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INTERVIEW: Bria Lee

Hi Bria, welcome to VENTS! How have you been? Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Forget Me”?

Definitely. Forget Me is a song about pride. It’s about not being with someone anymore but still wanting to leave a lasting impression on them. When I wrote this song I felt as though I wanted to leave a scar on someone’s heart after I had left them. It’s not a healthy feeling and it’s pretty selfish, but it’s real. At some point, I think we have all felt that. Nobody wants to be forgotten.

Did any event, in particular, inspire you to write this song?

 Yes. The song is about someone I never ever want to be with again. But I definitely enjoy the fact that I still cross their mind.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

A video for Throwing Darts will be coming out on October 27th! 

The single comes off your new album Little Room – what’s the story behind the title?

Little Room is about my time spent practicing and growing as an artist in close quarters. When I was a little girl, my father would lay down on the couch and listen to me play the piano and practice in a little room for hours at a time. I spent so many hours of my life confined to a small room either practicing, writing or recording. It took a lot of sacrifice and at times I wanted to do other things but I knew that the harder I worked and the more hours spent in that little room, the better I would become.

How was the recording and writing process? 

It was hard for me to write some of these songs because I really felt like I put myself out there. It’s a vulnerable feeling. But it is also very therapeutic.

You get to collaborate with some great names in this record – did you handpick them or how did they come on board?

I was very fortunate to have an amazing team who made it possible to have these great artists collaborate with me. I had hoped for Fat Joe on One Shot but didn’t think it would actually happen but my team is amazing! Same goes for Pitbull on the One Shot remix. I am very blessed. 

What did they bring to the table?

Working with Fat Joe in my first music video was a learning experience for me. I just kept watching him and how comfortable he was in front of the camera and I tried to match his confidence level. It’s really amazing to be around such an experienced artist. 

Was it easy to sit down and share ideas and creative inputs?

Sometimes it’s hard to share lyrics that are so personal but you just need to believe in yourself and people will believe what you’re saying. When I first got signed, I had never been in the studio with other producers before. I had always just written my own songs on the piano and performed them acoustically. It was a big change for me to learn how to collaborate in the studio but it definitely helped me grow as an artist.

Do you tend to take a different approach when you are collaborating with someone else rather than working on your own? 

Absolutely. Writing on my own is my favorite way to write. It’s a lot easier because there is no pressure when you are trying out things to see if they work or not. Being in a room with other writers can be more difficult because there’s more pressure. However, I do enjoy both situations. 

What role does NYC play in your music?

It’s been difficult trying to make a living and also being an artist in NYC. But I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. I’m fortunate that finally my efforts are being paid off. But for many years I was a starving artist struggling to pay rent and I think that’s where a lot of my passion comes from. 

What were some of the emotions you get to explore on this record?

A lot of anger. Definitely pain. But also a lot of reflection. A lot of the songs are about a darker time in my life which I believe I’ve gotten past. But there are still scars. And these songs are about those scars and how I deal with them.

Did you intend for this record to be somewhat therapeutic or did it just happen?

I just write what I feel. I write about my pain so that maybe it can help other people with their pain. We’re all in this together. It’s my job as an artist to let people know they’re not alone.

When it got so personal – did you have any second thoughts on keep on going or rather deviate into something else?

Yes absolutely. Especially on One Shot since it touches upon alcoholism, addiction, and toxic relationships. I was scared that people would wonder who or what I was talking about. But at the end of the day, all that’s important is that people can listen to these songs and somehow relate them to their own lives. 

Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

Every song is a story. I try to draw inspiration not only from my own personal experiences but from people I know as well. Or people I see on TV, in movies, on the train, at the store. Writers are always thinking about writing. We can’t turn it off. Whenever a cool line comes into my head or someone says something to me that deeply affects me, I write it down in my notes in my phone. Once I get to the studio I’ll use that as inspiration to get a concept for a song.

Any plans to hit the road?

Yes, I definitely will be hitting the road in a couple of months as the dates are being routed. 

What else is happening next in Bria Lee’s world?

I have an EP release party on November 12 at SOBs in NYC!!! I’m so excited. It’ll be me and a live band and I’ll be performing all the songs on the project. I can’t wait!!  

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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