Dahlia Ray On New Single ‘Bonfire’

Evoking endless summer days and bubbling warmth, the new single Bonfire out now from singer-songwriter Dahlia Ray blends buoyant indie pop with 90s sentimentality. Driven by optimism and demure effervescence, Bonfire is also accompanied by a nostalgic music video, complete with a key childhood staple: the humble trampoline.

Billowing with soft textures, creamy vocals and propulsive beats, Bonfire is a raw bundle of gloss and confessional lyricism, with Dahlia Ray equally drawing to mind the likes of Amy Shark mixed with soft flourishes from her current musical crushes Sia and Portishead. Teaming up with Michael Paynter and Michael Delorenzis at MSquared Productions, as well as her uni pal from JMC Academy, Johnny Grant, to ultimately bring Bonfire to life. Dahlia answers a few questions for Hi Fi Way about the single.

How has the build-up been leading up to the release of the single Bonfire?
|It was ok, it was a long time coming. I think I wasn’t that excited anymore because it had been so long in the making. Haha.

I’d been working on the song for about a year. I wrote a hundred songs in three weeks; Bonfire was the best one. I took it in to the boys at Msquared productions where the song developed to what it is. Chord changes happened, and some tweaking in my phrasing and stuff like that. And then a couple of months after that, my friend Johnny added drums and guitars on top through trial and error because why not. I think it worked out for the best :). The problem was that I made the video with Michelle after I finished the song at Msquared and then my friend added drums and stuff in, so the video had to be altered again, Michelle was so adaptable and made it work, and I don’t know how she did it. I thought we’d have to start a whole new video. It was an incredible team that brought this song to life, and I grew so much working with Michelle, Michael, Michael and Johnny.

Was the process of making your single as challenging as you thought?
Yes, it was just as challenging as I thought it would be. Most of it came together quickly but the refining was frustrating at times, but well worth it. I I refined the verse lyrics a few times which was frustrating to start. Lol. Then I refined the production after I honestly had felt it was good to go. And then because the video had been made to the original production, the changes were annoying to make, but it got there in the end. I felt like a huge whinger throughout the process but I’m glad I didn’t compromise on it, because I’m super proud now.

Sonically, how would you describe your music?
I would describe it as modern 90’s pop. Well, this song anyway. I think the common theme will be that it’s pop with big vocals.

Who would you consider to be the biggest influence on your music and why?
At the moment Sia. I like that Sia uses big vocals and the way she builds a song; she is the queen after all.

        Best piece of advice you have been given?
        If you’re not nervous, then you’re not passionate. Being nervous is a great thing to be.

          What is the Dahlia Ray life story?
          Hahaha. What is that? Well, it’s long. But in a nutshell. Singing since young, writing, and wanting to release good art one day which I finally have done now after a huge amount of terrible music being made on my behalf so that’s good. Feels good.

            Are you looking to tour more broadly?
            Maybe one day. Definitely would be a dream come true. I’d love to support Sia, Vance Joy, Passenger or like Taylor Swift would be unbelievable. Touring internationally would be amazing, or local. I’ve toured Australia before with another band I was under, so international would be a new thing for me.

              What’s next for you?
              More music. More writing. I’d love to write more for other artists.

              Interview By Rob Lyon

              Connect with Dahlia Ray
              Instagram ~ Spotify

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