Interview – Bailey Tomkinson

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Bailey Tomkinson

We were luck enough to catch up with the exciting and talented artist, Bailey Tomkinson. Check out the interview below!

Hi Bailey, Thank you for your time today! Tell us about yourself? 

Hi! I’m Bailey, I’m a 20 year old singer/songwriter from St Ives, Cornwall. 

I’m signed to German Indie Label FBP Music and so far I’ve released an EP and a bunch of singles. Recently, none other than the great Brad Paisley compared me to a young Emmylou Harris which is pretty crazy! When I’m not performing you can usually find me in the surf!

What is your songwriting process? 

I’m always writing, there’s a little book that goes everywhere full of ideas for songs, lyrics etc…most of my songs start out that way, sometimes as poems or short stories and then I add a melody usually on the guitar or piano.   

What is the best gig that you have played?

I have loads of favourites, my EP launch was fun, it was literally rammed, standing room only, surrounded by friends and family in a place I love singing along, that was special. Playing the O2 Islington for the first time, Lusty Glaze beach near Newquay as the sun set…so many really, I just love to perform. 

Tell us about your latest release?

‘I Wish (it didn’t end like this)’ is the story of how a friendship was ruined by a kiss. For me, this song represents the culmination of a relationship I explored with my first single ‘Hey Ace’.  I wrote that song aged 15, so 5 years on I revisited it from a wider perspective. It’s very much a song about regret, like the saying goes, how there are two great tragedies in life, one is not getting what you want and the other is getting it! Truth be told, I wrote it all in one take sat with my guitar on the bathroom floor, by the time I’d finished I was in tears. I do promise to keep it together when I take it out on the road though! 

What is your funniest gig moment?

Hah, I played the Summer Island Disco is St Ives, its a really nice independent festival and there was a group of hens with the bride to be there watching me perform, they were in pretty high spirits as you can imagine and a bit noisy really, in my set I did a cover of Taylor Swift’s “Speak Now” – about halfway through the hens clocked the lyrics were about a bride getting jilted at the alter! Fortunately they saw the funny side!  

What message do you think your music conveys to your fans? Who are your musical influences? 

Every song is different, I don’t think there’s like an overarching message as such, I mostly write songs about how I’m feeling. They’re like pages from my diary, if people listen to my music and think, yeah I can relate to those feelings then I’m happy.  In terms of influences, I love artists like Kacey Musgraves, Carole King, John Denver and The Eagles. At the moment I’m seriously into Springsteen, music is awesome right?

Who are your non-musical influences? 

Thanos. Just kidding…I’m very fortunate to have parents who support me chasing my dreams rather than forcing this square peg into a round hole. So, them and the rest of the family…also my dear friend Charlie he’s in his 70’s but still rocks harder than everyone else, he’s basically an encyclopaedia of music and has probably forgotten more songs than i’ll ever learn but since I was 14 or so, he’s always been around, teaching me the odd chord or a song that he thinks will suit my voice. Lots of the music I love has been discovered through him and his band The Amigos.  

What do you think are the biggest obstacles for bands/artists today? 

Earning a living! I don’t want to sugarcoat it…the game has changed with streaming and Spotify…a million streams will earn you like 5K…promoters expect you to play for ‘exposure’ same with festivals. Then as a young woman in the industry there is the whole misogyny stuff to deal with, they play our records less on the radio, they book us for fewer shows, I’ve even experienced a few male artists behaving towards me in ways that they wouldn’t towards a guy…but in truth I don’t dwell on the obstacles too much. Put one in front of me and i’ll just kick it down.

What advice would you give to other bands/artists starting out?

I’d say surround yourself with good people. Do your homework about them. It really does take a village. Don’t get sucked into ‘scenes’ and such like, just concentrate on the songs. 

Finally, What are your hopes for next 2 years?

As for the next two years, I suppose I look at it as ‘keep moving forward’ Grow my audience, gig in the US. A support slot for somebody I really like would be cool! 

Make sure you check out Bailey’s music from the link below and also check out our review of her single, ‘I Wish (It Didn’t End Like This)’ here.

FVMusicBlog January 2020




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