Interview: Brittany Ray!

Underneath This is happy to present an interview with Brittany Ray, a talented singer-songwriter. Please read about Brittany before heading to the subsequent interview.

Music is not only an expression of one’s self, but an opportunity to reach out and touch people, to make them feel something. 

Brittany Ray, a country/pop singer/songwriter originally from Dubuque, Iowa, is putting this idea in action with her music. Her new single to be released soon is a powerful ballad entitled “I’ll Never Lose You” which describes how even though someone might be gone from your life, you won’t ever lose them; they will still be with you in some way.

Brittany lives in Nashville, and although she is only 18, has already made strides in the music community. She had the chance to write with some of the members of Lonestar. Her previous single, “Love Is Worth It”, was a duet featuring Richie McDonald from Lonestar. This song gained Brittany attention, and was voted by NSAI top 12 out of 260 songs in the Tin Pan South Songwriter’s Festival. She got to perform this song at Belcourt Taps as a part of Tin Pan South. Along with singing and writing with Lonestar, she also wrote a song featuring Collin Raye called “You’re My Friend.” This song will appear on Brittany’s upcoming album.

Brittany’s sound is a clever mix of pop and country vibes. She writes about what inspires her, in hopes that it will spark optimism and creativity in other people. Thriving in Nashville, she continues to write and develop her artistry, inspiring  people along the way.

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What has been your path to becoming a musician?

I started singing at a really young age and fell in love with it. When I was five or six years old I remember saying that I wanted to be a singer; no other career path ever occurred to me. I became super involved in the music activities my school offered. On the side, I participated in talent shows and performances. When I was in eighth grade, I won a singing competition in New York for IMTA (International Model and Talent Agency.) This gave me some exposure and I became introduced to people who were able to start off my career. I went to Nashville and did some writing and recording, now I’m here!

Your style has been called “country.” What do you make of that designation?

I think that’s an accurate designation, my music definitely has a laid-back country feel to it. I don’t think it’s just country, though, there’s a lot of pop influences that go along with it.

Do you consider your music feminist? If so, in which ways?

I wouldn’t call my music feminist, but I think it definitely has women empowering aspects!

How did you decide on the title, “Love is Worth It”? I am especially enjoying that song.

We came up with the hook first before any of the other lyrics or music: “Nothing’s perfect, love is worth it.” That was a really strong place to start, and the rest of the song was built around those initial lyrics.

On that track, you collaborated with Richie McDonald from Lonestar. What was that like?

It was great, Richie is such a nice person. It was amazing singing with someone so established in the music industry and so talented! My time with him was a real learning experience.

You have also worked with Dean Sams from Lonestar and Collin Ray. How were these experiences?

It was awesome! Dean is such a funny person, always kept me laughing. He also did an amazing job of producing my songs. He put a lot of time into making me sound as great as possible and seeking out things that would make me unique. Working with Collin Raye was awesome as well, he is the sweetest person and gave me a big hug when he first saw me. It was a lot of fun singing with him and recording the video for “You’re My Friend.” He has a bubbly personality and is always smiling.

I also really like the covers you have done, especially “Born to Die” by Lana del Rey. How do you decide which songs to cover?

I try to cover songs that are popular or have been popular in the past because more people will recognize it, and also notice the changes you have made and see your own twist on the song. I don’t only cover popular songs, but I find that it resonates more with people in doing so. I also pick songs that I really enjoy and will have a fun time covering. I absolutely love Lana del Rey!

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You have described yourself as loving “all types of music,” which I think is awesome. Which artists resonate most with you?

That’s hard to say; the answer changes at different times. Some days I may be in the mood for alternative rock and listen to artists like Linkin Park and Three Days Grace and feel most connected to sounds like that. Other days I may be in the mood for more relaxed music, and enjoy Ed Sheeran or Ingrid Michaelson and that music will resonate the most with me at the time. I guess the answer is it depends on the moment, because my musical mood is always changing!

Your sound has been likened to that of Sara Evans and Martina McBride. What do you make of this comparison?

I think that is an amazing compliment.They are both strong vocalists with solid music and I feel honored to be compared to them.

Who have been your most significant creative influences?

I would say Miranda Lambert is one of my main influences. I love her edginess, the songs she writes, and her voice is so strong and beautiful!

How has being from Iowa affected the music that you make?

I grew up in the suburbs of Dubuque, Iowa. It’s not quite in the country, but about 15 minutes away from the city; I do have a cornfield in my backyard, though. I think this atmosphere inspired my country-ish sound.

What is next for you professionally?

I will be writing more songs, making more videos, and my plan is to record and release new songs soon!

What insights do you have for aspiring musicians?

Find your sound and something that makes you unique and stand out. Be confident, work hard, and be kind; eventually things will happen for you.

-Sem
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