SEATTLE - This 19-year-old singer/songwriter from the Pacific Northwest just headlined a country music festival she was once forbidden to attend.
‘I'd grown up hearing about friends that went to Watershed -- my parents never let me go. They were like, ‘You're gonna have to play there if you wanna go’, and I was like, ‘Okay! I'll do it!’ ‘
Bailey Bryan says playing the Main Stage at the 2017 Watershed Festival last Saturday was a bucket-list moment.
‘One of the things I love most about performing music is that it's the physical act of giving your music to somebody,’ said Bryan. ‘Every time I see someone that knows the words, or something, I don't think that will ever not be a cool moment to me -- there's so many photos of me like onstage, pointing, because every time I see someone that knows the words I'm like ‘You! You know it!’ Bryan laughed.
That 'raised in a small town' country music trope is true for Bryan: it doesn't get much smaller than Sequim - on Washington's Olympic Peninsula - where she used to busk outside a taco place – Jose’s Famous Salsa.
'I used to stand outside of there and play guitar on Saturdays, every single weekend, I used to go play guitar outside of Jose's and hope that he would give me free tacos.'
She moved to Nashville to make music, her song Own It got some country radio play thanks to Seattle's 94.1 KMPS recognizing her talent -- and soon Rolling Stone was stating she's 'a country artist you need to know', and The New York Times declared her debut EP So Far 'excellent' and 'infectious'.
She's living her dream -- but she misses her home. It’s reflected in the lyrics to her song Used To ’where she sings about missing the ‘5-minute walk to the beach’ and her ‘West Coast bed.’
‘It's just been such a huge period of adjustment, and realizing that it's possible to be somewhere doing exactly what you want to do, and be so fulfilled by that, and still have a piece of you somewhere else. There's a piece of me with my family. There's a piece of me back home in Sequim at the beach, where my paddle board used to be.’ Bryan said.
But this artist owns what she's doing right now: Bringing a piece of the Northwest to Nashville.
‘I'm especially proud when people ask me where I am from and how it shaped me, and like being from the Northwest, because there’s not a lot of country artists that have come out of here, I'm proud of it, I think it gives me a little bit of a different thing, it's a part of my identity.’
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