We’re coming up on awards season, with not only this Sunday’s American Music Awards, but the imminent announcements of both the 2016 Grammy and Oscar nominations. So it’s an ironic time for alt-country singer-songwriter Ryan Bingham – whose T Bone Burnett-produced Crazy Heart theme “The Weary Kind” won for Best Original Song at 2010’s Academy Awards and Golden Globes – to tell Yahoo Music that he isn’t even sure of the whereabouts of his statuettes.
“It’s at home somewhere. I don’t even really know,” Bingham shrugs with a wry grin, talking backstage with Yahoo Music at the recent Voodoo Music + Arts Experience, when asked where he keeps his Best Song Oscar. He also says his Golden Globe is “around the house. It’s in a box or something… I’m sorry [that I don’t know]! I hope I’m not disappointing anybody.”
While many artists would consider their lives and careers forever changed by such honors, Bingham just went right back to recording, touring, and releasing music on his own label, and he really never looked back. “It was strange for me, because that as never really a goal I had – I didn’t get into playing music to win awards,” Bingham says of his Hollywood experience. “It was awesome, and I’m honored that I won that [Oscar] and had that experience with the film and got to meet all the people that I did, but it was such a surreal moment at the same time. I remember me and my wife just laughing hysterically. We couldn’t believe it happened to some kid like me from west Texas.
"It was kind of nice, because I felt I was able to look at the scene from the outside looking in,” he continues. “I could enjoy it, but I never felt like I got too caught up in it… The romanticism or the fantasy of all that world can take you over the edge, if you let it. I just tried to keep a little bit of distance.”
(photo: Getty Images)
Bingham continued to have his ups and downs after his whirlwind Crazy Heart experience. 2012’s Tomorrowland, his fourth album, was a heavy-hearted and sorrowful affair, while this year’s Fear and Saturday Night is noticeably more joyous. Says Bingham: “Music has always been kind of reflective of what’s going on in my life. Writing songs has always been a therapeutic thing for me. My songs tend to be pretty personal about things I’ve gone through. I kind of had a few dark years. In the past few years, I lost both of my parents…”
Considering the emotional contrast between his last two releases, we wonder if Bingham subscribes at all to the notion that the best art comes from suffering and heartache. “I hope not!” he exclaims with a chuckle. “I hope you don’t have to be miserable to write good songs… Things came around. I got married. I have a brand-new baby girl. Everybody has ups and downs in life, and I was on that rollercoaster. I’m on the way back up now."
We say it’s time for him to find his missing Oscar and Golden Globe and dust them off, so he can show them to his new daughter one day.