Q&A with Sunny Ozell

New York singer and songwriter Sunny Ozell is just about to release her full-length debut album, Take It With Me on April 1st. The classically trained singer is nothing but classic however, as Take It With Me meshes soul, blues, country, Americana, and pop in a way that just works for Ozell. The album features both covers of songs that speak to the songstress, as well as catchy original songs like the infectious single, “Git Gone.” In anticipation for the release, Ozell recently embarked on a short run of tour dates in the U.S., and has plans to hit the UK in May.

Keep up with Sunny Ozell on Facebook and listen to “Git Gone” below!

Interview by Dom Vigil

You’re getting ready to release your new album, Take It With Me on April 1st. What does this album mean to you?

It’s a distillation of years spent making music with the fine musicians who are on the record…and of years spent in New York City, soaking it all up.

What are you most excited for listeners to hear on Take It With Me?

I think we made a very authentic record. It’s a true representation of what we do live.

How do you feel you’ve grown with the writing, reimagining and recording of these songs?

I continue to realize that less is genuinely (and almost always) more.

Take It With Me features a mix of both original work and covers. How did you decide which artists and songs to include in the album? Would you say they’ve influenced your original songs?

I guess I truly am drawn to music that is made without a lot of artifice. Songs that aren’t self-conscious. Songs that are exactly what they are.  And yes, that aesthetic definitely influences my writing style.

You’re also inspired by and experienced in a very wide variety of music, so how do feel these roots and experiences have helped you hone in on your own unique sound on Take It With Me?

I’ve sung opera, musical theater, blues, salsa, jazz, country, soul…and having dipped my toes into all those worlds have allowed me to be really honest about what it is that I do best, and what my instrument is capable of.

Among many songs on the album is your track, “Git Gone,” which you released a music video for last year. Can you tell us a little bit about the song?

When we were getting ready to make the record, and pulling the band together, we asked Aaron Lee Tasjan (a wonderful guitarist and songwriter) if he had any tunes he thought would fit the bill, and “Git Gone” resonated with me immediately.  I love the brassiness of the tune, the attitude. I love the notion of moving on when it’s clearly time.

You also recently released your version of Hank Williams’ “I Saw The Light” – what does this song mean to you?

I am not at all religious, but I do truly appreciate the inherent joy in this tune—the sense of elation is contagious, even if you don’t really jive with the message.

On top of the album release, you hit the road in March for a short run of U.S. tour dates and are getting ready to take things overseas in May. What are you most excited for on these upcoming dates?

Getting in a van with dear friends and talking shit.

What can listeners expect from your upcoming live shows?

Watching people having a lot of fun with each other.

What would you like fans to be able to take away from Take It With Me?

That we made this record with our hearts.

Thank you for taking the time to talk with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Nope!  Thank YOU!

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