Aussie songstress Bonnie Anderson has been riding the pop rollercoaster since dropping her debut single ‘Raise The Bar’ a couple of years back.
The song came six years after she won ‘Australia’s Got Talent’ as a 12 year old and gave us a very strong indication of the very grown-up pop that was to come; specifically the smash ‘Blackout’.
12 months on from ‘Blackout’ and Bonnie is back with a brand new tune… the inspiring ‘Unbroken’. So we decided to pop down for a chat to find out more.
“It’s pop. I wouldn’t say it’s super-pop. It’s a bit more raw and real, I guess, than what I’ve done before. But it’s pop. It’s definitely pop,” Bonnie says.
So what we can gather at this stage is that it’s… pop.
Bonnie’s particularly good at pop, as last year’s single ‘Blackout’ proves. A very slick urban-infused pop number, it made it into the top 20 on the ARIA singles chart and was recently certified platinum after breaking through the 70,000 sales mark.
The song was not only designed to introduce her audience to a new, more refined sound, but also to a much more grown-up look.
“The video was very special. When we were putting it together, we wanted something that was going to be world class,” Bonnie tells us. “I had been a young person for a while and I think that video was me stepping over that mark and saying, ‘I’m over 18 now, I can drive a car, I’m a bit of an adult now’.
“The black suit was quite hard to get in and out of, but it was all fun and games. ‘Blackout’ was a really proud moment for me. I just found out that it went platinum last week, so that’s exciting for me. People embracing my music is really cool. Writing my music, them hearing it and then buying my music is awesome.”
Bonnie’s ride, obviously, hasn’t been without its challenges. The dancier follow-up to ‘Blackout’ (let’s call it ‘The R Word’) failed to find its audience and there are only limited avenues through which Aussie pop artists can spruik their wares.
“Every little part of what I do has been a challenge,” she admits. “Just finding myself as an artist and writing music and growing and learning every day. Even after ‘Blackout’, I just wanted to dig deep, to write and to get what I want out of writing. Creating myself as a better artist, a better musician, a better writer.
“Everyone goes through stages where they’re a little bit broken, so I just wanted to be honest with this song. The lyric is pretty special in that way. It’s not about where you’ve been in your past or what you’ve done, it’s about where you want to go, how you’re going to get there and being the best person you can possibly be. I’m really excited about people hearing it.”
There are also the challenges of finding her own space within a local music industry that’s seemingly overflowing with young pop vixens.
“The competition is fierce. It’s hard. I think you’ve just got to be real and stick to what you love and what you do,” Bonnie admits of her efforts to stand out.
“Growing up, I always listened to soul music. So every time I write a song, I’m renewing myself and just going with what I’m doing in my life at that time; the experiences, the feelings of who I am.
“I’m learning and growing as an artist and I think that from listening to soul music, I try and keep that feeling in my back pocket with what I’m doing. That’s where my heart lays, it’s where I am and I’m trying to connect that with the pop thing.”
It’s clear there’s plenty of that soul feeling behind ‘Unbroken’. Bonnie tells us it was written from a point in her life where she wasn’t quite sure what she wanted to do next.
“I went to LA. I spent about three months there. I thought, ‘I’m going to be a big girl’. I wanted to challenge myself, go over there, live off pretty much nothing and write and write and write. I was doing two sessions a day. It was unbelievable for me personally, really cool.
“‘Unbroken’ came from a place where I thought ‘what is happening now?’ in life and in music. So when it came, it felt really right for me and I knew that people would be able to connect with the lyric. The song inspires me to be a better person and I know that it’ll inspire other people. It’s just a special song.
“It’s raw, it’s still pop and it just explains who I am a little bit more as a human being and where I’ve come from. People need to see that, so that’s what I love… real stuff that’s honest and what people want to hear.”
And, Bonnie tells us, there’s more where that came from too, with work continuing behind the scenes towards the eventual release of her debut album.
“It’s very close,” she teases. “I’m so excited for people to get to know me a little bit more. That’s the whole thing… We’re still learning about each other. They’re learning about Bonnie and I’m learning about everyone else and that’s the cool thing about this journey. I can’t wait for people to come and see me live and we’ll just rock out.
“I think people need to see my live shows. I love singing live. I’m not an autotune person… I hate that stuff. I like being able to be a real singer and sing from the heart. That’s where it’s really cool because you can connect with your audience, have fun and be real. Come and see a live show; that’s where it’s at.
Bonnie Anderson’s new single ‘Unbroken’ is available digitally (and in limited physical release through special order) today.