Hey Brina! So excited to be chatting with you! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Thanks for having me! Well to begin, I’m originally from the Chicagoland area. I attended college at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a little over a year ago, moved to Nashville to pursue my dream, which was in music. I’ve loved singing and performing since I was very little, and realized it would never happen for me if I didn’t drop everything and go for it one hundred percent. I moved to Nashville with little to nothing, knowing nobody, and managed to not only survive, but thrive. I put out four singles last year (two that have received real radio airplay) recently dropped a music video and have another on the way. It’s been an amazing experience thus far and I’ve learned and grown so much. Nashville is such an inspiring place to be and I’ve met and worked with so many incredibly talented people.
Where did your love of music come from?
I learned to play the violin in kindergarten through an early instrumental music program at my elementary school. At the time I didn’t really like it, but I think learning to play programmed my brain to be musically inclined from a young age. Having that foundation, I also got involved in musical theatre. Once I got up on a stage, I never wanted to leave. I think my love for country music in particular stemmed from listening to the Dixie Chicks. We had their CD and I always wanted to listen to it in the car. Traveling Soldier quickly became my go to audition song. I’d always been a strong writer when it came to my language arts classes, so in high school I finally combined my talents and passion and started writing my own songs. The rest was history!
What artists do you look up to right now?
I’ve always looked up to the Dixie Chicks, and Natalie Maines in particular, for her amazing talent, meaningful songwriting, and willingness to stand up for what she believes in. I took an eight-hour train ride to see them at their last tour, and I am so ready for their new album.
I also draw inspiration from a lot of today’s pop-country girls, Taylor Swift, Kelsea Ballerini, Maren Morris and Kacey Musgraves. They are all strong women who write genuine music and have been able to successfully make a name for themselves without compromising who they are and what they stand for. They aren’t just following trends and trying to sound like everyone else. They each have a truly unique sound and I admire that.
You just released your new music video for your single “Rome”! How excited were you to get this project out into the world?!?
I was beyond thrilled to finally have this video out in the world. It’s a project I’ve had with me since last summer, so I’ve been itching to share it for so long. This is my first official music video ever and a real milestone for my career, it makes me feel like a more legitimate artist. So much went into bringing this song to life, and now I just hope it can inspire those who get to experience it.
Can you tell us what this song means to you?
This song means everything to me. It’s become my personal anthem. It was one of the first I’d ever written and performed in Nashville, and it is a testament to my resilience during some of my hardest moments. It was inspired by my experiences after moving to Nashville, during my first couple of weeks which were really difficult. I had no friends and the only job I could manage to get was at an ice cream shop. I then lost that job within two weeks and had to scrounge in order to survive. It was the most alone and unmotivated I’d ever felt. My situation felt hopeless. I wasn’t even writing songs because I had no energy. Rome began as poems I’d written here and there in order to vent. So, to make it through all of that, manage to turn it into a happy song, then get that song produced, and then have that song become my first professional music video, feels surreal. I look back at the videos of me in my bedroom singing the song with an acoustic guitar, before I’d even played a single writer’s round, and just think of how far I’ve come since then, and all the cool things I’ve done. I just couldn’t have imagined during those first few weeks I’d ever get to this point. I’m always reaching and working towards the next thing, I can be hard on myself and feel like I’m not achieving the success I want, and that I’m not reaching it fast enough. This release was a rare moment where I was able to soak it all in and just be proud of myself.
What do you hope your supporters will think of the new video?
We’re going through some very unprecedent times right now. A couple weeks ago I was dress shopping and rehearsing with my band for the release show I’d planned for it. Then everything got shut down and I lost my day job. I think a lot of people feel uncertain about their future, and anxious about what comes next. There is so much out of our control and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and like there is no light at the end of the tunnel, at least not one that’s visible at the moment. When I planned this release, I definitely couldn’t have anticipated that we’d be going through a global pandemic, but I think the message of the song and video are very relevant. The video is a metaphorical representation of what I went through when I first moved to Nashville. I’m alone in a new environment with only the small light of my lantern to guide me through the unknown. The moral of the story is that it’s okay to feel down sometimes, it doesn’t mean you’re giving up, and you have it in you to get through the big challenges, even if you only have it in you to take it a day at a time.
What other release plans do you have for 2020?
I’ve got another music video on the way. The original release month for it was June, but I may delay due to the current circumstances. It’s another one I’ve had with me for a while so I’ve been itching set it free. A lot of work was put into this one and I think it will definitely build upon the potential I’ve demonstrated in the Rome video. I can’t wait for everyone to see it.
The next big things I want to tackle are to release an EP, and to start touring with a full band. No dates set for either at the moment but that is where my sights are set. I want to be doing music full time.
What do you hope your supporters will think from hearing your new music?
My ultimate goal is to make a positive impact on people’s lives. So, if one of my songs can make someone feel understood, comforted, or motivated, make a difference in the life of even just one person, all of the hard work is worth it. I’ve done my job.
What social media platform do you use most to stay connected to your supporters?
The very first thing anyone who thinks I’m cool enough to follow should do, is actually subscribe to my email list at brinakaymusic.com. This is important because I give my email subscribers exclusive content, content I work hard on like behind the scenes info or news about new projects. If you’re on my email list you’ll get news before anyone else, and other exclusive offers like a free t-shirt or something!
Once you do that though, as far as the socials, I’m on all of them, so it really depends on what kind of content you want to see from me. On Instagram and Facebook, I tend to put my best foot forward and look like I have my life together. Twitter is where my random thoughts on a variety of subjects can be found, I’m pretty active on there. I’ve also been having a lot of fun on TikTok, and am trying to build my following there, so definitely check that out!
Do you have any last things you want to tell your supporters?
Thank you for the bottom of my heart for keeping my dreams alive. I want you to know that I cherish every follow, every like, every supportive comment, every stream, and every t-shirt bought, and every face in the crowd. Every single thing, big or small it matters to me. It is a privilege to share my art with you and it means the world to me that you’re willing to take the time out of your life to give it a chance. Never hesitate to reach out to me at brinakaymusic.com. I love you and I strive to make you happy and proud every day!