We had the good fortune of connecting with Bairi and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Bairi, how do you think about risk?
I think risk is INCREDIBLY important in life, as long as it’s backed by good intention and thought. Whenever I didn’t just do something because of fear of the unknown, I more than likely regretted that decision. I’m also a Sagittarius so it’s unsettling not to take risks (; In all seriousness, my career is a testament to walking by faith and taking risks despite the fear of unknown, as well as the societal pressure not to take risks and be an artist. 2012-2017: I started college with suppressed dreams of singing even though I had done it my whole life. Where I’m from, it just didn’t make sense to be an artist. I aimlessly maneuvered, first wanting to be a music therapist, then an English teacher. It was only until I took a risk and moved from Hershey, PA to New York with my then boyfriend and really no other family or support (my parents were very worried) that I realized that my dreams were possible. Soon after, I started recording music. I graduated with a degree in Arts Management but spent most of my college years making music. 2017-2019: I went back home for two years and worked as a server, hearing day in and day out that I should get a real job. I spent all of my extra time recording and traveling to perform with all of the pressures of being a musician and still needing stability to pay bills. Until I decided that I was wearing myself thin and that I could no longer settle. Months later, I took a risk and left home again to live with my then manager/close friend’s family home in Long Island, starting another new scary beginning (at least school was a crutch before). I got another serving job and continued to hustle. More blessings arrived even though I wasn’t as comfortable. 2020: A year goes by, and my energy had been completely spent from trying to network, working constantly for other people in places I didn’t feel appreciated, and trying/failing to capitalize on my creative work. I decided that this was my time to take another risk: leave the service industry after 10 years in and do my best to NEVER look back. This was right before the pandemic began, my current boyfriend and I left NY to settle into a house of creatives in Jersey City. I spent the year jobless, but working on my career harder than ever. I finally felt like I was starting to live my dreams, even though money was more of a stressor. I kept my head down and worked so hard and leveled up incredibly. 2021: January 1st, took yet another big risk and decided to live life on the road. I broke my lease, spent time in North Carolina, currently in Atlanta and Tennessee. I have connected and created with so many creatives already and while I still have no home, I feel at home wherever there’s music. It’s scary but there’s nothing better than being freed of crippling fear and walking by faith knowing that as long as I am meeting God halfway and doing what I feel is my purpose and gift I’ll continue to be able to do what I love. I would also like to note that in every one of these examples of risk taking, I’ve had the support of loved ones (I like to think of them as angels) even if they also were unsure of the road ahead. Will forever be grateful for all of these things.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I started my career in 2016 as Bri Marie, trying to figure out who I was musically and as a person to the world. My first project is just a collage of that sentiment: varied sounds and sentiments of being a 20-something figuring things out. Since then, I have faced sooo many challenges; one of the biggest has been learning that my art, career, and purpose are MINE and nobody else’s to mold and manipulate. When you’re trying to figure out who you are in this industry it’s very easy to morph into what you think society wants of you. It was only last year (in isolation) that I realized the world will know me as ME, Bairi, not an artist living in the shadows of somebody I might sound like or remind people of. Since then I have grown so much as a person and artist. I’m unafraid to push my limits and improve because I’m not trying to be anybody else, just a better version of myself. I am so excited about showing the world what my music sounds like now that I am finally comfortable in all that makes me, me. It’s so much better lol. What sets me apart, as well as every other artist, is that we are all 1 of 1. We are all experiencing life differently and molding our art around it. Another artist and I could be inspired by and sample the same exact part of a song, and they would sound completely different even if similar. That’s what is so beautiful about music and life. My story is for the young girls like me who should feel special even if they’re lost or finding themselves. That even on your off days, even when you don’t feel your prettiest or most productive, you are still a star in your own right.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
It’s hard to pick specific places when I am currently a nomad with no city to call home lol but generally speaking, we’re going to any place of musical or cultural historic significance (I’m going to Tennessee next week and really excited to go to the Natl. Museum of African American Music). Definitely have to check out nature of sorts. Whether it be a trail, observatory, aquarium, gardens. I tried to go to a botanical garden in North Carolina a few weeks ago but I should have known in January there wouldn’t be much botany ): next time! I take a lot of my friends to my studio sessions which are usually the coolest. Even for me, I’m super excited when I go into a new studio and soak in the vibes. If we’re talking about food, I’m definitely asking all of my followers for the best recommendations as opposed to Google. I’ve found some of the best food spots listening to actual people. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
God My loving and supportive family My boyfriend and a true saint, Ryan Gran Santo and my incredible business partners/brothers The Cribbington and its inspiring inhabitants Lauren, Brittany, and all of my loving soul sisters who have supported my journey Sooooo many more (what am I going to do when I win a Grammy I have no idea)
Villatose Mishko Colin Pieters Ryan Payan Onoriode Akporotu Brianna Pierce