An Interview With Brielle Brown
Brielle Brown just released a new single and it's beautifully inspirational and gives a feeling of warmth from the very second it begins.
"Concrete Stars" is a love letter and plays out emotionally and passionately as the piano melodies give soothing hooks and Brown's vocals cleanse you with soul.
Notes of gospel hit just right and make the hairs on your arms stand up while the song's cinematic power keeps you visualizing an array of colors.
This is a ballad of sorts and incorporates strings, piano, guitars, and backing vocals that all come together with Brown's lead and it only grows as it plays on.
This is a touching song that pulls on the heart strings and borders at times on Americana and pop but for the most part it's just so emotionally driven that it's engulfing.
You get wrapped up in it's feel and it feels good.
With a song powerful enough to make you well up with a tear or two, we absolutely had to have a chat with Brielle Brown about what this song really means and more.
Here is what we found out.
TSWS: Hey Brielle, so let's start with "Concrete Stars". This track has a ton of soul and an Americana undertone. Where did this come from?
Brielle: Thank you! I appreciate that. I think it’s just the by-product of being really inspired by so many soul and Americana artists over the years. It’s kind of naturally infused my writing. Chords and melodies steeped in gospel and the blues—that’s what gets me. There’s such a spirit in music when it’s raw and real. I love hearing people’s entire lives in their voices, all the pain and joy. Because that’s life, right? Life’s not polished and perfect. It’s messy and flawed and you feel it all. When art imitates life, I believe that’s when it has the potential to become everlasting.
TSWS: The song is performed with passion and heart and I think this is why it hits so hard. Who are your biggest musical influences?
Brielle: I’ve been influenced by so many artists over the years but I think what shapes us the most are our earliest experiences with music. I was lucky enough to grow up in a home with pretty bohemian parents who played a lot of the music that came out of Laurel Canyon in the 60s and 70s. Musically speaking, our house was like a little Californian bungalow. Joni Mitchell, James Taylor or CSNY was always playing, incense always lit. I think those sounds and that idea of music as the heart of the home always stuck with me and I always dreamt of raising my kids in a little creative space, artists walking in and out—music playing. Life is a lot more hectic these days but sometimes I look around around and think to myself, it might not always be perfect but I’ve come pretty close to that dream. I’d say Joni Mitchell is one of my biggest influences, especially lyrically. I always urge the younger female artists I work with to study her lyrics. Her craft is breathtaking. The first CD I purchased was Van Morrison’s Moondance (I think I was 11). To this day it’s my favorite album and “Into the Mystic” is my favorite song of all time. If you want to know more, I put together a Spotify playlist recently called “The Women Who Made Me”. It’s my ode to many of the female artists who've inspired me and a few newer artists who I feel are continuing in their footsteps! https://open.spotify.com/
TSWS: How did this all start for you?
Brielle: I’ve spent most of the past decade developing incredibly gifted artists, helping them hone their craft and guiding their careers. There’s really nothing that brings me more excitement than collaborating with artists. I’m so blessed to call it my job because it’s really my livelihood. But, as my kids started to get a little older I just thought now is the time to get something out there for myself. I’ve recorded a lot of music over the course of my career but never a full body of work.
TSWS: Do you think you might try and do some live performances when the time comes?
Brielle: Yes, I would love that. The whole EP was cut live so it’s really meant to be played live. I’m so incredibly in awe and in love with the musicians that played on this record and the whole production team. They are so empathetic, sympathetic and so ridiculously giving. I’m hoping to have an official release show but I guess it will have to wait a little while!
TSWS: "Concrete Stars" is doing well on Spotify! Is there any advice you'd give to up and coming artists just trying to get heard?
Brielle: It’s really difficult to break through the noise out there. There’s a lot you can do to get streams and numbers up through marketing and advertising. It depends on what your goals and expectations are for your music. But at the end of the day, it’s really just about people. You have to create relationships, build your fan base even if it starts small. Find like-minded people who are going to fall in love with you and your music, keep track of the people who are responding to it. Even though this business has drastically changed on the outside, at the core of it it’s still about connecting to people. And the less people you know, the harder you have to work at making those connections. Just make friends and be authentic. That’s my best advice right now.
TSWS: What does someone like you do when you're NOT working on music?
Brielle: Well, I’m a mom to 6 year old twins who take up every morsel of my time, especially now since they’re not in school as much. My life right now consists of my taking care of my family and creating things in the space between. I’m extremely lucky to be working with a number of talented artists at the moment so there’s always something to do at any given second. I just have to be gentle with myself sometimes because as a working mom, the time I had before this year is just not there anymore. I’ve come to realize that I have to prioritize and if I have 20 minutes, I can only get done as much as that allows. Everything else just has to wait and there’s nothing I can do about it. Accepting this new normal is still a work in progress…
TSWS: What's next for you as an artist?
Brielle: I’m developing a few different artists right now who will have some exciting things coming up soon. For me personally, my EP The Well will be out in the beginning of 2021. I’m really excited about getting it out into the world. We recorded it 2 weeks before everything shut down so I feel like releasing it will be somewhat cathartic and hopefully the beginning of a long healing process for everyone.
TSWS: Are there any non-musical influences that spark a song for you?
Brielle: Yes, always! Actually “Concrete Stars” and my entire EP was inspired by theories of quantum mechanics. I believe the more we can understand about the universe, the more we understand about ourselves. With each song, I always strive to ask new questions and dig deeper into the human condition. When you think of the greatest, most evergreen songs out there, they always seem to somehow point us toward the answers to life’s existential questions.
TSWS: Before we go, what would you like to say to your fans out there?
Brielle: I’m so grateful for you! Let’s connect.