Featured Artist EDM Vocalist Bright Lights
The presence of Bright Lights’ voice is felt everywhere in the EDM genre from countless flawless features to being included in remixes by DJ’s who covet her sensational vocals. It is more than likely that every true EDM fan has heard her voice on a favorite track or a song that they heard play at a festival. Her story is truly remarkable in starting from behind the scenes in writing songs for elite talent in the music industry to now being able to release her own music after her consistent success in her features with some of the top DJ’s in the world. Bright Lights still has so much in store for EDM fans and her first released single “Runaway” is only the first step to what she has planned for the future. It will be fun to watch how Bright Lights’ career will transpire and how she will continue her success and dominance in the EDM genre.
Read all about Bright Lights’ incredible background story and how she has amazingly transformed throughout her career in our interview below.
One of your latest releases is the transformational remix of Kanye West’s “Heartless”. What inspired you to add a twist and place your own flavor on the hit single?
I’ve always loved this song… the whole 808’s and Heartbreak album is just classic! I decided to create the Bright Lights cover series to pay tribute to some of the music that has influenced me over the years, and to also turn my fans on to songs that they may not have heard before. The next cover out is Aaliyah’s “One In A Million,” which I’m really excited about.
What was the feeling like being able to release your first single “Runaway (Feat. 3LAU)” after being featured on so many smashing hit EDM tracks?
I had to fight really hard to make this happen. Most people don’t believe that a vocalist from the dance world can actually rise to the ranks of a DJ, though I think that mindset is slowly starting to shift. The truth is, there’s a lot of power in a solid song with a great vocal. And if the right artist/vocalist keeps pushing and pushing with the right team, a major career is inevitable. I’ve never fallen in love with an artist off of one single. It’s usually three or four singles in when I say “Wow! I really love this artist!” And sometimes, as funny as it is, I’ve hated an artist in the beginning and four singles later I think, “Ahhhh, I get it now!” and they become my favorite new artist. I’m excited to show people a broader spectrum of who I am and what I’ve been developing. “Runaway” is just the tip of the iceberg.
What are your thoughts on your single “Runaway” being released on Dim Mak and being included in the labels’ “Greatest Hits of 2015”?
I’m very grateful to have Dim Mak on board. I love the way we work together to get things done. Lots of artists are discontent with their labels (I’ve been there in the past). So to have such great communication and teamwork this go-round is a dream come true.
What do you have in store for your anticipated debut album that you are currently working on?
It’s a concept album that I’m very proud of… but it won’t be released for a while. The timing has to be just right for this to work.
You have been a part of renowned events such as EDC Las Vegas and Ultra Music Festival. As a unique performer in EDM, what can you say about how significant it has been for you to be a part of these types of events as a Vocalist, where it is predominantly dominated by DJ’s?
Performing for huge festival crowds is definitely an amazing moment that takes your breath away. But EDM festival performances are very frustrating for singers. The sound/lighting teams are almost never ready for you, despite extensive sound checks. I step on stage and my mic isn’t even turned on or turned up, or the lighting guy is texting his girlfriend and forgets to light me. When you have your own set and can perform for an extended period of time, your team can work the kinks out as you go. But one song is just a tease for both the performer and the audience. By the time sound and lighting dials you in, you’re off stage. So I look forward to playing festivals with more live performers and actually having a full set of my own. That’s the dream!
Having a broad musical background and being a songwriter for various top artists in the music industry, what made you desire to pursue a Vocal career in EDM?
It just sort of happened naturally. The demand for my voice paired with my songwriting took off and I never looked back. Plus, I saw a lane for myself as an artist in the dance world. I knew that singing on these records would eventually lead to exactly what I’m doing now… releasing my own music.
My personal favorite track that features your powerful vocals is “Let Me Be Your Home” produced by the former #1 DJ in the world Hardwell. Do you have a favorite track or tracks that you have been featured on?
No. That’s like asking a mother if she has a favorite child. 🙂 They’re all really special to me in their own way.
Your vocals are not only a part of original mixes, but also countless remixes by DJ’s who are eager to use your voice on their tracks. What are your emotions in knowing that your voice is highly coveted in the world of EDM?
To be honest, I’ve never thought of myself as a great singer. There are a lot of other singers who I think are technically much better than me. But my soul is in my music. I’ve been through a lot, and I think what you hear when I sing is what I feel. It’s raw, it’s real… for better or worse. I feel honored that my voice is held in such a high regard but I’m not sure if I’ll ever see it that way.
What is the background on your artist name “Bright Lights”?
Bright Lights is the name of a screenplay I wrote about a super-human girl with purple hair.
When you are on stage you have amazing energy and dancing is a huge component to your live performance. How much is dancing a part of who you are as an artist and how it correlates to your passion for music?
Dancing was actually not allowed when I was growing up. And neither was going to the club lol. My father was a pastor and “social dancing” was against the Nazarene religion. So unfortunately, I didn’t get to do as much dancing as I would have liked growing up but I think it’s safe to say I’ve more than made up for it at this point. My parents have changed their views a lot since then and I’m very proud of the way we have all grown as a family. My mom came to see me at the club in Orlando last year… that was a very special moment for me to dance with her on stage.
What advice would you give those who aspire to collaborate with DJ’s and become EDM vocalists? Featuring will only get you so far. Eventually, you will have to make your own records if you want to be respected and perceived as a true artist in this business. And if you’re a true artist… you’ll be doing that anyway! It’s easy to spend someone else’s money, to ride the coattails of another brand, but it’s not real until you’re spending your own money and developing a brand of your own. There is a very low ceiling for EDM “vocalists” so if you are a singer/songwriter as opposed to a true artist at heart, you had better be writing for a ton of artists to make a real living. If you’re an artist at heart, just know that a feature is nothing more than a toe in the door. Features are mostly helpful when you pay attention to mistakes that are made on someone else’s dime so you can learn what to do and not to do with your own rollouts in the future. I could talk all day on this subject but I’ll end it here. 🙂
Where do you see yourself and the EDM genre in general headed in the future?
Electronic dance music will never go away… it will only evolve. Some of it’s artists will go more towards the pop side and some will go back to the more underground roots, where re-creation and innovation begins. I look forward to seeing both! One thing is certain… any artist who fails to evolve will be left in the dust.
Do you have any shout-outs or thank you’s?
Shoutout to Dim Mak Records and George Hess our radio promoter for really working hard on the release of “Runaway.”
Article by Alex Soto