brianna_colette2

Brianna Colette is a vivacious singer with a style and voice so distinctive, it grabs you at first listen and burns itself into your consciousness. Both coy and confident, Colette’s soulful sound has made her one of the leaders of R&B and soul’s new school. The southern girl (she grew up in both Tennessee and Virginia) didn’t decide to pursue singing full time until she was in her late teens, but she was bitten by the entertainment bug far earlier in life.

“There was always some kind of music and dancing vibe happening in the house,” Colette recalls. “My cousins and I would spend the summers together in Nashville, Tenn. and we used to do talent shows at the end of the summer for our parents. I was the youngest, but it was something that we loved to do. We’d make up our own choreography and our parents made the biggest deal out of it. For me, it was like ‘This is what I want to do. I want to keep doing this. I don’t want to just do talent shows for my mom and dad and aunts—I want to do this for real.'”

Doing it “for real” meant a change of scenery and Collette has seen her star steadily rise over the last few years. After spending time in Los Angeles and furthering her career as a model and actress (she landed the role of Tonya Wiggins in the popular video game Grand Theft Auto V, as well as appearances in ads for brands such as McDonald’s and Dark & Lovely), she planted herself in New York City. Since 2009, she’s released music and made a name for herself, performing at popular venues like SOBs and at festivals around the world. Along the way, she’s learned the perseverance necessary to realize her ambitions.

“There were a lot of hard lessons. I definitely … had to grow a thick skin. I’m a Sagittarius, I’m very hard on the exterior but very soft on the interior. I was very sensitive; I’m still very sensitive,” she admits, “but I had to develop a very thick skin and be able to take criticism and take people saying ‘no’ and turning me down and still, inside, knowing I [have] to continue doing this. It’s that one ‘yes’ that you wait for.”

Colette is set to release her new single “Glorious” this summer, while she works on her upcoming currently-untitled EP, which is being produced by Josh Exantus and Music Man Ty. “It’s smooth, it’s sexy, it takes you on a journey,” she says of her music. “There’s something for everyone.”

Stereo Williams

Todd "Stereo" Williams, entertainment writer based in New York City. He co-founded Thirty 2 Oh 1 Productions, an indie film company.