Having returned to releasing original music in 2020 with Bad Intentions, Dionne Bromfield released her latest single Silly Love earlier this year with plans for future releases in the coming months as well as live performances. In her earlier music career, Dionne released her debut original album Good for the Soul in 2011, supported Fifth Harmony on their tour and became a presenter on the CBBC show Friday Download. Ten years ago, Dionne’s godmother Amy Winehouse passed away and for the tenth anniversary of her death in July, Dionne released her own documentary Amy Winehouse & Me: Dionne’s Story on MTV that month sharing her memories of Amy with viewers. Dionne speaks to us about her latest single Silly Love, returning to music and her documentary Amy Winehouse & Me: Dionne’s Story.
Can you tell us about your new single Silly Love and how you found releasing it during the pandemic?
Silly Love is a track written about a past relationship of mine that had red flags from the start but I tried to convince myself that the person was the right one when deep down I knew they weren’t. I think most people can relate to that. Of course this ended in heartbreak but I learnt a lot from it and am a big believer that you grow through what you go through – and hey, Silly Love is a great track!
What’s the response been like to your new release and how long were you working on it?
I actually wrote this song a while ago and had always intended for it to be a part of my upcoming EP. Bad Intentions was the first single but sadly lockdown happened so we decided to press pause. There are a couple of tracks ready to go but Silly Love felt most poignant as at the time of release I was actually going through a similar situation.
You returned to releasing original music last year, how did it feel being back in the studio?
It feels really good to back! Making music is something that I can’t see myself not doing. It’s the only thing I am good at! So being in the studio again with songwriters etc is great. You don’t get the same vibe doing it via Zoom so it is good to be back in the room with other musicians and songwriters creating music.
Was there anything that inspired you to release Bad Intentions after being away from the music industry for a while?
I knew it was a good song. And it felt like a good reintroduction to my style of music.
Where do you get the ideas from for your music and what’s your songwriting process?
I find it really hard to write about things I haven’t experienced. So most of my writing comes from situations I’ve been through and experienced first hand.
Are you currently working on new material and what’s next for your music career?
There are a couple of songs ready to go which will follow this year. But I am always working on new music. Now I am back I intend to keep releasing and releasing! First complete my EP and then I hope… at some point, follow with an album!
You released your original album Good for the Soul in 2011, what was it like to release and how has your music evolved over the years?
It was great to release that album – I still love it and it has put me where I am today. But at that time I was singing about things I hadn’t experienced so it felt good to go away, go through life and evolve naturally and then be able to channel my own personal experiences into my songwriting and music.
You previously supported Fifth Harmony on their tour, how was this?
That was great fun! I really like their music so it’s always nice to support an act you’re already a fan of.
Do you have a favourite aspect of performing live and do you have any live performances coming up you can tell us about?
Audience reaction is the best thing, that’s what I take the most from.
Yes, there will be performances coming up but I am yet to finalise dates. One thing for sure is I can’t wait to be back on that stage – there is no better feeling for me!
Had you always wanted a music career and where does your love of performing come from?
From around about the age eleven or twelve that’s when I really started to develop a passion for music. When I was young I didn’t really think being able to sing was something special, I thought it was something everyone could do! The older I became the more I realised music was the only career I wanted to take. And, thankfully, I was lucky enough to have a support system around me that enabled me to do this.
As an original presenter on CBBC’s Friday Download, do you have any highlights from your time involved with the show?
That was a great show to be a part of at that stage of my life. My highlight was probably the first ever episode. That world was so new to me – but I’m really grateful to have the experience as a presenter to coincide with my music.
What was your new documentary Amy Winehouse & Me: Dionne’s Story like to work on and what encouraged you to film it?
I found the process really therapeutic. I knew I wanted to do something as I felt like the Amy I knew and loved hadn’t been shown to the public. Overall I’m really happy with how it turned out and glad people are seeing Amy for the woman I knew so well.
How has it been seeing the viewers’ response to the documentary?
It’s been really overwhelming but amazing. I was quite nervous at what people would think, but everyone who’s watched it has had nothing but nice things to say about it which means a lot.
Can you tell us how it felt seeing the full documentary for the first time and seeing your memories with Amy televised?
I learnt a lot about myself filming the doc. I hadn’t actually realised how many things I had bottled up or how good it would feel to talk about it. Some of my oldest friends I hadn’t even spoken about Amy to so it felt great to be able to open up and if anything has made our friendship even stronger than it was before. I think the one thing I have learned from the doc is that talking is good. You need to talk, whether that is to a friend or to a professional. I wish I had spoken earlier, it took me years, but I can honestly say that now I feel so much better for opening up, a whole lot lighter and finally I can move forward.
How do you like to spend your time away from your career and do you have any advice for young music artists starting out?
I am big film enthusiast. Now things are back to normal I try to go to the cinema at least once a week so that’s what I tend to do in my downtime.
My advice would be to: Be true to yourself. And to stick with it and trust the process!
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