Billboard recently published its "DIY" issue. Newcomer Brynn Marie is one who could have very well been profiled in that section. The stunning songstress has learned the music business on the fly – doing her own booking, publicity, promotion, and even has run her own PA before. Nowadays, opening for rock legends Pat Benatar and Cheap Trick, she leaves that work to others, but she has a very industrious mind.
When it came time to make her latest video, "I'm Sorry," she once again took matters into her own hands. She found the props from dumpsters, repainting everything, and even shot the video in her own backyard. The song is one of the most emotionally powerful to come out of Music City this year.
"That song gets me every time," she tells Billboard. "I think everyone can relate to it because there's always an instance where sorry just isn't enough anymore. It's a highlight to sing it every night. I get to sing my heart out on it and let my emotions flow. There's nights I might cry during it. The stories that people have are just amazing."
Brynn's story is quite amazing, as well. She grew up a cheerleader for the Mighty Mikes in Carmichaels, PA -- where high school football on Friday nights was (and still is) the hottest ticket in town. She became enamored with music at an early age, being influenced by country, pop, classical, and gospel. She played in a worship and praise band with her family through college, and then formed a country band. Word of mouth spread about her talent, and opportunity came knocking at the door.
"I got an opportunity to go overseas and play for our military on an AFE tour for three weeks in the Middle East," she said. From that point on, she knew that music was not just something she loved, but also her true calling. "That changed my life. When I got to see how music can make someone feel loved, and make you forget where you're at, and the problems of what you're facing everyday, that made me realize I wanted to do that forever. After that trip, I went back to Pittsburgh to my hometown, packed my bags, and moved to Nashville."
Though the talent pool in Music City was very deep and wide, she was not as much intimidated by that fact as much as she was inspired to give it her all.
"I looked at as a case ‘If you want to go fishing, or if you want to catch a shark, I'm not going to the creek.' I looked at Nashville as a place that would be tough and challenging, with a lot of talent, but I knew who I was as an artist. I wanted to stay true to who I am. That's what I did. I didn't really know anybody, just went around town making friends. For the longest time, I never told anyone I was a singer. I just made friends with people, because I found I got more out of by soaking things up like a sponge. I felt listening to other people's stories was a way I could learn quicker."
Her talent and prowess as a performer and songwriter earned her quite a bit of attention around Nashville – and beyond. Getting the gig with Benatar and Cheap Trick has been an education that money couldn't buy.
"Watching them has taught me so much," she says. "They did things the old school way, pounding the pavement, and making fans. I found it to be so interesting because their fans are so loyal. They've been doing this for so long, and the seats are filled and people are singing their songs. They did it right, and those fans are bringing their kids. Their music will live on forever, and they are the best mentors you could ask for."
So where does she fit musically? She says she doesn't try to put her music in a box. "I appreciate everything from classical to Broadway to Disney songs to the Foo Fighters," she admits. "I listen to everything – as long as there's an emotion and I can relate to it. I'm true to my sound, and it's interesting to see where people place me. Everyone has a different ear. I just went to the studio and wanted to be Brynn."