I'm lucky in that I become friends with a lot of John's clients, which is exactly how I became acquainted with today's bitch. A few years ago, Marchelle showed up at our house a juxtaposition of camera-ready hair and makeup, and street punk. This was in the era of skinny jeans and knee boots, and Marchelle was wearing multiple leather jackets, ripped men's jeans and spiked black boots with chains. I was like, who are you and please like me.
Fortunately for me, Marchelle did like me, which behooved me when we were in L.A. for the Grammy's and I needed both a boob wrangler and a hairstylist. Without hesitation, Marchelle was like, give me your boobs, give me your bobby pins, and how much time do we have. Turns out, that's a real quick way to solidify a friendship. Marchelle is talented, generous, and hilarious. And her house is haunted. Meet today's bitch, Marchelle Bradanini!
What do you do and what is the name of your business?
I'm Marchelle Bradanini and I'm a songwriter / singer under the moniker Pony Boy. I'm also the co-founder of Cosmic Thug Records and Cosmic Thug Press, along with Adam Landry and Justin Collins.
When did you first learn about this field of work?
I’ve been performing since I was about two years old. Decided to start a label after being through some shit experiences on other labels. Became a fan of small presses when studying poetry in grad school.
How did you know it was what you wanted to do?
I’ve desperately tried to do other things, but never feel quite the satisfaction from creative undertakings, even though it feels like pissing into the ocean most days.
What was your path that lead you to where you are now?
Being told no and a lot of failure. Sending blind emails to people I was a fan of (I did this to Adam and Justin after hearing T. Hardy Morris’ album, Audition Tapes) and not being afraid to get out of a comfort zone.
What was the best piece of business advice you’ve been given?
Diligence is the mother of good luck. Work hard. Believe in yourself when nobody else does. Find people you admire to collaborate with. Keep reading, learning, listening. Stay inspired.
What is the most difficult part of being your own boss?
Staying disciplined, but also allowing time to be creative.
Can you name the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
Failure can be a great teacher.
What would you do with 2 more hours a day?
Listen to Tom Waits while walking outdoors. Or maybe just taking a nap and catch up on some Joan Didion in a onesie.
What has been the biggest sacrifice you’ve made?
A steady paycheck.
What is your greatest success (or something you’re most proud of)?
That I’m still in music as a woman over the age of twenty! Lucinda Williams recently came to our Cosmic Thug Show at The 5 Spot and had a little chat with me. Her creative drive and career is an inspiration and it was maybe the best honor to have her tell me she was into my voice and songwriting.
What’s the first app or website you open when you wake up in the morning?
I have The New York Times / The Guardian as my homepages, so I usually start with some news, but it’s been difficult not to fall into a dark hole of rage and sadness in the these current times. I do think it’s important to not become numb to all the terrible shit happening in the world and we have a duty to engage through art, activism or any means beyond tacit compliance. I then usually take a quick look at social media: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook (less so), but not obsessively.
Where do you go when you need inspiration?
I revisit the classics or the people that are my main source of inspiration: Billie Holiday, Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, Velvet Underground, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Dylan Thomas.
How do you decompress at the end of the day?
Twelve pounds of Epsom Salts in a hot bath! Or I read before bed.
Lastly, and most important, what is your favorite TV show and what is your favorite snack?
I recently watched the entire run of The Sopranos when I was pregnant and it was perfection. Favorite snack would be anything slathered with peanut butter.
All photos courtesy of Marchelle Bradanini
P.S. Meet last week's bitch: Communications Strategist, Holly McCall!
P.P.S. Full list of My Bitches here.