The young country singer and songwriter Bailey Bryan knows a thing or two about taking leaps of faith. “You can’t spend all your time asking God for things to happen,” 19-year-old Bryan told LifeZette.
So in finding her purpose and in following God’s plans for her life, she stepped out — and is now pursuing her dreams in the music entertainment industry.
“Before I do anything, it’s a lot of praying and a lot of listening.”
Bailey Bryan signed her first publishing deal when she was 15 years old. Today, four years later, she has just released her first EP, “So Far.” The 5-track EP represents lessons and experiences that have given her perspective thus far in life, she told LifeZette by phone.
“If I had to pick two things that really shaped the premise [in] writing this EP that I just released, it would probably be my back surgery and my experience moving across the country,” Bryan said.
At age 16, Bryan had back surgery to correct scoliosis. And almost two years ago, she moved to Nashville from her small home town of Sequim, Washington. The tracks on her EP, all co-authored by Bryan, include “Scars,” “Own It,” and “Used To.”
“‘Scars’ was kind of the epitome of the message that I wanted to send as a human and an artist,” she said. And for the tagline of the song inspired by her back surgery? “We wouldn’t be who we are without our scars.”
This young woman's back surgery left a physical reminder of a painful time in her past, yet she's learned to embrace it.
"The hardest parts of the life, some of the ugliest experiences, are what I believe create the most beautiful things about us as people," Bryan said. "I have this really big scar covering the top of my back. As I've gotten older I've realized that so much of what gave me that scar has made me who I am."
Bryan was recently honored with the Grammy Awards' "Artist of Tomorrow" title in December 2016. She was also named one of Rolling Stone's top-10 new country artists that "you need to know" in 2017.
Her journey as an artist began at the tender age of 12, after her dad got her a guitar for Christmas. Yet she said she wrote her very first song at age four, while in the bathtub.
The "last push for my family that God gave us to make that leap" (to move across country), she said, was when her family put their house on the market online — and didn't tell anyone. "Within 24 hours we got a full-price offer on our house," she said.
When she was 17 with just a year left of high school (she completed her senior year online), her mom, dad, and younger brother moved with her to Nashville. "We lived in this tiny little Airbnb for a bunch of months," she said. Her parents have since moved back to Washington, and Bryan now lives away from her family for the first time in her life.
"Of course I miss my family every day, but I have this almost strange peace about what I'm doing even when I miss them. I know that every leap of faith we took for me to get here wasn't for no reason," Bryan said.
One of her favorite songs on the EP right now is "Used To." Check out the video below:
"If I'm being completely candid, the only reason that I or my family have been able to do any of this — my family letting me live by myself at such a young age — is that we took a leap of faith to move to Tennessee. We wouldn't have been able to do that without our faith in God," Bryan said. "For me, before I do anything like that, it's a lot of praying and a lot of listening."
Bailey Bryan has learned to pause and take a deep breath when uncertainties come her way. "When you feel like you're supposed to do something, you'll never regret trying — but you will regret not doing it because you're afraid of what other people might think," she said.