C2C Country To Country

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DANIELLE BRADBERY

Danielle Bradbery knows how you remember her. And she doesn’t blame you. There she was, in 2013, a spry, bubbly and utterly vivacious 16-year-old Texan, plucked from her normal life and placed on The Voice stage as if divinely destined to win over America’s heart. “People still have this idea of me as this little blonde country girl,” Bradbery says with a chuckle as she reflects on her younger self. “Pigtails and all.” A member of Blake Shelton’s team, Bradbery cruised through the TV-singing competition on the strength of her stunning, mature-beyond-her-years performances of traditional country songs. Later that year, she released a Top 5 self-titled debut album with songs of a similar variety. 

And while Bradbery contends she still loves country music and always will —“With all my heart,” she declares — the 21-year-old that sits here today is a decidedly new woman. A more refined one. A singer finally ready to share all of herself with listeners. “I didn’t know myself as a person back then,” Bradbery says of her teenage years. “I didn’t know my sound yet. Now I want to talk about real things. I want to be honest.

Songwriting was a new and slightly frightening proposition for Bradbery. The Cypress, Texas native had long considered herself exclusively a singer –“Every day after school I would go and sing. I didn’t write. I didn’t play an instrument. My voice was my instrument,” she says – but with the encouragement of her fellow songwriters she finally decided to put pen to paper. “I honestly didn’t know what to expect,” she admits of early writing sessions. “I’m getting in a room with these people I’ve never met before and then you have to tell these secrets to them right away.”In the beginning she was “painfully shy,” but after multiple sessions in L.A. with Short, “I took everything I learned there back to Nashville, wrote with lots of Nashville writers, and it all started to make sense.