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Interview: Elena Charis

Introducing Brenda, a rising star in the vibrant music scene of New York City. Rooted in the traditions of church and school choirs, Brenda's musical odyssey began when she wholeheartedly embraced her passion for songwriting and recording. With a unique do-it-yourself mentality, Brenda conjures her musical enchantment in unconventional settings, crafting her vocals with precise care. From arranging melodies to playing the piano by ear, Brenda is a true artist of her craft. Partnering with Fotis from FoxMediaLab in Greece, Brenda adds the final flourishes to her creations. In 2024, Brenda is on a mission—to release music that embodies her undeniable talent and unyielding determination. With two singles already launched and more on the horizon, Brenda's journey is one of boundless creativity and unwavering ambition. Let’s take a closer look into the world of Brenda.

TKK RADIO: Let’s get into it! You mentioned that you are originally from California but now living on the East Coast. Tell us a little bit about you and what sparked your musical journey?

STFU, It's Brenda: Hi I’m STFU, It’s Brenda. I’m a 33 years old singer and songwriter originally from Los Angeles, California but currently living in New York City. I grew up learning how to sing in the church and school choirs. What sparked my musical journey was I had been recently telling myself for years that I need to write and record my own material but I kept putting it off. Basically, I didn't believe in myself but that changed last year when I went to visit my hometown after not visiting in 8 years.

You’ve got a dope fusion of pop and contemporary disco elements in your music. I thoroughly enjoyed the 80s-style synth in your other single as well. How would you articulate your musical style to our audience?

It’s Pop but I fuse disco, funk, r&b, urban pop and a lot of different genres. I just call it Brenda pop (laughs)

“Brenda Pop”, I think you’ve got something there! In your newest single “Like Chess”, it speaks of self-confidence and not just settling for anybody. Would you mind sharing the inspiration behind your single?

Basically, I was sick with the Flu with congestion and I was annoyed by a certain situation and person. I was annoyed to the point I told myself you know what I'm gonna write a song about it, (laughs) and that's how Like Chess came about. I actually debated with myself  on if I wanted to wait to record it when I was feeling better but something made me want to get it done, so I did. Sick and all. 

Some music is the best when it’s raw and organic. That's incredible. You mentioned that you were sick while recording yet your vocals and song-writing skills are on another level, even amidst battling physical ailments. What other hurdles have you encountered as an independent artist?

My biggest hurdle has been people not taking me seriously until after they actually listen to the record, and promotion. 

Have you ever dabbled on the side of music production?

Well I record all my vocals acapella in Garageband and I do all my own backgrounds and harmonies in my kitchen before instrumentation is created for it. So I'm pretty hands on in the production process. I also play the piano by ear, everything else is done by my guy in Greece, Fotis @ FoxMediaLab 

In the colorful blend of pop, funk, and disco that defines your music, it's clear your influences are diverse. So, who were the recording artists or musicians that shaped your musical palette as you were growing up?

Five Star, Pointer Sisters, Michael Jackson, Prince (I met him),Vanity, Debbie Gibson, Donna Summer, Irene Cara, Karen White, Pat Benatar, Mya, Aaliyah, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilara, Pink, Madonna,Vanessa Williams, and Destiny's Child.

That’s wassup. You mentioned you are originally from Los Angeles, California but now reside in New York. Hollywood is a great place to network but there is no place like New York either. How is the music scene different from west coast to east coast? 

Yes, it’s different. Everything here is drill music (laughs) which I love don’t get me wrong!

Looking back at the years, especially since you’ve been living in New York. Do you feel like you have more opportunities now than before?

Since releasing music, yes, it definitely has opened some doors. 

If given the opportunity to offer guidance to your younger self, what advice would you provide?

Believe in yourself more.  

Question: How important is social media in your music journey and do you consider it an essential tool in getting your music out to the public? 

I think it's a great tool to get your music out there to the public. You just need to produce a quality song and don't be afraid to put yourself out there. 

That’s really great advice. Sometimes we just need to take that leap of faith. If you were to recommend one song from your projects for our audience to listen to, which would it be and what makes it special?

Would say ‘Pegging Station’ because it's the very first song I ever wrote and recorded. It’s campy, it has nice vocals and the old school beat is fire.

With the experience you have now being hands-on with your production, marketing and promotion. What advice would you give an independent artist just starting their music career?

Be ready to put in the work. 

Facts! They say hard work pays off. With that being said, what can we expect from your music projects for the remainder of 2024?

So I’m supposed to release four (4) singles total this year. I've released two (2) so far and I have two (2) more to go before the end of 2024. That's all I can say about that, the songs are already written. I just need to record the vocals and have instrumentation created for it.

With the music you’ve created so far, I am excited to hear where you may go this year. As we conclude our interview, I'd like to ask if there are any individuals you'd like to recognize as outstanding supporters of your music and brands?

I’d love to thank Carland Michael Woodson aka Ghetto Drake. He's been a huge supporter of me and my music, xoxoxo.

What is the best method for someone to get in contact with you?

There you have it. Thank you, STFU It’s Brenda, for taking the time to do this TKK Exclusive with me. We appreciate your time. 

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