By Lauren Schwab
I imagine her riding her horse in a graceful yet wild way through her California ranch. With the heart of western cowgirl and essence of true country music running through her blood. This is Brennley Brown. Don’t let her young age and blonde hair make you quick to judge her as another country pop star. She has the sounds of Waylon and Merle running through her fingers as she strokes her guitar and writes her original music. Her raw melodies will leave you with the nostalgia of classic country you long to hear again.
Her strong yet delicate vocals lead her to be a semi-finalist on NBC’s The Voice. This has given her more opportunity to release her original music into the world. I sat down with Brennley during her visit to the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis to talk about her country upbringing, musical journey, experience on The Voice and exciting new music to be released.
Her authentic personality and truthful stories are an inspiration to go after your dreams no matter what. Read on to learn Brennley’s journey from the California ranch to Music City.
Q. How did you find your love and talent for country music and decide to make it a career aspiration?
A. I grew up in Apple Valley, California. It’s a pretty small town; it’s the high desert. I grew up on a ranch with horses and cows. I love animals and I have two horses now. As music has picked up, I’m sad that life I had with a lot of animals and living on the ranch has changed with travel. I go from Nashville to Apple Valley often. I grew up with lots of classic country music. My dad introduced me to Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard. I immediately fell in love with classic country music. I started singing and playing guitar at a young age.
Q. What has it been like building your country music career in California and making trips to Nashville?
A. Growing up in a small town there isn’t a lot of opportunities to sing. I would constantly be looking for open mic nights. There was some in LA, but it’s not the country scene. I took my first trip out to Nashville when I turned 13. My parents thought I was young and heard it is a tough town. I told them I would love to go because I had been writing songs and felt ready because I had been singing since I was so young. I fell in love with Nashville and really want to go to college there next year.
Q. Who’s your biggest musical influence?
A. I grew up with classic country music and I love the stories that era told. They (the songs) were real, honest and true. Growing up with the traditional country sound in the house and listening in the truck with my dad, it’s influenced my music in what I enjoy listening to and love playing live. As I’ve written music over the last couple years and coming off The Voice, which was a great experience, but you sing covers every week and it’s different than your music. I dug deep and have written a lot this year and am excited to share with people who I am as an artist and a person through my music.
Q. What was the inspiration for your latest project? What does it mean to you?
A. My first single comes out in January and my EP is following that. Each song is a different story of where I came from. One of the songs is called ‘Roots and Boots.’ It’s about staying true to who I am no matter what shakes you in the music industry. I’m looking forward to sharing who I am through each song and story.
Q. What do you look forward to most when writing a song then recording and performing it?
A. It’s incredible to go into the studio and see it all come to life. I’ll write a lot on guitar and I love that raw form, but I look forward to bringing in the band. I want to go back to that traditional sound, almost like when you listen to a Dolly Parton or Linda Ronstadt song. It’s like they’re sitting right in front of you singing it and that’s what I want this EP to feel like, very relatable and like you’re right there with me.
A lot of the songs are recorded live. I’m excited about the message of this EP, it shares some real, raw truth, coming from my heart and what I’ve experienced. Also to encourage people, I think we need encouragement, positivity and hope.
Q. What is a memorable experience for you in your music career and how has it impacted you?
A. Before The Voice I had been writing and going to Nashville, and performing as much as I could. In the music industry, you are told ‘No’ a lot. The main thing I’ve gotten is ‘You’re too young.’ The Voice showed me that age doesn’t matter. I learned to have confidence and believe in myself. Before The Voice I knew what message I wanted to share with people, but I never felt completely like I’m going to go for it. Then when I auditioned, even if I hadn’t gotten that far, I had this feeling of, I’m in it. I’m going to do it and have confidence, no matter if I fail or go to the end. That’s what I told myself the whole process because I didn’t know I would get that far. Gwen Stefani told me every week to stay true to who I am in no matter what I do, stay authentic and don’t change. That gave me more confidence to write and release this EP.
Q. What advice would you give to someone who may have a dream in music, but is struggling with taking the steps to make it a reality?
A. In anything I feel like you’ll have rejection or you’re told you’re not good enough. We all have a gift, something inside us we are meant to do. Once you find it and know it, just go for it. I have a strong faith and believe God is going to take me where He wants to take me in my career. No matter what age you are, go for your dreams and believe in yourself. I was sitting in my room writing songs, but didn’t have the confidence to perform them. Then one day I told myself I’m not going to hold back anymore, I’m going to do what I’m meant to do.
Be inspired by Brennley to do what you are meant to do by following her on social media:
Photo Credit to Brennley Brown Facebook and Instagram