EXCLUSIVE | Laura Bryna: The genre-hopping triple-threat performer with tons of talent, sass, and verve
Born in Mt Airy, Maryland, the vibrant artiste Laura Bryna is an entertaining force of nature who is living proof that great things come in petite packages! Besides being a multi-talented singer, actress, and dancer, she is also a well-known radio host and children's book author. Besides these distinguished credentials, the musician, who splits her time between Nashville and Los Angeles, is also a generous soul who passionately supports the troops and various charitable foundations such as the Make A Wish Foundation and the United Service Organizations. MEAWW caught up with Laura Bryna for an exclusive interview to talk about her accomplishments and upcoming releases.
Your parents exposed you to singers like Elvis Presley and Etta James. Who were the first inspirational artistes you discovered yourself?
Bette Midler would be one, and Dolly Parton too. They are both not only great singers, actresses, and comedians, but they are also very charitable. And they don't come any sassier then Dolly or Bette!
The single 'Sweet Revenge' has a really fun, electro-dancey vibe. Did you naturally gravitate towards this new sound with producer Damon Sharpe?
I love all kinds of music and I really like it when artistes blend genres - they're not pigeonholed into just one sound. Artistes are free to explore the mixing of genres like Damon did with his magic one 'Sweet Revenge' and our new single, 'Stars Are Falling'. 'Sweet Revenge' has a touch of country, rock, pop, and a whole lot of sass! We are so excited that the dance mixes reached #10 on the Billboard Dance Charts! Our new single is also co-written and produced by Damon. I can’t wait for you all to hear it!
You're a multi-faceted individual - there seem to be no limitations to what you can accomplish. What sparked that extraordinary drive?
I love this quote - "A woman knows her limitations, and a great woman knows she has none!" I have to go back to one of my biggest inspirations, Dolly Parton! Not only is she an entertainer and philanthropist, but she is an entrepreneur extraordinaire. She promotes goodwill with everything she does, from Dollywood, to reading programs for children, as well as many others. That is our goal as well.
What was it like working with a legend like Peter Asher on the jazz album you did?
Peter Asher is a legend! He has produced so many amazing recording artists like James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt, among others. Such creative imagination. We have an album of songs ready to go and we'll be releasing it in the near future. We recorded at Oceanway Studios in Los Angeles and my vocals and strings were recorded at Hans Zimmer’s studio in Santa Monica, California. I even had the surreal opportunity to meet Hans Zimmer himself. What a moment for a little girl from Mount Airy, Maryland!
What's the story or inspiration behind the song 'I Don't Have A Thing To Wear'?
This song was obviously done in a tongue-in-cheek kind of way. What girl doesn't go through this conundrum every day? I'm a girly-girl to the Nth degree. I have been very fortunate to have a wonderful relationship with the Italian designer, Roberto Cavalli. He has designed so many one-of-a-kind pieces and I'm so lucky to have acquired several of them. So, of course, that made the song uniquely cute and funny. We felt that many women could relate to the song... And men too!
What can you tell us about the release date for the single 'Stars Are Falling'?
We are all so excited about the unique 'Stars Are Falling' song concept. The video is being directed by award-winning animation director Eli Sokhn and we can't wait to see his vision come to life! We are scheduled to release the song in late January/early February 2020.
The lyrics to 'Hometown Heroes' allude to American football quite a bit, as does the music video. Do you have a favorite NFL team? If you ever got to do the Super Bowl halftime show, which songs would you select to perform?
I would say the Redskins, since I'm from the Washington, D.C./Maryland area. But I'm a fan of it all! I love the camaraderie of football and it's a blast to watch whoever you root for. I would definitely want to perform 'Hometown Heroes', bring some of our military men and women on stage and thank them for letting us live out our dreams in freedom. 'Sweet Revenge' would be a blast! I’m sure football teams could relate! 'Stars Are Falling' would be wonderful too. It's a great message and the visual effects could be awesome for an event like the Super Bowl. Here's a fun tidbit - I have recorded a song that not yet been released titled 'Bring It On.' It's a rocking, up-tempo, sassy challenge to life! That would be a dream show!
We're aware that causes for military veterans and terminally ill children are particularly dear to your heart. Can you tell us a little about your charity work with the USO and Make-A-Wish organizations?
I've always loved touching people's hearts and making them smile. I've volunteered with Make-A-Wish for many years and sat on the board for the Mid-Atlantic Chapter. I first became aware of the foundation when my brother was sick in Washington, D.C. I saw volunteers meeting with children in the hospital, and it was seeing the smiles on the children's faces that spoke to me. These kids are our future and I want to see them fulfill their dream, as I have mine. And I want to be a part of making their wishes come true and see their faces light up!
I love our brave men and women in our Armed Forces, as well as our veterans. They are our heroes, especially their families! They all give their time and energy, 365 days a year, to ensure that we live in freedom every day! I love my work with The Air National Guard, The National Guard, USO, Wounded Warrior Project, Folds of Honor, Homes For Our Troops, etc. Anything I can do to help them is what I want and need to do! I've had so many incredible experiences... USO Shows, USO Tours, my F-16 ride, pulling 9 Gs, having my call-sign "Lil' Thunder" on the side of the plane, singing the National Anthem at various bases around the world. I've been very blessed to be a part of such incredible organizations that support our heroes and our freedom!