Blooming: A Conversation With a Fresh St. Louis Singer About to Blossom
At only 26, Bloom (as she prefers to be called) speaks with a self-awareness of someone twice her age. Recently making a major career shift most people would be afraid to attempt, the successful makeup artist turned singer song-writer describes herself as finally blooming into the person she was meant to be. After recording her song “Raindrops” with St. Louis artist and producer Dylan Brady, the duo teamed up with videographer Lewis Grant to film an artful video. The singer’s first official release amassed more than 53,000 plays on SoundCloud in its first month and doesn’t show signs of slowing its momentum. Brady, known for supporting and launching the careers of countless St. Louis artists, says, “It was one of the first songs we did together. When she recorded it I was in awe.”
When we meet Bloom in St. Louis’ London Tea Room, she looks chic and natural with a clean face and form-fitting workout clothes— ready to head to the gym after our interview. A vegan leather jacket hangs off her slim shoulders. Among the first things we talk about is her renewed commitment to wellness and living a cruelty-free lifestyle. As she
sips her black tea we dig into her music, the successful recent release of “Raindrops,” and her big plans for what’s next.
Why the moniker Bloom?
I used to be such a people pleaser. I was very much a homebody, very much an introvert. And after I had my son, I realized I had this power. This confidence came over me and I was able to look people in the eye. So, for me, Bloom means a lot. It’s about me becoming who I am and being comfortable with that. It’s about not caring what people think so much, because at the end of the day if I’m not happy with what I am and I’m not living my truth, than what’s my purpose?
In “Raindrops” the production is soft and sultry, and then with the chorus there’s this surprising boom. You really showcase your powerful voice. What gives you the confidence to express yourself that way?
That’s where The Bloom Experience comes in [how Bloom refers to her band, collaborators and performances]. For me, music is an experience and I love the space that you can offer. Giving it all up right away takes away from that. There’s a beauty in singing softly, using that control and then letting it all out. It’s exciting. Music should be unexpected. It’s nice to sometimes be caught off guard.
“Raindrops” is your first release, but you speak like a musician that has been writing and performing for a long time.
I’ve been writing since I was 13. When I was 7 or 8 my mom (who was a jazz singer) would bring me to practice with her and I learned to harmonize. Then in eighth grade, I discovered Garage Band. I would make little beats with my voice and started recording and now I probably have 200 songs sitting on my laptop from back then. But it was always a challenge finding a producer that understood me or just getting out there and singing for people. I don’t know if I was blocking myself because I just wasn’t ready, but recently it all came together and that’s really when I became Bloom.
How did you meet “Raindrops” producer Dylan Brady?
My boyfriend is an artist and inspired my entire EP. He went to high school with Dylan. He played me Dylan’s music and I became a super fan immediately, Dylan’s a genius. I reached out to him and when we first met, we recorded two full songs in two hours. He moves so quickly and started making a beat for the songs I was singing immediately. We recorded “Raindrops” in one or two takes. I could cry just thinking about the experience. He changed my life.
How important is it to you to perform live and create a visual and sonic experience for people?
It’s extremely important to me. My goal is to collaborate with artists—visual artists, painters and dancers—and to do small projects like five-song EPs with different producers that create different experiences. This one is all about sexuality—leather, chains and lights—and I plan to do totally different things in the future. For me, that’s something that is needed in the music industry, more collaborations with different genres.
How do you feel living in St. Louis influences your art?
I plan to stay here. I love that St. Louis isn’t oversaturated. There is so much uniqueness here. I moved to Chicago and came back, and St. Louis has allowed me to grow. It’s more laid back and that inspires me. I believe in St. Louis and I’m happy here.
Who are some artists that inspire you in St. Louis?
What really inspired me to start performing were some of the visual artists. I started singing at First Fridays in Old North at an open mic. I wasn’t Bloom yet, but I was blooming. I stood on top of a stool in the middle of this boutique and everyone sat on the floor and just stared. It was amazing. Also, my boyfriend Cameron Williams is a visual artist and a painter and he doesn’t let anyone get in the way of his art and that keeps me going. Rell Finesse, who was recently killed in St. Louis, has inspired a lot of people and he has inspired an entire community of artists, including me.
You care about lifting other artists up and collaborating with a lot of people. It’s refreshing.
It’s important. You of course have to do things for yourself, but selfishness is just played out. If you’re happy and confident, you should spread that. Helping someone else will never take away from my success.
Photos by Attilio D’Agostino.