Arts & EntertainmentBailey Bigger talks career aspirations, songwriting inspirations with HUB...

Bailey Bigger talks career aspirations, songwriting inspirations with HUB City Sessions

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A Digital Nest Media Production

After an arduous week of traveling, planning and shooting new episodes of their music show ‘HUB City Sessions’, the USM production team Digital Nest Media finished their Memphis tour with Upcoming Artist of The Year Bailey Bigger at Shelby Farms Park. Bigger, a 21-year-old singer-songwriter and guitarist, sat down with Skye Bortz, the Digital Nest Media Manager, to reflect on past successes, future projects and personal issues.

Bortz: How was your experience performing at Shelby Farms Park in Memphis?

Bigger: It was a beautiful day. The song that we did was extremely peaceful. I was very zoned in on it and the performance. I remember that a bird came down and was singing back to me every time I sang something. I’m a very nature-centered person, and I write about it, and I think the location was perfect for me.

Bortz: In terms of choosing a career, where do you stand on the passion vs. practicality debate?

Bigger: This is a tough one. The whole debate whether you should go to college or not. In reality, my boyfriend got a degree in marketing, and he got a job as a sales rep at a company that sells medical software. They didn’t even look at his degree or GPA. They were satisfied with knowing he finished college.  

I would say passion, but I’ll say this: my parents didn’t really give me a choice when deciding to go to college. Though, I do think it’s important to go to school because no one can ever take away your education. My parents always told me that growing up. I love learning, I love having knowledge of the world. I think it makes me better as a person, artist and creator.

Bortz: I feel that there’s pressure to get a degree in STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) careers. Do you ever feel scared to tell people about your aspirations in music?

Bigger: No. I know what you mean though. Whenever I tell people I always get a concerned, “oh, huh”. Like, “Oh no, you’re going to be a starving artist!” I have always said what I felt and stood up for what I believe in and been myself. I think there’s a lot of knowledge I have because of my career goals that others might lack. Whether you’re in the business world or not, we can all learn from one another.

Bortz: What are some of your near-future goals?

Bigger: I’m planning to release my first full-length album in Spring 2022. I also graduate this December, and then I’ll be writing and performing full time. My other main goal is to get on concert bills as an opener for bands on tour.

Bortz: How do you respond to negativity? Do you have any advice for people responding to negative comments?

Bigger: It depends on what kind of negativity. I will accept critical-negative comments anytime, but rarely is that the case. Normally, it’s just some jerk being rude for no reason. I know it sounds cliché, but I ignore it. I turn the other cheek. If you make an everyday, purposeful attempt to keep negative people and negative energy out of your circle then that’s exactly what will happen. I know that sounds easy, but it’s the truth.

Bortz: A lot of college students are putting off relationships in order to focus on their future careers. As someone who writes about love, what’s your opinion on the issue?

Bigger: You should do what makes you happy. If your career is what brings you joy in life, then follow it. And if in the midst of that, you find somebody that you know and just can’t help loving them, you can do both. I think if it’s the right person, you don’t need to put off the relationship for your career. I think there’s a place for both to coexist in your life. If not, it’s definitely not the right person, or you’re not the right person for them.

I dated someone who didn’t want me to be a musician. He had it in his head that musicians cheat on their partners. He would literally say, “It’s either me or your music.”  He was extremely aggressive and jealous. I think people who are like that are obviously not the one for you and need some therapy.

Bortz: How did you react when you won Memphis’ Best Song in 2017?

Bigger: I think I was 16 or 17 at the time. I reacted like anyone would react: I was extremely excited and proud. It definitely reassured me and pushed me to work harder. I wanted to keep moving and keep climbing.

Bortz: Are you riding on that wave of confidence still?

Bigger: I don’t consider it a huge thing anymore — there have been other waves since.  My first record deal was big. My current record deal is big. Getting to record my new record at Zebra Ranch in Memphis is really big. It’s a private studio. Jim Dickinson owned it, he passed, now his wife runs it. It’s a Memphis gem. She only lets one engineer in and he’s a dear friend. He’s doing my record.  Also, Commercial Appeal, a Memphis Newspaper, named me Upcoming Artist of the Year. And I’m starting to get recognized in public! Those are my biggest reassurances now.

After the interview, Bigger spent a weekend recording her first full-length album, which she described as “the album I’ve always dreamt of making.” 
You can watch the full Bailey Bigger episode of ‘HUB City Sessions’ on YouTube. You can also listen to Bigger’s music on all streaming services, and support her directly by buying her music at baileybigger.bandcamp.com.

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