A gentle, accented acoustic guitar kicks off Lisa Ramey’s new single “Open Wide,” which premieres here today on American Songwriter. An ode to the excitement of first love and the unexplored possibilities it brings, Ramey romantically sings, “Days are getting longer/Our nights just got stronger/Let’s get away from here” over a hypnotic chord progression.
“I wanted to capture the light and airy feeling of first love! When you’re getting to know each other, and one person is afraid to go all the way while the other practices patience because they believe the other person is worth the wait- that flirty curious feeling of ‘this could be big love.’”
Ramey took that concept of exploring the unknown and traveled to South Korea to film the video. ”’Open Wide’ is like opening your life up to all possibilities. Traveling to Seoul Korea, I never in my mildest dreams thought I would travel there. I NEVER thought I would travel there to perform my original music and film a music video either. Surrender to the universe!”
Ramey crafted the song with her writing partner, Frank Cogliano, though the initial take was a bit different. “He wrote what sounded like a video game version of “Open Wide.” He sent it to me, and I loved it. I re-wrote it in my kitchen in Brooklyn!”
Ramey is a total pro when it comes to music, with her can-do attitude, striking stage presence and powerful voice. It’s no surprise she wound up on John Legend’s team on Season 15 of NBC’s “The Voice.” “He told me I was ready for bigger stages and the Grammys. Boom!”
Raised in St. Louis, Ramey moved to New York City and hustled her way into the scene, eventually fronting her own band Sugarbad. That band taught Ramey the ropes of the business, playing covers, weddings, private events and more- advice she is happy to share to all aspiring singers:
“I learned how to gracefully say the name of my band is SugarBad not Super Bad. I learned everything; how to write from my point of view and also six dudes points of view, so when everyone played they were into it. I learned patience, how to write, how to front and lead a band, how to travel internationally for months with one bag. I learned how to perform when I could barely speak from being tired. I learned how to be the only woman in a world filled with male musicians. I learned how to handle not being heard yet being right. That was annoying. I learned a lot about timing. SugarBad started as an instrumental band. I learned how to keep up! I learned a lot about myself as a performer. Like how to handle a soundcheck as a female vocalist. It’s not easy unless you have the strength to be heard. I learned running my own business is a lot easier than running a band with a band. Too many cooks in the kitchen. I’ll never go back to that life. I love hiring my boys. And they are epic. All of the members of my band now at one point played in SugarBad.”