For as long as she can remember, music has been a huge part of Bethany Ann Warner’s life. From a very young age, music of all styles has radiated throughout her home, making what she wanted out of her future clear. Over the past few years, Warner has been working hard to create a name for herself in the industry all while attending college full-time.
In addition to keeping active profiles on both SoundCloud and YouTube, Warner has released music on Spotify, Apple Music and iTunes, with more releases planned for the future — including the release of her EP “Vicennial” on Jan. 6. Although her life may be busy, Warner manages to make time for both her music and college careers. Like all college students, she is still trying to master the college life while persevering to make her name in the music industry.
Eliana DuBosar: To begin, what’s your major and where do you study?
Bethany Warner: I go to Belmont University and I’m studying commercial voice with an emphasis in songwriting — it’s basically a music degree in contemporary music.
ED: What made you choose that?
BW: For my freshman year, I went to Baylor University under their classical opera program. After about a month of doing that, I knew that I had to pursue my first and truest love, which was contemporary music. Belmont was one of the few places that offer the connections, degree options and expertise in this area. I just knew I had to go!
ED: When did you first know that music was what you wanted to pursue?
BW: I was lucky enough to grow up in a really talented musical family, so music was always at the forefront of my life. From a young age, I would dress up as a pop star for Halloween, perform mini-concerts for my teachers at recess (bless them) and take every opportunity I got to perform. It’s always been my first love. So, to really answer your question, I’ve just always known that I have to pursue this as long as God lets me.
ED: What have you been doing, either in school or outside, to work toward a future in this?
BW: Essentially, creating my life in music just means I have been feverishly creating. Most of my day, outside of classes, I am writing songs or eavesdropping on the world to kind of stumble upon new muses constantly. I recently wrote and self-produced my first debut EP, “Suburb Glow,” and released that to Spotify and iTunes. The day it was finished, I started working on my next project, “Vicennial,” which is coming out on Jan. 6 to iTunes, Spotify and Apple Music.
My mantra is to just “do.” So that’s what I try to live by! It’s all about creating things and relationships, so a good amount of my time is devoted to those two things. I’m really thankful that I get to make music like I do. In school, I’m learning some really fantastic new skills to just round out my skill set. It’s really a game of trying to make yourself as indispensable as possible, which means just bringing a lot to the table — so I’m always trying to improve, grow and get better.
ED: How do you manage to split your time between your music and your classes and still get everything done?
BW: It’s really all about prioritizing and being willing to push yourself to work a little harder. In my life, the music comes first, but it’s easier to freely work on if everything else is done in terms of school. I truly believe if you really want to do something, you will have time for it. I want to succeed in both realms, so I work to make both happen.
Some days, school wins, and sometimes it 100 percent loses to music. Balancing and prioritizing the importance of assignments and projects is key to me. The one negative is that sometimes you can lose yourself for hours in the stuff, so it’s easy to be a loner, but I enjoy it all — it’s worth it to me.
ED: What or who inspires your music?
BW: If we’re talking what spurs a creative idea, I think the collective inspiration for me right now is adolescents and those my age. For me, I’m really inspired by the ways that people my age are changing — how we react to love, heartbreak and growing up. That means pulling from people like my best friends or from my own experiences to create something that tells that story.
It’s really fascinating to me, this average idea of “growing up.” Everyone has been through it, and it sounds silly, but it’s such a weird, liminal, magical time frame, so it makes writing about it just really fun. However, I do always say that inspiration is everywhere. I’ve written so many songs based off a phrase I overheard in a conversation in class, or a stranger I just met, or from passing thoughts of my own. I think that everything and almost everyone can be inspiring if you let it.
ED: What is the biggest piece of advice that someone has given you to chase after your dreams?
BW: Once, someone who works in the industry told a group that his best advice is to “just do the dang thing.” I laugh over that, but it’s really the truth. Just to keep doing what you do, just to keep going. There isn’t really time for doubt or pausing, there’s only time to push yourself and to do what you can.
ED: What comes next for you and how do you see your future playing out down the line?
BW: Ideally, any form in which I can sustain a lifestyle in the music industry is what I want in the future. Of course, the main goal is to be performing shows as an artist, but I think there is longevity in songwriting as well. At this point, I’m taking every audition, gig and co-writing opportunity I can! I’m excited to see what the Lord has in store for me.