After a lifetime of work and preparation, Brittany Brodie’s county singing and songwriting career is on the rise.
The 29-year-old Mount Forest artist released her first single in five years on July 13 called Together Never Alone, a tribute to her parents.
The single was sent to all the country music radio stations in Canada, she said.
“I come from a truck driving family and my mom has worked full-time always but my dad, growing up, he worked for Labatts and he was gone Monday to Friday, home Friday night, gone Sunday,” she said. “My dad literally (worked a) hundred hours a week or more and would do anything for anybody.
“And I know there’s a lot of people that can relate to this song, whether or not they’re a truck driver, somebody that’s away from home and keeping it together and calling each other and talking at night and hearing what happened during the day and they’re together never alone.”
Brodie’s father, Al Brodie, was actually one of the earliest influences on her musical career.
“I remember vividly, we grew up in Salem, I remember sitting on a rocking chair … with my dad, sitting on his knee,” she said.
“We were watching the (Grand Ole) Opry and I just remember saying, ‘I’m going to do that.”’
She was three years old and she said from that point she has always known singing was her path.
“Dad said a neighbour told them one time when they heard me screaming because I’d scream for a really long time and like go up and down, some neighbour said, ‘that girl’s going to be a singer,’” Brodie remembered.
“I’ve been performing live since (I was) eight years old.”
Even her name evokes an impression of stardom. She said she is often asked if it’s fake.
“They think it’s fake because it goes together so good and I love that,” she said. “That is such a sweet thing to me that I have such a cool name and it does sound perfect for a country singer.”
Brodie competed in area competitions and at fall fairs throughout her childhood and teen years.
“My parents took me everywhere,” she said. “They sacrificed everything for me.”
Brodie remembered when her dad would drive her to a singing gig even when he’d just returned home from 100 hours of truck driving, sometimes going as far as Ottawa.
Eventually she knew she needed to end up in Nashville, the gathering spot for country music artists. When she was 18 she journeyed to the city with her dad, the goal being to pound the pavement, get noticed and distribute her demo CDs.
“That’s a learning curve I’ll tell you,” Brodie said. “You know you just hear what you hear and see what you see and you don’t really know until you’re there.”
Brodie has since travelled to Nashville multiple times to collaborate with other artists, write music and record music.
During her latest trip to Nashville in May, Brodie wrote, produced and recorded three new singles in just one week that will be released in the upcoming months.
“As soon as I was off the plane I got settled, got my rental car and was right off to a session writing,” she said.
A lot of her success came from finding good writing partners. She wrote Together Never Alone with Don Gallardo, a Nashville-based Americana/folk singer-songwriter who’s had music on shows like The Vampire Diaries.
“We started talking and we were just playing and it was just flowing and it took, I don’t even know if we were an hour and a half,” she said.
She was surprised by how fast the process went.
“Together Never Alone totally came out of the blue,” she said. “We just started talking about my parents and then we started writing a song.”
Between her trip to Nashville and the release of Together Never Alone, Brodie worked to promote herself within the country music community, and she has been succeeding.
She landed a showcase performance at the Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) awards where she will be performing two songs on the Diamonds in the Ruff stage at the Delta Halifax in Halifax, Nova Scotia on Sept. 12.
“I was planning on going anyway and … I was just hanging on by the last thread waiting to hear from them if I got this or not and if not I was going to set up my own little thing there and advertise at it all over, but now this makes it even that much better,” she said. “It’s totally going to be awesome.”
Brodie said it’s important for artists to be present at industry functions otherwise they’re forgotten.
“If you’re doing this for a career you need to be on top of it, you need to go there and you need to network,” she said. “You need to be meeting people, letting them know who you are, letting them see you because they don’t know who I am.”
In addition to her showcase, the clothing company Long Tall Sally, a store that Brodie has shopped at since she was young, has recently acknowledged her.
“Brittany Brodie’s star is rising,” a company spokesperson said in an email. “The 6’1” country music singer/songwriter is a life-long friend of Long Tall Sally, the world’s go-to destination for tall style. Long Tall Sally is proud to support Brittany and wishes her the very best on her journey.”
Long Tall Sally specializes in clothing for tall women and has stores in Canada, the U.S., the United Kingdom and Germany. The company provided Brodie with a summer wardrobe.
However, not everything always came easily for the country music artist. About three years ago she questioned her decision to pursue music as a career.
“You work your whole life at it and that’s what I’ve been doing and then you just kind of take that time and step back for a bit and realize, ‘okay what isn’t working and why aren’t I having the success, why aren’t things going as I planned?’ But then again that is the business,” she said. “You have to keep with it. Some people work at it for 40 years until something happens.”
She stepped away from music for two years for a nine-to-five job, but her country music roots drew her back last summer.
“I wasn’t doing anything I loved, I was just working to make money and that’s not what life’s about,” she said.
“You’re supposed to love what you do.
“I don’t want to wake up when I’m 35 or 40 and be like what … am I doing? I have to do this.”
Since her decision to come back, her career has picked up momentum.
“The last few months I’ve been so happy because I’ve been doing my thing and you work your ass off but you’re doing it and making things happen,” she said.
“I’ve been making things happen this year because it’s hard work and determination and I believe that when you’ve put everything, like every fibre of your being into one thing and you just know that’s what you’re meant to do, that it will happen, the universe has to make that happen.”
Brodie’s new single Together Never Alone is available on every country radio station across Canada and on iTunes.
“I’ve always supported everything around here and I’ve always supported things around the county and I just hope that people will support me and go and buy it on iTunes because that’s important,” she said.
“Whatever [your] local station is, call and request it, please.“
To find out more about Brodie visit https://www.facebook.com/brittanybrodiemusic.
“Don’t ever give up on what you believe,” Brodie said. “You can do what you know is what you’re meant to do because it’s very discouraging, doors could slam in your face, you get told you’re too skinny or too fat, you’re too country, you’re not pop enough.
“Everybody has an opinion and it doesn’t mean it’s right. You know what’s right for you and eventually somebody’s going to come into line with that and accept that.”