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Interview With Buford Pope

How would you describe your music to any person who may have never heard it before?

Buford: That is very hard to pinpoint as people always have their own way of interpreting music. Generally speaking, I’d say it’s a blend between rock, blues, country, pop, and folk, which is called Americana. Mostly I listen to music that has a message, so I guess I’m trying to convey something in my own lyrics.

Press shot for Americana artist Buford Pope.

What’s the significance of your musical moniker?

B: My stage name was inspired by a character in a movie; it sounded fantastic and resonated well with my sound. However, my original Swedish name would never have suited it.

What are your musical influences?

B: Bob Dylan was my first influence. Along the way, I discovered other great storytellers such as Bruce Springsteen, Jackson Browne, Tom Petty, and The Band, just to mention a few. They have all shaped my path to compose music, and I've borrowed a lot of their skills. But I hope it all comes out sounding like me! Today, with all these digital platforms, I find new gems very often, and that is overwhelming.

What are your musical inspirations?

B: Life itself is my biggest inspiration; there's always something to write about, whether you're going through a good or bad period. Being on tour or playing a show is also a mind-opening experience, offering unique moments and energy from the audience.

If given the chance, what musician(s) would you like to collaborate with? Rather this is to either write a song or be featured on a track.

B: That's a thoughtful perspective on collaboration. It's challenging to answer definitively, as there are many talented songwriters out there. Personally, I'm drawn to the idea of co-writing with someone who's just picked up the guitar, untouched by external influences. Witnessing their fresh, unfiltered creativity could be inspiring, and I believe there's much to learn from such a collaboration. Additionally, exploring songwriting with a producer, despite differing genre preferences, could offer intriguing possibilities, given their often hidden creative insights. I've released nine albums and am on the verge of completing my tenth, emphasizing the importance of finding the right collaborator to capture the desired groove or feel, which remains the ultimate challenge.

What’s the new song about? 

B: In one of the singles, "If The Blues Were Gone," featured on the album, A Brand New Leaf, I ride life's rollercoaster, recognizing setbacks as vital for personal and musical growth. I don't invite them, but when they fade, I inhale and try to translate the experience into music.

What’s something you hope people take away from the new songs?

B: If someone resonates with a song and finds comfort in knowing that we have felt the same way, or simply enjoys the sound, it would make me happy. I once received an email from a person sharing a story that was very similar to one of my songs.

Which songs on the album were the most fun to write and which were the most challenging to write?

B: The most challenging song to write was "Childhood,"  as I wanted to say more than there was room for, as sometimes you can fit a message that you want to convey in just a few lines, such as in "Native Sky."

Do you have any favourite songs off the new album?

B: All songs become like family members, and favourite songs always change over time, depending on the mood you're in.

What’s the new album about?

B: My latest album release is mostly about life’s ups and downs and how to manage to go through hard times and just realize that without it it’s impossible to appreciate the good. 

Do you have any favourite songs to perform live? Could be your own music or even a cover. Any reason why?

B: I have a song from a prior album titled "Hard Life" featured on the album, The Waiting Game. Somehow, it's easy to perform. And there are many songs by Bob Dylan that feel very natural to sing, as they leave so much room for your own interpretation.

If you could perform a show this very second anywhere in the world, where would it be? Are there any particular venues or cities that come to mind?

B: [For me] it's all about the audience. I could stage a play anywhere, anytime. There are moments when the energy is so invigorating that it keeps me euphoric for weeks after a show. That's the main drive that keeps me going, despite occasionally grappling with nervous anticipation.

What do you currently have planned for the remainder of the year?

B: I'm in the final stage of finishing my tenth album, which will keep me occupied for a few months. I will also focus on planning shows for next year.

Thanks for the time today. Is there anything else you may want to add before you go?

B: Thank you for having me in this interview. I genuinely enjoyed answering these questions, and I'm sincerely grateful for your support.

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