Bria Kelly is a 19-year-old Virginia native and blues singer who has been performing professionally since age 11.
Bria’s first professional singing appearance was singing the National Anthem for the Norfolk Admirals in March 2007.
Since that time, she has performed the Anthem over 40 times to a combined audience of over a quarter-million people.
In 2013/14 she was selected by NBC to appear on Season 6 of “The Voice”, where she advanced from Blind Auditions through the Live Shows to the end up in the Top 10.
What inspired you to start making YouTube videos?
Actually, my dad was the one who started making videos of me. He started early in my career and I would perform covers and put them on YouTube. He records almost all of my performances and we select the best ones to put on YouTube. Later on, I would be the one editing the videos as my interest in video editing and graphic design increased.
Do you do more gigs or videos and which do you prefer?
I do far more gigs than videos. Videos now are a by-product of a gig. I prefer gigs, because interaction with the audience is magical to me. I always have a great time joking around with them, and I think they do too, so I really enjoy gigging.
Any tips on the technical side of video making? What gear do you use?
My dad used to record me with a standard Sony Handycam, I think. Now, he uses a Canon XH-A1, which is a semi-pro video camera. But we also use my Canon 60D and another Canon HD camcorder. And then I bring everything together in iMovie if there is any real editing to be done.
What is your approach to singing covers?
When doing covers, I always try to change it up so that the song is better for my bluesy style of singing it. I try never to do a straight cover.
Most important lesson you have learned about social media?
That once you post something, you can’t take it back. It lives forever in the Internet. You can take it off your Facebook page or delete the Twitter post, but it’s probably already been re-tweeted or shared. So be careful what you post.
What ingredients are essential for a great vocal performance?
Number one: a great voice – some people just were born with it and some weren’t. I was lucky – my mom was a singer and I inherited her vocal ability in my genes, I guess. Second, a great vocal coach – a great coach will work with you not only on your basic vocal abilities and range, but will also try to help structure and arrange the song in a way that shows off YOUR style. Third – vocal warmups and then rehearsal, rehearsal, rehearsal until you perform the song the same way every time, and it is killer!
Was there a particular thing that helped you reach a larger audience?
Being on two very popular nation-wide TV shows did not hurt that aspect of things at all! Ever since being on The Voice, my social media has exploded on both Facebook and Twitter, where I have about 85,000 people now following me or liking my pages. I have fans from as far away as South America and Europe now. It’s crazy!
Current favourite youtube artists? Any newcomers to look out for?
I was going to say Christina Grimmie, but she is not a newcomer any more! Honestly, the only YouTubers I listen to now are the Dirty Loops!
Bria Kelly is a phenomenal young singer whose voice gives people chills when she sings. She has been compared to a young Kelly Clarkson, Celine Dion, Jordin Sparks or Martina McBride. Bria’s first professional singing appearance was singing the National Anthem for the Norfolk Admirals in March 2007. Since that time, she has performed the Anthem over 40 times to a combined audience of over a quarter-million people.