Put together the sound of Christina Perri, Billie Holiday, and BANKS and you got our next artist, Brika, who will be a force to be reckoned with in 2015. Born and raised in Miami, she was surrounded by a plethora of influences which led to her symbiosis of genres that make Brika already have an established sound at the age of 20-years-old.
Brika’s debut album, “Voice Memos,” was backed and produced by Grammy and Latin Grammy-winning producer and composer Julio Reyes Copello; it was also recorded in his Miami studio, Art House, and released on his own label, Art House Records. While “Voice Memos” may be Brika’s debut, her songs have already charted on Hype Machine’s Popular Chart list, proving that she doesn’t have to do too much to garner the attention she deserves. Look out for tour announcements as Brika will surely be coming to your town sometime this year and you won’t want to miss her.
Q&A with Brika
You play around with different sounds, drum beats, and genres. Which eras and genres do you draw inspiration?
I draw inspiration from bits and pieces of everything, even visuals. Things that I wouldn’t routinely prefer (like country) have in many cases planted a seed to a new song. I love alternative and Billie Holiday’s voice, but it’s hard to specify an era or genre because I really try exposing myself to everything possible.
There are a lot of songs about relationships on “Voice Memos.” What were your inspirations? Were you getting over a breakup?
Everything I wrote was a reflection of what I was experiencing that year. While I was making the album at the Art House, I was extremely happy to be living my dream (which I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world), but it felt like I was extremely happy alone outside of the studio. I was in a long distance relationship that brought baggage (which I did focus on a lot, lyrically), but I also wrote lightly about how everyone went away to college. Every time my friends would come [visit] for breaks, I would go out, but there was such a disconnect from what I’d been experiencing and their lifestyles. I was so grateful for that clash, but I was sometimes unsure how to be 20[-years-old] when my mind was always in the studio.
On the track “Go,” you feature rapper, BOGART. What was it like working with him and what made you want to add rap to the track?
Working with him was very funny. BOGART is an incredible writer and [he] values his lyrics. He’s the type of guy that would email a publishing company to correct their grammar. I mentioned to Julio Reyes I wanted a track like this because I absolutely love Drake, soul, and r&b. It was an important element to the sonic identity I wanted to have.
You named a few tracks after dates. What was the significance and why did you decide to do it for multiple tracks (five in total)?
Well, since I was both experiencing and learning the process of creating an album for the first time, I thought it would be cool to share with people the origin of some of the songs. I wanted to inspire [and] expose songwriters how great ideas start small and evolve into something worth sharing globally. There were the legitimate Voice Memos I had on my iPhone the day I created them.
You have a really fun sense of style. How would you describe your performance style as well as your street style?
My performance style can be described as high fashion with some grunge. I like [wearing] a lot of rings and earrings. I love over-the-knee gladiators and boots, bodysuits, and also open-back long dresses. I love the runway look that it has, classy but sexy without going into extremes.
My street style is similar, just toned down. It is also simple high fashion with a bit of grunge. I wear mostly black and white. I love excessive rings and earrings. I shop at Zara often.
What do you think are a few pieces of clothing that every girl should have in her closet?
A nice pair of black jeans, a nice watch, multiple rings, a black short dress, and a white loose top that looks like you stole it from your boyfriend.
Do you have any plans to tour anytime soon?
Yes! We have a lot of touring plans for this year!