Brennley Brown knew she wanted to be a star when she spontaneously sent her pink cowgirl hat flying into the crowd during her kindergarten talent show. Thirteen years later, the 18-year-old from southern California who placed sixth during season 12 of The Voice is blossoming into her artistic identity, one that’s shaped around her affinity for 70s country blended with the spirituality of gospel music.
Though she recently became old enough to register to vote, the down-to-earth singer harbors an emotional maturity beyond her years, exemplified in how she speaks about a range of topics from the impact of her mother’s sickness to the sincerity she wants to convey in her music.
Get to know Brennley Brown, our latest focus for Female Friday:
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Happy Wednesday💛 I hope you guys are having an awesome day. Today I listened to the final mix of the final song off of my debut EP!! I can’t believe we are just one month away from the release! That is crazy for me to even type!! I can’t wait for you guys to hear it. Thank you for your patience and for allowing me to grow and create without a time limit or restrictions. Thank you for your encouragement and uplifting words so far on #KeepComingBack and #OneMoreHallelujah. And most importantly, thank you for joining me on this wild journey. I’ve put my entire heart and soul into this project and I could not have done it without my incredible family, friends and team. New music is coming so soon!!
SLN: How does 70s country and gospel music influence your own sound?
Brennley Brown: In so many different ways. I think from a songwriting perspective, that era of music and still today, the stories that were told were so real and true to what was going on in the world. For example, a song that I grew up listening to, “Are the Good Times Really Over” which is a Merle [Haggard] song, I think they think wrote songs that spoke to our generation. So that’s what I really hope to do with my music is tell real stories through music.
But I try to always speak true to experiences that I’ve gone through in my own personal life and share that and hopefully relate to people on that level. I think they did such a wonderful job of that in that era of telling their stories so beautifully. So that’s what I hope to do.
Is there a song that you’ve written that you think reflects modern time or how you see the world?
It’s not a released song, it’s called “Insecurity.” It’s about in our generation today, especially in my age bracket, our society has turned into things that we think we need to be and have to be in order to fit in or to look a certain way. So this song really is an encouragement to break down those walls and not be afraid to be who you really are and not worry about things that you feel you have to worry about just because of social media and our society. It was a message that was on my heart that I go through. It’s so easy to get trapped in that, but it’s really an encouragement to just be true to who you are and stay authentically you.
I think as an artist, you’re already putting yourself in a vulnerable situation with songwriting. It took time to be confident enough to share the stories and the vulnerable things that I’ve gone through, and I often get caught up in “what I think doesn’t matter,” but it does. Even if it affects one person or speaks to one person, I’m grateful for that.
What did you learn about yourself on The Voice?
I think I learned to not be afraid to be who I really am. I think I had dealt with insecurities as a young girl and I’d felt like I always had to have this filter on. Whether it was when I was performing or talking to somebody, I felt like I had this façade, and I think going through that, it taught me to be honest. Gwen [Stefani] was my coach on the show and she really encouraged me to do that too. She said, “People will be able to see right through you whether it’s literally on the camera on The Voice in front of millions or whether you’re talking to somebody.” She really encouraged me through her journey of how cool she is, how real she is through her songwriting, through her performing and just being herself. So I think it really taught me to be myself and when I perform to be more honest and not care what people think.
What are some issues or topics that are most important to you?
I’m really excited because I have my second single, it’s called “One More Hallelujah.” My mom got really sick a few years back and it rocked our family. It completely changed the course of my life, of my family’s life, and I think going through that, music and my faith are the two things that became the most important thing. Music became so much more than something that I just listened to on the radio, it really became a healing and a safe place and a sanctuary, all of the things that music does because music is so powerful. But I think until you go through an experience like that where music literally is your escape from all of that, it changed the course of my life, and that’s when I really started diving into songwriting and what I wanted to say through my music.
I always hope to tell real stories through music, whether that’s the good times or the bad times in life. But ultimately, [I want] to bring hope, encouragement, I think we need love. I honestly feel like our world needs realness. I feel like we can sugarcoat a lot of things sometimes, and I always want to keep it real. Life isn’t perfect, and I feel like a lot of people paint a pretty perfect picture of their lives. That’s an issue that I see, because I deal with it myself getting pulled down this hole of “I’m not good enough” or whatever it is, and so I think it’s really through social media that I want to be real.
But I think it is important to me to really be honest and share the dark parts and the ups and downs through the journey. That’s what I hope to give to people is be honest, but also don’t be afraid to go for your dreams. I hope to encourage, because I’ve been so young in this industry, I’ve felt a lot like people weren’t taking me seriously because of that. But I always have to remind myself that age is literally just a number, and it doesn’t define who we are and the stories we want to tell and the dreams that we have – no matter how big they are.