Fashion Designer, musician, entrepreneur, public speaker and downright cool broad are but a few ways to describe Brandi Shigley (due with B.Sue tonight at the hi-dive for a triple EP release show). The first time I came in contact with Brandi was in her store, Fashion Denver. Some soft, sweet beat was playing over the speakers, and a quirky, tiny girl approached me with what can only be described as the hap, hap, happiest smile on her face and the words, "Don't you just loooove looove? I just LOVE LOVE! And music. And fashion, of course! Here! Try this cherry apron on!"
It wasn't only the fashion that kept bringing me back to Shigley, but her love for everything she puts her hands into. So when I heard about the release of her new EP and her corresponding show tonight at the hi-dive, I knew I had to get down to the root of all this awesomeness.
Westword: Thinking back on childhood, what was your earliest experience with music like? First artist and song you remember?
Brandi Shigley: I was adopted at sixteen months old, and my mom spent the first five years of my life singing to me while she played the classical guitar. The first song I remember was: "What would you do with a drunken soldier, what would you do with a drunken soldier, what would you do with a drunken soldier, early in the mornin..." I was four years old singing that song.
You seem to have your hand in every cookie jar in Denver; what's your favorite jar? Fashion? Music? Politics?
Definitely NOT politics! I love fashion, but what I really love is entrepreneurship! On the same love level is definitely music. Making music, listening to music, dancing to music, supporting music.
You have a fabulous store on Bannock; how does that store influence your musical life? Or how does your musical life influence your fashion?
Fashion Denver influences my life because I get to experience designers truly being themselves through their designs that they create. This inspires me to continue to truly be myself. It's also very fun to get to dressed up for shows! I try to wear only local designers from the shop when I play a show. I would describe my musical fashion as eclectic, comfortable, fun and practical, with a twist of sassy in there.
Describe your music in three words. Happy. Playful. Light. OR...true to me.
What has been your biggest challenge as a musician? Organizing band practice. It's like herding cats. Other than that, we play for fun, and I feel really blessed to have such talented musicians that help bring B.Sue to life!
What do you think of the music scene in Denver? What do you think it needs? What is it missing?
I LOVE the Denver music scene. There is so much of it in many different genres. From rock to pop to hip-hop, it seems like we've got it all. As far as what it needs, hmmmmm... I think we're all pretty lucky to have venues to showcase our music. There are some great music festivals and great music venues. It would be really cool if MTV or a major network came out and made a documentary on the Denver music scene to show everybody out there just how great our music is. I'm proud to be a Denverite!
What's your favorite song from this EP and why?
My favorite song is probably "Now." It was made very spontaneously as Jonny D. was working on mixing another song we recorded. Brian Hendrick and I were hanging out in the living room; I was playing the crocodile keyboard, and Brian started to play along with me. I wrote some lyrics, and right away the song came together. Literally five minutes later, Jonny had us in the studio so we could record the song before we forgot it. I also love the element of a child's crocodile keyboard throughout the entire song. The crocodile keyboard makes some pretty fresh beats.
So what's with the spelling change of the band's name?
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I changed it from B.Sous to B.Sue because people who don't speak French didn't understand the pronunciation. Bisous in French is to kiss. The B. in B.Sous is me! My handbag line was called B.Shigley, my marketing company is called B.23 Productions., and my band, B.Sue, is an extension of my musical side. AND -- my middle name is Sue! Brandi Sue Shigley.