Having already opened for legends like James Taylor and Ronnie Milsap, its safe to say that singer/songwriter Risa Binder is fast becoming a force to be reckoned with. Now riding the success of her critically acclaimed album, Nashville (released last year), Binder has unveiled an amazing new single, “Pretty”.
Produced by Luke Wooten - whose credits include songs with Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley and Kelly Pickler, “Pretty” is a heartfelt song that captures the essence of the human spirit in a positive and meaningful way. Add to it Binder’s own unique vocal delivery and an anthemic, arena friendly, sing-a-long chorus and “Pretty” may just become the beautiful artist’s signature song.
AXS recently spoke to Risa Binder about “Pretty”, touring with Ronnie Milsap and what she loves most about songwriting.
AXS: How did your new single, “Pretty” come about?
Risa Binder: I’m usually the writer on every song that I do but this particular song is one that I didn’t write. I was in the studio working on my record with my producer, Luke Wooten when he said to me “Risa! You have to hear this!” I remember crying when I heard it for the first time because I could relate to the message and I know a lot of other people can to.
AXS: Can you tell me more about the message behind the song?
RB: It’s really a song for everyone. We all have insecurities and flaws but whatever you think are flaws - they’re really not. They’re what make you, you. So even if you don’t feel that way at this very moment, you’re pretty - right now!
AXS: As an artist, what do you look for in a song that you record?
RB: The story in a song really piques my interest. I also love melody. One of the things I love the most about “Pretty” is the chorus. I get to ask everyone to sing with me because I know they’ve experienced those same feelings too. The element of having everyone come together in a song is very powerful.
AXS: What’s your writing process like? What inspires you?
RB: Just being alive is what inspires me. As far as writing goes, I’ll usually get a chorus in my head and then the lyrics or the melody will start to come together. I also love the collaborative process of co-writing and sitting with other people creating a song together. The teamwork is incredible and we leave the room with something we didn’t have when we started.
AXS: Is there something you’ve learned from the collaborative process?
RB: Every time I sit down with someone I learn that you’re never finished. There’s always ways to stretch yourself and get better at your craft. That’s the ultimate. We’re always creating. The main thing I’ve learned is that there’s always a new idea, and just when you think you’re done and don’t have another song in you, you realize that you do!
AXS: What do you like most about writing in Nashville?
RB: There’s a musical synchronicity here that’s unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. I remember one night I went to The Bluebird Café and all of Garth Brooks writers were in a round together. I got to hear his record get sung down by the writers who wrote it. It completely changed my life listening to the writer sing their own songs.
AXS: What can you tell me about your next album?
RB: We’re about seven songs in so far. It shows a sassier side of me and I'm super excited about it. I’m used to writing upbeat songs but there are other songs on this record, including one about breaking up with someone when you really don't want to let go.
AXS: You’ve spent the last year opening for Ronnie Milsap. What’s that experience been like?
RB: It’s been an incredible experience. I like to say that every night I get a lesson in legend, because that’s what he is. There are nights I won’t know it where he’ll be standing there in the wings listening to my performance and it’s mind blowing.
AXS: Did you always know that you wanted a career in music?
RB: Absolutely. I remember being five-years-old sitting in my playroom singing and grew up listening to artists like Shania Twain, Faith Hill and Martina McBride. I was always writing songs about boys I had crushes on and telling stories through my songs.
AXS: What excites you the most about the next phase of your career?
RB: I’m looking forward to taking "Pretty" and these other new songs on the road and making new friends and fans as we go. Music is one of the greatest ways to connect people to each other and I can’t wait to get out there. I’m a firm believer that if you give your dreams focus and hard work, they really do come true!