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Meet Brettina, the Bahamian singer–songwriter bound to ascend jazz hierarchy

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Brettina

Born in the Bahamas, Brettina has spent the last 10 years of her career developing a method of performance she describes as a fusion of traditional jazz and island tones.

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On this Interview with Soltesh Iyere, the Bahamian queen of jazz talks about her songwriting process, latest drop “Simple Pleasures,” her upcoming four song EP project set for release on the 9th of April, how she handles the music industry pressure and more.

Brettina wants you to listen to her calm, tuneful and meditative music.

Tell us about yourself.
I am originally from the Bahamas, born into a musical family with uncles who are Bahamian music royalty (The T-Connection). I write music fusing traditional jazz and island tones. I write from my heart and draw from personal experience.

Is there a secret to your songwriting process?
There is no big secret, is just that I write from personal experience.

How long do you typically spend perfecting a song?
I start a song when I hear a beautiful melody. And the writing process flows from there. I normally will go back to the chorus, and write three different versions of the chorus depending on if I’m satisfied. That process can normally take anywhere from a day to weeks.

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Tell us about your new song “Simple Pleasures”, Is there a story behind the track?
Simple Pleasures is a song we wrote at the end of our studio session one night. We were speaking of the simple things in life and excited to share our own experiences. We realized right then how those simple things were as meaningful and made us happy. The song was written as quickly as we expressed those pleasures.

You have an EP coming soon, can you tell us about it?
The Ep titled, “New Day”, will be available April 9th. It’s an intro to the full story. I am more accustomed to putting out full-length projects but due to Covid an EP will have to suffice. The EP is made up of four songs – Simple Pleasures, Bop Baiye, Low and New Day. I’m hoping to release a full-length Album in the near future.

How do you handle the pressure and expectations of the music industry?
I normally go to a safe place and I write. Or I’ll usually call family at home in the Bahamas, after speaking with them, the pressure does not seem as heightened as it previously was.

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Have you ever wanted to leave the industry? What stopped you?
Yes, there was a time during my first project where I was so in love with music that I forgot that there was a thing called the business of music which some Artists sometimes do. I was stalked in a contract that I didn’t understand and had to make a decision on whether I would sit out my contract or continue without having creative say.

I sat out for years, it wasn’t until I was sent a personal email from a young girl all the way from across the world who told me how one of my songs “Pardon the Storm”, got her through the Night. I wrote that song at a time when I also needed to get through the Night.

It made me realize that if I can write music that touches one person then it was worth falling in love again with Music.

What’s next for Brettina?
More and more music. Collaborations with jazz greats and artist of different musical genres. And hopefully a world tour.

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In this article:
BrettinaSoltesh Iyere
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