Brittany Campbell Opens Up About Her New Album, "Stay Gold": "It Forces Me to Be Brave"
When talking about Brittany Campbell, the term multi-talented is an understatement. The Brooklyn-based singer, songwriter, actress, producer and animator is no stranger to the entertainment industry, so it comes as no surprise that she has also seamlessly integrated different parts of her creativity into her music. Her recently released lyric video for "My Garden," which features her animation work alongside her own music is a perfect example of just that.
It was with these countless talents that Campbell was able to create her recently released album, Stay Gold - a vulnerable and fully-realized release that finds her shining alongside her bandmates. With Stay Gold out now and more tricks up her sleeve before 2018 comes to an end, we caught up with Brittany Campbell to talk about the album, her musical and personal inspirations and plans for the future.
Interview by Dom Vigil
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself for any readers who might not be familiar?
I am a singer, songwriter, producer, multi instrumentalist, and artist. Ummmm I get bored a lot and thus learn to do a lot of things. I've been making my own music for about 6 years now. I taught myself the guitar pretty late and started messing around with logic until something sounded good. I still make music in my bedroom.
What first sparked your interest in music? What keeps you inspired today?
My family loves loves loves music... like it's in their soul. My dad, when he was around, would play reggae records incessantly. He was a DJ, so he was always bumping tunes. I think that had a lot to do with my mom and dad's love. My mom loves all sorts of music but I think the music that she instilled in me the most was her love for the American/British pop music that she grew up hearing in the 60's... The Supremes, The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Elvis, The Ronettes, The Temptation etc... My grandmother would sing around the house. I was always in awe of her voice. She never sang professionally but she had this monstrous gorgeous voice. My aunt Denise showed me all the cool music, like Erykah Badu, Chaka Kahn, Sade... They all, once it was known that I could sing, which was early on, made a point of sitting me down and sharing the music that touched them. My grandmother's brother had a MASSIVE vinyl collection, which is where I found jazz. I used to sneak into his room and listen to his records all the time growing up. So yeah, it was my family. I think it's just genetically in me... the emotional connection to music, which has been vital when trying to create music myself, having the vocabulary and understanding of the way certain sounds and combinations has made me feel.
I've sung professionally in one way or another since I was 7 years old, first at the Metropolitan Opera, next was Broadway. Still, I never really got to find my own voice in this love and I think that has been the most inspiring. The questions, "Where do I exist in this love of music? What can manifest if I submerge myself in it?"And then there are my beastly friends who inspire me to no end. My album, Stay Gold, is mostly made off of pure inspiration from them: Johnathan Hoard, Joe Etzine, Alisha Roney, Mathenee Treco, Jazzebelle... Goes on and on
You’re kind of a jack of all trades, as a singer, songwriter, actress, producer and animator. Do you feel that your experiences in some of these fields help you to excel in others? How do they relate to one another or even overlap?
Yeah, the more I expand the realms of art the deeper all of it gets. The visuals will start to inform the sounds and vice-versa. Singing led to songwriting which led to producing which led to animating. I just wanted to make the experience fuller and fuller... The message clearer and clearer.
You recently released a music video for your song, “My Garden,” which you animated! What vision did you have in mind for this song and video?
It's a lyric video.., the music video is actually coming soon :)... I don't wanna talk about it any more hahaha!
Back in April, you also dropped your new album, Stay Gold. What goals did you have for this release?
I just want more ears on the music so that I can start making music full time, ya know. That is my truest dream, to be touring and singing to everyone with my band. I'm trying to push this as hard as I can with the resources that I have as an indie artist.
Now that it has been out for a little bit, what are some of your favorite things about the album?
I like that it's so honest. It's the most honest thing that Ive made ever, which took a lot a patience. Everything else I've made has been super impulsive. I didn't take my time with making sure that things sounded that way I wanted them to sound, but with this... oh man! My actually favorite favorite thing is that my band has blessed this record. I've always hated that my live show was so vastly different than my recordings, but now the same people on some of the records are right there on stage with me and its the most beautiful feeling. We all breathed life into a lot of these songs. I also love the mix of digital instruments with real instruments. I've always wanted my music to be a combination of the two. It's a less polished sound but feels so good to my ears. Yum Yum. Then, from an emotional stand point, I went through a lot of heartache during this record, rather quietly, and around the time of the album's release, everything came to a head. I was faced with a lot of big decisions regarding love and who I want to be and how to be true to myself while good to the people I love, which was crazy because when I first embarked on this album, the goal was to find myself again. Of course, I was just thinking musically, but it ended up being much larger than that.
How do you feel you’ve grown as an artist with the creation of Stay Gold?
I'm definitely a better producer. And when I say that, I mean, I'm able to execute what I'm hearing in my head better. I'm able to make decisions faster, I'm better at collaborating with musicians, mixers, masterers, better at directing them. The album has forced me to be more exposed in a way, which I like. It forces me to be brave.
With Stay Gold out now, what is the rest of 2018 looking like for you? Do you have any other big plans this year?
Animating a lot of videos and playing as many cool shows that I can is the goal. OH, also, a tour in the later half of September.