The last time the wider Australian public saw Bonnie Anderson, it was back in 2007, and she was a 12-year-old prodigy who had just taken out the first series of Australia’s Got Talent. In the interim she has played hundreds of live shows, honing her craft while sharing the stage with the likes of Jimmy Barnes, Kate Ceberano and Diesel.
Now, at eighteen, she has signed to Sony Music Entertainment, and is set to release her debut single Raise The Bar, which was written with SME’s in-house production and songwriting wizards DNA.
Currently on tour with UK pop star Olly Murs, Bonnie Anderson found time to sit down and chat to TMN about her new single.
You won Australia’s Got Talent at 12, and have just released your debut single. What have you been up to?
Since AGT I have been busy. It was important for me to take time to just be a kid. I wanted to learn my craft: I learnt to play guitar, write songs, perform, and generally just develop myself as a person and as an artist.
How did that early AGT experience shape you?
Being a part of AGT was such a great experience. I always knew that I wanted to be a singer and performer, but being in front of the camera and in front of a national audience really cemented that for me. I learnt so much through that process, it was an incredible time in my life.
Tell us about touring with Barnesy.
Touring with Jimmy was a awesome experience! Being on the road with Jimmy, his family, the band and crew, was an eye opener. He taught me so much about being a performer, owning my stage and connecting with the audience. I am very humbled to have had such an iconic artist take me under his wing.
Raise The Bar was created with production/songwriting team DNA. What were they like to work with?
I love those guys. They are unbelievable to work with. I have written with them many times over the last few years, and I am really happy to be releasing my first single with the DNA boys. I love them.
What’s your favourite thing about the single?
Raise The Bar is such a fun and cheeky song, it really shows a lot of my personality, because I love to have fun and be a bit cheeky. But there is a message in there: growing up, my mum always told me to never doubt myself or settle for second best, so that is the message I’m passing on. Believe in yourself, and what you deserve.
What are your future plans? Can we expect an album soon?
Future plans are just to continue doing what I am doing now, and have been doing for the last six years: writing, doing live gigs, touring, and continuing to learn and grow as an artist. I am always writing and creating new music. At this stage I am just really enjoying the experience and process of releasing my debut single.
Who are your biggest musical inspirations?
My biggest musical inspiration is my mum, who is a singer also. She is such a strong woman and taught me to follow my dreams and never doubt myself. I have always loved soul music, and growing up I listened a lot to artists like Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and The Jackson 5. I have always loved powerful vocals.
What records are you into at the moment? Do these influence the music you create?
I have been listing to Beyonce 4 a lot; I saw her live recently. Such a strong woman and incredible performer. And Pink, her live show was so amazing. I also love Rita Ora’s record.
How have you juggled school with your music career?
Juggling school and music was a little bit difficult, but I made it work. School has always been important, but I can’t say I didn’t get in trouble occasionally for writing lyrics instead of my maths homework.
What advice do you have for young artist who may want to pursue a career in the music industry?
My advice to anyone who wants to pursue a career in the music industry is gig! Gig, gig, gig. It is so important to learn your craft, pick up an instrument – it is never too late to learn. Learn as much as you can, from writing, to performing, and everything in between. I spent the last six years playing to anyone who would listen, from two people to 2,000 people. My biggest advice is never stop learning, and always believe in yourself.