We had the good fortune of connecting with B R I and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi B R I, how do you think about risk?
As an artist, I think Risk taking is one of the most important things you can do. I’m always so grateful to have started in the theatre because acting is all about risk taking – and I think it forced me to get super comfortable not only with taking big risks, but also with the idea of “failure.”
One of my college theatre professors, Karen Ryker, always encouraged us to “FAIL GLORIOUSLY.” To bask in the joy, lessons and the GROWTH that came with “failure.” I carry that with me til this day.
I always tell folk that I’ve been an “almost there” artist for a long time. As an actress, songwriter and artist, I’ve gotten really close to so many incredible opportunities that ultimately ended with “No’s.” But because I learned how to redefine “failure” and to find joy in taking risks, a “no” has never discouraged me. It just challenged me to push harder. So, to me, Risk taking is a new opportunity to grow. A new opportunity to go beyond what you thought was possible. And that’s just a really beautiful thing.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m a Connecticut based singer/songwriter. I was born into music. My dad has been a well-loved singer/performer my whole life – and before him, my Grandfather and Great Uncles made up the iconic singing group, “Family Connection.” So, as you can imagine, I felt a lot of pressure to follow in my family’s footsteps. With pressure came anxiety, which made me painfully shy!
So when I was 13, I decided to go into theatre instead. I wanted to create my own path. And I did just that, studying theatre throughout highschool and college, getting my BFA in Acting at the University of Connecticut (UCONN) in 2014.
But once I was out in the real world, I found my career being formed around my VOICE. I spent a lot of time performing regionally in musicals like “The Color Purple,” “Avenue Q” & “Dreamgirls.” In between theatre contracts, I sang in small bars and busked subway stations throughout NYC to make some laundry money, eventually gaining recognition by Producers for NBC’s “The Voice,” and Kelly Rowland’s BET series, “Chasing Destiny.” It was funny – it felt like music was always chasing me. Once I realized that, I made the decision to stop running away from what was inherently apart of my being and I FULLY EMBRACED who I am: a singer. It was the scariest, yet best decision I ever made.
The transition from the theatre to a full time music career wasn’t easy. After almost 10 years of studying and pursuing acting, it felt like I was starting over. But then I reframed my mindset and realized I didn’t have to let go of my acting to pursue my artistry. Instead, I started to let my acting background FUEL my artistry. I think that is what sets me apart within the music industry: I’m a storyteller first, and am often admired for the “honesty” in my music and performances.
2020 is when everything really started to click. Like most of the world, when the pandemic hit, I found myself stuck in the house wondering what was next. In desperate need of a creative outlet, I downloaded the Voisey App and it changed my life. Early on in Voisey, I met Grammy Nominated Producer Gourty Maxx and we soon released our first collaboration single “You Got It” in July of 2020. The song exceeded our expectations, playing internationally and getting consistent radio play on CT’s Hot 93.7. Not long after, I also connected with Singer-Songwriter, Mayhrenate via the Voisey app. We CLICKED instantly. Between Gourty Maxx, Mayhrenate, Darryl Reberio (my drummer/vocal engineer) and myself, we released my next single, “Factual.” We knew we had found something special.
The last, and the most unexpected gift that came from the Voisey app was connecting with Larry Bourgeois of Les Twins. He found my profile on the app and messaged me on Instagram to see if I’d be down to work with him on his and his brother’s upcoming music. I SCREAMED then quickly said YES!! (haha) I’ve now been working as Larry’s Co-writer for the past year. Stay tuned for Les Twins music this summer!!!
This past year has been a real dream come true. I think it worth mentioning that everything that’s happened this year happened because I shared an idea. My advice to any fellow up and coming artists: Never be afraid to put your art into the world. People are watching, people are listening.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Ok Ok!!! If I had my homies coming to visit, first stop would be brunch at “The Place 2 Be” in Hartford, CT! Bottomless mimosas and cute, couture aesthetics, cocktails in mini bath tubs — this place is super cute!
We’d definitely have to go to Foxwoods Casino – shopping, food, and my fav DJ’s – DJ Meechie and DJ Cookie spinnin’ on weekends.
Another personal fav is Bar Pina, located in the Goodwin Hotel Downtown Hartford. The cocktails are unrivaled. The vibes are cozy. If you’re lucky, my band and I might be playing some R&B music.
CT is also known for it’s natural beauty. A simple walk Walnut Hill Park is always the best way to wind down after a night out. It’s peaceful.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I have to shoutout my enormous and incredible family. I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that I have the most supportive family in the world. No lie – they have rented and filled buses MULTIPLE TIMES to come to my shows. My family is infamous for showing up and showing out for everyone – that’s the kind of love and support I come from and it’s what pushes me to keep “showing up and showing out.” Everything I do is to make them proud.
Ehardtmedia Jordan Rocha Andrew Rose