The good news for local fans is that Brynn is sticking around Greater Morristown, performing regularly here after a detour to L.A.
And next week, fans everywhere can enjoy Classic, her new five-song album. Here’s a preview:
Featuring interpretations of favorites by Cole Porter (above), Peggy Lee, Sammy Cahn, Rodgers & Hart and Lennon & McCartney, Classic owes its lush sound in part to Grammy- and Emmy-nominated engineer Jorge Vivo (Michael Buble, Andrea Bocelli, Celine Dion) and jazz musician and producer Tony Guerrero (Dick Van Dyke, Jane Lynch, Paul McCartney, Freddie Hubbard).
Sigh. It seems like only yesterday that the Pride of Basking Ridge was recording our MorristownGreen.com theme song.
We caught up with Brynn this week to quiz her about her new release.
Brynn Stanley: (Laughs) I had a little bit of a hard time choosing songs because…there are millions of them. A couple of the songs I selected were about the end of a chapter, and the rest of the songs are about the hope of new beginnings.
I feel a connection to each of these songs because they are classic. Classics are timeless and I want to continue sharing that with every generation. When we recorded the EP, I wanted to stay true to the classic sound but also have a fresh interpretation.
I heard a quote, “Art is how we decorate space; music is how we decorate time.” So I guess I’m a “vintage pop decorator.”
I learned that life is really magical. I learned that unexpected adventure and growth can happen even when you didn’t plan it. I learned that leading life with curiosity is a lot more fun than leading with fear. I learned that friends can turn into family. I learned that life can shift in an instant. I learned that singing these beautiful classic love songs is really tough to do when you’re going through heartbreak…but it sure does allow you to connect authentically with every word. (Laughs)
I also learned how seriously I actually do take my music career. I always loved it. But when I had to fly back and forth across the country in order to record it, that’s when I heard the Universe saying, “I know you love it…but how much do you really love it?”
The encouragement that I received from my producers, engineer, and musicians, all of whom I look up to so much, was very reassuring. They shared the same excitement, and that kept me strong and enthused about what we were co-creating.
I actually knew Jorge Vivo was coming to see me perform my original album, Hello, California, at THE MINT in Los Angeles.
I was so nervous that night because I knew Jorge has engineered for Michael Buble, Diana Krall, Josh Groban, Andrea Bocelli, David Foster, etc. When he came up to me after my performance and asked if I would ever be interested in working together, I told him that his timing was unbelievable because my Producer Tony Guerrero and I had just been talking about recording an EP. Tony quickly agreed to a collaborative project and the magic began.
There’s always going to be someone who can do it better than you. Do what you’re doing because you love it and you love connecting with people — not because you want to be “the best.” Your best is when you make a true connection with someone. –– Brynn Stanley
Brynn Stanley: I love this question. Singing classics just feels like home to me. It feels like it’s what I’m supposed to be doing, almost as my responsibility. I’m an old soul in love with the elegance of old Hollywood, the humor of the rat pack, old black-and-white movies and the idea of romance and simpler times.
Brynn Stanley: At this moment my focus is on music. I sincerely hope my music will eventually allow me to fully express myself as an artist.
MG: This spring, you opened for Jordan Smith at the Mayo Performing Arts Center. Afterwards, starry-eyed little girls asked for your autograph. What’s your advice for kids dreaming of stardom?
Brynn Stanley: Allow your curiosity to lead you. Perfection is boring. Don’t let your worst fear stop you. Listen to it, acknowledge it, and then go and do it anyway. There’s always going to be someone who can do it better than you. Do what you’re doing because you love it and you love connecting with people — not because you want to be “the best.” Your best is when you make a true connection with someone.
MG: Why did you return to Jersey? Can we look forward to having you around here for awhile, or are you jetting back to Hollywood?
Brynn Stanley: I want to explore wherever there are roots of jazz. I will say, the world is much bigger than New York and LA and my intention is to see and experience more of it.
MG: How/when can fans buy Classic, and where are you performing next?
Brynn Stanley: It will be released on Thursday, Oct. 19th. It can be purchased on all digital platforms (Amazon, iTunes, etc.) or any of my upcoming shows, at Arturo’s in New York City, and Rod’s and Shanghai Jazz in Madison. My show calendar can be viewed on my website: www.brynnstanley.com
MG: Is a full-length follow-up album to Hello, California in the works? Like, Hey, Jersey?
Brynn Stanley: (Laughs) Hmm…
MG: Any truth to the rumors that you are about to tour with a local ukulele band?
Brynn Stanley: (Laughs) It’s the opportunity of a lifetime.