In the latest installment of our occasional conversations with Fort Worth newsmakers, musician Averi Burk spoke with arts and culture editor Marcheta Fornoff about her upcoming performance at the Amplify 817 Showcase

This conversation has been edited for length and clarity. For the unabridged version, please listen to the audio file attached to this article.

Fornoff: We’re talking right now at Maggie’s R & R where you’re playing a lot of really fun covers like Tom Petty and Tracy Chapman. But coming up, you’re going to play on (Amplify’s) 817 Day (Showcase).

Burk: Yes. 

Fornoff: And you’re going to debut two new songs of your own. 

Burk: Yes, we’re actually doing a surprise third one. So we’re releasing three. It’s like a little interlude that we’re going to do. But yeah, we’re going to debut all three of them. I’m so excited. I can’t wait.

If you go

Time: 7 p.m.

Date: Aug. 17

Location: Will Rogers Auditorium,
3401 W Lancaster Ave
Fort Worth, 76107


Tickets: Free. Reserve yours here.

Fornoff: One of them is called “24,” which is about being 24. But tell me more about what made you want to write it? 

Burk: (Laughs) So I was fighting writer’s block for a little bit, and I couldn’t figure out what to write about. And then I just thought I was like, OK, where am I at? So I thought about that and I was like, OK, what do 24-year-olds struggle with? And so I just started spilling my mind.

Adele just came out with “30” or whatever. All of her albums are her age. It’s a really good idea, so I made a song called “24,” and it’s just a bunch of random thoughts.

The first verse is kind of pessimistic. The second verse is when I’m maturing and it’s more optimistic and kind of seeing the good in everything that you thought wasn’t, you know what I mean? But all my perspectives and visions on everything are changing, and it’s kind of like a product of that, you know? 

Fornoff: Yeah, I mean, this is a weird time. 

Burk: (Laughs) It’s a weird time to be 24. 

Fornoff: Yeah. I mean, maturing is always really difficult, but there’s so much going on that makes it even more challenging. 

Burk: Oh yeah. It’s definitely a heavy period in the world and in life. We’re seeing some good in some things, but it’s like every second there’s something else in the news and it’s like, ‘OK, what is it (now)?’  We need a break, y’all. 

Fornoff: Is that feeling part of why you wrote (your new song) “Outside,” wanting to step outside of yourself and just process?

Burk: Honestly, yeah. I wrote that because it was like … I’ve battled with mental illness and mental health for a long time. And I got to a point where I thought I defeated it, you know what I mean? And you’re like, ‘OK, I’m good.’ And then another wave hits you.

And so the pre-chorus is “Never thought I’d get this low again.” And then the chorus is, “I want to live on the outside.” So it’s talking about realizing that I’m being too internal, and it’s like, I can get outside of myself and see through some of the anxieties, depression and things like that. 

Fornoff: Is music how you step outside of that? It’s hard to break that (feedback) loop. 

Burk: Music is definitely my outlet and has saved my life so many times.

Fornoff: That takes a lot of vulnerability, especially when you are fighting with yourself to get through that and then to share it publicly. What gives you the fortitude to do that? Because it’s a scary thing, I’m sure, the first time you’re really vulnerable. 

Burk: When I was younger, I would listen to people’s lyrics. It’s silly now, but there’s this Colbie Caillat album and songs I would listen to a bunch (like “Don’t Hold Me Down” and “It Stops Today”). It was talking about how she got through some things she thought she wouldn’t get through. When I was young, that really hit me and I was like, ‘I can do this cause she can do this.’ 

And so I was like, ‘Man, I love music and I always want to do music, but my purpose changed.’

I want to be a voice for people who feel like they can’t speak because it’s scary or it’s hard and be that person that shines a light. Now it’s more acceptable and people talk about it more, but I want to help people in any way I can and just let them know they’re not alone. That makes it less scary to me because people tell me sometimes, ‘I relate to you’ and ‘I understand you.’ That’s why I do this. 

Fornoff: Yeah. I feel like you had that similar level of vulnerability with, “I Feel Weird Sometimes.” What has changed from that LP to the new music you’re releasing now? 

Burk: I’m working with Brandon (Saiz) now. He has really helped me grow a lot in my writing and in the quality of my work. He’s raised the roof, and so I’ve had to grow and push through that.

Fornoff: So on 817 Day, is there anything other than sharing new music that you’re really excited about? Are you performing with other artists or is it one after another?

Burk: There’s going to be four acts, so we’re all (at) separate times, but I’m bringing in a special guest or two, hopefully, and then I’m going to have my dancers as well. It’s going to be crazy. It’s going to be really fun. I’m so excited. 

Fornoff: Is there anything I didn’t ask you about that you want to mention or you think is important to know? 

Burk: Just to come on Wednesday and I hope the songs resonate with (somebody) and they can connect with it and hopefully understand where I’m coming from. 

Fornoff: It’s a free show, so that’s a great price.

Burk: Yes. All you gotta do is show up.

Fornoff: Perfect.

Burk: Thank you so much.

Marcheta Fornoff covers the arts for the Fort Worth Report. Contact her at marcheta.fornoff@fortworthreport.org or on Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

Creative Commons License

Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under a Creative Commons license.

Avatar photo

Marcheta Fornoff

For just over seven years Marcheta Fornoff performed the high wire act of producing a live morning news program on Minnesota Public Radio. She led a small, but nimble team to cover everything from politics...