Interview: Brittan Smith – Fiend

Brittan Smith is ready to amplify his message and filmmaking background with his forthcoming EP Going Rogue set for release later this year. He intends to introduce his audience to an entire alternate universe with interconnection between videos, song themes and future albums.

Hey Brittan Smith! Can you introduce yourself to our readers?

Of course! I am Brittan, a platinum-haired starry-eyed vocalist from the fields of Kansas – I really did grow up next to a field. But we do have roads…that’s a question I surprisingly get asked a lot. Musically, I make dark electro-pop tracks and I’m really making music for those who feel like they don’t belong because that’s how I’ve felt for most of my life. Now I’m thinking there’s no such thing as belonging but I do feel there are common factors that tie people who feel like “outsiders” together. That’s what I seek to do through music, bring people together. Especially people who wouldn’t normally connect. 

Congratulations on your new single ‘Fiend’, can you give us some insight into the inspiration behind it? 

Thank you so much! It was a fun one – well really I was pretty angry when I wrote it but that’s the catharsis of music. I wrote it from a place of being heavily judged by people who were part of the communities I was. I thought if anyone would understand me, it would be people that have faced similar struggles but they put me down as a “fiend” so I decided to reclaim the term and use it as sort of a rally cry. To not let judgement make us crumble and too challenge all of us to make some effort in trying not to judge.

What was the recording process like? 

I have a pretty well-oiled approach at this point. My producer, Yianni, and I worked up the track off a very rough vocal memo and lots of inspiration. I make a whole list of colors, words, vibes – it’s honestly a lot but he has adapted to that form of communication brilliantly and made the process super easy for me. After we have the foundation laid – I just get in the booth and that’s the fun part. This song really made me feel powerful – I go for a lot of notes that would be incredibly theatrical in a regular pop song but because the tone of the song is so cinematic, I was really able to let loose and just scream out what I was feeling. 

Can we expect a new EP, or even an album from you in the near future?

You can expect an EP and then probably another EP and then we’ll see! I’d love to do an album but right now I’m still honing in on my sound and there’s just so many different things that interest me so EPs help me sort of organize my themes. Currently, both of my releases – Fiend & Cyborg are from my upcoming E.P. “Going Rogue.” It’s all about being your own person, claiming your identity and going against the grain from what society says we must do. 

Where you from and what’s the music scene like there?

I am from Kansas and there are some incredibly talented musicians there as well as supportive communities – some of my biggest cheerleaders are back there! For my sort of genre, it didn’t really feel like a fit but for country, bluegrass, metal and some rock – there’s definitely an audience. I was exposed to and influenced by so many different styles and so I feel it was a really unique foundation to pair with my now Los Angelino way of life. 

If you could collaborate with anyone in the world, who would it be and why?

That is a wicked question – I really struggle to narrow that down so I’ll cheat and say three different artists.

Amy Lee – Her ethereal tones, captivating vocals and lyricism paired with her cinematic style is divine and I truly look forward to the day where I can write something deep, dark and triumphant with her.

Lynn Gvnn – She’s the lead singer and producer for one of my favorite bands – PVRIS and her style has really inspired me. I’m a rock kid at heart so the way she’s brought electric styles and rock together has been really cool to hear. 

Porter Robinson – He’s such a world builder – his music is immersive and almost escapist at times and I believe that’s a huge win as an artist. When you can transport people to your frame of mind – you’re doing something very right. 

What’s coming up next for you? Any live shows in the diary?

I want to! There’s obviously a lot of change going on as everything opens back up. First things first is going to concerts again (I just bought tickets to PVRIS tour!) I have a very specific way I’d like to perform this new music and so I’m working through what that looks like but I definitely need to get back on stage soon. 

And finally, what is the best piece of musical advice you have ever been given?

Hmm, I’m going to zoom out actually to some advice I got from an actor on set once as it really applies to all of the arts. Her name was Arlene and she said “What’s for you is for you and what’s for them is for them.” This has stuck with me ever since – I really believe in abundance and that someone else’s win doesn’t take from me just as mine doesn’t take from theirs but as a newbie in LA – I definitely got caught in that competitive mindset for a while but I’ve learned to let that go and it’s made me appreciate my wins and able to celebrate the wins of others.

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