Throughout her music career, Charlotte, NC-based pop-folk artist Brit Drozda has counted on her female friends to cheer her on – and like any good friend, she’s more than happy to return the favor. After offering support to one of her pals, she took the conversation a step further and wrote “Spotlight,” an ode friendships where women uplift one another.
“Do you know how happy it makes me to see you in the spotlight?” she sings in a bright, cheery melody against bluesy guitar and minimalistic percussion. Her voice is rich and deep, a bit reminiscent of Florence Welsh, as she addresses a friend with feel-good lyrics like “Please be proud, because I am/Just to call you my friend.”
Inspiration struck Drozda when a friend revealed something personal to her and seemed to be making strides toward being herself more fully. “She was stepping into the spotlight, and I was so proud of her and excited to see how her life unfolded from there,” she remembers. “I have several really tight friendships, and it’s primarily women who have cheered me on as I’ve been on stage, and I think it’s so important to recognize people when they’re in their element and to commend and support them.”
Drodza originally wrote the song on piano, then arranged it for the guitar, giving it a fun, light, laid-back feel. She added handclaps to the beginning to convey the sentiment of cheering someone on. “I just wanted it to feel like a conversation of something I would say to my friend,” she says.
A visual for the song features the lyrics against colorful images of women’s faces by Charlotte-based artist Windy O’Connor, who has a collection of these paintings that she calls “chicas.”
“Each face looks different, and I think it’s this anthem of stepping into your own and owning your self-expression and supporting people as they find that,” says Drodza. “Every time I see those chicas, I think of people who are embodying who they are. They just fit so well when I put the lyrics to it.”
The single will appear on Drodza’s upcoming EP, Seashells & Stories (out October 9), a name inspired by the Ray Bradbury novel Fahrenheit 451. The title track and first single, “Seashells & Stories,” references the book’s protagonist’s wife, who puts seashells in her ears to tune him out. “It’s about trying to connect in a relationship and having someone be kind of distant,” she says. “The overarching theme of that song is about trying to make human connection and trying to step back into a relationship and to really communicate.”
In “Avalanche,” another song off the EP, she uses the image of an avalanche to describe the snowballing effects of fear, belting, “an avalanche is coming through” against ambient keyboard, guitar, and harmonies that fade like gusts of wind. The upbeat, poppy “Rose Colored Glasses” reflects on the way we idealize relationships, and the dreamy “You Were Right” throws up a white flag after an argument with delicate, high piano notes and a soaring, melodic chorus.
Drodza came into the studio with the lyrics and melodies written and played piano and keys, and producer Scott Jacoby (Coldplay, Vampire Weekend, Sia) helped put the rest together. “The really amazing thing about these songs is, I feel like vocally, it’s akin to a thumbprint of my vocals,” she says. “I hadn’t been able to quite get there with the nuances and the subtle sonic things with my voice that make it what it is, and [Jacoby] just really captured that through his recording techniques.”
Trained in classical piano, Drodza started a band with her brother that she describes as No Doubt meets The Killers, then took some time off before launching her career as a solo artist. She’s released two albums thus far, 2016’s Let Me Hang the Moon and 2019’s Make Something Beautiful, along with the 2018 EP You Can’t Take It With You When You Go. Most recently, she’s been spending her time going outside, teaching her kids to cook, and writing new music that she plans to record soon. “The sound [of Seashells & Stories] is in the vein of what you’ll be hearing from here on out,” she says.
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