Bonzie

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Bonzie — 17-year-old Chicagoan Nina Ferraro — isn’t a traditional confessional singer-songwriter. She’s more of an observer and commentator who is drawn to expressing the concerns of her generational cohort (the bond between independence and interdependence, not wanting to be manipulated, and the view of one’s self beyond society) with unwavering honesty, and delivering them with powerful abandon. It’s partly for this reason that Ferraro has chosen to release her songs under the moniker Bonzie (an image and word she’s long associated with her creative output) as opposed to her own name, as she did on her 2010 EP, The Promise.
Ferraro has always liked to have an outlet for “making things,” she says.  But it was music that was a root interest for Ferraro.  When Ferraro was 12, she approached the manager of a local coffeehouse in Wisconsin and asked if she could play there, which turned into a bi-weekly event for the next two years. “The first time I sang in front of a crowd, I only did it because I wanted to perform a song I had written,” she explains. Ferraro soon became a fixture on Chicago’s club circuit, performing at such venues as Schubas, Double Door, Martyrs’, and Beat Kitchen, as well as at the annual Taste of Chicago festival.
At 15, Ferraro self-released The Promise EP, which attracted national college radio airplay. The EP was produced by Will Golden and Al Sgro (Eric Hutchinson, Meiko, and Michelle Branch).
Now Ferraro has taken on the role of co-producer with Golden, teaming up with engineer Tom Biller (Elliott Smith, Fiona Apple) on Rift Into The Secret Of Things.  She describes this album as more experimental and dynamic than its predecessor.
The album’s title is inspired by a passage in one of Ferraro’s favorite books, Thoreau’s Walden. “It's about how to get to the essence, to put aside intellect or logic in order to reach the truth, or whatever the essence of a thing is,” Ferraro explains. “Much of this album is shaped underneath that thought. There is a core to it that ties the songs together. It's subtle but it's there. It's difficult to declare this album any one thing because it varies song to song, but there is a theme. It's my hope that the listener will be able to tap into that.”

 

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