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A Dirty Dozen with BRI TOLANI – December 2019

| 10 December 2019 | Reply


According to a recent press release: “After 70 million-plus combined views and streams and the endorsement of everyone from Earmilk to Magnetic Magazine, Colorado-born singer, songwriter, and producer Bri Tolani releases her first original single entitled “Hazy” today via Creative Messaging House and distributed by STEM. However, the single “Hazy” uncovers the heart of her singular style as she details experiences with dissociation and mental health struggles within the framework of guitar-driven alternative pop.” We get Bri to discuss new music, influences, and much more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

“Hazy” is an interesting song, because when you listen to it, it sounds fairly up-tempo and happy. The chords are major, and it doesn’t seem like a sad song. However, if you dissect the lyrics, the song is about struggling with anxiety. The main hook, “There’s no sun in my thunderstorm” can be interpreted in many different ways which I love. People can interpret the song how they wish. To analyze the lyrics and realize it’s about anxiety and mental health issues takes a true fan and a deep listen.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

My parents always told me I was singing before I could speak. Growing up, I would sing my homework to memorize it. My family isn’t super musical or anything, so I guess I was just born this way. It wasn’t until college however that I took it seriously and started writing and releasing music. Once I started gaining some success and fans around my junior year of college, I realized there could be longevity in this, and I have not stopped since.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

Not one specific thing, but I draw a lot of musical inspiration from Lauv. I discovered him at a showcase called CMJ freshman year of college before he was even famous. I have been in love with his music ever since. A lot of times, I find myself using his music and songwriting to guide me, whether that’s chord progressions or lyrical taste.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Lauv, Halsey, Bülow, Taylor Swift (Her songwriting is unreal), and Chelsea Cutler.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

Probably Illenium! I would LOVE to topline on an Illenium song. I’m a huge fan of his work, and he makes voices sound magical, especially female vocals. Like if you listen to “Crawl Outta Love,” it will blow you away. It would be a dream come true to feature on a song with him.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

I would describe my current sound as chill-indie pop. I’d say it’s a little more left-of-center than traditional pop, but still has the catchiness of mainstream pop. I also say that because my lyrics are much darker than most pop songs on the charts. Someone compared me to Billie Eilish, which while that’s a huge compliment, I don’t think it’s necessarily true. I believe she is a little more experimental than me and much more left-of-center. I have incredible respect for Billie though as I think there is no one else on this planet like her.

7. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

FANS. FANS. FANS. Talking to fans and helping them get through hard times is hands down the best part of being a musician. I have talked to people anywhere from Brazil to Malaysia to Switzerland. and it is so cool knowing my music has an impact on people that far away. If it weren’t for my fans, I wouldn’t have a job, and I owe my life to them. They are the reason I can do what I love.

8. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Since I am a one-woman band, I’ll switch this to my artist friends. I have a lot of friends that are also artists. I would say I’m always the first one to start randomly singing. Not even for a reason, just because I’m a songbird, and it’s what I do [Laughs]. There is nothing more fun than jamming and making music with your good friends.

9. When was the last time you were star struck and who was it?

The last time I was starstruck was at a Lauv concert. I went this past fall, and it was incredible. Not only was he incredibly talented live, but he spent 30 minutes of his set talking about the importance of mental health, which I respect so much. I love when artists use their power and voice to talk about crucial issues. The whole set was just incredible, and I look up to him in so many ways.

10. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

That’s a tough one. I’d probably try to become a tour manager, because I love live music and I love traveling. I don’t think I could do something outside of the music industry. If I couldn’t be a musician, I would want to help musicians achieve their goals.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”, even if it didn’t change your current situation?

For this question, I would just say I wish I started writing music earlier. I could be so much farther along in my career if I picked up that guitar earlier. In high school I never took my singing seriously, and I really wish I did. I guess I didn’t think I would ever become successful, so I never bothered trying. That mentality stagnated my career.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

I think I would have to say 1989 by Taylor Swift. I LOVE that album, and the songwriting blows me away. It would be so wild to watch that album come together piece by piece.




Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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