In conversation with: Bryony Jarman-Pinto

Cumbria-raised and London-based, the thoroughly wonderful Bryony Jarman-Pinto is set to release her debut record Cage and Aviary on 26th July.

Rich with husky, jazz-infused melodies and luscious harmonies, Jarman-Pinto‘s compositional style is intriguing and hugely refreshing. Expect to see a lot more of this exciting new artist in 2019 – indieBerlin caught up with the songwriter and vocalist to discuss future projects, her creative process, and the influence of her musical heritage on her current work.

indieBerlin: For those who aren’t familiar with your work, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Bryony Jarman-Pinto: Well, I’m based in London at the minute, though I have spent most of my life living in the north of England and Scotland. I grew up surrounded by music, listening to my mum’s performances and singing workshops, as well as hunting around her collection of tapes and CDs, a real mix of sounds. I studied Art in Glasgow and found myself gradually moving away from song writing, until I started collaborating with Tom Leah (Werkha).

iB: How long has your upcoming album Cage and Aviary been in the works?

BJP: I stated writing it in 2015 and it feels like it’s been a long process. Lots of self exploration and doubt, but also a real adventure learning the process that comes with creating an album.

iB: Could you talk us through your creative process – do you prefer to focus on lyrics or melody, or neither in particular? Which comes first when writing new music?

BJP: It’s a bit of both. Sometimes I’ll write a poem and later create a melody around it. Though usually I’ll improvise a melody to a few chords and just see what words come out. I won’t start writing with a strong idea of what the song will be about, I prefer it to be a fluid conception.

iB: Why did you choose to release an a cappella version of your latest single As I’ve Heard alongside the original and instrumental tracks?

BJP: It’s exciting to highlight and give the different elements of the track space to emerge. The listener can get a deeper understanding of the song and its composition too.

iB: Lyrically, this seems to be quite a raw and personal composition. Do you try to avoid being too autobiographical and err more on the poetic side, or do you prefer to fully embrace the storytelling element?

BJP: I always feel like my lyrics are quite cryptic. It’s not on purpose, but the poetic nature of my writing style often means my lyrics are littered with metaphors and underlying narratives. My emotional state is what fuels my creativity so everything I write is personal to me, with a twist of fantasy and poetic embellishment.

iB: As I’ve Heard is, in parts, quite reminiscent of old-school 90s R&B, although it’s very jazzy and smooth in other sections – would you say this is accurate? If you had to, how would you define your sound?

BJP: The album was produced in collaboration with Tom Leah (Werkha). He wrote the instrumentation for As I’ve heard with an idea to create a soulful, jazz infused track. I’ve never been good at music genres and decided a while ago not to try and label my own music, especially in this album as the style varies so much. Different elements pop up in the songs – folk, electronic, neo soul – it’s hard to combine all that into one definition.

I won’t start writing with a strong idea of what the song will be about, I prefer it to be a fluid conception.

iB: Both of your parents are musicians – how would you say your musical heritage influences your own compositions?

BJP: Jazz was big during my upbringing, so that has obviously become a part of how I write and my voice. Improvisation is really important to me and dominates my live shows. This definitely comes from my mum – I grew up with her own compositions.

iB: Are there any artists with whom you would particularly like to collaborate?

BJP: Yeah, quite a few! I’ve been chatting to Neue Grafik and Wonky Logic about collaborations and I’d love to work with Sampha and Takuya Kuroda. That would be fun.

iB: Do you have any upcoming projects you’d like to share with us?

BJP: Currently I’m working on my live set. Performing with Dwayne Kilvington (Wonky Logic), Alley Lloyd and Vanessa Rani Chutturghoon. We are rearranging the album to fit a live set up with congas, bass and keys. The feel is quite different from the album and I am excited to record a live studio session of it.

iB: What does the future look like for you? Is there anything in particular you’re looking forward to?

BJP: At the minute I’m trying to balance the day job with the music career, but there are a lot of gigs popping up that I’m excited about. I am really looking forward to writing more music and working on the second album.

Cage and Aviary is set to be released on 26th July through Tru Thoughts Recordings.

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