With big beats and a stage presence for the ages the beautiful ladies of Bunny X are a force to be reckoned with. Sleek production and the catchiest tunes this side of the Hudson River all culminate to captivate their fans the world over.
Primarily known for Italo Disco the devil may care duo that are Mary Hanley and Abigail “Abbi” Ferguson have been sending temperatures soaring since 2013 and draw on influences ranging from the Pet Shop Boys to Erasure and Timecop1983 to early Madonna and beyond. Whilst they generally stay true to the Italo Disco sound they have an acute affinity with the Synthwave Genre and we’re all the luckier for it.
Recently signed to Synthwave Label Oasis ‘Aztec Records’ their star will continue to ascend and we can expect big big things to come.
From the city that never sleeps, we don’t sleep on this duo and Forged took the exciting opportunity to interview the ladies about all things Bunny X past and the glittering dancefloor of their future...take a look!
So happy to have you ladies with me here on Forged, I have been following your career
with great interest for a good while now. Congratulations of course on all your success to
date and that stunning single with Marvel83 ‘NYC Sunrise’. How do you feel 2020 has gone
Abigail: We’re very happy to be here, thank you for having us and thank you so much for
the support! Ahh yes, Marvel83’ was wonderful to work with - such a talented artist and
kind person. 2020 was...rough to put it simply. I think everyone certainly experienced their
fair share of struggles and we were not immune as NYC was extremely hard hit with
Covid-19 cases. Like everyone else, our day-to-day routines essentially came to a
standstill. But, a silver lining certainly was having more time to write and flesh out new
material. We ended up working on several italo-inspired tracks in the earlier part of the
year but, as time went on, we started working on a number of retrowave/80s songs,
inspired by such artists as Sellorekt/LA Dreams, Don Dellpiero and Timecop1983.
Mary: Hi Ash! Thanks so much for having us! 2020 had its share of ups and downs, all of
which I’m sure you know about already - the ‘Rona, the Presidential Election, the absence
of live music in venues, etc...but despite all of that and more, I feel that 2020 taught us a
lot as well. We all collectively needed to learn how to dial things down, and take very
deep breaths...not easy at first, as we’re all trying to get things done all the time. Being
at home has felt at times like a lovely vacation, as I had no agenda! LOL. But, all in all, I
think that slowing down and really considering what is important, what things we love and
need in our lives - good people and cherished friends, chill mode time, self care, and of
course, self love. No regrets! This time has also allowed Abbi and I to move into writing/
creating our first Synthwave album, so we’ve also been busy working on that. We’re super
Of course, you’re now signed to Aztec Records which is very exciting how are they to work
Abigail: The Aztec team is fantastic - everyone has been extremely welcoming and helpful.
I highly recommend them to any artists that are looking for representation as they
definitely go the extra mile and work to enhance an artist’s vision as opposed to stifling it.
Mary: Yes! They have been very supportive of us, and we truly very much appreciate
Tell us a little bit about how Bunny X came to be?
Abigail: Well, long story short, Mary and I became friends here in NYC in 2005 and quickly
discovered our mutual affection for karaoke (haha). After a while, we realized that our
voices seemed to blend pretty well together and eventually (after singing back-up vocals
for some local acts) we thought it would be fun to try writing some original material of our
own. Not long after this, we began working with a producer in the area and released a
synthpop EP in 2012 called Lovespy.
We weren’t quite satisfied with the project though and realized we were still kind of looking for our “sound.” After meeting another local producer, Conrad Kaneshiro, things began to take off and we started co-writing some italo disco style tracks with him, the first of which came out in 2013 (“If You Say Yes”).
We went on to release a bunch of tracks with him over the years and continue to work on
material with him now.
Mary: Abbi’s brainchild, Bunny X, became a reality in approximately 2010. Abbi met our
producer, Conrad Kaneshiro, at an Italo Disco party she and a friend were hosting and they
met up after and talked about all things Italo and thought it would be amazing to have an
actual group. Abbi brought me in, not too long thereafter, so the rest is history! We have
been working with Conrad ever since and have released quite a few vinyl and digital
releases together. At the moment, the album we’re working on is a priority and we’re
excited to be collaborating with other producers and fellow label mates.
It’s fair to say that you’re the current Italo Disco Queens which blends beautifully with the
Synthwave genre how do you feel this works with your current and future visions for the
Abigail: Aww, thank you! That is quite the accolade! Well, as you know, starting around
2017, we decided to release some tracks that fell more into the synthwave/retrowave
camp and find ourselves continually inspired by so many amazing artists in the scene.
While we have plans to release a full italo record at some point in the not-toooo-distant
future, we have been furiously writing and recording several new retrowave tracks which
we (drum roll please haha) plan to release in late spring if all goes according to plan. Even
though we’ve been doing music together for a number of years, this will actually be our
first ever full-length release. Better late than never as they say right?
Mary: Aww, that is so sweet of you to say! Italo Disco will always be a part of us, as it has
been for many years now. It’s more dance based, Hi-NRG music, though we have a few
tracks that are more synthwave in style and feeling, which, of course has been a lot of
fun! I’m thinking that once we finish our album, we’ll have a more concise idea of what
would come next. I am really loving the wide variety of tracks in the synthwave genre and
Abbi and I both love the dreaminess of many of the tracks some of our synthwave friends
have made - we’re really into it!
What would you both say are the most distinctive aspects of the music you create?
Abigail: I think since Mary and I grew up on a steady diet of 80s music (and literally also
grew up in the 80s lol) we can’t help but be inspired to create music that reflects the
sounds we grew up listening to. Also, my older brother Brian, always a bit of a rebel, got
into italo disco as a teen and since he more or less bossed me around on everything
anyway, I ended up listening to italo all the time. I absolutely fell in love with the genre
and will always credit him for getting me into it and hence inspiring a lot of our music.
(Update: He still sends me italo tracks to check out all the time and he is still bossy as
Mary: I feel that we both take inspiration from all the music we love, music from the 80’s
and there are certain synth sounds we just love. For this new project, we’re doing
something a little different from our usual where we would always sing everything
together. We are working with some tracks that Abbi will be lead vocal on and there are
some that I will be lead on, and of course whoever isn’t lead will do background vocals,
etc. It’ll be nice to hear Abbi do her thing and I’m looking forward to doing the same as
Are there any Artists on the scene that you’d love to collaborate with? Who are you
Abigail: Well, it was a dream of mine to collaborate with Sellorekt/LA Dreams (as I’ve long
been inspired by his work with Roxi Drive) so I am over the moon to announce that we’ll
be releasing two collaboration tracks with him on our upcoming record. We are generally
always up for collaborations so if anyone has any interest in working with us they should
definitely feel free to reach out! Lately I’ve been listening to a ton of Caspro, Highway
Superstar, The Motion Epic, Don Dellpiero, Sunglasses Kid, Primo, LAU and Korine, among
many others. It’s our fantasy basically to do a track with FM Attack which is how I became
a synthwave fan in the first place.
Mary: We would love to collaborate with FM Attack. I am particularly obsessed with his
song “Magic” feat. KRISTINE and love his collab with Mecha Maiko as well! Korine is great,
fabulous synths, if they ever need female vocals, please call us ;) Also love the Chromatics
& Desire from the Italians Do It Better label. Vandal Moon is another great one, love his
voice. I listen to all the artists I just listed! NINA is fantastic, she’s so lovely. LAU is also
wonderful, Robert Parker and VHS Dreams. I’m also a huge Bat For Lashes (Natasha Khan)
fan. Check out “What’s a Girl to Do” on the album Fur & Gold. Her voice is heavenly.
Credit: New Retrowave
What do you both reckon has been some of the most cherished memories of your career to
Abigail: A major dream come true for us (and just a damn good time too) was when we
were invited to perform at the Patrick Miller Italo Disco festival in Mexico City in 2015. It
was incredible and just surreal to perform alongside artists I had grown up listening to like
Fancy, Fred Ventura and Brian Ice. We’ve also gotten a chance to perform at a number of
notable venues in NYC over the years such as The Knitting Factory and Mercury Lounge
which, for us, means a lot. Another big highlight for us was playing alongside CZARINA,
LAU, NINA and Parallels during the “Automatic Gold” tour in fall 2019. It felt like a mini
synthfest and truly was a blast.
Mary: We were invited by a very well known DJ in Mexico City, Patrick Miller (Roberto
Devesa), to come participate in a huge Italo Disco festival in 2015 and got to meet so
many influential Italo artists such as the amazing Fred Ventura, Jessica Williams, Fancy,
Brian Ice, just to name a few. It was our biggest audience to date at 12,000 people
attending! It was such a defining moment for us, one that we’ll never forget. We also were
the supporting act for an all-female synthwave show at the Knitting Factory in 2019. It was
really well attended and a total blast. The artists who participated were us, CZARINA,
NINA, LAU and Parallels. Our first official show in 2012 was at the now defunct Lit Lounge
in the East Village and that was also a great time!
Tell us a little about your creative processes, how long does it take for you to lay down a
track? Are you each involved in all aspects or are their little jobs that each do better?
Abigail: It’s funny, some tracks just seem to materialize out of thin air and come together
in a matter of minutes (this happened with “Revolving Doors" and “Midnight Tensions,” for
example) whereas other songs such as “Unknown Places” require a whole lot more time
and patience. I do the majority of our vocal arrangements and lyric writing and then I
typically bounce everything off Mary and she helps me fine-tune melody ideas, finalize the
lyrics and other aspects so that we can hopefully get the best possible result for the track.
Mary is excellent with creating and singing harmonies - something I do not excel at - so I’m
very grateful for that. I call her the Harmony Queen haha.
Mary: Once I’ve listened to a track enough times to get the flow of it, I can lay down
vocals pretty quickly. I also do harmony tracks for some added interest and contribute
lyrics whenever needed. I look forward to being in the room for the production of our
upcoming release, depending on how things go with the ‘Rona.
What is the one guilty pleasure the Bunnies cannot live without?
Abigail: Hmm, good question! For me it’s Netflix HAHA. I don’t know how any of us would
have gotten through this past year without it personally! But, in all seriousness, and as
corny as it sounds, I am so grateful for the synthwave community. It’s been such a blast
collaborating with artists in the genre over the past few years and has truly brought real
joy into our lives.
Mary: Speaking for myself, I need a lot of dark chocolate :) and the occasional glass of
Who where your musical inspirations growing up? I suspect that’s changed a lot for you
both over time?
Abigail: So many. But I guess if I really had to just name a few, it would be Madonna, Cyndi
Lauper, Prince, Pet Shop Boys, Depeche Mode and New Order. As I mentioned before
though, I also grew up listening to a number of italo artists such as Ken Laszlo, Savage,
Sandra, Valerie Dore, Joy, Silent Circle, Bad Boys Blue, Modern Talking, Roger Meno, JD
Jaber, Kano, Miko Mission, Fake and so many others.
Mary: They’re still my inspirations, despite all the years! They are: Stevie Nicks, Cher,
Ann/Nancy Wilson, Pat Benatar (are you feeling the 80’s vibe yet? LOL), David Bowie
(forever, even Magic Dance). The Go-Go’s (that’s how I learned harmonies, thanks ladies!),
Joni Mitchell, Claudine Longet, Serge Gainsbourg, Lydia Lunch, Nick Cave, Echo & the
Bunnymen, Depeche Mode, The Cure, Freddy Mercury....the list goes on!
Are there any current and/or future projects you’re particularly excited about that you’d
love to share?
Abigail: YES! We are thrilled to officially announce (and thank you for giving us the
opportunity to do so :) that we’ll be releasing our first ever full-length album in late
spring. The theme is 80s coming-of-age and is a blend of all of our varying musical
influences so we’re super excited about the project and really looking forward to sharing
*Those new album vibes*
Mary: The album we’re working on now is exciting, and going very smoothly. As far as
future projects, I believe we’ll come across them as time moves on but we’ll definitely let
you know if anything pops up sooner.
If there was one fundamental thing about the Music Industry you’d like to change what
would it be? Why?
Abigail: Excellent question. For one, I think we need a serious competitor to Spotify as it’s
become such a monopoly and that is typically not a good thing for any industry. But, it
serves its purpose to some extent I suppose. Second, I think it would be fantastic if there
was an easier way for artists to submit their music for licensing purposes. There are so
many missed opportunities (I’m looking at you WW84 and Cyberpunk 2077) where
synthwave music would have fit the bill perfectly but the music industry has been
painfully slow to pick up on that.
Mary: I would like women to be more recognized in the genre in general. Especially when
it comes to venues and putting together an all-female line-up, I remember we’d have to
negotiate with the venue quite a bit to get what we wanted, which really wasn’t always a
tall order! So, it’s always great when you have the ladies in the scene coming together,
supporting each other and lifting each other up.
What is a day off for the Bunnies like? Or is there such a thing?
Abigail: Absolutely! While I work full-time and spend most of my free time working on
music and promo stuff, I will always find time to watch the latest true crime show, listen
to podcasts (my favorite is “You’re Wrong About”) and catch up with friends and family :)
Mary: Some days are for exercising and self care, and most, right now anyway, are for
getting more tracks done and fleshed out.
Of your entire discography to date what one track would you say you’re most proud of?
Abigail: I guess I will always be sentimental about “If You Say Yes” as that was the first
track we released following our “rebranding” of sorts in 2012-2013 and I’m proud of that
one but my favorite track of ours is "Come Back” :)
Mary: That’s a tough one! I am honestly proud of all of our releases, it’s hard to choose.
It’s like, which kid (if I had one lol) would I love more?
How have you both been coping with respect to the lack of events? Do you anticipate
being back on stage at some point this year? Do you have any tentative gigs booked?
Abigail: We used to gig several times a year which is also where we got a chance to catch
up with friends and have an opportunity to meet other artists so that’s been tough. I think
everyone has been super bummed about that over this past year. We’re really not sure
when things will open back up again but I could see doing some outdoor gigs when the
weather warms up a bit. We don’t have anything booked at the moment but hopefully that
will change soon.
Mary: Abbi and I definitely miss performing live, it’s always such a good time...we have
also been commiserating with our fellow artist friends about this very thing. We are
hopeful regarding being back on stage sometime this year, that would be great. We’ll have
to see how things go with the pandemic, but again, we’re hopeful <3
A message for your fans?
Abigail: We honestly just want to say thank you for listening and for being open to us
trying out new things. We love our italo and high-energy but I personally don’t like to be
locked into doing the same thing over and over so it’s been really wonderful to experiment
with different genres and to follow wherever the muse takes us!
Mary: We LOVE you, each and every one of you, and are incredibly grateful for all your
support through the years!
If you would like to support the Bunnies please take a look at the following links: