Ever since we heard “The Sun” by a singer-songwriter from Los Angeles called Briana Jean, now about a year ago, we have been waiting for more. This week her debut EP “Elements” appeared and we are thrilled! Both the music and lyrics sound mature and confident. But it has been a long road, she tells us when we asked her for an interview. Here is the story of how she went from a shy girl from the countryside to the new female voice in town.
Briana Jean was born in the countryside of California, in a small town called Morgan Hill. Looking back she recalls she was somewhat strange as a child. “I was very to myself. I would write a lot of poetry in my journal and would attempt to put melodies to it. I would perform alone in front of my dogs”, she laughs admittedly. She was always very shy when it came to singing. “I never shared with my family, just with my next door neighbour jamming out to Britney Spears”, she confesses.
Her family struggled and was forced to move and start a new life in Los Angeles. Then things changed. “I started making friends and explored the arts of LA. Lots of them were actors, singers and models who were all so confident.” She realized she wasn’t as much, but slowly came out of her shell.
“Once I started hanging out with them I sang more. When about 13 years old, I started a little pop band with a friend from middle school.” That was when Briana Jean realized she loves writing music and songs. “In high school I joined music lessons and was put in variety shows to help with my shyness and awkwardness”, she continues. “It definitely helped a lot!”
“It took a while for me to get out of my shyness but it became such a joy for me to work in music. I loved it too much to shy away from it.”
In her first year of college in 2010/2011 she met some rising artists who introduced her to producers and studio work. Especially her producer ROUSSEAU, with whom she started her first project in 2012 called “Long Road”. Since then she has worked with more artists and producers who later helped finding her sound. Her inspirations are Norah Jones, Alina Baraz, Lana Del Rey, Colbie Callet, Christina Perri among others.
The first song that would form her new sound is her official debut single “The Sun”, produced by Chid Mike. This song has a brooding, dark and melancholic atmosphere, combining ambient, pop and electronica. But what really stands out, is her sensual, warm and comforting voice. And with compelling and confident lyrics like “It’s so hard to believe there are people in the world tryin’ to suffocate me”, 25-year Briana Jean is now a mature and self-conscious singer-songwriter.
And now, almost a year later, there is finally the full EP!
The “Elements” refer not only to the physical elements Earth, Water, Fire and Air, but also to psychological forces between people. “Working with ROUSSEAU helped further shape my sound. He played a new sound for me with more edgy, unique melodies and metaphorical lyrics that really opened our minds to this project.”
The opening track “Collide” is about colliding forces or people exploring a universe of possibilities. The song catches the sound and themes Briana Jean wanted to create perfectly. It’s also the most soulful song on the EP that really brings out her voice. “Air” is a breezy, lighter song, about the one thing we can’t do without: love, as vital as air, and so strong “it becomes everything you need”, Briana Jean explains.
Throughout the EP the themes and lyrics are connected to each other, but it’s never forced. And all songs share the same dreamy atmosphere in which you drift away willingly, reflecting on your personal universe and the elements that determine it. The collection is an amazing first release which shows that Briana Jean is leading herself, and us, to new places, while being both challenging and comforting as well. Or, as she sings in “Wave”:
“Tell me where you want to go, and I’ll take you to some other place nobody knows.”
Now that her EP is out, Briana Jean has plans to perform around Los Angeles, connecting with her audience and inspiring people with her music. It has been a long road, but the shy girl from the countryside is becoming the new female voice in town.