Sunny Bleau - 10 Question Interview
Was there something (an experience) or someone in your life that was the "catalyst" for you to start writing music? Tell us about it.
I started playing guitar out of necessity. When I was in high school, I sang with in a high school praise band. One of our youth leaders suggested I learn the guitar and lead the youth praise band. So, for my 16th birthday, my Dad bought me a guitar. I learned a hand-full of simple chords and that started me on the road to making music. For the record, I am not a guitar player, I know enough to be dangerous! Writing is my true passion and natural skill. Long before I started making music, I spent a lot of time writing poems and short-stories. I even wrote for my school newspaper. When I went to college, I studied Theatre and loved writing the parts for 1-act and full-length plays. As long as I can remember, people have told me that I am a good writer. When I met up with my song-writing partner and Producer, Nic Cocco, he taught me the art of fitting my stories into three to five minute songs! It is difficult to capture all you want to say in such a short period of time, but we constantly work through the lyrics and the arrangements until we get the story to the point where the meanings and intentions are clear for the listener to appreciate! After all, the listener is the most important part of the song!
Let's get this out of the way. What is the CRAZIEST thing that has ever happened to you in your music career?
Nic (who is also the guitarist for The Moons) and I started Underdog Music and Publishing, and we would write songs and I’d sing the demos hoping other artists would license the songs. Nic was sharing the demos with major Music Producers, labels and well-known songwriters in the industry, and the feedback we kept getting was that I should release the songs myself. I laughed! I never had any intention of being the performer or a brand. I am a recently divorced, a single-mom with 4 kids under 11 and nearing 40 years old. Who would want to hear my songs or come see me? I was scared and I didn’t believe in myself. And I thought, what kind of example am I setting for my kids? The craziest thing to happen in my music career would have been being brave enough to even start a career; to step out and believe in myself!
What has been the high point of your music path?
On April 1, 2021, we introduced SunnyBleau and the Moons to the word. We released our first single, He’s my Peach, that day. I could not have imagined, four months later, doing radio and magazine interviews. I never imagined being on playlists or on radio stations. We didn’t know if people would like the music we were putting out, but they did! Everyday has been a new high point. Things are taking off at a rate we never imagined, and honestly, I’m just holding on for the ride!
So, how do you approach songwriting or what is your creative process like?
The neat thing about being a Songwriter, is sometimes the lyrics come first and you write to fit the story, and other times the riff comes first. Some of the best writing Nic and I do happens when Nic starts playing a riff, and I hear something. I’ll tell him to just keep it going. I’ll start humming a melody over the top of what he’s doing. From there, sometimes it’s a phrase or even one word or a picture that pops into my head, and I know exactly what the story is supposed to be.
Other times it’s something someone say. Here’s a neat example: My mother sent me an uplifting text message towards the beginning of my divorce. She said she had a line in her head she wanted to share: “She was soft enough to bend but strong enough to stand.” I thought, “Damn, that’s good Mama!” and I kept it in my head. Well, a few days later, I saw a picture of fire and water, and I had a flood or images… a woman, the great depression, thoughts of my own great-grandmother and all the struggles she went through… and in about thirty minutes “Holy Water and Hell Fire” was written. It is our 5th release and will be available August 6th. If you like it, you have my Mom to thank!
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Indie Artists today? Or, if you could ask the music industry to change one thing, what would it be?
It’s not necessarily Indie Artist or even industry specific. As an artist, I am constantly in conflict with the artistic interpretation of a line (the delivery and emotion) vs. the technical proficiency or the delivery of the line. I would rather hear a singer go sharp or flat on a note if it is “real” as opposed to hearing notes executed perfectly, yet have no feeling behind them. Unfortunately, I think many of the tools that we as music creators use to mix and master, although helpful in the tracking and mastering processes, has changed the way we hear and respond to music and art in general. I think it is important not to lose the human aspect of the arts. By relying too heavily on technology to tell us if something is “correct”, the artist could very easily miss the opportunity to communicate something that is “real” to the listener.
If you could share the stage with one other artist or band, who would it be and why?
It is hard to choose just one, because I love and respect so many artists of various genres. I don’t feel like I deserve to share a stage with any of them. For years I have said if I could just sing back-up vocals for James Taylor, that would be my dream come true. But let’s be honest! If I ever got that chance, I’d probably cry the entire time. I would be overwhelmed with emotions.
What are your rehearsals generally like? Or, how do you prepare for a live show?
The Moons are my backing band, and they are made up of Nic Cocco on guitar, Paul Kastick on drums and Alex Karasinski on bass guitar. Nic, Alex and I all live in Michigan, and work out of 148 South Street Studio on a regular basis, but Paul lives in Jamaica. So when we were recording the releases and the upcoming album, Paul tracked all of his parts from his studio in Jamaica. The great thing about working with such a talented group of professional musicians is when they show up for rehearsal (Paul flies in!), they know their respective parts before we start and they know what they’re supposed to do. When Paul flies in and everyone is familiar with their parts, it gives us opportunity to solidify the live/stage versions of the songs. A lot of rehearsing for a live show is learning how to communicate non-verbally with one another on stage. Blocking, talking points, audience participation moments… we practice all of it over and over. We listen to the playbacks, and we point out issues to one another and work through them.
Pick one song that was your greatest challenge to write. Tell us about it!
Our third release, Denver, is a song that almost ended up in the garbage. I started writing the song about two years ago. It was intended to be a duet (like the epic Tim McGraw and Faith Hill duets of the 90s). The line was originally, “What will happen when the snow melts in Denver”. I played it for Nic and he basically hated it. About a year later I pulled it out for our friend, fellow songwriter Dan Scott. His reaction was as enthusiastic as Nic’s initial reaction. I couldn’t get them to understand my vision for the song. Then Dan said, “Why don’t you write it from the woman’s perspective and talk about the heat in Denver between these two people”. I came back the next day with the revised lyrics and Nic created a new musical arrangement. Denver was a labor of love. I’m glad we didn’t give up on it. It’s such a fun flirtatious, song, and the audiences love to shout the “…mile high” line with us when we perform it live!
What's coming up in the future?
Our 5th release, Holy Water and Hell Fire, comes out August 6th and on September 3rd, I Should be Sleeping comes out. We have more music videos coming out on the SunnyBleau Vevo channel throughout the summer, and in October our first album, “Blush”, will be available. “Blush” will contain all six single releases PLUS five additional songs. We are so excited about this album because it has a little of everything in it! The album has a little country, a little folk, a little rock, a little Latin and a whole lot of blues! We also have some tour things in the works and few other things coming in 2022 that we think our fans and friends will be really excited about! Follow us on any of our social media pages or register on our website for the mailing list and get info before anyone else!
Tell us where fans can access your music?
You can get to nearly 100% of the Sunny Bleau content by going to www.linktr.ee/sunnybleau and of course by going to our website at www.sunnybleau.com. You can also search Sunny Bleau on Google, download or stream all our music on iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Deezer, Amazon Music and most other major digital platforms AND most importantly, you can add our music to your music playlists! You can also watch our music videos on television or YouTube. Just search SunnyBleauVevo! Of course, you can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. We love it when fans use our music in their TikTok and Instagram videos! I even stitched to some of them! They are fun!
About Sunny Bleau and the Moons
American Singer-Songwriter, Kelly Day, is "Sunny Bleau". The sultry, gregarious, and personable woman called "Sunny Bleau" is known for her straightforward lyrics, passionate performances, strong vocals, and playful personality. Kelly was given the nickname "Sunny" when she was younger. People close to Kelly describe her as a ray of sunshine when she enters a room. As Kelly and her Producer and song-writing partner, Nicholas A. Cocco, started to work on her first singles and stage show they wanted to create something that felt like an escape from the everyday. They also wanted to create something that would stand out in the Pop Blues genre. Combining Kelly's nickname "Sunny" with a creative and slightly suggestive spelling of the word blue (Bleau) was the first step. But who is Sunny Bleau?
"Sunny Bleau looks at life through rose-colored glasses (literally). She always sees the glass as half full and she is always ready to have a good time. Sunny is who every person who feels like life shit all over them wants to be around! Think about who and what you could be and do if only... people could look past the size, shape, and color of another person. If only people would stop telling us that we're no good, or that we're not talented enough, or that we're too heavy or too short! What would life be like without hurt or abuse? Imagine a life without regret! Yes, a life without social depression! A life without being afraid! A life where you don't feel unworthy! A life without racism or classism... a life without labels!
Sunny lives in that imaginary utopia where love and acceptance flow like honey and carbohydrates (and maybe a protein) are served at every meal! Sunny is big, beautiful, bold, strong, and compassionate. She isn't afraid of life, love, romance, or her curves! She tells stories about what's in her heart that offer a simple escape from the craziness of the world. She isn't afraid to put herself out there for the world to see and to escape with! Sunny is on a journey to provide a musical vehicle to all who need to feel included in a positive, warm, playful environment.
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