Brittini Black is a music fanatic. According to her mother, Brittini started singing herself to sleep at age three. By the time she was eight years old, Brittini was singing harmonies, and by age 12, as a member of mother-daughter duo Sandra Lee & Brittini, a plan had been mapped out to pursue a career in music. She has been following that map with certainty. Brittini released her debut CD in September and has not allowed any grass to grow beneath her feet since.
Bev: How does it feel to finally release a CD of your own after all this time in the music industry?
Brittini: It feels incredible. I have been waiting on this for soooooooo long. I have been singing since I was three and then as I grew up I sang with my mom, and we had some airplay as a duet and we were opening at some pretty big name concerts when I was 16 and there have been times when I thought, WOW, we made it and then things would fall through. Then a few years ago I thought I had a record deal, I was told I did and it just did not happen, so there have been so many close calls and after awhile you begin to get almost so you don’t believe it is going to happen, even though you are out there and singing, and now, this finally feels so right, I could not be happier with everything. I have a great team behind me and we are doing things in new ways which I am really excited about so I am happy and cannot wait to see what is yet to come.
Bev: This is your 1st CD, is this first you ever made, other than demos?
Brittini: My mom and I had one we had done on our own, but this is the first real one for me and the first time my fans could buy it in stores and online. This has been such a cohesive project and I am so ready and so excited.
Bev: Since the release of your CD, you have been busy with promotions, including the radio tour in your special hybrid car, can you tell me if there are any really funny stories or special moments from during this time?
Brittini: Oh man, there were so many funny moments! I mean you can only imagine being trapped (I say that with love) with 4 other people in an SUV, with a months worth of luggage and camera equipment... after an 8+ hour drive, we would lose our minds! :) We had lots of days where we just drove all day. We'd get so loopy just from being in the car that long that we'd get in the most random and hysterical conversations! You probably had to be there for any of it to be funny, but it sure had us crackin’ up! One of the tangents we got on had us all speaking with an Irish or Scottish accent and trying to maintain a whole dialog using words and phrases that sound funny in those accents. Like, 'Hello I'm Patrick O'Sullivan and I'm goin to the pub on the corner. Would ya care for a big green pint of beer or whiskey? (You've got to do it in an accent or it's silly!) Well, it's silly anyway! haha... told ya it was random!
Bev: Your video for “Good Happens”, was showcased at the CD Release Party and and since then has been received very well, were you ever at a point where you were nervous wondering how it would go?
Brittini: Not nervous, the few people who had seen it prior to releasing it to the public, had a positive response and I think the song itself is a happy feel good song. Shooting the video had gone seamlessly and everything came together so well, we squeezed a three day shoot into 8 hours and it just all worked out so we are thrilled with the finished project. What made me more happy was the fact that the people in the video were at the party, and got to see it for the first time with me and share in the moment.
Bev: Your video has been in full rotation on both the major video channels, how does it feel to see this part of your dream come true?
Brittini: WOW, it really is a dream to be on GAC and CMT and people loving it so much! I was #19 on GAC's top 20 this week! I think I still can't quite believe it. I mean having my video be introduced after Keith Urban?! Holy cow, it's uneblievable! He's my favorite and I'm right up there.It's a crazy awesome feeling. I'm just enjoying every little thing that comes along.
Bev: You participated in the very special event during the holidays this year with Christmas For Kids, how do moments like that touch your heart and were there any memories from this event you can share?
Brittini: Wow, That was such an awesome thing to be a part of this year. I was so touched by the whole evening actually; but I think what touched me the most was the simple fact that people were SO excited to be there! It was a FREEZING night in Nashville, one of the first icy nights of the winter and it was like these kids didn't even realize how cold it was at all. They were loving every minute of it. I was touched at that because sometimes it's easy to feel like something isn't that important or just because it's cold that no one will show up, but that wasn't the case at all. It was so important to these kids and their families. It was the first hint of Christmas, and for some of the kids the only Christmas they were getting, so it just felt wonderful.
Bev: Of course another very big event was your wedding! I know your husband has his own business designing clothes, how are you balancing married life and do you help him with his business at all?
Brittini: Well, we have known one another and have been together since college. My music and career has always been such a big part of our relationship so for us, it's normal... and just really exciting! It feels amazing to have someone right by your side that believes in you so much. He teaches tennis but also has a t-shirt company called Blessed, and it works out so well because he does my merch too! He's so creative and talented; the Brittini Black t-shirts rock! It's fun to be able to overlap our careers like that but still have our own things and root for each other.
Bev: Your song “Life Is Good” is in the movie soundtrack for the new Renee Zellweger / Harry Connick Jr. movie & soundtrack "New In Town".Tell me about how it feels to have your song in a movie, and not just any movie, but one with such big name actors in it.
Brittini: Ok, can we say AMAZING!!! This is one of those things that just kind of happened, so that made it even more awesome. They found my song from searching online or myspace, I'm actually not even completely sure. All I know is I got a call out of the blue! It was such an unforgettable moment to be sitting in that theatre watching Rene and Harry (we're on a 1st name basis- haha!) and all if a sudden hear me singing!! And at such a big part of the movie!... it was a great moment. We had a group of like 25 people there and we all screamed and clapped when it came on... oh the poor other people watching it that night in the theatre!
Bev: Who have you met or been on stage with since your debut that has really touched you or inspired you or your music career?
Brittini: You know I truly do get inspired by everyone and anyone who is talented and doing their thing. There are so many amazing talented people in the world and whether I see a songwriter at a little coffee shop or a huge artist playing at the Grammys, it's all amazing. And it's great to see people working hard, not giving up and being creative. Sometimes I listen to a song and go "GEEZ! That is so cool! How in the world did they come up with that?!" It boggles my mind sometimes and makes me want to push myself in that way too. That is really inspiring for me.
Bev: You just participated in taping the Legends and Lyrics television special, how does it feel to be a part of something this special?
Brittini: I am so thrilled to be a part of it. The Legendary singer/songwriters on this show are just unreal. To be in the same building as them alone is amazing and the fact that I get to sing too is so much better than ridiculous, its REE-donK-u-lous! :) It was a big night for me.
Bev: Where was the 1st stage you performed on? Was it with your mom?
Brittini: I have been on stage and performing pretty much all my life. I grew up doing church stuff and competitions, but the first time actually on stage in front of a crowd was when my mom and I opened for Lonestar at a fan appreciation concert. It was when they were first becoming pretty big and there were a lot of people in the crowd. I remember being overwhelmed and a little scared, and yet it was one of those times in my career when I really thought we made it because we signed autographs after our set for three hours.
Bev: You attended Belmont University, and were a very recognized name, being asked twice to perform the BEST OF THE BEST Show at the Ryman, is that correct? Was that your most memorable time while attending Belmont?
Brittini: Actually I performed twice at the Commercial Showcase, twice at the Country Showcase and then once at the Best of the Best. Everything I did while at Belmont was great, but I would say that the Best of the Best was a highlight and probably most memorable just because we performed with Brad Paisley, who is one of my favorites and he is also a Belmont Alum, so that in itself was inspiring to realize a few years before that he was where I was and look where his career has gone, and we were performing at the Ryman, which for any country artist is a pinnacle moment. Everything about the night was unbelievable and surreal. You felt like it was a huge industry event and very professional and not just a school performance.
Bev: You have written with some of Nashville’s finest and biggest names, who is your favorite or who you seem to really connect with?
Brittini: Tammy Hyler, who wrote Martina McBride’s “I love You” and Collin Raye’s #1 hit “I Can Still Feel You” is one of the writers I really admire and enjoy collaborating with. We are really close on a personal level, and I have met so many more bigger names through her – she actually has quite a few songs on my CD. Tom Douglas wrote “God’s Will”, another Martina hit, and “Little Rock” for Collin Raye, along with hits by Alabama and so many more and I just love him, and everyone really has been so nice and open. Victoria Shaw who wrote Garth Brooks “The River” is my other favorite writer I really enjoy working with her.
Bev: Which songs are your favorites to perform, new or old, regardless if they are your songs?
Brittini: It can change depending on if it is acoustic or a full band performance, but, I really am enjoying “Knock Me Down” which is on my CD. It is a fun song you can get into. The lyrics are fun and you can just get into the character and be animated and have a lot of fun on stage while performing it.
Bev: You wrote several songs on this CD, the 1st release which is also the Title cut. Do you prefer to write your own?
Brittini: I really, honestly want to make sure overall I have the best songs on my project and songs that I can relate to as well as the fans who buy it, and also that I feel I really perform well. I write a lot, but I do not want to isolate myself to only singing my own stuff. From the perspective of a songwriter, to get songs cut is not always easy, so I want to support the songwriting community too.
Bev: If you could choose anyone, past or present to perform with, who would it be?
Brittini: Ohhh, there are so many really, but in Country music it would by Bryan White. I grew up listening to him and watching him perform and I wanted to be the female version of him. He pushes the envelope just a little from the Country music trends, he mixed the Pop influences into his songs and that is exactly what I want to do. I remember seeing him and LeAnn Rimes perform once and I wanted to be her on stage with him so badly. If I could choose someone who is not Country, I would love to do something with Michael McDonald.
Bev: Your style has been described as singing hope filled songs, is that something you hope to continue, to sing inspirational country or is it just where you are at the moment?
Brittini: It is something I aim for, but it is also where I am at the moment; because I am always positive in my own life and I feel it is very important to remind people through my music that it is not always going to be like this, that there is something better coming and it will get better. I like to help people and it is a big part of who I am in general. It was not really something we tried to do or set out to do with this project, but I am glad it did all come together this way, it really portrays who I am.
Bev: Tell me about the project you are involved with, Breakout: The Road To Stardom.
Brittini: My mom has been working on this for some time, four or five years now. It is very exciting, because it picks up where American Idol and Nashville Star leave off. It shows what it is really like when you get a record deal and win contests like this. People in general who are not a part of this industry have the misconception that once you have hit, that all at once you are rich and live in a mansion and live this glorious life and it is not like that at all. It is hitting the road and doing all the promotional things like radio,personal interviews and little shows to get your music out there. This is what I like to call a reality documentary. We are striving for release next Spring or Summer, and it is being pitched to the networks now. This project follows the lives of five people, myself included, who are all Country music artists, we are all about in the same place in our careers and it just lets people see our lives and what really happens and how hard we have to work to be a success.
Bev: What is the most fun thing about being an artist and performer?
Brittini: This is going to sound cliché’, but it is simply that I get to share my music. I know I would be singing no matter what, even if it was in my bedroom, but to be able to sing on stage and share that with people is the best feeling. Seeing fans connect with what I do, and seeing their reaction and responses is simply amazing. Too see a smile or hear the stories on how it affects them is so special to me.
Bev: Tell me about one of the most embarrassing things ever to happen on stage.
Brittini: If anyone ever saw the old pictures of what I wore or how I fixed my hair, oh my goodness. I look at those in horror. Otherwise, I have not had any real embarrassing moments. I did have dream one time before one of my big showcases at Belmont, and the whole stage was a huge trampoline and I feared I would jump right off the stage, and I told that story while on stage and after I did, I was a little embarrassed I did.
Bev: While on the road and on tour, what is one of the worst experiences you have had so far?
Brittini: The only thing that comes to mind was one showcase that was a big deal and pretty huge in general, and I had no voice and I was so sick, and I was freaking out, it was not my best performance, but I did it and I learned from it, but it was hard for me.
Bev: Have there been any other moments that you dreamed of happening, and now that the single is taking off and all the other aspects of your career falling into place, you are seeing the dreams come true?
Brittini: Honestly, having a project out there just feels so good. I love that people are liking it and I hope that continues. Whatever happens, I am a happy camper, blessed beyond measure to be able to do this and look forward to whatever comes.
Bev: Brittini, I want to thank you very much for your time today and for inviting me to share this special time with you. Is there anything you would like to add or to say that we have not covered today?
Brittini: You are so welcome, I have enjoyed our time together. The biggest thing is just to remind my friends and fans to go out and buy the heck out of my album and come to see me at my shows. I am really looking forward to everything that is coming up.
For more about Brittini Black, visit her website at http://www.brittiniblack.com/ or www.myspace.com/brittiniblack.