I am really excited about my new song, “Stars Are Falling.” I’m hoping that it helps uplift people during this difficult time. It’s a song about the love of humanity and how we all come together in a time of need. In the video we show the diversity of race, gender, age, etc. and in times of chaos, nothing matters but helping and loving one another. I won’t give any more away!!!
As a part of my series about pop culture’s rising stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Laura Bryna.
Having toured the world performing with Taylor Swift, Emmylou Harris, Clint Black, Carrie Underwood, and Tim McGraw, along with features in New York Magazine, The New York Times, Billboard and more, Laura Bryna is a multitalented, genre-blending musical powerhouse.
Bryna’s latest single “Stars are Falling” was just released and is already climbing the charts. Megastar DJ and producer, Klaas, has recently signed on to remix the track which will be igniting dance floors around the world.
Laura Bryna is a force of nature who doesn’t just sing, dance and act, but is also a radio talk show host, a children’s book author, and an outspoken U.S. military advocate. Now with several Billboard Top Ten singles under her belt and a dynamic new sound rooted in country, inspired by elements of New Wave and Electronica, Laura Bryna’s music is modernizing country while remaining true to herself. Her new music, produced with Grammy-winner Damon Sharpe (Ariana Grande, Jennifer Lopez, Destiny’s Child, Big Time Rush), represents a major stylistic shift for the country star, whose debut album “Trying to be Me” was released by Equity Music Group. The album features her tribute to the military, “Hometown Heroes,” which she co-wrote alongside Grammy-Award nominated songwriter Jeff Batson from the national campaign for the Air National Guard, where she’s an honorary member and spokesperson.
Bryna’s hit single “Sweet Revenge” has amassed over 2.1 million views on YouTube and climbed to #10 on the Billboard Dance Chart. The track is a banging ’80s New Wave number that recalls Blondie, even though it’s Damon Sharpe production that puts it firmly on the cutting edge. “Damon managed to take from my countryside and make it consistent with these new songs,” says Laura of her new album. In addition, there is a dance remix of “Sweet Revenge” by Dave Aude (Demi Lovato, Kelly Clarkson, The Greatest Showman), who holds the title of the most #1 songs on the Billboard Dance Club Chart.
Additional new tracks include the sensual come-hither “Body First,” which brought out another side of Laura, and “Counting All the Ways,” the ultimate kiss-off song in the manner of Pink or Kelly Clarkson. “I feel like I’m coming into my own,” she says, citing Grace Potter, Chris Stapleton and Etta James (“That voice slays me”) as inspirations.
Laura grew up entertaining her parents in the family basement in Mt. Airy, MD, a small town between Baltimore and Washington, D.C. that she describes as “green grass, turn left at the cow and right at the church… It’s home to me.” She sang lead with her two sisters and brother as back-up. Laura grew up on the classic rock, blues, country and soul music she listened to on the car radio in her dad’s ’60s Corvette on the way to Sunday School. “I’ve always loved to sing,” she says. “And I love helping people, giving back.”
Her support of the U.S. Military includes work with such organizations as USO, Wounded Warriors, Homes for Our Troops and Wounded In Action Family Foundation as well as an active participant in the Make-a-Wish Foundation. From seeing firsthand the power of the Make-A-Wish Foundation after her brother suffered a brain aneurysm at the age of 13, Bryna has been actively involved with the foundation. Her single “Make A Wish” debuted at #7 on Billboard and lead her to become a board director for the Make-A-Wish foundation.
In addition, Bryna occasionally hosts “That’s America To Me,” a talk show carried on PGA Tour Radio’s number one talk show, Golf Talk America, where she’s interviewed accomplished and notable people, such as Larry King, Vince Gill, and country music legend Bill Anderson. Bryna is “so happy to be part of the GTA family” and describes her show as a “fusion of golf, music, and lifestyle in one show.”
A gifted writer, Laura also penned a series of children’s books with an illustrator friend based on her own parrots, Tyler, Harmony and Snuggles, familiar to her fans.
“I want to continue making music and seeing where the dream takes me,” says Bryna, who is taking acting lessons “just in case.” “Music is like a tree, with all those branches coming from it representing opportunities. I’m prepared for whatever life has in store.”
Thank you so much for doing this with us Laura! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
I grew up loving music and entertainment in a very small town called Mount Airy, Maryland. Between my sisters and I, we created shows downstairs in our basement doing show after show for my parents. I think they saw the same show three to five times a day!!! Hehe…And that’s when I caught the music bug!!
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
I knew as long as I can remember wanting to be an entertainer. I always loved all kinds of music; I listened to it in the car, on our basement jukebox, and my mother playing piano at home. I studied and performed in school plays, choir, The Kennedy Center, anything that had to do with music! I knew I wanted a career in entertainment, so I went to The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. After graduating, I headed Nashville and then Los Angeles to pursue this dream. I am so blessed to be living the dream I always dreamt of as a child.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
I had a funny story happen on the bus when I was on tour with Clint Black.
One night before a show, Clint brought me on his bus and told me to try this drink he makes every night before he goes on stage. Of course, I laughed and said, “I’m a cheap date!! , If I drink that, I will be two sheets to the wind!!” He laughed too and said, “No, it’s hot water and honey!! It keeps your throat lubricated so you don’t get dry!” Boy, was he right!! Such a great tip!! I use it quite often and think of Clint Black!! “Thank You, Clint!”
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Again, I was on tour with Clint Black and we were performing at a Performing Arts Center and I apparently forgot to zip up my pants before going on stage. Of course, the band and the audience were trying to get my attention but I’m in the middle of telling this meaningful, heartfelt story, and all of a sudden someone from the audience runs up to the stage and tells me my pants are undone. I look down, started cracking up along with the audience and my band, and I broke into song “All of me, why not take all of me!!” That’s all I could do!! I wanted to crawl in a hole! I learned to double-check my wardrobe before stepping on stage and to always keep a good sense of humor. Never take yourself too seriously!!
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I have been very honored to have a wonderful relationship with our military. Being the spokesperson for The Air National Guard’s Advertising Campaign, Spokesperson for The National Guard Youth Foundation, as well as many others, I have experienced a lot of wonderful things: Flying in an F-16, refueling F-16s, USO Shows and Tours, meet and greets at Walter Reed, etc. I plan to do another USO Tour this year. We are working on a campaign with VetFlix, a movie distribution group, that promotes military veterans who have some interest in the entertainment business. We are working with other great non-profit organizations such as Homes for our Troops, Folds Of Honor, etc. I love and support the great men, women, and families of our military.
We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?
I am really excited about my new song, “Stars Are Falling.” I’m hoping that it helps uplift people during this difficult time. It’s a song about the love of humanity and how we all come together in a time of need. You especially get to see that in the video, which will be coming out in April. In the video we show the diversity of race, gender, age, etc. and in times of chaos, nothing matters but helping and loving one another. I won’t give any more away!!! I’m excited to share it with you and the world. We all could use a “little help from our friends!!”
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- Work hard and be smart
- Always be open to learning
- Be loyal and kind to those around you that have supported you along this journey
- Always be prepared, by learning all aspects of entertainment…be ready for whatever opportunities present themselves.
- Be available to your fans. Show them how much you appreciate them and that you realize they are the reason you are living your dream.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Always Learn!! Always find new and interesting ways to look at things. Meet people and explore life. Those life experiences are things you can draw upon and incorporate into your craft.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
As we are seeing through this horrible Pandemic, we need to take care of our elderly. They are older and wiser, and we can learn a lot from them!! Age creates wisdom and experience, and they have had a lifetime of learning. Knowledge is key!!
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I am so grateful for my Daddy. He taught me to work hard, give back, and to always be kind to others. I would not be where I am today without my dad. I love my work. I try to touch people with my music and hopefully make them smile and feel something. I love to give back and help people, whether through my music, my military charities, The Make-A-Wish Foundation, etc. He has made me the person I am today.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
If ain’t broke, why fix it! Sometimes we think we can make things better when really it was best left alone. Or sometimes we go looking for things to be wrong when really they were right all along. I also love the quote, “Sharing is Caring!” This is a saying we all learned in kindergarten. We have to share our toys. Everyone deserves a chance to play!! We see this in our world today. Especially during these difficult times, we see how different countries, who that may not necessarily get along on a regular basis, they are coming together to help one another to defeat this horrible disease, COVID19. We are seeing people sharing in grocery stores. I saw an elderly lady crying in the middle of the grocery store saying she didn’t have any toilet paper and a bunch of us ran up to her to give her ours. That is what the love of humanity is all about!!
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
I would love to share any meal, dessert, whipped cream, etc. with Olivia Newton-John. I am a huge fan!!! She is an all-around entertainer, but most importantly, she’s a role model for women and a philanthropist! I’ve been very lucky to see her perform live a couple of times, and I have had the privilege of meeting her backstage on one occasion. She enters the stage and there is no doubt she is in charge. She is an entertainer to the nth degree and so adored by all of her loyal fans around the world.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Thanks for asking. I post to keep everyone up to date almost daily. It’s so important to communicate with friends, fans, and family.
My website is Laurabryna.com
Facebook is Facebook.com/Laurabryna
Twitter is @laurabryna
Instagram is instagram.com/laurabryna