Brit Daniels may not yet be a household name, but with her dedication to her craft, unbreakable creative spirit and unique sound, she soon will be. Born and raised just outside of Dallas, TX, Daniels really began honing her craft and truly understanding herself as an artist when she began recording in local studios, performing in various talent shows and competitions and singing the National Anthem for several Texas Rangers baseball games. Daniels picked up her life after completing a degree in Radio, Television, and Film from the University of North Texas and an internship in radio to move her journey to Nashville to begin working at a major label and management company in order to learn how the business aspect of music works. Splitting her time between Nashville and Los Angeles, Daniels has begun work on a new project with the help of producer Jordan Galvan who works with 30 Seconds to Mars and Evanescence, as well as Mike Malchicoff (Kanye West, Kirk Franklin, Fun), Dale Becker (Cam, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Michelle Williams) and writers Phil Barton (Sara Evans, Cassadee Pope, Lee Brice), and Lindsay Rimes (Troye Sivan, The Summer Set, Drake White).
Music has always been the constant in Daniels’ life. From her mother putting headphones on her belly while pregnant with Daniels to her first instrument given to her by her father, she knew becoming a musician was her fate. But, when Daniels was a freshman in college, the unexpected happened and her father passed away due to injuries sustained from a car accident while he was on duty as a police officer. Through this experience, Daniels started refining who she was an artist and the stories she wanted to tell. Her first single, “Eulogy” shows that troubles you face can break you, but it’s up to you to move on, find the good, and see that you might be better off in life because of them. In her father’s death, Daniels found her strength and her passion ignited. Thriving on an outgoing and bubbly personality, she’s not afraid to dig deep and delve into anything that life throws her way.
Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with Brit Daniels to discuss her blossoming career, the challenges she has faced along the way, her creative process and much more!
Thanks so much for taking time to talk to us today, Brit! I really enjoyed the new single and I’m definitely looking forward to helping spread the word on everything you have going on!
Of course! Thank you so much for all of your support, and I’m so glad to hear you love the new single! :)
Let’s go back to the beginning. What are you first memories of music?
I’ve always loved music! It’s been a huge part of my life ever since I was really young. My mom said that she knew I could carry a tune when I was 2 years old and she caught me out in the back yard scream singing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”. My personal first memories of doing music were when I was about 7 years old and my Dad bought me this PA system that we set up in the garage. I would go out there for HOURS every night and jam out. Occasionally, I’d let my family come in and watch. I used to have a blast, and I’d only stop and go back inside because my mom would make me go to bed.
How did you first start getting involved with the arts?
Aside from my garage concerts for my family, I had been in choir ever since I was in elementary school. That was my first organized way that I got into the arts. I stayed in choir through sophomore year of high school. I was apart of every choir that you could only get into by auditioning, and I always loved doing different solos. I also did so many talent shows and competitions growing up as well. My mom also started taking me into studios when I was 13 so that I could record and get used to the feel of a studio. I’m SO thankful for that now days!
What can you tell us about the process of finding your creative voice as a young artist?
Honestly it took time, and that’s totally okay. Obviously my starting point looked a lot different than where I am now. The more that I wrote (literally just about anything) and the more that I worked on my sound, the more my creative voice developed and evolved. I think it’s important to understand that finding your voice takes time & through life’s changes and and things that happen to you, that voice will develop.
Who were some of the performers and people behind the scenes who helped to shape the artist we see today?
Honestly there weren’t many performers who necessarily “shaped” me. I always try to be my own person and not to emulate anyone, but 90s pop artists, such as NSYNC, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Kelly Clarkson made me fall in love with pop music in general. Really the people who have shaped me would be my mom and dad. My dad always pushed me to pursue my passions and dreams, and to never give up no matter how hard it is. I fully believe that I get my determination from him. My mom has always been my rock. She always encourages me to be myself and to not be afraid to put myself out there. I talk to her about everything, and she knows me so well. Her input in my life and career have helped shape me so much, but she is so awesome because she doesn’t get overly involved. However, she always is there when I need her.
At what point did you realize music was something you wanted to pursue professionally?
I always knew I wanted to pursue music in some facet, but it wasn’t until I lost my dad and started writing and channeling my feelings that I knew I had to pursue this. I knew God gave me a talent that I couldn’t waste. It was then that I realized that pursing a professional career as an artist/writer was what would truly make me happy.
Dedicating yourself fully to your art is a big step. Did you ever have any reservations about taking the plunge?
Honestly, not really! It just felt completely right. I can’t totally explain it because it seems like something that would be so scary because the music industry can be very difficult to navigate, but I really just knew that it was what I had to do. I didn’t want to waste my time pursuing some other job that I wasn’t passionate about just to realize down the road that I wanted to pursue music. It was kind of a “now or never” type of plunge.
You are clearly very driven when it comes to your career. What has kept you inspired throughout the years as an artist and fueled your creative fire?
Well, my mom is such an encouraging person, so she has always been such an amazing person who challenges me and pushes me. Also, my dad always wanted me to pursue what I was passionate about, which he knew was music- I really just want to make him proud! I’m also really strong in my faith, and I know that God gave me this talent and driven mindset. Music is what I know I’m called to do, so there’s really never been a question.
You recently released a video for your single “Eulogy.” What can you tell us about the song and what it means to you?
“Eulogy” is such a cool, unique breakup song because it’s written as your last words to your ex lover. It has really cool Pop, Rock and EDM vibes and has a unique sound, which I’m totally obsessed with. This song has honestly given me closure in some situations where I never received closure. It’s also a fun, “feel good” jam in my opinion because it’s really saying “I know I deserve better, and I’m over you”. It’s very relative to most of the “relationships” I’ve been in the past few years.
You also put out a great video for the single. What can you tell us about the process of bringing it to life and the challenges you might have faced?
There really weren’t any challenges with this video, which is one of the most amazing feelings ever! I had an amazing team, and we had a vision from the beginning that we followed. Ford and Christina are very organized and very visual, and they know exactly what they need to do in order to accomplish that vision. It literally happened like this – we talked on the phone one day, they sent a treatment describing what we had talked about and how we were going to achieve that, and then we set a date and just did it! Ford and Christina have and amazing creative eye, and the video was everything I imagined it being.
You have a brand new single on the way titled “Shadows.” How did this song come about?
“Shadows” was an idea that I came up with after hearing stories regarding one of my friend’s breakups. She was so tormented by the idea of going to the places that she and her ex used to go. She hated the memories these places brought to her, but they were some of her favorite places. She’d be haunted by memories and feelings when she was alone. It was all of this that brought the idea of shadows and being haunted by someone’s memory to my mind. I haven’t been in a relationship in awhile, but I have felt this same “haunting” per se. I think everyone has when you break up with someone you really cared about and those moments become something you don’t want to forget, but something you don’t necessarily want to remember. After I had a solidified direction for this idea, I took it to my friend Jonathan,who produced it as well, and we wrote it. I love it so much, and I feel like it is so relatable for anyone who has ever felt loss in a relationship.
What can you tell us about the songwriting process for your music?
Honestly the songwriting process is different every time. It totally depends on who I’m cowriting with and, for the most part, I always do cowrite my music. It’s so cool to get someone else’s take on an idea, and I think that helps the best possible song come to fruition. Sometimes I come in with an idea and already have some lyrics written — I write lyrics a lot late at night before I go to sleep. Sometimes they have the idea. Sometimes we talk about how our lives are, and an idea just flourishes from conversation. It really depends, and that’s what makes songwriting so fun!
What was the first song you ever wrote?
The first song I ever wrote in its entirety was called “Remember Where You Came From”. I had just lost my dad, and I really needed to get a lot of my emotion out. It’s still a favorite of my family’s to this day, but you can definitely tell I was a young writer. It was the first time I was able to be super vulnerable in writing, and that’s what helped me finish the full song. I was being totally true to myself. I had been dabbling in writing for awhile, but never loved anything enough to make myself finish it until this one.
You spend a lot of time traveling back and forth between Nashville and L.A. How have those legendary towns affected your music?
I will be the first to say that I am SO fortunate to get to spend time in both of these amazing cities. The Nashville pop scene is just so different, and I love being a part of it. Most of the people I work with here, I’ve known for awhile or they know people I know and love very well, so there’s a certain level of comfortability when working with Nashville people, and I think that affects my music in an interesting way. LA always keeps me on my toes and stretches me. The people I work with there have so many different musical backgrounds, so I feel like I never know what I’m going to get when I meet with people or work with new people, which I love. I also love the creative edge LA has as well. It’s just really cool truly getting the best of both worlds.
Your songs can be intense and very personal. Was it a difficult process to get to a point where you were able to bare your soul?
Honestly, yes and no. If I’m writing something I’m super passionate about, it’s easy to put myself out there. If it’s something I can truly relate to, I have no problem being vulnerable and putting myself fully into that song. There are other times where I try to do more creative writing with things- I still think they turn out to be really cool songs, but you can definitely tell when a song is more personal to me.
Do you have any plans to put an album together or is the focus more on singles at the moment?
I’m planning on focusing on singles at the moment. I have some ideas and songs under my belt that I truly love and am really excited about, and I want to make sure they get the attention they deserve and don’t get lost on an album. So, I decided to not do an album at the moment, and to just focus on one song at a time.
How do you feel you have most evolved as an artist since you first started professionally?
Oh man! I can honestly say I’ve evolved SO much. I’ve been recording since I was 13, and at that time, I was just doing what was cool and popular. Now I can definitely say I know I’ve evolved into my own artist with my own style, but it’s still current.
What are the biggest challenges you face as an independent artist?
I feel like the challenges change depending on where I’m at and what I’m working on. Currently, I’m doing almost everything myself, so there’s times where I have to focus on more of the business stuff than the creative stuff. I’m working on building my team up more right now so I can change that, but at the moment, I would definitely say that’s my biggest challenge.
What do you consider your biggest milestones along the way?
My biggest milestone so far would definitely have to be singing at a Texas Rangers baseball game (my favorite baseball team) while being televised, being broadcast on national radio, and in the presence of former President George W. Bush all while honoring my dad who was a fallen police officer.
As an artist, so many things can be said about the current state of music. What excites about the music today?
I love how the music industry has evolved in a way where independent artists have the ability to do things themselves that they may have not necessarily been able to do in the past unless they were with a label. One of my goals is to definitely work with a label when I get that chance, but it’s nice to know that I can keep going and building my platform as an artist independently and that there are some resources to do so.
Where do you see yourself headed musically in the future — with short and long term?
Short term, I plan on releasing new singles and videos regularly. I’m also working on putting a full band show together in Nashville for this summer among other things. Long term, I’d love to be able to write and perform with new, amazing people, as well as travel the world and share my music and passions with people in all different countries.
What is the best way for fans to help support you at this stage in your career?
At this stage in my career, the best way would be to listen to my music on Spotify (and follow my artist page) or apple music, get my music on iTunes or google play, or check it out on any other big distribution sites! Also to share it with everyone you know! It would also super help me out if you could follow me on all of my social media pages!
We would love to help spread the word on any causes or organizes you support. What is closest to your heart at this point in time that we can help shine a light on?
I would 100% say the Peace Officers Angels Foundation! They help out officers who were injured in the line of duty and their families. I also support The C.O.P.S. organization (Concerns of Police Survivors). My dad was an injured officer in the line of duty who later passed away from his injuries, so these two organizations are very personal and close to me. I love what they stand for. I have also always loved the Make-A-Wish Foundation. I did a lot of work with them in college through one of the organizations I was involved in!
You can serve as a great inspiration for so many aspiring artists and young people. What is the best lesson we can take away from your journey so far?
Don’t let your hardships define you. Turn every situation into a positive, no matter how awful it may be. Use it to inspire you and to push you further towards greater things. You’ll also never know when you can be a light to someone else who is going through similar things that you’ve been through, so always look for those opportunities!
Jason Price founded the mighty Icon Vs. Icon more than a decade ago. Along the way, he’s assembled an amazing group of like-minded individuals to spread the word on some of the most unique people and projects on the pop culture landscape.