I am a lyric-obsessed songwriter heavily influenced by my parents’ favorites, such as Guy Clark and Emmylou Harris. I currently have Lukas Nelson and the Promise of the Real on repeat after seeing them play at the Basement East recently, and I am a huge Kacey Musgraves and Miranda Lambert songwriting fan. I grew up in South Carolina but have been in Nashville for about seven years. My current single, “Magnolia,” was released on Friday, June 25th and is the first release off of a six-song EP that is due out this September.
Listen to “Magnolia” HERE
This whole EP has been a labor of love and an exercise in patience. In the words of my mom, “Nothing done fast is ever done right.” I wrote “Magnolia” in the shower seven years ago in a particularly homesick moment, and I’m so grateful to the team that I work with that I was given the creative freedom to turn it into the sound I imagined all those years ago. It’s only fitting that this song heads the record off as a bridge from my past to everything to come.
Tell us about your new music and the inspiration behind it.
This EP is a collection of songs I’ve written in the time that I’ve been in Nashville and covers peaks and valleys alike. It’s inspired by the stories and experiences of myself and of those close to me. My current single, “Magnolia” was written out of raw homesickness and poured out naturally.
What was the songwriting and recording process?
“Magnolia” was written rather quickly. I hopped out of the shower and jotted down the lyrics that had popped into my head, then quickly ran into my room and recorded a voice note so I didn’t forget what the melody was. Though none of the other songs on the upcoming EP were written in the shower, the majority were written in a similar fashion with a rush of inspiration and scramble to get it all down while I remembered. The recording process was great, and working with Oscar [Charles] was a dream. He is incredible and plays literally every instrument.
What do you hope your fans/listeners take away with them when they listen to your music?
As a fan of music and songwriting myself, I always look for the meaning and the message in the lyrics, so the greatest compliment to me is when someone is affected by or is able to channel their own feelings and experiences through my words.
When did you first pick up the guitar and what drew you to that instrument?
I started playing guitar when I was nine years old. I had played violin in school and my mom taught me piano, but I wanted to write songs. Shortly after I’d written my first song, I decided I was going to use my life savings ($60) to buy a guitar so that I could play while I sang the songs I wrote. My mom took me to the local pawn shop and I bought a royal blue American Tradition electric guitar. The owner thought I was so cute he threw in a free bedroom-sized amp.
Who are some of your musical influences?
Guy Clark, Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss, Patty Griffin, Kacey Musgraves, Miranda Lambert, Jason Isbell, Maggie Rogers, the list goes on…
We have plans for a couple more singles before the release of the full EP in September. There will be visuals of various forms and live performances as well!
Connect with Bonnie Stewart