Bree-on-uh’s Debut EP, Dopamine?! Is a Scrapbook of Her Life

interview conducted by Casey Seagriff

Bree-on-uh is an eighteen-year-old singer-songwriter from Long Island, New York paving her own way in the music industry. Early this year, her debut EP, Dopamine?! was released and instantly had us hooked. You can find it, along with her other music, on all major streaming platforms.

I was lucky enough to sit down with her a few weeks after her release and really dive deep into the music, the process behind it, and what makes up the artist behind songs like “Dysfunctional Gamble” and “Meet Me at the Red Eye”.

Hi guys, this is Casey with Fangirls: World Tour and I am here with Brianna, who just released her debut EP, Dopamine?! Can you tell me about that? How was that been for the last couple of weeks?

B: It’s been really insane and a surreal feeling because I’ve been working on it for so long. I’ve been trying to write an EP for over two years and it was this constant, “no I don’t like this song anymore. I’m taking it off and I’m writing a new one.” or “I’m changing this chorus and this verse” or whatever. And then finally, in June of 2021, I felt really confident with every song that I had and I started recording the EP with my producer Donnie. So we’ve been recording it since June, so it’s been a while. It’s just really cool to know that it’s out and people can hear it.

Yeah, that’s so great. I’m sure the fan response has been something really cool to deal with, especially during the pandemic with social media. Do you have any experiences that come to mind?

B: Honestly, today. I woke up to a DM and somebody called me a “lyrical genius” and it’s just like that is the best thing that you could ever say to me. *laughs* And it’s just so nice to see messages like that because it just like really makes me feel like I’m doing something right and I’m doing exactly what I want and people are receptive to it.

I heard that you had worked multiple jobs in order to pay for the recording space to create your EP.

B: At the end of my senior year I had two jobs, but during the summer I was working four jobs. I was working retail, at a radio station (I still do that), a banquet server, and I also watched these two girls for about 8 to 9 hours a few days a week. I was working 7 days a week, constantly in order to save up the money to be able to do this. It was a lot, but I really didn’t mind it. I was definitely stressed, but when I was working I knew I was doing it for a reason. It made it a lot easier to enjoy what I was doing because I knew it would pay off in the end.

What was the actual recording process like?

B: I wrote everything and I had it all kinda down on paper and it was just a matter of kind of bringing it to life with my producer. So, each song kinda took a different amount of time to record, some songs would take ya know four hours. I think “Dysfunctional Gamble” took eight hours or something like that. It was insane. It was definitely a lot of work, it was a lot of time. I would go from work and straight from school to the studio. I was there around three, four times a week just getting everything done.

When did you first get involved in music? Is this something you were always passionate about?

B: Yeah, it’s weird because nobody in my family is really, like, musically inclined. I wasn’t surrounded by people who play piano or guitar or sing or write music. It was kinda just like this thing I always loved. I think what really influenced my love for music, in general, was my dad. He was always playing music, all the classics. I grew up listening to Queen and The Beatles, singing The Police, Billy Joel, Elton John. I always noticed that he [my dad] would correlate certain memories with specific songs and I always thought that was so cool and something so special. I think that really just created this general love for music and how it brings people together and the connections people have with it.

I was a huge Taylor Swift fan, growing up, so I just wanted to be Taylor Swift. I loved watching American Idol and The Voice and everything with my mom like, “That’s gonna be me.”

Do you have a favorite song you have released so far?

B: Oh my God, that’s so hard. I feel like probably either “Luna” or “Dysfunctional Gamble”. Those are two of my favorites. I feel like the creation of those songs was really the first time that I was like, “Okay, this is the niche that I want. This is the genre that I really wanna go for.” Before that, it was kinda experimental. I was still getting used to what it’s like to be in a recording studio and work with someone else so I was still dipping my toes in the water. Once we started “Dysfunctional Gamble” I was just like “this is it.” We recorded that before “Luna” and it [Luna] is one of the songs that everyone has been most in love with, I guess you could say off of the EP. Every time I ask someone what their favorite song is they always say “Luna”. It’s just cool.

Is there a moment that you realized this dream was becoming a reality?

B: Probably, the day I released my first single. It’s going to be a year this Saturday, actually. I feel like that was the day I was like “Okay, this is happening.” I was getting flooded with messages from people from my school and also just random people who were finding the song. I had hundreds of DMs. This has never happened before, what is going on? My phone is blowing up. *laughs* It was just a really cool feeling. I remember the first time I had a music blog written about me and the first-ever interview I did. All of those moments collectively solidified the fact that I could do this.

via @breeonuhmusic on Instagram – celebrating one year of “Rose”

I think it’s great that you had such a support system from your school and your family, your parents. Was there any worry that people at school wouldn’t take it seriously or would make fun of you?

B: Yes, I was scared. But then again, throughout high school, I was very, very quiet and I wasn’t really in school much because half of my high school career, I was homeschooled. And so, people didn’t really know who I was. It was kind of just going around like “this random girl made a song.” And that’s how people all of a sudden knew who I was at school. I always sat in the back of the class, didn’t talk to anyone. I was like the last person that people expected to do this.

I remember when the single came out, one of my teachers pointed to me, all the way in the back of the class. She said “You. you have a song!” I went completely red, she said she would have never expected me to do that. I was so quiet. Everyone was looking at me, they were all asking for my Spotify. But really everyone took it really well.

Do you have any advice for people in that situation, who didn’t receive that level of support, either in person or on social media?

B: I would say, honestly, it sounds so easy to just say don’t care. Because sometimes it does hurt when you really want something and people are just trashing you for it, but I feel like I’ve always had the self-confidence to know that this is what I want to do and I don’t care what anyone else thinks because nothing is going to stop that. Of course, it can be upsetting if someone tells you that you suck. Like dang. *laughs* You can’t let it get to you because there’s going to be a ton of people that don’t like your music or you for no reason. That’s just the way the world works and you have to realize that those people are miserable and you’re doing what you love and you’re happy doing that.

Do you have any backstory of any of the songs or anything you want to share?

B: Something that a lot of people don’t know is “Taste Like Poison” took sooo long to get to where it is. We went back to it so many times. We would work on it and a few weeks would go by and we would work on different songs before coming back to it. We would decide “this is the final version” and then I would listen to it on different speakers and be like, “no, we need to fix it again.” It took so, so, so long. I remeber there was one day I didn’t think I could do this, we were going to have to scrap it. My producer was just like “nope, we’re in too deep. We gotta make it work.” And we did and it came out really well.

But as far as lyrically and what the songs are about, I feel that each song depicts a different core part of my life in different ways. It is just the opitumy of all the major moments in my life. I think that’s really cool, it’s not just one standard theme of the EP. I guess the theme would be my existence overall *laughs again* It’s just everything that has happened to me, just a few pockets of my life that have impacted who I am and how I got here.

I think that’s the best way to do it really, it’s authentic to you. Just one more question actually, what does the future look like for you?

B: In the near future, I would love to go on tour. That is one of my biggest goals ever. That is the first thing I want to do when my music starts getting bigger. I think that would be the most incredible experience. I wanna travel. I wanna see the world, meet new people and I just want to perform. That is all I wanna do. I feel like the second I get up there, a whole new world opens up. My alter ego sets in and I’m like, “okay, we got this.” And to be able to do that every day would be incredible.

Do you have a dream venue that you would want to play?

B: Madison Square Garden. That’s the big leagues, though. I live on Long Island, so I grew up going to concerts and Rnagers games in the city there. I got to see Billy Joel there with my dad. It would defiently be really really cool. 100% a full circle moment.

You can check out Bree-on-uh’s music on all major streaming platforms and you can follow her on Instagram at breeonuhmusic, on Twitter at breeonuh1, and on Tiktok at breeonuh.

interview was altered for clarity and legnth

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