Danielle Bradbery released her long-awaited sophomore I Don't Believe We've Met late last year. The record, her first since her self-titled freshman record came out near the end of 2013, shows an almost entirely different artist than the one that was suddenly thrust into the spotlight after winning Season 4 of The Voice earlier that year.
"The difference between the first album and this one is a huge difference, which is crazy even personally for me to think," Bradbery shared with PopCulture.com at a recent media event. "It's really cool too, to lay it all out, whether I'm by myself or with my management or whoever. I just feel like, 'Wow, this is a huge change.'"
It's her latest set of tunes, Bradbery says, where her growth not only as an artist, but as a person is most evident.
"I was 16 on The Voice," says Bradbery. "No one knows who they are at 16. I'm trying to know who I am at 21, but 16 is a young age. You're going through that awkwardness. Mine was documented, so that was kind of weird. On The Voice, I learned a lot about myself. Then as soon as I got off, I didn't do the songwriting thing. I was just trying to figure out life and what the music industry was."
It wasn't until later that Bradbery realized songwriting was another way to express her creativity, co-writing seven of the ten songs on I Don't Believe We've Met, as opposed to not having any songwriting credits on her debut album.
"Songwriting, I didn't know that was really a thing," Bradbery says. "I got all these songs to really listen to when I didn't write. I had to pick 12 songs for the first album. It was very voice-driven. It was very country, which is obviously no problem at all, but I sang a lot of the old country on The Voice."
Most artists wouldn't have been brave enough, or trusted themselves enough, to take the time away to figure out who they wanted to be as singers, but Bradbery isn't most artists. Although still touring and performing, the Texan used her self-imposed break to make sure that moving forward, everything she released was authentic to her.
"Four years or five came, and I really figured out in between there -- in Nashville I was like, 'OK, I need to really sit down and figure out who I am as a person,' because back then I really wasn't sure what I wanted to say as an artist," she says. "I love being honest. I love realness and vulnerability. Songwriting definitely helped me do all of that. It's been really cool even now just to continue to learn in the writing room. I wouldn't say I'm the best at it yet, but I'm learning at every room I get in with amazing writers or even artists.
"It's been really fun," Bradbery adds. "This new album is very more honest and real. That's kind of what I went for, and I'm really excited that it's finally out."
Photo Credit: Instagram/DanielleBradbery