HER move into Country music was not instant...
so I ask Binky about her transition and development. The Essex-born artist unveils her new track, Fireflies, and talks about the music/artists that have inspired her. I learn how Binky came to acquire her raspy and stunning voice; how she moved from T.V. presenting to music - what plans she has for the next few months.
Binky talks about the albums that define who she is; why the U.S. is an important market for her; the relevance of London and its heartbeat - the advice she would offer young songwriters of the moment.
Hi, Binky. How are you? How has your week been?
Hi. I am very well, thank you.
This week - and the last couple of weeks - have been absolutely amazing! I feel so blessed to have so many wonderful and supportive people around me. I am so overwhelmed with the love and support for Fireflies.
For those new to your work; can you introduce yourself, please?
I’m Binky and I am a Country-Pop artist from Essex. I started to write and sing Country music about six-seven years ago, now. But, before then, I used to attend many open mic nights around my local area in Essex - and many of the singers from an older generation mentioned that I had a Country twang. For me, as a young girl from Essex, I didn’t know too much about Country. However, more people continued to mention this ‘twang'; so I become intrigued to find out what they meant.
As I grew as a singer - over the years and found my feet - I spent a lot of time with Stevie Lange, and she helped me develop my sound. She, too, agreed that there was something about my tone - that had a strong Country presence. I then decide to focus my core attention to Country music. I fell in love with the stories and the emotions expressed throughout each song...
I then knew that this was the route I was destined to take.
Fireflies is your new song. Tell me what the idea behind it is and how it came to you?
My new single, Fireflies, is my interpretation of a Country sound mixed with the Pop sounds of London. Every Country song has a story behind it - which I wanted to portray in my new sound. The track has a deep relation to the struggles of young people today. We all have daily battles with our own demons and the pressure’s that they can apply to everyday life.
I wanted to merge two sounds together that would really impact on the listener - but in a positive and encouraging way. I don’t really know where the idea came from as such: it kind of just fell into place as we were writing the track.
Sometimes, when you don’t overthink it too much…that’s when the best songs come to life.
It has an addictive sound and sticks in the head. It sounds like it came to you in a flash of inspiration? Would that be fair or did it take a while to formulate?
The first line (written) was the first line of the chorus - “I fly with fireflies” - and my producer played it on the guitar and it just sprung to life from there. We didn’t have a formula for it: we just took it section-by-section and made a story. It was, probably, the best studio session I’ve done. It was so fun bringing it all together and I remember hearing it for the first time - once Michael had finished the production.
It gave me butterflies - and I just knew this was the song I wanted to release as my debut single.
There is a rasp to your voice but elements of Urban sounds and Country in your locker. Who are the artists and singers you idolise when you were younger?
The industry has been home to so many amazing artists over the years and so many of them have inspired me in different ways. I would definitely say (one is) Tina Turner. Her strong vocals and presence on stage always blew me away. She truly is one-of-a-kind. The raspy sounds I think came from the likes of Stevie Nicks, along with the Dolly Parton (and her wonderful vibrato).
You used to be T.V. presenter. Why did you decide to move into music?
I actually moved into presenting after I started to write and sing Country music. The opportunity to work on The Smith & Rogers Show came up and I thought it was such a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the Country culture - including the fans and what they loved so much about the music. I gathered so much inspiration that has been moulded into my new sound. I had a wonderful time filming The Smith & Rogers Country Show with all the team.
I would love to get back to T.V. at some point.
Are there any skills you learned, whilst a presenter, you bring into your music?
The show enabled me to work with a full, live band on a regular basis. This was an amazing experience on its own. But I, of course, learnt a lot about presenting: it was a lot harder than I’d expected - but this has really helped me for when I film my music videos.
It is a similar process. You need to know where the camera is at all times and how to connect with the camera.
It seems the U.S. is very important to you and your sound. Will you get a chance to play over there and how much of the American Country scene do you bring into your music?
The U.S. is home to some of the most incredible Country songs and artists - so it’s very important to my sound as I would like to share Country music with a wider market within the U.K. I started this new sound after visiting Nashville for a while and taking in all the inspiration from artists there - then, merging this with a U.K. Pop sound.
My songs are very diverse and some tracks will portray an American country sound more so than others. I am hoping to go back to the U.S. early next year to share my music over there, too - but, we still have many more new things in the pipeline for my U.K. market as well.
London is where you’re based. How important is the city and do the people inspire your music?
London is my home and its where it all began so many years ago now.
The city is my biggest inspiration: we have so many diverse cultures and musical influences here; I know there is a big market waiting to be broken in the U.K. If I could share a Country-sound-mainstream within the U.K., that would exceed my dreams. I’ve always wanted to push for a Country sound here - and I think I am getting close to doing so. People are playing my single, Fireflies, who wouldn’t even know what a Country song is (and they are loving it).
This shows that the people want more and something new - and I really hope that I can share it with them.
Can we expect more music in the coming months?
There’s is so much more to come: Fireflies is just the start! I have so many songs that I cannot wait to share with you all.
What other tour dates do you have coming up?
I don’t have any released tour dates yet, but these will be coming very soon, and they can all be found on my social media or website. I have spent so much time creating my new sound, and now, I am so excited to get back on stage and share it with you all.
If you had to select the three albums that mean the most to you; which would they be and why?
It is so difficult to pick just three: there have been so many wonderful, breathtaking albums over the years - and many, before my time, that continues to inspire new artists like myself.
Johnny Cash and Loretta Lynn, I think, must be in my top-three, just for their stories. They are so heartfelt and very inspirational for someone like myself - when I was learning a lot about Country music. I couldn’t pinpoint albums for these artists - as there are singles which have inspired me the most. But, also, artist such as Amy Winehouse (Back to Black) and Adele (21 & 25).
These albums really inspired me to bring the British and Country sounds together.
What advice would you give to artists coming through right now?
A piece of advice to all artist don’t hold back: just go out and do it. You have absolutely nothing to lose. Worse-case, you’re back to Square One. The release of Fireflies has been the most amazing experience of my life.
Just put your music out there and share it with the world. It’s the only way you will know what your creating is right - and it will give you the strength to become an even better artist.
Christmas is approaching. Do you all have plans already - or will you be busy working?
I don’t know where has this year gone!
Christmas is my favourite time of year! I have a lot of work to finish on the lead-up to Christmas - as I want to share something very special with you all in the New Year.
So, I think it’s going to be a busy one for me...
What are your hopes and aspirations for the next year? Do you have any big ambitions you want to tick off the list?
Yes. I would like to go back on tour next year, as well as release a lot more music to share with you all. So, keep tuned into my social media and make sure you don’t miss out - it’s going to be a very exciting year.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can name a song and I’ll play it here (not one of yours as I’ll do that).
Ok. It’s not a new song, but I cannot get enough of it: it’s H.O.L.Y. by Florida Georgia Line