Q & A: Amberlea Bruch on Her Latest Single, “Breaking My Own Rules”

Canadian country artist and songwriter, Amberlea Bruch is setting the foundation for a new era in her career with her latest single, “Breaking My Own Rules”. Written by Jordan Honsinger & herself, the vulnerable pop-country track lets listeners into a chapter of her life where she found herself challenging her own expectations when it comes to life, dating & relationships. The song is also the first single off her upcoming EP, The Darkside.

Recently I spoke with Amberlea about being inspired by her time spent in Nashville, her latest song, upcoming projects and her best advice for finding “the one”.

Kyla Pearson: You recently spent time in Nashville, TN. How has being in the heart of country music pushed you to grow as an independent artist? How has being surrounded by so many incredible artists impacted your artistry and how you share your stories through your music?

Amberlea Bruch: Nashville is such an inspiring place for an artist and a songwriter. On any given night there are a multitude of writers’ rounds that occur at various venues like Live Oak, The Local, Sunnys, Winners and The Virgin Hotel to name a few.  Being surrounded by so many talented artists and songwriters on a daily basis through these rounds has expanded my mind to the many different approaches to both songwriting and a career as an artist. Additionally, hearing what music is coming out of writing rooms at writing rounds has helped me to hear the upcoming themes and trends from which I’ve been inspired to write in different ways than I have before. 

Beyond weekly writers’ rounds, I also joined the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) within a couple of weeks of being in town. NSAI Nashville hosts monthly events in the office such as pitch-to-publisher sessions (where you can pitch your song), learning seminars about songwriting techniques and songwriting feedback sessions. NSAI also puts on the annual Tin Pan South seminar and songwriters’ rounds. The programming at both Tin Pan South and in the office has really helped me to better understand what publishers and labels are looking for in a song and an artist.

Overall Nashville has been such a welcoming community and being in an environment where growth is the mindset is nothing short of magical. Being around so many talented individuals has inspired me to continuously work at becoming a stronger songwriter, instrumentalist and vocalist.

Kyla Pearson: To kick off the spring, you are releasing your catchy pop-country single, “Breaking My Own Rules”. The song speaks to how the reality of the dating world sometimes challenges your own expectations, and you find yourself doing things you never thought you would. Can you tell us a bit more about the writing process behind the song, as well as its production?

Amberlea Bruch: Breaking My Own Rules was written over Zoom with Jordan Honsinger, who also produced the track. It took us two sessions to finish writing this one. It was inspired by my early dating years and my favourite bar in Toronto (at the time), Boots and Bourbon. The bar is sadly no longer open. However, the memories of my time there are still so vivid and a few of them are outlined in the song.  

Before we wrote this song, I was so used to hearing songs about being swept off your feet as a female by a partner. For me, that was not usually the case. Typically, I was the one giving a guy a smile from down the bar or saying hi to them first. None of which was how I expected things would go. I also had been told the bar is not a place to meet your partner, but I had so many friends who did meet their person in a bar–all of which challenged my initial impressions of meeting your partner and dating.

Beyond dating, Breaking My Own Rules also represents stepping outside of the box of what you know to try new things. What brought me into Boots and Bourbon and the world of Breaking My Own Rules was trying out line dancing lessons at the bar. Through this, I ended up meeting a whole community of people who later became great friends. The bar was also where I learned a lot about live music and artistry through the bands that would come through and play each Thursday, Friday and Saturday. 

Once the song was through the writing and production phases, Jordan Honsinger and I worked with Jordan Orbek on mixing the song. For those unfamiliar with mixing – this is the stage in production where instrument levels and pairings are put together almost like a puzzle to ensure every sound works together and not against the other.  Prior to this song, I hadn’t used an outside mixer on tracks, but I loved the energy of the team we created to tackle this track and am so excited with how it turned out!

@amberleabruch Breaking My Own Rules is based on my experiences in the former Toronto bar. I made so many friends here, saw incredible live music, line danced, tried boubon, got my sea legs for talking to guys and with the encouragement from friends sang some of my cover songs live. Breaking My Own Rules – Available Everywhere April 28th #breakingmyownrules #texting #datingadvice #datingtips #lovequotes #romance #countrymusic #newmusic #inspiration #instadaily #datingcoach ♬ original sound – Amberlea Bruch

Kyla Pearson: On a related note, what is one piece of advice you’d give someone trying to let go of their expectations and enjoy the process of dating/on the road to finding their version of “the one”?

Amberlea Bruch: I’ll start by saying I’m no expert on love, but I certainly have learned a lot through my years of dating. This year especially I began to question my approach to dating and relationships. Why did I feel I needed to be in a relationship and ultimately what are the contributing factors to a successful relationship that would last? It was on my quest for insights that I stumbled upon Jay Shetty’s 8 Rules of Love –from which I have learned a lot.

I know you said one piece of advice but there are a few learnings I’ve had that go together loosely as follows:

Make yourself “the one”. Becoming steady in who you are and being able to support yourself and your needs first and foremost, irrelevant of a relationship is one of the most important things you can do. Not only does this help you to become steady on your own, but it also helps you to learn how to be there for another by first learning to be there for yourself.  I think there’s this notion from the media, especially as women, that we need someone else to complete us. Realistically, it’s not your partner’s job to complete you, make you feel worthy, clean up your emotions and/or validate your existence. It’s nice to be complimented or feel the love from one another, but we should also be able to give that to ourselves as well– and ultimately not have our happiness be dependent on receiving that.

Secondly, be clear about who you are. What makes you feel supported? Learn to communicate that. Clarity on our own needs, dreams and passions can help us to step into a more healthy balanced relationship. 

Lastly, from what I have seen in the healthy relationships surrounding me, the best kind of relationships are those that foster growth through encouragement, support and inspiration rather than opulence (being with someone just to be with someone). By fostering a growth mentality first in yourself, you’ll be better able to see it when a healthy environment of support and encouragement is present between you and a partner. 

All of this is not to say we need to be perfect on our own prior to being in a relationship. It really is more about having a growth mindset to being willing and able to grow on your own, so you’ll also be able to evolve and grow with your partner when you have one.

Featured: Official cover art for Amberlea Bruch's latest single, "Breaking My Own Rules".

Kyla Pearson: The song also introduces fans to your new signature sound/a new era in your artistry. Can you tell us more about your artistic vision and what influenced this shift?

Amberlea Bruch: Absolutely, we went a bit more pop with the sound this time through and I’m really excited with how everything came together. With this slightly different direction my goal is to create and cultivate a fun high energy collection of originals to bring to the stage that make an audience want to dance, connect with one another and have a good time. This was inspired by two things firstly the concerts I have attended in the past such as Keith Urban and Shania Twain where everyone gets up on their feet by the second song because you can’t help but dance along.

Secondly, I was influenced by a number of artists who put out incredible albums over the past couple of years that also have that get up on your feet and dance energy ranging from Brett Eldredge, to Shania Twain, Twinnie, Caitlyn Smith, and Jillian Jacqueline.  With all of that in mind and after many conversations Jordan Honsinger (production) refined which pieces and elements to pull into the sound to create the energy of what you hear in the final version of Breaking My Own Rules.

Kyla Pearson: Breaking My Own Rules is the first song from your latest project, which shares a very vulnerable side to you as you share stories about coming to terms with life not going according to plan. What are some of the challenges in being vulnerable with your worldwide audience and putting yourself out there? How does this project set the stage for what’s to come?

Amberlea Bruch: Putting out your thoughts and emotions for the world to see can sometimes be intimidating. This I believe is largely in part due to the fear that no one else will understand and or perhaps we might be judged for what we share. This I think, is the catch-22 of the artist experience — some of our greatest work lies within being vulnerable because in unearthing our truth our honesty comes forth and it is in that I believe we all find connection with one another in this human experience.

Every time I share a story, I fear it might be misinterpreted. I try to remember that someone might come across that story or something I’ve said and feel less alone knowing that they are not alone in their experience because I too have gone through something similar. Any time I get nervous about feeling vulnerable, I also try to remember this quote on vulnerability by Brené Brown :

 “Vulnerability is uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. It’s that unstable feeling we get when we step out of our comfort zone or do something that forces us to loosen control. In fact, vulnerability is the core, the heart, and the center of meaningful human experiences. It’s the first thing I look for in you and the last thing I’m willing to show you. In you, it’s courage and daring. In me, it’s weakness.” 

Breaking My Own Rules is the first track off of my forthcoming EP The Darkside which is all about taking a look at where I am vs. where I thought I would be and coming to peace with that in a positive way. Breaking My Own Rules specifically is me being honest about my dating life.

As I mentioned above,  it was never my experience that a guy made the first move. Even though that’s something I told myself would happen, it didn’t. I had heard so many amazing love songs and watched endless romantic comedies, that I thought meeting my person would happen so much sooner. I thought by now I’d be in a relationship, married and have kids, but I’m not there yet. I wanted to be the one telling the fairytale romance, but that’s not an accurate account of the last 10 years of my life.

If you know me, you know I have endless dating stories that have been far from ideal or perfect. So I wanted to share dating from a different perspective. You don’t always get swept off your feet or stumble across your person in a romantic setting. No matter the setting or outcome of dating you do learn a lot about yourself and gain clarity in what you do want, which is never a loss. 

This narrative of learning to accept and love where I’m at even though it’s different than I thought it would be will be further unpacked in the upcoming tracks from my next project, which will be released throughout this fall and into next year. Being honest about the dark corners of your mind with people you don’t know is certainly a vulnerable place to be, but I think we owe it all to ourselves to go there at the very least to connect with one another and know we aren’t alone.

Kyla Pearson: According to you, what is the ideal setting for fans to listen to the song? What do you hope fans get out of the song?

Amberlea Bruch: The ideal setting to listen to Breaking My Own Rules is dancing at a summer party, in a bar or blasting it singing along with the windows down. 

I hope people get inspired to step outside the box of what they know and take some chances on the people, places or opportunities that make them feel good.

Kyla Pearson: What is one goal you hope to achieve with your music by the end of the year?

Amberlea Bruch: This year I’m very focused on levelling up my writing and performance skills. By the end of the year, I’m hoping to be back to playing full band shows across Canada and the US. I have a fun, high-energy set of songs in my back pocket for when the time comes. I also hope to meet, connect with and grow into new audiences through these shows!

Kyla Pearson: Lastly, do you have any upcoming shows where fans can hear you play “Breaking My Own Rules” live?

Amberlea Bruch: Nothing to announce just yet but keep your eyes on my socials and website as I’ll be announcing some writers’ rounds and shows in the coming months.

Listen to "Breaking My Own Rules" Now:

 

Stay up to Date With Amberlea Bruch:

Works Cited

Bruch, Amberlea. Interview. Conducted by Kyla Pearson, April 11 2023.

Martin, Sarah. “Featured: Canadian country artist Amberlea Bruch.”. Photo courtesy of Amberlea Bruch. Accessed April 11 2023.

Bruch, Amberlea. Martin, Sarah. “Featured: Official cover art for Amberlea Bruch’s latest single, “Breaking My Own Rules”.”. Photo courtesy of Amberlea Bruch. Accessed April 11 2023.

Weiner , Sandy, and Brené Brown. “[VIDEO] 5 Ways to Be More Vulnerable in Dating.” Last First Date, Last First Date, LLC , https://lastfirstdate.com/video-5-ways-to-be-more-vulnerable-in-dating/.

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