Whiskey Riff Exclusive: Meet Rising Country Star Brieanna James

Introducing Brieanna James.

Here’s a quick bio:

Born in Nashville, Tennessee in 1998 and raised in Mississippi until the age of nine, Brieanna is the youngest child of four born to parents, Kimberly and Brice James. Early on, her parents noticed that she was a natural performer and it was clear that she came into the world with music in her heart.

Now at 17 years old, Brieanna’s musical talent has blossomed. Still citing Taylor Swift as her greatest musical inspiration, she has added Shania Twain, Avril Lavigne, Sam Hunt, Keith Urban and Kelsea Ballerini to the list of artists that influence her and her songwriting. Over the last year, she has developed her own style of edgy, heartfelt country pop and as an artist, she describes herself as a driven, daring, fun, flirty and has a great love of the songwriting process. She is excited to share her music with the world and soon she will hit the airwaves and capture hearts and fans on a journey that is only beginning.

Blake Shelton with long hair and a hat

What was your first “holy crap” moment as a country artist?

The first thing that comes to mind is when I first heard the production of “Hot.” I LOVE that production!

How do you approach songwriting?

There’s several different ways, however, in a songwriting session it usually just starts with someone playing guitar and a melody just automatically pops into my head.

I’ll start singing it with random words that make no sense. Later, I shape those random words into lyrics. Sometimes you can even find inspiration from those random words. I call them “substitute lyrics.”

What songs do you have on repeat right now?

“What You Do To Me” – Dan + Shay; “Already Ready” – Dan + Shay; “Just A Taste” – Brett Eldredge; “There’s A Girl” – Trent Harmon; “XO” – Kelsea Ballerini and “Closer” – The Chainsmokers.

What would be your dream collaboration?

I feel like this is going to change often, but right now I’d have to say that doing a song with Sam Hunt would be awesome! Even writing with him would be awesome!  His lyrics are killer!

Most used emoji?

Probably one of these: A kitchen with a sink and a toaster oven

Backstreet Boys or N’Sync?

Backstreet Boys

Your new single is called “Hot.” Who’s your celeb crush?

NICK BATEMAN.  He’s the dream man for sure!

A kitchen with a sink and a toaster oven

What qualities, physical or otherwise, make a guy “Hot?”

Tall, romantic, protective, flirty, sweet, and gives compliments.

Shows you off, has good style and is good with words.  Loves God and shows you he’s proud of you and supports you in your dreams. Oh and muscles is never a bad thing either!

What is the most important piece of advice you’d give a new artist?

Understand that this industry is tough and you’re gonna have bad times and good times. You’re going to have people who support you and people who try to tear you down. The best advice I can give is to focus on the positive and NEVER GIVE UP.

Who’s your favorite Snapchat account to follow?

I LOVE SNAPCHAT! All the hot guys… Or Kylie Jenner lol.

What do you like to do on your down time?

My favorite hobby is horseback riding.

Being a new artist is hard work, what motivates you to keep grinding?

Oh it’s totally hard work, but it’s work that I enjoy and that I want to do! It’s never been hard to motivate myself to keep grinding.  I’m constantly in a state of mind where I just want to improve. I’m always thinking, “what can I do that’s different? What can I do to stand out?” I love music and it’s just what I do naturally. The day I have to push myself to do music is the day I’m just not cut out for it anymore. That day will never come.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I’m at a place where I can truly say “I’ve made it.” I’m living in Nashville, and I’m constantly writing, not only for myself, but for other artists too. I will have won an ASCAP Songwriter of The Year award because that is definitely one of my goals. I’ve started working on a Christian album as a side project.  Most importantly, I want to be surrounded by a great group of friends, fans, and family who love and support me.

Have you been watching the Olympics? Who/which sports are you following?

I’m kind of on and off with the Olympics.  I don’t go turning on the TV to watch it, but if it’s on I’ll watch.  I actually love watching gymnastics and the women’s volleyball portion of the Olympics. And for some odd reason I took a liking to the Olympic diver, Kassidy Cook this year. She’s just really quirky and happy to be there!  I quickly became a fan!

A group of animals


A beer bottle on a dock