Flaunting a skyscraping range, undeniable presence, and eloquent songcraft, Brynn Cartelli tells relatable stories without filter, but with a whole lot of finesse and fire. Long before amassing 20 million-plus streams and receiving acclaim from People, Billboard, and more, she grew up in Longmeadow, MA where she embraced music as a kid. At just five-years-old, she took regular piano lessons. She eventually learned guitar and developed her chops by performing in talent shows, at coffeehouses, and anywhere else with a stage. Her vocals captivated viewers everywhere when she won Season 14 of NBC’s “The Voice” and emerged as “the youngest champion in the show’s history.” However, she hunkered down and focused on writing original material in the aftermath. Introducing her signature style, “Last Night’s Mascara” amassed over 10 million streams globally. Meanwhile, her 2019 follow-up and original composition “Grow Young (Version 1)” cracked over 1 million total streams. Hitting the road coast-to-coast, she supported Kelly Clarkson on the Meaning Of Life Tour and opened for Maroon 5. Along the way, she also garnered a nomination at the “People’s Choice Awards” and captivated audiences on the NBC’s “TODAY” and “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade,” “Radio Disney Music Awards,” and on Boston’s most hallowed ground, Fenway Park. Brynn released her fan favorite, holiday cover of “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” and gave an unforgettable performance of the staple on The Kelly Clarkson Show to cap off 2019. After two years of writing and recording, she’s back in 2021 with her new single “Long Way Home” and her EP, Based On A True Story, coming May 28th. We chatted with Cartelli about her new single and much more!!
You filmed the music video for your new song, “Long Way Home.” What was the filming process like?
I was really nervous to ask my friends from home because I usually like to keep my life separate.
It’s like, you know, I get to be typical teenager and I get to do the music thing. And sometimes they don’t usually cross and I kinda like it that way, but I was like, you know what? I would really love to have these people that mean so much to me, involved with a video, for the first song off of this EP and when they were excited to do it, I was like, okay, it’s happening!
And so, you know, we went and took a train down to New York city and we were up from we started filming at or getting ready at like 4:30 PM and then we wrapped 4:30 AM the next morning. It also was my, one of my best friend’s 18th birthday that night. So, she was just like having a blast and we had cake, that’s why there’s a cake in the video. It was chaotic and it was so much fun.
What inspired you to write this song?
Long Way Home was just, it was one of those days. I was out in Nashville writing with Nathan Chapman and we were kind of struggling to find something to write about. It had been a long week for me and I was like, okay, let’s just kind of write something, we were just fishing around, he left the room to do something and I was just sitting on the piano and all of a sudden it was like, the chorus just came out of me, but it was super depressing and weird. And he walked back in, he was like, Oh cool but let’s do this with it. And immediately he just like picked up a guitar and that was the first that riff was the first thing that came out and I was like, Oh, that’s a song. And next thing, you know, Long Way Home was born.
If you could set up a fan in a setting for them to listen to your music, what setting would that be?
I’ve never been asked this before. That’s such a beautiful question. Okay. I would have them be up on a rooftop in either Boston and New York City, on like a beautiful Sunday afternoon and sunset just kind of taking in the wind feeling, seeing the sky, but also, you know, feeling that city beneath you.
I know that’s like super random, but that’s how I would like people to listen to it. So, get up on the nice roof, call a friend with a nice penthouse, ff you got one. I don’t. So, if you got one hit me up.
What is one quote you’ve heard in life that you’d want to ECHO out fans?
I think the one that I always have carried with me, it was my background on my phone for so long is you’ve got everything it takes, but it’s going to take everything that you’ve got, something along those lines. I don’t know if I did that exact, but that’s just always been something that.
You know, has just reminded me that this is not going to be something that’s easy and nothing in life is. Um, but as long as you know, that you’re capable, like I always am telling that to a friend of mine or family. Whether that’s like with mental health issues with school, I think it’s always important to know that like you’re capable of like to happiness and freedom in your life and like to love, we’re all capable of it.
It’s not always going to be easy. Knowing that you are, I think is such, such a peaceful feeling, at least for me knowing that as possible. So, that’s just something that I would love everybody to know, because I think everybody lived by that. We’d be a lot happier. That is true. I love that quote though.