mainstream radio. I went through a cycle of that, and I hated it. It wasn’t enjoyable.
Music is all about expression, what do you like expressing in your work?
I recently put a song out called “World You’re Livin’ In”. It’s my latest single. I put very personal experiences in that song, and if people can catch that that’s amazing. I did it in a way so maybe it was about me, but maybe it wasn’t. Be sure to check that one out.
What motto, quote, or words to live by do you use to stay motivated when you aren’t feeling inspired?
“On stage I make love to twenty five thousand people; and then I go home alone.” – Janis Joplin.
Name a few artists you would love to do a song with and why.
Chris Stapleton. I saw him in concert and he could give me a run for my money. I like that. He’s got the voice of a giant. It rolls through you. I think Bruno Mars is super talented. He’s so good at funk. I’d love to do something cool with him.
What’s something people would be surprised to learn about you?
I can sing Italian opera. I was originally trained by an opera singer most of my life.
What’s your best advice for aspiring musicians?
Be yourself, and find your voice. If you can do that you’re already ahead of a lot of stars.
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