Hailing from Co. Offaly, Brí has quietly been paving a path to indie-pop stardom. Now based in Dublin, her brand of folktronica has attracted many accolades and eager listeners alike. The music video for her debut single Low Supply earned her an IVMA Choice Award last year.
Following this, Brí sold-out her debut headline show at Whelan’s. The buzz she was starting to generate saw her selected to perform at Beatvyne’s Music X Tech Experience. This was soon followed up with performances at Whelan’s Ones to Watch live showcase, The Ruby Sessions and her own headline shows at the Sound House and the Spirit Store in Dundalk.
Announced as a featured act at Vantastival, Low Supply and follow-up single Polite brought Brí more national exposure as they began to take hold on the airwaves. Now, against the backdrop of a global pandemic, Brí continues to climb with her latest single Burying.
With a music video filmed by Aldoc Productions and starring dancer/choreographer Lisa Hogan, Brí’s angelic vocal delivery take centre stage over instrumentals created by producer Asta Kalapa and guitarist Aidan Mulloy. Burying was recorded during the peak of the first lockdown in Ireland. It’s only fitting that we’d catch up with her amidst it’s second wind.
GP: Tell us a little bit about your latest single, Burying?
“Burying is basically about breaking away from toxicity of any kind. It feels like there's a strong intolerance of one another’s' opinions in the world right now if they differ to our own. Burying is my way of stepping back from all of that and allowing myself to think as an individual. None of us are right 100% of the time in what we think or choose to believe, and so I feel like we don't always need to make other people see things the way we do. Deep!”
GP: How did you come to write it?
“After a band rehearsal one day, I stayed behind in the studio and started singing the chorus while playing the keys. Songs feel like they pour themselves out of me and I just write them down like an observer. I tend not to write unless I physically feel the song brewing in me. I wasn't planning to record this one next until my band and I started performing it live and I saw people's reactions to it. That and the fact that I just relate to this one now more than ever.”
GP: When did you start getting into music?
“My first memories are probably of me as an 8-year-old carrying around a pink, heart-shaped Barbie cassette player blasting out Christina Aguilera's "Come on Over Baby". In my teens I became a huge fan of Laura Marling and Birdy. I loved dreamy, haunting vocals with heartfelt lyrics. I taught myself guitar at 16 and wrote my first song when my auntie passed away that year.
I taught myself the keyboard at 21 but my true gigging experience began when I joined Eoin Keeley (now of KAZMS) and we formed a band which was then called 'The Ink-lings'. I feel like we gigged in almost every pub in Dublin and it was a really great experience. I eventually broke out as a solo artist simply because we both were writing so many songs that we couldn't fit them all into our set lists anymore. It was a good complaint! I gradually gathered a band around me and began releasing my own songs last year.”
GP: Being from Co. Offaly, what can you say about it as a place for aspiring young musicians?
“I feel like there is so much incredible musical talent coming from Offaly. It feels like a great support system where the papers and radio shows really get behind independent local artists. Nights like 'Acoustic Tuesdays' at Joe Lee's pub or Eoin Martin's 'Munch's Music Market' showcases are amazing places for finding new talent and Castlepalooza holds a competition every year for local acts.
I met Luz last year when we were both playing at RiverFest in Shannonbridge. I knew from the moment I heard her voice that she was going places. I think social media has removed some of the illusion of needing to live in a big city in order to start out a career as a musician.”
GP: That's an interesting point. To what extent do you think social media has affected your music career?
“Overall I'd say social media has had a positive impact on my music career as it's been my platform for sharing music news such as new releases or gig announcements. Saying that, I would see it as just one of many aspects of being an artist. Starting out you're not only a singer-songwriter, you're potentially a band manager, social media strategist, event planner, publicist, graphic designer and marketer all in one, unless you happen to have a lot of money. There is a lot to learn and it can be overwhelming once you start to really give it your all. I've found it to be really rewarding doing it myself and learning the hard way.”
GP: That's a lot to do all alone! Do you get any help at all or is it just you?
“I'm an independent artist so yeah it's pretty much all me right now. I have a great circle of friends I've made within the Dublin music scene and we help each other out when it comes to advice. There's no jealousy or competition; just a feeling of truly wanting one another to succeed which is a really nice support system to have.”
GP: Your singles, Burying, Polite and Low Supply have received rapturous praise. When can we expect a more long form release from you?
“I have a mountain of songs just waiting to be recorded so my focus over the coming months is to get more of it ready for release in 2021. All of these tracks will be part of a longer release that I'm currently finalising plans of. You'll definitely see me dropping more tracks throughout 2021 and my hope is that the finished project will be fully out in the world by this time next year. (Hopefully!)”