We spoke with singer and actress Breana Raquel about her journey in the entertainment industry, her motivation that led her to where she is today, and her new single, "Lottery".
Where are you from?
I'm from Maryland originally, but I'm based in LA now.
How did your upbringing and environment influence who you are as an artist today?
Oh man, well I don't know if you know this because a lot of people don't know my race, but I'm Black and White and where I'm from, not a lot of people are Black and White, so growing up I never really knew if I should hang out with my White friends or my Black friends. That just, you know, puts you in a hard place when you're younger. And so I feel like when I moved to LA there was a lot more diversity and types of people, and more creative people too, so I feel like now I can really grow as an artist and all that.
At what age did you start making music?
Oh man, I think the very first song that I actually made was when I was fourteen, but I didn't start doing it super professionally until I was about 16, and I learned how to write my music, started taking voice lessons, and really started getting into the studio.
Who were your musical influences growing up?
Oh definitely Ariana Grande, I watched her on Nickelodeon and stuff, her pop music is practically my inspiration. But also, Christina Aguilera and Mariah Carey.
You are also an actress correct? How do you balance being both a singer and an actress?
Yes, I am also an actress. So, in the industry, there are definitely like high times and low times, and I kind of go back and forth have auditions where I have to put singing on the back burner and focus on acting, and when acting is low and not busy I'm in the studio more and singing and stuff like that. So, I kind of go back and forth with what comes my way, and what I'm dealing with creatively too.
Talk about some of the challenges that women face in the entertainment industry, and how you push past those challenges?
I think the biggest challenge is recognizing and dealing with the rejections in this industry. I mean, being an actress, you get so many "no's" and you really have to be persistent, and just keep going at it to get that "yes" that's going to change your life. And then with singing, you're being so vulnerable because you're putting your thoughts and views out there for people to judge, and that's kind of scary. You're like "are they going to love it or are they going to hate it?", and it's so easy for people to be like "oh, that song is trash", but that "trash" could be someone else's favorite song in another part of the world, and you have no idea. So, it's really scary to be vulnerable with people, but I do think that it is super important.
What advice would you give to a young woman who wants to be a singer but does not know where to start?
The biggest thing that I would say is just a thought that I've had, and that I've always had, and that's "why not me?". So, when it's regarding your talent and your passion for something, ask yourself "why not you?", you know? Because it's like no one wants to see you fail, I mean most people don't, but really no one wants to see you fail, they want to hear your good music. So when that doubt comes up in your head, I would say "why not me?". I always say it because I do have the ability, I do have the talent, and I do have the passion for it. So, if you love it, do it, and don't let anyone stop you from doing it.
Your new song "Lottery" is fire, what is the influence behind that song?
Oh my gosh, yeah "Lottery" that's a crazy story. So one day I don't know what happened, but I was like I should really learn how to make music and stuff in the studio, and I had no idea where to start, and I have some very talented friends, so I talked to the guy who produced my song and I was like "hey, Aidan, can I sit in on one of your sessions and just see like what you do, where you start, and all that", and he was like "yeah come over". So I did, and I was just watching him produce this track from scratch, and all of a sudden we were writing to it and it blossomed into this awesome song that we all love, so yeah. It wasn't really like supposed to be a project, it just turned into one.
When can we expect new music?
Very soon, you know I'm trying to do stuff from across the country. I'm back home with my parents due to COVID-19, you know? But I have been writing so much because I have the time to do it and get creative, and I'm doing zoom calls and stuff. Unfortunately, I do not have high-quality equipment here and stuff, but as soon as this is all over I'm getting my butt back into the studio and giving yall what you want to hear!
Listen to "Lottery" below.
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