Soulful and sweet, Birdy Bardot has a voice that’ll stay with you. Born in New York, Bardot now resides in San Diego, and has quickly made a name for herself in the city’s music scene. Super-cool and stylish, we were instantly inspired by Bardot’s drive (she’s put out 7 records!), moving lyrics, and ambient voice.
We chatted with Bardot on everything from how she got started in the music industry to what life’s like on the road.
How did you first get into music? Can you tell us a little about how it started?
It started when I was about 4 or 5 with singing lessons and continued on for years. In 2010, I had been taking guitar lessons for a while and decided to collaborate with some other local musicians in San Diego to put out a record. Since then, I’ve been in lots of music projects, and play locally and around the country. So far, I’ve put out 6 albums and am nearly done with the 7th.
What would you be doing if you weren’t singing?
Singing is such a big part of my life. It’s hard to imagine not being involved in music in some way or another.
What tunes are you currently listening to?
I like listening to a mixed bag of music, soundtracks, and random decades’ internet radio. One of my favorite things is discovering songs I’ve never heard before – there’s so much out there! My favorite program is WFMU-Ichiban Crayons to Perfume.
Who are the artists that inspire you most?
The Zombies, Tina Turner, Suzi Quatro, The Beatles, Nina Simone, La Luz.
How would you describe your sound?
Haunted melodies and California Soul and Garage Psych.
How do you stay inspired?
Going out and seeing local bands or touring acts perform keeps me motivated to continue to create and share more music.
What’s your writing process like?
I am a slow and reflective writer. I over obsess for days on end if I’m searching for the right words. Luckily, collaborating with others helps things move along for me. If I’m with people who are excited and motivated and push me to get something going, that’s when things start to happen fast and I always like the outcome.
What is life like on the road?
Being on the road is a lot of work. It can be exhausting, but it is always worth it! Connecting with people from all over, seeing new places, and making an impact is indescribable.
You’re playing at Bottle Rock this summer.
I am really excited to visit Big Sur and Napa this spring for Bottle Rock! I’ve been meaning to spend time up there anyway, and now I get to visit and play alongside a really fun lineup. I’m beyond stoked.
Are you planning to tour across the California coast?
We’ll be spending some time in Big Sur before we hit Bottle Rock.
What artists are you most looking forward to seeing at Bottle Rock?
Mavis Staples is going to be there! She’s legendary!! Also I’ve never seen The Foo
Fighters, so that is going to be pretty cool as well.
Your life must be crazy busy! How do you de-stress and find balance?
My favorite way to de-stress is hiking. There are so many great trails in and around San Diego. I also love yoga and Pilates and hope to get back into surfing this year.
You’re in a few different bands, which we think is awesome. Can you tell us a little about each?
Birdy Bardot is my main project through The Redwoods. Our first album is on Spotify and we’re nearly ready to release our second full length album.
The Rosalyns is a 60s girl group-influenced band I play keys and sing in. I absolutely love these ladies to pieces and it’s the most fun I’ve ever had in a band and touring.
The New Kinetics is what started it all for me. I’m so proud of the work we did. Breaking boundaries and pushing our live shows to the limit with a truly fantastic bunch of rock n roll performers was an exhilarating ride.
How’s the San Diego music scene? What are some of your favorite venues?
I love the SD music scene. We’re like family and it’s always a party! My favorite venue is the Casbah but there are a lot of great stages I’ve been lucky to frequent often like The Music Box, Soda Bar, and Belly Up to name a few.
What’s one dream venue you’d love to perform at and why?
I was lucky enough to perform at my dream venue (Carnegie Hall!) when I was in college.
But if I had a dream festival to perform at, it would be Glastonbury!
Tell us about your outfits when you’re on tour. Are you all about fashion, function, or both?
Fashion for sure. I love to dress up!
If you could choose one vacation destination, what would it be and why?
Madrid! I’m actually planning that trip for December of this year. I have family there from my Mom’s side that I’ve never met. My grandmother is a singer and lives there, and apparently we have a lot in common. I’m really looking forward to meeting her.
What is your on-tour beauty regimen?
Liquid Eyeliner, Liquid Foundation, lip balm, sunscreen. Oh, and my flat iron.
Check out Birdy Bardot's music and her Knot Sisters' picks.
Photos by Taryn Kent.