Houma native Brittany Johnson, aka Britt, only has one official project to her name, but in that body of work, titled “Kill the Man”, she showcases superb composing abilities, especially for someone as young as 24 years old. Britt — a self-taught guitarist and melodious vocalist, who wrote her first song when she was 17 years old — displays her excellent range and dedicated ear for music in the 6-track alternative/indie rock EP. That’s why her sound is appreciated on social media by audiences of different ages from various places across the U.S.
In addition to her internet traction, the current Houston resident is making a name for herself in person through live shows, as she will soon finish her first multi-state tour (includes Texas, Tennessee, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, among a few others), with Louisiana being her last stop this Saturday night (Sept. 7).
Britt took the time out of her remarkable tour to talk to the Times for “Take 5”.
Around what age did you realize you had a real talent for music?
“I was in choir in high school. So, I think it was around that time that I realized I could sing a little, but most of the time I hated my vocals and wasn't very confident. It wasn't until after college when I started to spend more time writing, composing my own music and learning to manipulate my voice that I realized I was good. So, I wouldn't call it talent; I just had to work.”
Walk me through your creative process.
“I don't really have a set process to write. I get ideas for melodies and lyrics when I'm driving, cleaning, playing my guitar, watching TV — basically doing anything. Once I have an idea for a melody or lyrics, I'll record a voice memo on my phone and try to finish writing the song in one sitting, if possible. Then, I'll go back to it later to record it in Logic and start composing the other elements of the song. I can usually write the lyrics and chord progression to a song within a day to a week, but to finish recording the entire song usually takes months.”
Where do you draw inspiration from when writing your lyrics?
“Everything that I experience and consume is my inspiration. While writing the songs for “Kill the Man”, I was dealing with healing from an emotionally abusive relationship and my insecurities related to various things. So, most of the songs are about those topics. Right now, I've been thinking a lot about God, religion, jealousy and hate, so my music for the next EP is focused on those topics. One time I wrote a song about the first episode of “Grey's Anatomy”, so it can really be anything.”
How long did it take you to complete your EP, “Kill the Man”? Are you happy with the finished product?
“I worked on an EP for about a year. When I first started, it wasn't “Kill the Man” or any of the songs that eventually made it to the project, but it took writing a lot of s— songs for a year to get to the released project. I'm 100 percent satisfied with what I released. I love my project and I think I did a great job making something that was true to who I was in that time of my life. It feels cohesive and whole, which was my goal.”
What do you want people to take away from “Kill the Man”?
““Kill the Man” is about me recognizing my traumas, insecurities and all of the s— that I was holding onto during that time, and working past it. Finishing and releasing this project was an attempt to kill one of my insecurities. I wanted to prove to myself that I could have an idea, work hard on it, see it through and do a good job. So, that's what I got from the project, but I don't have anything in particular that I'm hoping people take away from it. I hope that people listen to it and that it makes them feel some sort of emotion, even if they hate it — which I hope they don't hate it; please love me.”
Bonus Question: If you had to describe your music as a brand of cereal, which brand would you choose and why?
“The store-brand Raisin Bran Crunch at H-E-B in Texas. It's tasty, sweet, lots of crunch and even good when it gets a little soggy.”
Locals can catch Britt, along with Matt Surfin’ & Friends, Sleep Habits and her tourmate Pearl Crush, at Banks Street Bar and Grill (4401 Banks St. in New Orleans) this Saturday at 9 p.m. — for free.
To keep up with her releases, visit https://www.thisisbritt.us/music or follow her on Instagram: @only8britt.