We previously introduced you to Erica Bryan when her debut single “This House Is Haunted” was released, followed by an eerily, yet appropriately, dark music video that premiered right here on Country Music #CMchat. Since the moment we met Erica, we knew she was something incredibly special and were eager to continue to work with her in any way possible. In fact, we were so taken by her right off the bat that we couldn’t wait to delve a little deeper into the person behind the music. If you think Erica’s talent is phenomenal, wait until you learn about her intriguing background, her undeniable passion, and her immeasurable appreciation for her opportunities.
Erica started performing when her mom catapulted her into the industry by taking her to theater auditions. In fact, before Erica could even truly realize what was happening, she was standing on the stage, auditioning for roles. Once she tried her hand at acting, Erica’s theatrics progressed toward musical theater. When Erica’s musical theater became profitable, she found herself performing at venues such as Six Flags Over Georgia, during which she did “aerobics in a hundred degree weather all day long.” Soon after she paid her dues, Erica decided to leave the theater (and her leg warmers) behind to focus solely on the musical aspects of her career.
Despite a very brief and fleeting thought while in college that maybe she should consider another path in life, there has never been a backup plan for this passionate artist. Once Erica finally decided to allow herself to wholeheartedly follow her dreams, she made the move to Nashville. After taking this first step toward her future, she began auditioning for musical theater shows to get her feet wet. As luck may have it, she expressed that she was looking for a job, and the director of a show she auditioned for happened to be the marketing director for Starstruck Entertainment. You might have heard of Starstruck — it is owned by Narvel Blackstock and is home to Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson, Caroline Kole, and race car driver Shelby Blackstock. Once Erica was hired by Starstruck, her fate took on a life of its own, naturally pushing her toward country music.
As she started her venture into country music, her position with Starstruck Entertainment was beneficial, as she was exposed to the work ethics of successful artists who have preceded her. In fact, Erica has had a front row seat to the “hard work pays off” show, learning that the industry is “not all glamour and the high life. It’s a lot of dedication and hard work and jumping through hurdles, but, in the end, you can have such a great career like they have, but they put in the time.”
Erica is clearly ready for the challenge, as her debut single “This House Is Haunted” was recently released, along with a beautifully haunting music video. As a co-writer on the track, Erica channeled her own personal former relationship and the trials and tribulations associated with it coming to a painful end. The song came to fruition after Erica and her boyfriend broke up, yet she was forced to be reminded of him daily when she had to drive by his house to get to where she was heading.
I felt like there was a constant reminder of him. And then I would get home and I would see our pictures and I would look down and see that I was wearing his old shirt to bed, and I felt like he was all around me. So, when I went to my co-write, I was explaining that to my co-writers, Tammy Jacobs and John Milstead, and Tammy came up with the title “This House Is Haunted,” and from there we just kind of came up with all my experiences and it was all based on that line that I brought in … that said “I go to bed sleeping in his shirt again and I feel like he’s wrapped around me” and that’s kind of how that song grew.
With a song as personal as “This House Is Haunted” Erica knew it would feel a little odd to divulge so much of herself and her life to listeners, but she also realized that honesty was part of the process. Erica admitted that her acting background was helpful in getting through the potential weirdness of disclosing her innermost thoughts because she was used to applying her own feelings to a character to bring the character to life. She explained that she almost sees it as the duty of a songwriter to become vulnerable enough to let others in and allow them to relate to personal situations because “it’s what you signed up for” when you picked up a pen and started creating music.
As far as creating music, Erica is currently working on her EP and is going to launch a Kickstarter campaign in the near future in an effort to obtain funds for the project. If she successfully raises the necessary funds, fans can expect her new single immediately upon reaching her monetary goal. In regard to this project, among other things, fans can stay up-to-date with Erica by keeping an eye on her Twitter, Facebook, and website. And don’t just sit back and watch her pages, engage with her and share your thoughts. Erica loves to hear from her fans and even encourages ideas and stories that she can use to create identifiable and relatable music for those who are supporting her career.
On the subject of those who support her career, Erica clings tightly to advice she received about surrounding herself with people who encourage her in this difficult business
because you’re going to have some rocky times, and I definitely experience that, I feel like every day it’s kind of a high and a low, but I always surround myself with people who believe in me and are encouraging me, and then also do the same for them. Like don’t always make it about yourself. It can be hard to always promote yourself — you’re always talking about yourself — but to really spend time investing in other people too.
To that end, Erica keeps her fans at the forefront of her mind and wants to keep them happy with the direction she is taking musically. To bridge the gap between her debut single and the upcoming EP, she will release a cover video of “Cardiac Arrest” by The Bad Suns, so keep a look out for what is sure to be another fantastic performance by this up and coming star. In the meantime, check out Erica’s debut music video for “This House Is Haunted” below.
Thank you to Erica for taking time to speak with me about her life, career, goals, aspirations, and upcoming projects. It was a pleasure to get to know her better and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for this bright and blossoming artist.
Follow me on Twitter @JenSwirsky
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