Bonnie McKee Biography
Last updated: 09/15/2009 12:00:00 PM
Bonnie McKee is an amazingly gifted singer and songwriter whose brand new Reprise Records release, Trouble is one of the most captivating debut albums in recent history. With turns both cynical and sincere; hot blooded and cool headed; boldly sensual and deeply enlightened, Trouble is a dazzling tour de force from a young artist with a long career sure to follow.
Nineteen years old, Bonnie wrote all thirteen tracks of Trouble before she was sixteen, but her extraordinary musical instincts have been in evidence as far back as the tender age of five. It was then that this precocious military brat joined the acclaimed Girl’s Choir in her hometown of Seattle, an invaluable musical apprenticeship augmented by such seminal influences as the evocative songwriting of Carol King and the pure pop pageantry of Michael Jackson. Her first forays into composing began by age twelve, which also marks her first appearances on Seattle’s open mike club scene, where she quickly earned veteran status. Perfecting her performance skills with intensive voice lessons, Bonnie single-handedly put together her first demo as part of a junior high school project, enlisting fellow students to serve as her back-up band.
It was an extraordinary accomplishment that set the stage for a subsequent six-song EP, written, performed and produced by the sixteen-year old wunderkind. Yet it was more than simply Bonnie’s youthful ambition that drew intense attention to her early studio forays: here was a fledgling artist with a powerful and persuasive aesthetic, a sophisticated and savvy point of view and a stubborn streak of independence that infused her music with passion and conviction.
Small wonder she quickly landed a major recording contract with Reprise Records. Relocating to Los Angeles she immediately began work on the album that would become Trouble and include re-cut versions of all six songs from her EP.
Shortly afterwards, Bonnie scored yet another remarkable creative coup when she was chosen to portray legendary singer Janis Joplin on the critically-acclaimed NBC-TV dramatic series, American Dreams. Not only did she perform a rendition of Joplin’s signature song, “Summertime,” in the March 7th episode, but she also made her national broadcast acting debut in a speaking role as the pioneering female rocker.
In the meantime, Trouble, featuring ten tracks produced by Rob Cavallo (Green Day, L7, Jawbreaker, The Muffs, Alanis Morissette) and two by Bob Power (Meshell Ndegeocello, Rhian Benson, The Roots), delivers on all the promise of this singing and songwriting prodigy and then some. A cutting edge choir girl; a talented young woman with a worldly wise soul; uncompromisingly honest, Bonnie McKee is a provocative paradox wrapped in a wildly original package.