Over the summer I was in the studio demoing tracks w/ Celadon Candy, and “Broken” was the one Celadon Candy chose to put on their EP.
Listen To Celadon Candy
I also wrote my first book.
Hard Copies are available for order online via Barnes+Noble tik-a-tok division.
Interview by Mark Morton
It is always refreshing to find fresh, new talent working at creating music that rides against the grain of complacency. It’s even more intriguing (and rare) when the artist is barely a teenager. And that is exactly what we found with 13-year-old Richmond, VA’s Bryanna Rain. With a mere independently-released EP entitled ‘Blameless,’ she fearlessly embraces a form of electronic music that bridges the gaps between rock, dance, and soul. And although we are only given a taste of her abilities, the strength of the work is enough to anticipate great things from the young artist. Read on as we spend some time getting to know a bit about Bryanna Rain!
MM: In researching for this interview, I stumbled upon a feature someone did with you that was posted on your blog page. I have to ask, do you find typical bio-centric questions condescending?
BR: I kinda think they are boring. They are the same questions that anyone would ask.
MM: Do you think that may be, at least in part, because many adults do not know how to communicate effectively with teenagers?
BR: Yeah, I do. It really seems like they don’t know how we talk to each other. It is weird.
MM: One of the interesting things that leapt out at me when listening to the Blameless EP is that you have a very mature singing voice for your age. Did you take lessons to achieve that, or was it simple practice?
BR: It’s pretty much the result of naturally practicing on my own. It’s just how I’ve always sang.
MM: Another thing I found interesting is that you seem to be resurrecting (or rejuvenating) the electronic pop music sound, which really hasn’t been at the forefront of the music scene since the late 1990s.
BR: Actually, a lot of that comes from my dad. He listens to a lot of that stuff, and it basically got into my ears. And I just think it sounds cool.
MM: Since you have embedded yourself in this scene, what do you think of artists who use Auto-Tune to fake a “singing” sound?
BR: I think you have to do what you have to do to make your music sound good. Otherwise, no one will listen to it. I know it sounds like it is cheating, but I guess you just shouldn’t do that type of music if it doesn’t sound good.
MM: In this generation where most teenagers are looked upon as mopey slackers with no ambition, what made you bust your butt to be heard?
BR: I’ve always wanted to release a CD. And you really just have to push yourself to get what you want. I do hear a lot that I am different.
MM: And since you are doing this in the DIY fashion, what is your impression of these “get famous quick” programs like American Idol and America’s Got Talent?
BR: It really makes me mad, because I’m working really hard to spread my name, and all these people have to do is sing one song on TV, and all of the sudden, they are getting tons of press. It’s already set in stone that they are going to be popular. It gets annoying when these people do one thing and become instantly famous, because they didn’t earn it. I would love, though, to have a song in one of the Twilight movies.
MM: How involved are your parents in your music career?
BR: My dad is actually the one who paid for me to go to the studio, and he let me borrow the song “Blameless” and use it as a cover. It was originally done by his band, Wedlock. He let me pick any of his songs to do a cover, and I chose that one.
And my mom and step-dad do support me a lot, helping to pay for things and getting the word out. Promoting is really hard, especially when you are trying to sell something that people don’t want. I just ask people to listen to it and see what they think.
MM: Most bands spend years honing their craft, writing and rewriting, and performing to create their own sound and identity. How does this dynamic work for you, since you are still in school?
BR: It’s really, really hard, because I try to focus primarily on my school work and get good grades. And I’m about to go to high school, which is really scary. My dad writes most of the music, and he wants me to go to North Carolina to work on some new stuff with him. It is difficult to work on an album, because he lives in a different state. Since I am so young, my priority is school. But it would be really cool to have my name out there and have everyone know who I am for my songs.
MM: Hypothetically, if a major company like Sony or Disney came to you saying they wanted to sign you to a multi-million dollar contract, would you consider leaving school to work with them?
BR: I might. You know, it would be really hard to turn down. I would have to talk to my parents about it, before I took the deal.
Q:What’s your story? How did you fall into music?
Well, my parents tell me that I used to sing way back when I was three years old. The farthest back I can remember is singing in the talent show in first grade. Everyone always told me that I had a beautiful voice; it makes other people happy, I love doing it, and it’s really my passion.
Q:Who are you listening to right now?
I’d say I’m listening to any artist who is popular right now. I like all genres of music though, pretty much any music is okay with me.
Q:What things – music, art, or other cultural factors – do you think will be big in the next year?
In the next year, I think the type of music that’s popular now will still be everyone’s favorite. I’m not that into art so I don’t know.
Q: How do you think music has changed in the years since you started actively listening to it?
It’s like, more people like rap and pop than they used to. But I’m okay with that because I like those too.
Q:What are you looking to accomplish when you create music, and how does the music relate to the artistic side of things?
When I create music, I am looking to make connections with people and to express the way I’m feeling with a song.
Q: In a related fashion, how has Kounterfeit helped you?
Kounterfeit has helped me to get my musical career started and has given me experience in recording.
Q: Is there a real-life story behind “Blameless”, or does it represent something that everyone can understand?
I think it’s a little bit of both. The real-life story behind it is that…well I am thirteen so I do deal with a lot of drama and back-stabbing and what not. And I think everyone has an experience where they can relate to this song.
Q:How have you gotten more of your fans – Myspace or traditional word of mouth? Have you noticed anything different between these types of fans?
I would say word of mouth because everyone in Virginia that knows about it either knows because I told them, or someone else has told them.
Q: Who is out there right now in music that you would like to collaborate with?
Honestly, I think it would be awesome to work with anyone in music. It would be a great experience no matter who it was.
Q:How should people find your music? Are there any other releases coming out that they should look into buying?
They can go on any of the websites that I’m on to find me, and me and my dad are planning to record an album this summer.
Q:What else should we know ?
My music video is on youtube, myspace, bryannarain.net, and other websites.
Stop by, say hi, comment- let me know what you think!
It’s a decade past the turn of the century. And while our world didn’t turn into the same future as we envisioned in the Jetsons, technology is beginning to become an almost universal language. So much so that it’s having an impact on art. The internet has invented new ways to communicate which are more than just trends and are quickly becoming a part of the fabric of our lives. Blogs, Twitter, message boards and forums, social networking: none of these are going away anytime soon. The DIY and punk movements have finally given birth to this new digital generation.
Enter Bryanna Rain. Like most teens today, she’s a normal student who lives in Richmond, VA. Unlike most of her peers however, Bryanna is an artist that actually has released her own record. Blameless is her new EP and is a great demonstration of just how far the DIY movement has evolved. Her website recommends her for fans of Sinead O’ Connor and claims some of her influences as Bob Marley and Owl City.
Blameless contains four tracks, three of which are songs. It begins with “Blameless”, the title track. A bitter pop song, it’s about friends that grow apart over time. It ends eerie, just as it begins, with the word “blame” being repeated, over and over and over again. The guitar riff in the background is one of the best parts of the song. “One November Sunday” is just an interview with Bryanna, not a song. “Wedlock”, the next, sounds drastically different than the first song. The beat is the fist thing that you notice as the lyrics ask: “how long you gonna string me around”? Finally, the EP ends with “Blame It On The Beatguild”, which is sorta a remix of the title track.
Blameless is not a very long recording, but a recording that has come a long way. When you begin to think of just how much is available to young up and coming musicians like Bryanna, you can start to imagine the possibilities of where music could soon be headed in the near future.
Twitter Summary: Blameless by teen artist Bryanna is a great effort from a budding artist that shows us how the DIY movement has gone digital.
The EP features four songs, one of which is a different mix of the title track, and another is an interview with the young singer. The interview shows her age and that she’s still just a young girl, which is definitely a good thing. In a few more years, she’ll be a seasoned professional, and her singing will mature into a strong statement of a voice.
Rain really shines in the song “String Theory,” which is a duet with the band Wedlock, her label mates on Kounterfeit Records. Her voice blends beautifully with the techno beats and the smooth voice of Wedlock’s lead singer.
Cristen Kleindienst on June 02 2010
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