This article was originally posted here.
What are you willing to sacrifice to chase your dreams? For St. Louis singer and songwriter, Bryssa, that was a future in the field of medicine. Instead of comfortably tucking herself into life’s security blanket she threw off the cover and braced herself for life’s storm. While most would not have had the courage to make such a bold decision with such a promising career within arm’s reach, the life of an artist chose the Show Me State native. This jagged path of financial instability and what seems to be a lonesome line of work is her pursuit of happiness and with her growing popularity is proving to have been worth it.
I had the chance to speak with Bryssa about the future she had planned before pursuing music full-time, her childhood in St. Louis, single “Cloud IX” mixed by Brad Young & produced by Najii Person and more. Check out the full interview below!
Growing up you stated some of your biggest musical influences included the likes of Toni Braxton and Luther Vandross. However, in the South especially in Missouri, your home state, Gospel music is dominant due to strong religious values. When you discovered you wanted to sing R&B music, how did that go over with your family?
“Well, my mother was perfectly fine with my decision. I danced from the age of seven up until just a few years ago. But with dance, it wasn’t just praise dance. It was also Jazz and a bit of Hip-Hop. So my mom was perfectly fine with my decision to be a R&B singer but my dad wasn’t. I wouldn’t say it went over terribly as far as choosing R&B music over Gospel music but he still to this day will ask me when I am going to rejoin my church’s choir or when am I going to lead a song at church. So singing R&B music wasn’t what went over terribly it was the fact that I was a recent college graduate and wanted to take time off to pursue music that my dad took issue with.”
On Instagram, you reposted a screenshot of an interview featuring blogger Brianna Arps of The MouthingOff Blog where she talks about her experience as a creative in the pursuit of higher education and the pressures of academia. Can you touch on that?
“Well yeah, I danced since the age of seven and always loved the stage. I always enjoyed singing but I was a super shy kid but as I grew older, I become more confident. I’ve always been a great student…honor roll, student of the year, high GPA but during my junior year of college when it was time to begin planning for my senior year & what I was going to do post-graduation [I thought to myself] this is the first time I can really do whatever I want to do after graduation. That really excited me! I guess you can say it pushed me.
I entered the Miss Phi Beta Sigma Pageant at my college and as my talent, I chose to sing and dance. My performance went really well and the crowd was extremely receptive to me which encouraged me to begin my career. I reminded myself that the next few years are for what ever I wanted to do so I decided to take music seriously. I opened a music page on Instagram and began posting videos of me singing. After I graduated, I started to record in the studio, started writing and met producer Najii Pearson. He is great! He helped motivate me, help me develop my style and helped me find my sound. But it all started from there.”
So, how exactly did you and Najii Person meet? He is the producer of your hit single, “Cloud IX” and he’s worked with dozens of other recording artists across genres.
“We met through a mutual friend and we laugh about this… me and the mutual friend were friends for several months and right when Najii and I were introduced to each other that’s when we [me and the mutual friend] stopped being friends. Najii and I always joke about it… saying that was his purpose in my life…to lead us to each other so I could get started on my musical journey. We immediately hit it off once I heard some of his work. Now we meet every week! Whether we’re working on a new production, new writing or just motivating each other. We’re really good friends along with him being my producer now.”
Can we expect an EP, mixtape or full-length project with Najii Pearson as the executive producer?
“He’s definitely the producer of most of the tracks that I’m working on right now. The executive producer title is highly likely!”
So you hinted that you are currently in the studio working on new music. Is there an official timeline on when you will be releasing new music?
“There is no guaranteed timeline but we are working on some really great stuff. I haven’t released a single for about a year now, so usually I would say [to myself] you know it’s time to get some new music out there really soon but I’ve really been working on curating my sound. The first year of my career was about getting myself out there, networking and meeting different executives but I didn’t have my sound down quite yet and I didn’t have enough music [in my catalog]. So, this past year that is all I’ve been working on! I’m working on getting my music a little more solid and creating quality work… working two jobs to fund my music.”
It has been one full year since the release of your song “Cloud IX” and it currently stands on SoundCloud at nearly 30,000 streams! Did you know when you wrote the song that it would take off like it has?
“Well [Najii] and I knew that this song compared to my earlier songs would reach further based on the sound, engineers and vocal producers I worked with; we knew it was going to do great but I didn’t expect to go from 10,000 streams on my first song to near 30,000 on ‘Cloud IX’. I was a pleasant surprise. I still go to my page and reread the comments. I listen to the song and still get butterflies because it was the first real song I did that I was proud of and still proud of.”
Present day R&B has no restrictions! In the past three to four years, there has been a birth has many sub genre thanks in part to both many major and indie singers. How does that affect the way you explore what it means to be an R&B singer?
“My influences are those traditional R&B singers, Gospel music but also Pop artists like Rihanna, Beyoncé, and also Ariana Grande. So as an R&B artist to know that I can still be classified as R&B and branch out into different realms it is the most exhilarating thing ever.”
With all the benefits of being an independent artist you’ve vocalized, would you ever consider signing with a major record label whether it be a distribution deal, publishing or recording contract?
“Yes, I would consider it. It is not my goal to just remain an independent artist. To do something like that and be extremely successful I consider that to be very honorable. If that’s my fate, I think that’s dope! And with my experience in managing and organizing myself, I feel that it is possible… but it is a lot of work and it does scare me, however, if that’s God’s plan for me, it’s God’s plan for me! If it is not I wouldn’t mind signing with a major label.”
So, what can fans expect next from Bryssa? You’re in the studio constantly but in the meantime will you be dropping any crumbs, visuals, new music, any upcoming performances or collaborations?
“My main focus right now is the project. But I will be appearing on some of Naji’s projects occasionally. I just graduated with a degree in biology and pre-med so in about a month I will be working on getting back into school. It has been two years since I graduated. My music is [moving in the direction] I think it should be as a new artist but I also need to have a back-up. I am working on medical school admission but my music will continue throughout that process.”
Header photo credit belongs to ADM Photography
Stay connected with Bryssa across all social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. To receive updates including tour information and more check out Bryssa’s official website http://www.BryssaOfficial.com or click here to be redirected.