We have to be honest––interviewing an artist who not only uses The Bonfyre as a musical moniker but actually goes by the name in conversation can be a little disconcerting. But when she explains the reasoning behind it all, it makes perfect sense.
“People would always ask me what I wanted my music to sound like,” The Bonfyre says. “I would always describe it to them as a bonfire, because when you think about that feeling, it’s always a good time. It’s always good vibes, and it’s warm and inviting. Anybody is welcome, and I wanted my music to resonate that way to people. Make memories with my music. I wear my heart on my sleeve when it comes to my songs. Everything I sing about is things that I go through.”
Since she was a little girl, music has been around the rhythmic soul/R&B singer. She was raised by her stepfather, who’s from Samoa, and The Bonfyre was very close with her aunt and uncle who had a Polynesian show.
“Polynesian culture is very music-oriented,” she says. “You do dances and sing at every function, whether it’s a wedding or wherever you go. You’re just always singing and dancing, and I grew up around that as a little girl. Music grew with me, and I was doing it ever since, till now. Even on my mom’s side, my aunts and uncles were all in bands.”
The Bonfyre’s name caused a few industry murmurs recently when she was signed to L.A. Reid’s Hitco label. It all seemed to happen so fast––after putting a few videos on YouTube, her talent was spotted by a club owner who invited the artist to perform at his venue. That, in turn, brought her to the attention of producers Yancey Richardson and Raphael Saadiq.
“Rafael reached out to me through Twitter, we had a conversation and he flew me out the next day,” she says. “I started working with him and he started developing me over three and a half, four years. It was an old-school development process, like the Jackson Five. I threw a cover on Soundcloud and, from that, I started getting calls from labels. Hitco was one of them. I walked in a room and auditioned, and L.A. Reid wouldn’t let me leave. So I had to sign. It just felt like home to me. I knew I had to be there.”
The Bonfyre’s debut EP, Ready To Love, is available now, and the artist says that it represents exactly how she wanted to present herself to the world. Meanwhile, she’s extremely satisfied with her label.
“I love my team,” she says. “I don’t feel like I’m in a label situation. I feel like this is my team and we’ve been doing it for a while. It feels like a family.”
Date Signed: March 2018
Label: HITCO Music
Type of Music: Rhythmic Soul
Management: Toler Heights Music
Booking: Mark Cheatham (CAA)
Legal: Damien Granderson
Publicity: The Chamber Group
A&R: Leonard “LB” Brooks