Brí is an Irish indie pop artist, whose stunning new single, and accompanying video, ‘In My Head’, is out today, September 9. Along with this comes the news that her highly anticipated debut album, ‘Hide’, will drop on October 22.
Brí comes from Offaly, a county in the very centre of Ireland, but hasn’t allowed anything to hold her back, with her debut single, ‘Low Supply’ receiving high praise from a diverse range of blogs, along with radio play. She performed a sold-out headline gig at the world-famous Whelan’s venue in Dublin, and was chosen to perform at Beatvyne’s Music X Tech Experience. Additionally, in 2020 she performed at Whelan’s Ones to Watch, and The Ruby Sessions, plus headline shows at The Sound House, Spirit Store, and festival line-ups, including Vantastival. While Covid-19 restrictions this year have seen fewer opportunities for live performance, nonetheless Brí has used her time wisely, building momentum for her upcoming and hotly-anticipated debut album, ‘Hide’.
Lisa had the chance to talk to Brí about her new single, and her upcoming album.
Hi Brí, thank you for agreeing to speak with us!
Hi Lisa, thanks for taking the time to chat with me!
Your new single, ‘In My Head’, is out September 9, ahead of your debut album, ‘Hide’ on October 22. What’s been the process of writing and recording ‘In My Head’? What’s inspired the song?
‘In My Head’ is a song that I wrote a long time ago about a half-way point of growth; where you’ve become able to recognise the people who are not worth spending more of your time or energy on, but you haven’t fully figured out how to let them go. I originally wasn’t going to include it on the album and it was the last song that I decided to include, but I think it ended up becoming both mine and my producer Asta Kalapa’s favourite. The vocals for eight out of ten tracks on the album were recorded by me in my bedroom (mostly during lockdowns) and I would send them remotely to my producer, describing my ideas and he would take flight with them.
You’ve received high praise for your sold-out show at Whelan’s, and you’ve been labelled “one to watch”. How does the girl from Offaly feel about this? Is it overwhelming, or are you taking it all in your stride?
At every milestone I feel excited and grateful, but also very aware that music comes with highs and lows and that every moment is fleeting. I tend to spend my time feeling excited about unannounced news that won’t be happening for another 6 months’ time so I have to remind myself to live in the moment and celebrate the now too!
With ‘Hide’, the feeling is that you’re no longer taking any crap from anyone, you’re standing up to let your voice be heard – what’s inspired you to make that move, and is there anything more you want listeners to take away from it, besides not being afraid to be themselves?
I think that is a perfect summary! I think growing up I thought that to ‘be nice’ meant to be as agreeable as possible. I would feel physically unwell when I disagreed with someone as I feared that this would result in a conversation that would inevitably turn sour.
Making an album as an independent, self-managed artist has meant organising photography, videography, actors, musicians, producers, carrying out your own PR or working with PR, making DIY videos, managing relationships, booking gigs, communicating with sound engineers, agents, venues and I think that at the end of it all you have to admit to yourself that – just maybe – you might know a thing or two.
I felt that the experience of making the album in itself gave me the voice I needed to back myself better. I think it’s important to always be open to advice and constructive criticism from others but it’s also smart to allow weight to your own dreams and visions when it comes to decision-making.
I hope people take away from my album that even the worst heartbreaks can lead to better days, the most difficult moments can be the best catalysts for growth, and painful situations can inspire the most beautiful art that can colour your life back in.
Ireland is a country filled with talented singers and musical artists; what is your unique selling point? What makes you stand out from the crowd?
I grew up truly respecting and admiring the vulnerability of songwriters and I write from my heart about real situations, feelings and experiences that I’ve gone through. I’m often told that the vulnerability of my lyrics, paired with ethereal vocals provides an emotionally immersive experience. It’s my hope that this is the case for anyone who listens to my music, that you feel like I can relate and that it heals you like it did me.
What advice would you give other artists just starting out in the music business? Any tips or pointers?
I would advise new artists to be open to the advice of others but to trust your gut too. It surprised me how many people will tell you that what you are doing is wrong in some way. Sometimes you will agree but it’s okay if you don’t. It’s okay to take what they are saying with a pinch of salt and to do what you want to do anyway. The worst thing that will happen if you are wrong is that you will learn from the experience.
What’s the songwriting process for you? Do you start out with an idea of what you’re going to write, is there a melody in your head first of all, or do the words flow like poetry to start with? Maybe you have a completely different way of doing it?
I start out with a bubbling feeling; I can’t describe it but I know the feeling of when there’s a song inside of me and that’s when I sit down with my guitar or my keyboard and I mess around with chords until it sounds like what I’m feeling. When it sounds like the right chord progression, that’s when I write the lyrics and melody simultaneously. Songs tend to flow out of me within 20 minutes and it usually feels as though I didn’t write them; it feels like they write themselves.
What inspires you? Who inspires you? In music, and in life?
I’m inspired by people who are authentically themselves and by people who are unafraid to be raw and vulnerable. Nobody is happy 100% of the time and I think if we can openly admit that from time to time, then maybe we wouldn’t be so hard on ourselves when we do have a bad day. I’m inspired by haunting vocals and heartfelt lyrics and I adore artists like Birdy, Laura Marling, Charlotte Lawrence, Gabrielle Aplin and Lana del Rey.
Now that restrictions are easing up in Ireland, what plans are you making in terms of touring?
While touring plans are not lined up for me just yet, I’m currently making plans of a headline show locally and getting my full band back together after a very long year and a half apart during Covid so we are really excited for that.
And finally…what question do you wish someone would ask you in an interview, but nobody ever does?
I feel like I’ve been asked a healthy mix of questions over the years. I enjoy talking about the songwriting process and I find it interesting how the process can vary so much between songwriters so I rate your questions 10/10!
Thanks so much for speaking to me today!