Check out our interview with Southern-raised, LA-based singer-songwriter Brett Landin who is about to release her debut single SMALL TOWN GIRL out April 7th!.
Brett is originally from Dallas, currently lives in LA and recorded the song in Nashville with Chris Harris and Paul Overstreet. Next up she will play the legendary Troubadour in Los Angeles on April 4th ahead of the release and then The Hotel Cafe May 11th.
Follow Brett @brettlandin
Hi Brett, please tell us a little about you?
Hi yall! Brett Landin here. I am so excited to be sharing a bit more about me and my upcoming shows and single! A little about me is that I am a Southern-raised, LA-based country-pop singer-songwriter. I am finishing up college at University of Southern California and have just begun playing live shows in January, so 2023 has been a beautiful whirlwind without a doubt! I have always loved creating and was that little girl who was always putting on performances for family and friends. (We have countless home videos to prove it). I love my dog, Phoebe, more than life (we are attached at the hip!), plus, she is a great person to practice singing new songs to because I am always met with positive feedback! (Copious puppy kisses) I am feeling so blessed to be putting out my debut single Small Town Girl on April 7th at Midnight Eastern time and playing the Troubadour (4/4) and Hotel Café on (5/11), and am so honored to be here at Naluda today!
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Passionate. Creative. Curious.
We’re sure you have been asked this million times but how did you get in the industry?
I first went to Nashville in 2021 to begin learning more about making music beyond my childhood bedroom. It took me years and years of my parents begging me to explore music legitimately to even be okay with getting on a plane to go to Nashville. What was it like singing into a microphone? How did it feel to wear “the cans” in the recording studio? Who was I as an artist? There was absolutely no mention of recording an EP or recording anything at that point. However, it was in that trip that I began to figure out the answer to who I, Brett Landin, was and wanted to be as an artist. I look back at that trip and see how blessing-filled it was. I had the opportunity to work with some amazingly talented and wonderful people who took time out of their lives and schedules to nurture, talk, and create with me. I think Phil Madeira and I sat in his living room for five hours diddling on guitar, laughing, swapping stories, and writing music; it was magic. That story is for another song on the upcoming EP though, so stay tuned for that.
Small Town Girl, however, came about in pure happenstance and luck. I had the opportunity to work with Christopher Harris who was going to act as my guide as I headed into a studio to practice singing into a headset and microphone for the first time. Chris had written Small Town Girl with Paul Overstreet, another incredible musician out in Nashville- and he wanted me to practice singing it just to understand the feeling of singing on a fancy microphone in a studio. Yes, it was much different than singing in my shower. Needless to say, the stars aligned and I have now gotten the honor to sing this wonderful song and put it on my EP that Chris would end up producing.
How has this changed your life?
I never thought I would ever be on stage sharing songs with people in such a raw and honest way. Writing music to me was always my version of journaling and I held my music extremely close to my chest and thought it would always be like that. The way that I am playing The Troubadour, I mean pinch me! And the way that people will be listening to my music on their playlists in less than 2 weeks is absolutely incredible and astounding to me!
Describe your sound in 3 words?
Sassy, modern, country
Who influenced you and why did you choose to make music?
Music was always an integral part of my childhood. I always felt like music being played all the time. Both of my parents facilitated that environment 100%. I think that both of my parent’s influenced me in different ways. I get my voice from my dad, and when I was cast as “Daniel” in Daniel in the Lion’s Den in fourth grade, we practiced my solo repeatedly in our living room. I would say that it was my mom’s love of music that really got me to appreciate music for more than just “entertainment” and to understand the art of storytelling and talent. Ultimately, though, I ended up making this music for myself because it was the only way I could process things that were happening in my life.
Do you play any instrument?
I pinker around on piano and am learning guitar right now (from Nick Monaham), so I can continue growing as an artist. It is something I am working on and am not a pro by any means but am excited to keep expanding my abilities so I can play live while singing! Hint: I may be playing some guitar live in an upcoming show!
Do you ever get nervous?
Absolutely! I was a competitive swimmer for a long time, and my dad would always tell me before my races that nerves were good because it meant you cared; they only were destructive if you didn’t convert them into energy you can use to fuel your performance. Now, years later, singing my songs on a stage feels way more nerve wracking than a swim race ever was, and I definitely am still learning how to control my nerves before I get on stage; however, my dad’s words still remain true for me and I try my best before every show to take deep breaths and convert my nerves to energy I can funnel into my performance.
Tell us about your new single “Small Town Girl?”
I think that Small Town Girl really embodies the story of a phase of life and relationship dynamic that is not reflected in today’s music. It tells the story of a couple who must part ways because one person wants to chase their dreams and those dreams exist outside of their shared reality. I think so much of the music occupying country-pop are holding space for the darker dynamics and hurt that comes in relationships, for sure. Small Town Girl is not that narrative. When I first heard the song, I had been in a relationship that was ending for a reason that was outside of the love and care we felt for each other. Our paths were just taking us to different places. Those endings hurt; I think, more than the endings that erupt into flames. The ones that end not because someone did anything wrong, but that end because you want your partner to do things right and sometimes the right things for your partner, inherently hurt you. That’s why I think Small Town Girl is different. It’s a song of this new story and I am so excited for everyone to hear it and blast it heading into the spring and summer!
What’s the story behind the song?
Small Town Girl’s genesis was really by happenstance and ultimately was the kick-start to my entire music journey. I was introduced to Christopher Harris, one of the writers on Small Town Girl (along with Paul Overstreet and Steve Thomas), when I was in Nashville for an initial introduction to the music world. I was there to merely practice singing into headphones and into a microphone and really to just explore what it meant to make music more seriously than singing in the shower. Ultimately, in my singing of Small Town Girl, Chris and his team decided they wanted me to sing Small Town Girl which was a shock to me that these Grammy-award winning songwriters would want me to be the voice of their music. So here we are. While it is the only song that I haven’t written, it was the catalyst of this entire process and I hold the entire process leading up to even recording very close to my heart.
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
I think the most rewarding part of my work is the fact that the songs I am now performing with others were never meant to be heard by anyone other than me! And now people are coming up to me after my shows sharing with me how much my songs have resonated with them and their experiences. That to me is so special and so rewarding and makes this entire process (as scary and vulnerable as it may be) so worth it!
What book should every entrepreneur read?
I think a book everyone should read, entrepreneur or not, is the Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. I think that it is such a gorgeously (and concisely) written reminder of the relationship we should have with ourselves, so that we remain grounded and steadfast in our relationships with others.
If you weren’t famous, what would you be up to right now?
I wouldn’t say I am famous by any means, but I do hope that Small Town Girl gains traction so that I can continue sharing music with others. However, if I wasn’t doing music at all, I would be headed off to New York University for Occupational Therapy because I hope that one day, I can be an occupational therapist to work with kiddos! I would absolutely be integrating music and art into my sessions, 100%!
What would say are the greatest lessons you learned so far?
You are your own biggest fan and your own greatest advocate! I truly cannot emphasize this enough and is the biggest lesson I have learned in the past 4 months. This industry is hard, but I think that what is harder is learning to be okay with being your biggest fan- unapologetically!
What advice would you give to your younger self and why?
I think the advice I would give to my younger self connects to the lessons that I have learned and am learning. I would tell my younger self to believe that she is worth standing up for and speaking out on behalf of. Its scary to speak up and advocate for your talent, your needs, your concerns- and I think that women are taught to be passive in those moments. I wish I could tell her that her greatest successes would come from her being bold and brave enough to speak up.
How would your best friend describe you?
Right from the horse’s mouth, my best friend said “One of the funniest and most empathetic people I will ever meet. She lights up everyone’s lives and is so reliable and loyal. She will always be able to make a bad day a great one and makes every person she encounters feel special and loved. She’s driven and knows what she wants and she’s not afraid to go after it or encourage others to do the same for their dreams. Also, a kick ass creative mind and soul with a killer voice!”
If you are a book, what would be the title of the book and why?
That’s a tough one! I think that at this point in my life, if I was a book, the title of it would be “Full Bloom” because I really do feel like I am beginning to really step into my light and my energy and bloom as a person, performer, and artist.
What’s next for Brett Landin in 2023?
Wow. I mean really who is to say?! If you had told me in January or February that I would be playing the Troubadour and Hotel Café before May, I would have called you crazy! That just goes to show that so much magic is happening, and I am truly open to and manifesting opportunities to make music, travel perhaps? I can say for sure, that in 2023 I will be releasing my first EP and at this time I am moving out to New York City in the fall to start graduate school at New York University. But again, who knows what will happen? Manifesting being an opener for an artist on tour!
What is your favorite healthy food?
I love a good hearty salad with grilled chicken! Anything with lemon dressing and arugula with grilled chicken, I am in heaven! Never gets old.
And your favorite cheat food?
Movie snacks are my vice! Slurpees (coca cola and cherry swirl of course), popcorn and candy- just too good!
How would you explain your fashion style?
I would say that my fashion style is simple and slightly edgy! I love a good jean, black boot, black jacket and white tee moment! I feel like that’s a staple in my wardrobe. My mom has always explained my style as “sporty yet cute” which I think is very much on brand. I want to keep curating a style that grows with me, though, especially as I come out of college-age years- but I feel like that energy will remain constant because it reflects who I am as a person!
What is your own definition of happiness?
I think to me, my happiness is defined by my ability to go through detached from the outcomes, and celebrating the experiences that get thrown my way. I find that I am at my most happy when I am able to create and exist freely without the self-inflicted restrictions that I place on myself. Happiness to me is being able to step into light and love without being so discouraged when the dark moments of life happen also.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
I would love to having a songwriting session and chill chat with Kelsea Ballerini without a doubt. I have been blasting Kelsea since her first EP came out and I saw her open for Lady A in 2017. She is such a powerhouse, as an artist and a woman, and she also just seems like the vibe of person I would want to do facemasks with and chat into the night! Again- manifesting!
What would be the dream holiday, and who would you go with?
I would love to travel around Europe with my boyfriend, who also happens to be my best friend! He is my adventure buddy through and through and I just love exploring life with him, so I definitely hope that happens at some point in our life.
Best advice ever given?
“Even on your dimmest days, you are still a light for somebody. Shine on.”
This piece of advice really has stuck with me and is a reminder that even on the days we feel uninspired, bad, sad etc… that we still mean something to someone somewhere, and that our presence is a light for someone even if we are feeling discouraged.
Do you support any charity?
A charity that I support wholeheartedly is I Support the Girls, a nonprofit that’s mission is to distribute feminine products (menstrual products and undergarments) to folx experiencing houselessness worldwide. I am a certified yoga instructor and have had the opportunity to teach several events to raise money for charity’s and causes that I am passionate about. One that specifically comes to mind was partnering with LA HOPE DEALER (Corrie Mattie) X I Support The Girls to raise money and gather feminine products that were sent to Ukraine refugees. Being able to facilitate community amidst crisis and to be able to raise resources to help those in needs was so impactful.
Where do you see yourself and your career in 5 years from now?
In 5 years, I hope that I am making still music but at a completely different scale. I am never the one to claim wanting to “be famous” because that’s not what it is about for me. For me, it is all about connection. I hope that in 5 years I have fans itching for my music to come out because my words and music means something and impacts people! I want it to mean something to my fans when I put out music because they know that it is resonant with their life. I want to connect with people through live performance, and through art. That is where I see myself in 5 years with my career.
What is you favorite song to belt out in the car/for karaoke?
Will You Go With Me by Josh Turner hands down! Two years ago, I road tripped out to California with my best friend Alex to return to school after our COVID-hiatus and I no exaggeration, we played that song on REPEAT for the 21-hour car ride and sang it loud and proud!
What do you think of Social Media?
I think the topic around social media is a nuanced one, but I think that (like with most things) social media has the opportunity to be beautiful and facilitate connection in ways that wouldn’t otherwise be possible; however, I think that it is really damaging and hard to separate reality from the façade that the media presents as “reality.” I know I have to limit my screen-time to prevent myself from comparing myself to others- but its hard not too especially because everything is at our fingertips.
Where we can follow you?
My Instagram is: @brettlandin
Give me a follow on Spotify here!
Pre-Save my Debut Single Small Town Girl here!
Book: I am an avid reader, so maybe this is just because it’s the most recent book I read, but I just read the Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and it was absolutely riveting and raw and I adored it.
Quote: “Comparison is the death of all art”
Movie: The Holiday
Tv Series: Bones or New Girl
Favorite Food: Steak
Travel Destination: London
Sports Team: Dallas Cowboys (really any Dallas sports team!)