Before September 3, 2018, many of those around Brittany Houston had no idea that she wrote songs and was a gifted singer.
That changed with the release of “Outside and In,” her powerful debut single. After solidifying her stock singing on Casey Peveto Band’s newest single, “Broken Heart’s Advice,” Houston took another huge step with her newest single, “You’re My Favorite Song.”
As she prepares to release a new single in the coming weeks and potentially an EP this year, hear from Houston about growing up in with a myriad of influences, the stories behind her two releases, competing on the NASH NEXT competition, and more!
Pro Country: Who were your biggest musical influences growing up?
Brittany Houston: I get asked that a lot, and it’s such a hard question, because I’m influenced by a lot of the music that my parents listen to, and they were all different genres. I love all kinds of music. I was influenced by older, classic music like Eric Clapton and Dr. Hook and Jim Croce and people like that. I was also influenced by older country, and my mom has this rock influence that I love; she would listen to Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins, and people like that.
PC: Was there a specific moment you knew you wanted to pursue music?
BH: There was: it was The Bodyguard soundtrack. I was obsessed with Whitney Houston; how she sang and the way she sang those songs, so I would try to mimic her, and I would put on little talent shows in my room for my mom. From then on, I told myself that I wanted to sing like that in front of people.
PC: Were you feeling any type of pressure, internally or externally, as you were preparing to release music for the first time with the “Outside and In” single?
BH: I was nervous. I had a bunch of songs written, but no one had ever heard them. It was kind of a big deal to have something that I wrote and have a lot of people listen to it, so I was nervous because I didn’t know how people were going to react to it. So far, it’s been all positive things; people seem to love it, so that’s a relief (laughs).
PC: “Outside and In” is a pretty heavy song. Can you talk a little bit about the inspiration behind it?
BH: I was married for a really long time, and I got divorced. I dated here and there, but not too much, because it was just weird to me. It was a weird concept because I hadn’t done it in so long. The couple times I did, it didn’t work out, and it just inspired me to write about how people can go through those relationships, and have them not work out. That’s really all someone wants; to be loved, appreciated, and treated the right way, and it just wasn’t working out. I also have two kids, and they need a happy mom. So as you’re going through all of this tough stuff, you want a good relationship, but it’s not working out. You still have to put on a pretty face, smile, and have everybody else think you’re doing well. That’s where I was when I wrote it.
PC: What kind of validation did you feel when you released “Outside and In” and people reacted to it so positively?
BH: It makes such a big difference. Every little girl wants to be a famous singer, and I’ve always wanted to, but practically, I know that’s probably never going to happen. Knowing that I put something out and people have responded in a positive way and seem to love it, it gives me a little more hope that I can actually pursue it and go further than I ever thought that I would.
PC: You sang on Casey Peveto Band’s newest single, “Broken Heart’s Advice.” How did that opportunity come to you?
BH: All of those guys were so awesome! After the NASH NEXT competition, all of those guys were like, “If you ever want the opportunity, and if we ever need you to work with us, would you be willing to do that? We would love to have you!” One day, Casey messaged me and told me he had a new single that was coming out, and they anticipated it to be a pretty big hit. He said it needed a female vocal on it, and asked me to come in and sing it! He sent me a rough copy of it, and I just listened, and in my head, just filled in the spots where, if it were me, I would want to hear a female vocal come in. I went in and recorded it, and they gave me total freedom, and I sang it the way that I heard it, and they thought it was perfect!
PC: What does it mean to you to have your peers reaching out to you to be involved with their music?
BH: It’s so cool! To have that support, and to know that they’re my peers, but they’re also fans, that’s crazy! It’s crazy that they think I’m good, because I’m sitting there thinking, “Y’all are the good ones!” The fact that they think I’m good enough to do that, it’s a really good feeling.
PC: You mentioned the NASH NEXT competition, how did that opportunity come to you?
BH: At that point, I had never thought of actually going out and playing at bars and gigging. In my spare time, I would take a song and post a cover of it and post it on Facebook. I would do that every so often, and one day, Ashley from one of the local radio stations here, messaged me on Facebook, and she said everyone at the station had been watching the videos, and asked if I had heard of the NASH NEXT competition. At the time, I didn’t. She filled me in on it, and really pushed me to do it. She asked if I had original music, and I told her, “Yeah, but no one has ever heard it,” but she was the one that told me I really needed to pursue it, because she thought I would do well. I was just excited that someone thought I was good enough to reach out and present that opportunity to me.
PC: What did you take away from your NASH NEXT experience that will help you in your career?
BH: It gave me some experience (laughs). It was pretty nerve-wracking to be up on stage with a guitar, and play it in front of a lot of people. I played one cover, and then an original. It was such a fun experience too. It prepared me and gave me a taste of what it would be like if I started playing more, and actually made me want to do that more. Every now and then on a weekend, I’ll book a gig. It made me want to do that more!
PC: You released your newest single, “You’re My Favorite Song” a few weeks ago. What has the response been to the song so far?
BH: My family, friends, and people that have listened to it all love it! It’s completely different from “Outside and In;” it’s more upbeat, but so far, everyone seems to love that one also, so I’m excited!
PC: You’re currently working on releasing your third single, what information can you give about it?
BH: I had two songs ready; “You’re My Favorite Song” and this other one, and I actually wrote the other one first, but “You’re My Favorite Song” was just one of those that just fell together perfectly. I had it written in 10 minutes, and it was just one of those easy things that came together, so I released that first. My producer, Jacob Kline, really took his time on the next one. There’s so many elements in this song that he did that I love! I’m really excited. It has a classic country feel with some steel guitar in it. I’m really excited for everybody to hear that. The release date for it is April 1!
PC: What are your plans for 2019?
BH: I plan on recording a couple more songs, and maybe have them all together on one EP! I was also invited to be a part of the 3rd Street Songwriting Festival in Baton Rouge. There’s going to be all kinds of music producers, people from Nashville come in, they’re going to have music all weekend, and I’m going to have the opportunity to play my original music! It’s going to give me another wide range of people to hear my music and get my name out there, and I’m super excited about that!
PC: Is there anything else you would like to add?
BH: This is all really new to me! I’m just really excited to be able to write more, record more, and put it out there for everybody to hear it!
*Images courtesy of Brittany Houston and Brittany Houston Facebook Page*