Interview by Christine Thompson
AMFM Magazine: Congratulations on your win. I’m sure you’ve been hearing that a lot lately. I’ll make this quick! Can you remember an actual deciding moment in your life when you knew this was what you wanted to do? I’ve read what the other media outlets have said already, but was there ever that lightning bolt moment when you thought ‘OMG, this is what I want to do!’ or did it just progress naturally?
Brynn Cartelli: As I saw more people breaking in to the business, and as I watched people that I looked up to become more and more popular and mainstream, I thought ‘hey I want to do that.’ It was a process, but I always had the idea I wanted to go into music as I watched more and more people that I loved and admired, I wanted to make music like them. I became more and more inspired.
AMFM: When you say people that you loved and admired, who are you talking about?
Brynn: This is random, but I remember following Shawn Mendes before he had any followers just cause I saw him post something. He wasn’t even big, but I liked the sound of his voice and sure enough a few years later he was selling out Madison Square Garden. To watch that all happen and see other artists breaking out it’s just really inspiring.
AMFM: So when you saw him do that, you thought you’d like to do that too?
AMFM: Now you’ve won, and you’ve been labeled the youngest winner ever. Are you tired of hearing that yet? The media loves to label people and stick them in a pigeonhole. But from what I saw, Kelly Clarkson is already on it, by encouraging you to break out into different genres. So there’s going to be a lot of pressure on you – there already is. How do you deal with pressure?
Brynn: I’m a very grounded person. I just remember to stay that way, because I signed up for this knowing that it can get crazy. Now that it is, I remember to talk to the people that keep me grounded and keep them relevant in my life, and not always make it about me, and being the center of attention.
AMFM: So you don’t like being the center of attention?
Brynn: Usually not.
AMFM: Honestly, I’ve found that a lot of these people that are superstars are actually very shy. Their persona on stage is one thing, but their personal in real life is another. What do you do with your family to relax and shake it all off, and regain some normalcy? Or is it too soon to be asking that?
Brynn: Well, it’s only been a couple of days, but I’m still doing everything I used to do, I’m still talking to my friends. It’s changed my life in a lot of ways, but it still happenin’, It’s still me, it’s still my life, I still love music and I still love everything that I had in my life before. It’s just different now, in a sense that I won, but at the same time it’s still me and this is part of who I am.
AMFM: So what do you think you will be doing in the next few months? Let me make this a two part question. What were you going to be doing if you hadn’t won, and now that you have won, what will you be doing instead?
Brynn: I think that if I didn’t win, or even now that I’ve won, I’d still be doing the same thing…planning on making music, and getting it out as soon as possible while the iron is hot. If it had ended earlier for me in the competition I probably would have gone back to my normal life playing sports and going to school and music…it would actually be more relevant, but now more than ever it’s the main focus of my life.
AMFM: So you’re going into the studio? That’s next on the agenda?
Brynn: Right now we’re planning out what the sound is going to be. I’ll be working with the label soon and try to figure out how I want my sound to be and how I want my album to look. I’m picking out my own songs, my originals that I’ve written in the past – figuring out which ones I’d want to use on an album – that’s where I’m headed right now.
AMFM: So right at the start of the creative process. That’s exciting, and fun too. So who are some artists that you look up to? Or put another way, who are some artists that you’d like to learn from…throughout history, don’t limit it to an era like 70’s 80’s 90’s or 2000’s. Just an artist that you’d like to learn from and emulate.
Brynn: Kelly Clarkson has always been a huge inspiration to me. Amy Winehouse…I love Stevie Wonder, I always have been.
AMFM: Me too…
Brynn: Yeah he’s great…also Alan Stone and J.P. Cooper.
AMFM: So what was your favorite performance on The Voice?
Brynn: I think my favorite has been “Fix You” by Coldplay.
AMFM: Tell me about the last song performed for the Finale, your song.
Brynn: “Walk My Way” was an original that I ended up putting out. It’s a really cool song, it’s meant to be a summer jam that people can listen to. It has some great people behind it. It was co-written by Julia Michaels, Justin Tranter, and Nick Monson. We had some amazing talent, we literally started at the top, and it’s amazing how it sounds. Kelly’s strategy was to bridge the gap from Brynn on The Voice and Brynn after The Voice, and we wanted to a song that was relevant, be on the radio, and have people listen to it and think of me, not necessarily The Voice, but “oh, what’s she going to do next.”
AMFM: Ironically that’s where I was just going. What are we going to hear from you next? I know you just dropped that one, but you’re already working on something, aren’t you?
BRYNN: Yes, I’m recording some demos. In my phone I’m trying to pick the ones that I want. You know it’s a little hard to let my own songs that have been sitting in my songbook, it’s hard to let them go and release them to the world. Artists always make it look so easy, but it’s very hard…they’re like my babies. You work really hard on them, you pour your heart and soul into them. I’ve literally just sat and cried and written songs, and now I’m preparing to send them out into the world and allow people to buy them. It’s a weird thought and I’m excited for it.. That’s the business and that’s what I signed up for.
AMFM: I guess that it is weird, to get your own personal thoughts and things that have happened to you, but on the other hand, you know that people will take your songs and make them their own, make the song relate to themselves. You’re sharing an experience and doing a favor for a lot of people who feel the same way you do, and letting them relate.
AMFM: I love your voice, I love your music, I look forward to hearing more from you. Good luck Brynn!
Brynn: Thank you!