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Interview: Danielle Bradbery opens up about new single “Stop Draggin’ Your Boots” and her plans for new music

The singer chats to us about her new music.

Danielle Bradbery
Credit: David McClister

Danielle Bradbery had become a regular fixture on the live music scene here in the UK until the pandemic hit in 2020.

The singer-songwriter had spent a couple of years making regular trips to the UK to build her fanbase and promote her second record ‘I Don’t Believe We’ve Met’. During the pandemic, Bradbery has been working on new music and the first fruits of that is “Stop Draggin’ Your Boots”, a song that marks a shift back towards Country after the more pop experimentation of her last record.

I spoke to Danielle recently to discuss the track, talk about learning the choreography and to find out her plans for new music…

It’s so nice to see you again Danielle. Things have changed a lot in the world since we saw each other last in 2019 at Cadogan Hall…

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Nice to see you. Things have definitely changed since I’ve seen y’all (laughs).

It looks like you’ve taken time during the pandemic to hone your dance skills for your new single “Stop Draggin’ Your Boots”. Where have you been hiding those moves all this time?

Oh my gosh, I’ve always loved to dance my whole life. My mom loves to dance and so does my sister and my whole family. It’s been there. With ‘Sway’ I did a little bit here and there in that music video and then this time around, I’m like, ‘let’s just push it even more’. I feel like the more and more I do, the more it’ll come out, and I get to show you guys. It’s been really fun.

You did tease us a little bit with the ‘Sway’ video but I wasn’t expecting the choreography we’re getting with this single. Was it hard to learn?

Um, it was not easy, I’ll say that. That’s what I wanted. I told them I wanted to push it a little bit and let’s do an actual real dance that’s easy enough for people to learn as well. I wanted to push myself a little bit and get with the choreographer and actually have rehearsals and dancers and go through it with them. I really wanted to feel that and be a huge part of it, and that’s exactly what we did. There are bits and pieces that we took out and replaced with other moves because some of it I had a hard time doing (laughs). We made it a little bit easier on some parts but that’s the whole point of pushing yourself and just trying out new things. It was so fun and it was definitely a lot more than what people are used to seeing me do, which is also exciting (laughs).

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I’m excited to see you perform this live. Will you be carrying the choreography through to the performance?

Yeah, maybe. We haven’t gotten there yet but I wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up in a live performance somewhere.

“Stop Draggin’ Your Boots” is so fun and carefree, and for me it’s one of the best things you’ve ever done. What was it about this song that made you want to put it out?

Like what you said, it’s just very carefree and super fun. I really haven’t had a song too much like that. I’ve had upbeat and mid-tempo songs here and there but nothing like “Stop Draggin’ Your Boots’ and that’s what drew me into the song when I first heard it. It’s super fun and it gives you the opportunity to move around, and that’s what we took advantage of with the dancing in the music video. It’s just really fun and it reminds me so much of Shania Twain (in the 90s) and obviously that’s not bad to run towards. I just personally ran with that. It reminds me of Shania Twain so quickly, and it’s so fun. It’s super carefree and it’s perfect for summer and it’s all timing up perfect for me. It’s a song that I’ve needed for a while.

Given that Country stars are now utilising TikTok to encourage fans to perform dance routines to their songs thanks to the success of Walker Hayes’ ‘Fancy Like’, are you hoping that your fans perform your routine on the platform?

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Yeah, most definitely. We have been recording some step-by-step videos that we’ll be releasing on TikTok. I did another quick run through of the dance and posted that on TikTok. We’re definitely telling fans that if they do the dance, tag me. We’re just hopefully getting that ball rolling like ‘Fancy Like’. Walker Hayes is dominating on TikTok, which is so fun and exciting to see. I’m so happy for him. I hope that happens with mine.

I would like to be brave enough to give it a go but it’s just way too complicated for me…

I bet you can do it! (laughs)

A few years have passed since the release of ‘I Don’t Believe We’ve Met’ and during the pandemic I’m sure you’ve had time to think about what’s next with your music. Where are you at with a new collection of songs at this point?

So far as a whole we have three songs, including “Stop Draggin’ Your Boots” and we’re doing such a deep dive on these three right now. Obviously, the first release is “Stop Draggin’ Your Boots” and we’re riding that wave and really thinking about this process and the release. There will be more songs down the road but we’re taking it day-by-day putting all of that together. Going into this new path and project, I’m looking at it like an experiment. It always takes the right song. I released ‘I Don’t Believe We’ve Met’ and I did such a huge deep dive on songwriting, and fun fact about these (new) songs is I wasn’t a part of writing them. People seem a little bit shocked about that but I love picking out and listening to outside songs just as much as writing because I feel like they have such a special story.

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Sometimes if I have a write to write these type of songs, I might never get that. I listen to these songs and I’m like, ‘oh my God, here it is. Why am I even trying so hard to get it, when this is what I’m looking for?’ There’s something so special about that and these songwriters have all these songs just sitting there. You’re like, ‘oh my God, these are so special and I want the world to hear them’ and that’s what my approach is with this new path. It’s an experiment. I’m just having fun at this point and releasing these songs that are just really special to me. I think they have great potential, crossing fingers. It’s definitely been a journey and now I’m just taking it day-by-day and really focusing on what I want these songs to sound like, what I want things to look like… I’m being super strategic and it’s just super exciting to really hone in and focus and just do a deep dive on Danielle Bradbery. I love the whole fashion thing and I’m trying to bring that into my music somehow. There’s a lot I’ve been working on and a lot in my head, and just a lot coming with all this new stuff that I’m just so excited to show y’all and show the fans.

Danielle Bradbery
Credit: David McClister

It feels like this is the perfect opportunity to launch your own boot range…

Right! (laughs)

Bradbery Boots, that could work…

Oh yeah, that is not far (laughs).

One of the things I’ve always loved about you is that you follow your gut and do the things you want to do, without taking notice of the outside pressures or what other artists are doing. Everything we’ve heard from you had been so different, which is what makes your music so exciting and interesting. I’ll admit this new song caught me off guard, in a good way, and I can’t wait to hear more new songs…

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Oh, thank you so much. Sometimes it looks like I forget I’m from Texas and I feel like “Stop Draggin’ Your Boots’ has that Texas feel in a way. I’m bringing back my home and showing another side that people haven’t really heard much of.

I really loved the Spanish version of ‘Never Have I Ever’ that you released with Kurt earlier this year. Do you have plans to record more Spanish-language music?

I want to yes. I’m just gonna say yes. I don’t have anything in the works right this second but I want to continue that as much as I can because that is a part of me. I’ve spoken so highly about it and I love listening to it as well. I listened to it most of the time in my car, like I do every other type of music. It’s just so beautiful to me and I will never let that go. Doing that project was so different and fun for me, and something that I’ve had on my bucket list for a while. I want to do that more, for sure.

I also have to thank you for finally giving me the Christmas song I’ve been begging you for the past years with the release of ‘O Holy Night’ last year. It’s such stunning song and it’s not an easy one to sing…

No, it’s not (easy to sing). It is one of my favorite Christmas songs. It wasn’t the whole entire song but it was something and I wanted to release it because I would love to do a Christmas project. Definitely I want that to be down the road and something I plan for, and not just one song. I want a few songs so hopefully that’ll happen. That was so fun to do and have something holiday because I haven’t done that before.

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I always feel when we chat that we’re having a little marketing meeting and I’m giving you a list of things to do like a Christmas album, boot range, Spanish album… maybe you could do a Spanish language Christmas album and just tie everything together?

I know you give me these idea (laughs) That would be really cool, actually (laughs).

Before the pandemic you were coming over the UK frequently. Are you planning to get back here when you can in 2022?

Yes, I would love to. That was going to be my big trip right before everything shut down so I obviously didn’t end up going. I’m definitely gonna make up for that and want to come back and hit as many spots as I can while I’m there and make up for last time. I’m just gonna put it out in the world, I will be there! (laughs).

Well I know you always stick to your word. The first time we spoke you’d never been here and now you’re visiting us all the time, we love it!

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 I’m there all the time. I never thought I’d be in the UK this much but I love it.

Did you take time to learn any new skills during the pandemic?

Oh, man. I didn’t pick up any new things. I tried to do the whole guitar thing and piano, and I dibble dabbled a little bit, but I’m the type of person that needs to keep doing something. As a whole, mental and as a mindset, we made sure to not stop working. We didn’t break any rules but in the comforts of our own home we did a lot of this stuff (over Zoom) and we just made sure we kept going. That’s something I learned about myself, I don’t give up. That’s the mindset that I’ve developed even more through all of this, just the work ethic and the motivation. There’s definitely days, and a few days in a row that I was like, “OK, my motivation and creativity is just not there’ and I feel like so many people felt that, it was kind of hard not to. I learned a lot about myself personally through all of that. It was definitely a roller coaster but we didn’t give up. We definitely wanted to keep working and made sure we had things for everybody when it was like ‘green flag, let’s go’. (laughs)

Danielle Bradbery’s “Stop Draggin’ Your Boots” is available to stream and download now. Watch the video below:

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