Published on December 15th, 2014 | by Jameelah "Just Jay" Wilkerson


Netta Brielle: “Dream Big!”

Let’s get right into this brand new single of yours, “3xKrazy,” and its IamSu assisted remix — Tell me about this particular track? How did it actually come to fruition?

“3xKrazy” is my baby! I say this because the sound and style represents where I come from; the Bay Area. If you notice, our sound is finally gaining national recognition so my label and production company thought it would make perfect sense for me to create my own take on it. I will admit that I wasn’t sold on the idea at first because I wanted to introduce myself to the world belting out soulful ballads, but I’m glad they talked me into it! *Laughs* I wanted to make sure that “3xKrazy” was as organic as possible, so I chose to team up with Traxamillion and P-LO; two Bay Area native producers. Once we completed it, I knew we had something.

For it, you aligned yourself with Empire/Atlantic Records — What particular string of events led up to this connection?

It’s always been my biggest dream to sign to a major label. Even when people doubted the idea, I still kept it in the front of my mind; working as hard as I could to get there. About two years ago, I connected with Yancey Richardson of L7 Productions who lead me to Atlantic Records. For a few years, I worked throughout the Bay Area gaining a name for myself before signing. Though it still feels surreal, I know in my heart I’m where I’m supposed to be. I have so much further to go, but those from the Bay know how difficult it is to be recognized and signed to a major label, so it was a huge stepping stone.

Reflecting, how did you first discover your musical talent?

From the day I can remember, music has always been what I’ve wanted to do. It was always music that I’ve turned to; in good and bad times. I haven’t always been the best at expressing my feelings, so music became my guard I guess you can say. I come from a musical family, where my grandmother was a jazz pianist and my older sister was singer. After going to my first MC Hammer concert in Oakland, California, when I was very young, watching him confirmed that I wanted to be a huge performer. The energy of the crowd, the lit up stage…I was sold!

Who have been your greatest inspirations musically and why?

Some of my greatest musical inspirations are Janet Jackson, Mary J. Blige, Brandy, MC Hammer, Usher (and) Chaka Khan, to name a few. I’ve always admired Mary J. Blige for the honesty in her music, and the “pain” in her voice that helped us relate. The raspy tone of Brandy and Mary made me comfortable with my own voice. It’s something about our kind of tone that creates a real feeling. Janet Jackson and Usher are “performing artists,” with great songs and complete performance. When I say “complete performance,” I mean with dance, song, production, etcetera. I like to think that I have taken a piece of each of these and created my style around that.

What do you feel you offer the music industry that we don’t already have in other performers?

What do I offer?  Hmm…I’d say truth. I’ve been through real shit that I want to sing about. I think as of lately things have gotten a bit too superficial, and I want to be a part of bringing back what is real. I loved Mary, Aaliyah, TLC, SWV, etcetera, because they looked like me; they were real! I want to talk about my struggle, the struggle of making it out and trying to stay above water. I’m not saying I’m role model material, but I do want to be a voice for my community. I want to represent what is real and relatable.

Have you encountered any problems in getting to this point in your career?

I encounter problems to this very day! *Laughs again* But honestly, it’s all a part of the journey. I’ve gotten a lot further than I was told that I could and I’m going to keep going. I’ve been told I’d never make it out of the Bay; I didn’t have the look, etcetera. Sometimes I laugh at the fact that I’ve picked one of the most difficult careers, but my heart wouldn’t have it any other way. There is a lot of hard work that goes into this and sometimes the result doesn’t happen as fast as we would like. Patience, hard work, faith and dedication is a must…I’m still working on the patience part! *More laughter*

What do you want people to get from your music?

I want my music to be to people what Mary J. Blige and Janet Jackson music is to me. In dark times or even great moments, they have music I go to that helps me through any given moment. I want my voice to be for the young girl who was afraid to speak up, or dared to dream big. I’m not interested in making music for a season, but songs you can play throughout years. I still play Janet Jackson’s ‘Control’ album as if it came out yesterday; that means something to me.

…I want people to get truth and honesty from my music. My voice comes from a real place; whether I’m singing about happiness or pain. I want people to relate to me how I related and connected with Mary J. Blige. She looked like a girl from my neighborhood; she made me feel like I could do what she was doing. I feel like it’s not easy to relate to artists like we once did…Especially for young African American girls.

What has been your greatest achievement so far?

Hmm…My greatest achievement so far? I feel like I have so far to go, so that’s a rather difficult question to answer. I have to say I’ve been doing this for quite some time now; long before I even got my deal. I’m still going strong and pushing forward, and that’s an accomplishment within itself. This hasn’t been the easiest journey, but I keep pushing through because my heart won’t have it any other way. To still have the opportunity to get closer to my dream is an accomplishment; a lot of folks would have given up by now.

If you could collaborate with any one artist, living or dead, who would it be and why?

I would love to one day collaborate with Usher. I’ve studied him since I was 13 years old, and he’s one of the best of our generation in my opinion. In his 20 years, he’s broken down barriers and continued to progress in his music. I hope to have a career much similar to his…Not to mention, I would go crazy if I heard our voices on a song together!

If you could play any venue in the world, which one would you choose and why?

My dream venue would have to be in my hometown; The Oakland Coliseum “Oracle Arena.” I’ve literally had dreams about performing on that stage, and it’s somehow equivalent to getting a Grammy in my mind! *Giggles ensue* I went to my first concert there at about 5 years old, and that was (THE) moment I knew I wanted to do this. I’ve taken notes from some of the greatest to hit that stage, and I only pray to soon have my moment there.

One track of yours that you think defines you and why?

There is a track that I leaked about several months ago called “Hallelujah.” I wrote about my story and how badly I want success; how it was all once a dream and now I’m living it; pushing to get to the next level. “Now it’s time to tell my story, I got my whole family they depending on me…” is one of the lyrics. The track defines me and talks about my struggle. Check it out on SoundCloud []:)

What do you feel it is that will be the ultimate key to your longstanding success in music?

The ultimate key to a long lasting career will be remaining true and connecting with the people. I don’t think artists take the time to connect anymore. I want to grow up in music. I don’t think that happens as much as it used to; listeners connect with a song and move on to another without having to fall in love with the artist. Making great music, connecting with the listeners, and being real is what outlasts in my opinion; that’s my goal.

Do you have any other outside/additional aspirations, maybe even completely away from music?

Later on in life, I want to build a performing arts school in the neighborhood I grew up in. Where I come from, there isn’t a lot of opportunity for the youth of our community and I want to be a part of changing that. I want kids to dream, and dream big! I feel like creating a school that helps kids thrive in the things they love would be amazing. This may be much further in life, but is absolutely one of my biggest goals.

Looking ahead, say five or maybe even ten years from now, where do you see yourself?

In five years, I see myself traveling the world…Performing for thousands of people and touching them with my music and my story. I want to have bought my mom a house by then. I want to be making money doing what I love; music.

As for the immediate future, what’s next for you, Netta Brielle?

I pray that a tour is next for me; I want to get on the road so bad. Performing is the dopest part about being an artist for me, because onstage is where I truly live.

By: Todd Davis

About the Author

Publisher and CEO of The Hype Magazine. Follow me on Twitter @HypeJustJay

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