Interview: Pop-Diva Bloom on New EP & the Experiences that Drive Her Music

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Emerging Australian artist Bloom could very well be the next best thing to come out of Perth. Taking the industry by storm with her powerful vocals, emotionally consuming lyrics and breathtaking musical architecture, Bloom has been busy with her recent EP launch and preparation for Perth’s hottest new music festival ‘Disconnect’ next weekend. JAYDE FERGUSON chats with the voice behind Bloom, AMANDA CANZURLO about her latest tunes and what’s in store for the New Year.

Bloom-The-Ellington-Jazz-Club-Perth

{Photo Credit: Krüeger Imaging}

If you caught Bloom at The Ellington Jazz Club late last month for her EP launch, you’ll be completely aware of just how magical the live experience is. Powered by the heartache of real-life struggles each one of her songs radiates depth; revolving so intensely around the tone, feeling and mood that drover her there in the first place. After watching Bloom you walk away a little awe-struck. Her music hits you in such a way that seeps into your pores, lingers there for a moment and then buries itself into your soul; where you know it’s not going to vanish from anytime soon.

“It’s the sad songs that come to me really easy”, explains Amanda. “I haven’t written a happy song yet! Each song for my EP was different; for example with Ghost, the piano riff came first and lyrics later whereas in the tracks When You Fall and Cheatin’ Heart, I immediately heard the chorus and instrumentation in my head and then had to work out the rest of the song. Usually the lyrics come first and then I put the melody to it. But in saying that – I see myself as a new writer so it’s very emotional…the inspiration comes when it wants to come. Sometimes the songs come through in my dreams too, which is cool”. 

Showing an interest in music from an early age, Amanda admits the passion was always there. “When I was a kid, I would spend hours in my room learning lyrics to songs. That was when I knew I really wanted to do this. As far as songwriting goes, it wasn’t until my early 20’s that I got this buzz to want to write and feel confident enough to put my own material out there”. 

“So many songs that have changed my life are linked to significant moments. There was this workshop I was doing in LA and the mentor was helping me connect to a song in front of a classroom full of singers – I then broke down and cried in front of everyone! I was embarrassed at first, but when I sang that song again I was able to tap into the emotions I had previously locked away and since then, haven’t looked back. It’s actually really enjoyable drawing upon the raw emotions and portraying it on stage. And then having people come up to tell me I made them cry is always so touching”. 

But it’s not just Bloom’s own experiences that are relived through her songs. Driven by the obvious themes of love and loss, Amanda draws inspiration from others around her too.

“Life experiences have the biggest effect on my music but it’s not necessarily first hand. For example with Ghost, I try to put myself in their shoes as if it was happening to me and for the defining moments that do happen to me directly (eg: Cheatin’ Heart), I am able to express my views on the situation and be brutally honest about it all. Love, loss and death are the main themes for the current EP”.

Bloom

Bloom’s latest offering Ghost proved to be a big hit at the launch with everyone in the crowd positively moved by the build up of lyrics and music.

“It’s a favourite of mine at the moment and the first song that Rob Agostini and I wrote together. A friend of mine Dave said it encapsulates the emotions surrounding sudden and unexpected loss. I really loved that description. The actual story was inspired by a tragic event that happened in my neighbourhood. On a Tuesday morning in August last year a women died on her way to work in a car crash. I didn’t personally know the people involved, but hearing that it had happened at an intersection I drive through every day really upset me. We leave for work each morning and for this couple, it was the last morning they would spend together….”

I’m sure they had many future plans too, and then suddenly without any warning, it’s all gone. It’s really sad. I just sat at the piano and this riff just came out. Within 5 minutes the lyrics came pouring out – they are from the perspective of the ‘ghost’ and the second verse is from the perspective of the person still living”. 

It’s Bloom’s demon-battling song, When You Fall that best breaks down who Amanda really is a person though. Motivated by one of her Melbourne shows when the building was evacuated due to a suicide, the track is layered with tender textures that evoke powerful images and stunning soundscapes.

“I love the synth lines in the song and the beat. It’s edgy and strong – like me. The lyrics talk about demons and it’s something I deal with every day as a performer. It’s something you fight with constantly when you are off stage and between shows, and if you succumb to them then you miss out on all the wonderful experiences that await you, once you overcome your fears”. 

The song was a personal highlight of mine from the launch, really portraying all levels of intensity and confrontation in the flesh. And the intimate setting in which it was performed in suited the outcome perfectly. It was clear her music was making a lasting impression on the sold-out crowd when you could see them hanging onto every word she sung.

“I never used to like intimate shows but now it’s my favourite setting to sing live in. I used to feel too shy to play to an intimate crowd, but now I love a quiet and captivated audience. It helps me to deliver my message and lyrics better and hopefully they leave feeling connected to me too”.

Between writing music, teaching vocals and all the busyness that goes behind the scenes as an independent artist, Bloom explains how being an artist is her full time job. “I literally live and breath it from the moment I wake up to the moment I sleep. And before a show, I just take the time to clear my mind from the stresses of the day so I can completely immerse myself in the moment on stage. My goal is to travel the world and play to as many people as possible. I love singing my songs and hearing people sing them back”.

And next weekend, Bloom will have the chance to do more of just that – performing for the first time in a festival setting at Perth’s Disconnect Music festival“Woooop! I’m super excited! I’m going to stay as long as I can on Friday and I believe Meg Mac is playing that night too. I really like her sound so I’m looking forward to her show and all the other acts too! Discovering new music is so inspiring”. 

Bloom

{Photo Credit: Jackie Jet Photography}

On the subject of motivating music, Bloom reflects on the tunes she’s been absorbing recently and what fans can expect from this pop-princess in the New Year.

“I have Adele’s 25 album on repeat at the moment in my car. And I’m also loving Amber Run, an artist I found on Spotify. They’re super chilled – I’m listening to them right now as I answer these questions!”

“There’s a few things in the pipeline for Bloom. I want to keep writing so that is a priority. I’ll also be in Melbourne in February for the month doing some shows over there. Hopefully by the second half of 2016 I’ll have my first full album out! I can’t believe I just said that – it’s an ambitious thought! Ha! Fingers crossed – stay tuned!!”

Make sure you follow Bloom on Facebook and Twitter for all upcoming gigs and news. Support this talented superstar by buying her latest track here.

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