We had the pleasure of chatting with Brianna Taylor from MTV’s The Ruins and The Real World: Hollywood. We chatted about her life, the shows, her upcoming album which is out on iTunes now. Check it out below!
Tell me a little bit about yourself and your journey through Real World, Road Rules, and your music career.
Brianna Taylor: Well, I’ve been singing since I was young. My grandmother used to sing on the radio with her sisters. She was kind of like the Andrew sisters when she was younger. Her father was a crazy raging alcoholic. If I had to compare him to someone I would say he was like Michael Jackson’s dad. He was extremely uptight. He told her to either pick marriage or singing and she decided to get married and she kept singing in church. It’s always been in my genes I guess. I did American Idol season five and I sang in high school. I did musicals and crap. I’ve always wanted my own sense of style, like my own thing with music. There are plenty of people that I do admire. I would like to be my own artist and start something new. I did American Idol and made to the top 45 and that was a pretty good experience to be around people who share the same likes that I did. I could actually let my talent grow. I did the Real World, and when I went to the audition they said they we’re looking for a singer songwriter, people that wanted a career in the entertainment industry. I read it actually after the interview. I was like wow, that’s definitely me.
When you originally signed up for the Real World, you weren’t doing that to open doors for yourself musically? Did it just kind of happen?
Brianna Taylor: No, anything that I try out for, I always see it as an opportunity to do one thing or the other. I love to dabble in things. I would even like to try hosting. Singing is my thing, it’s always been my thing. I like to try different things but, I definitely saw Real World as an opportunity for me to actually get my music out there and for people to actually hear me and see what I’m capable of doing.
You have your own distinctive style, has that been something you’ve had any problems with as far as like music executives telling you to be one way or another, or can you pretty much be yourself.
Brianna Taylor: My label can mold me into whatever they want me to be. Even with my own style of music, it’s pretty much universal. Anybody can listen to it and find something that they like on it. I never really got pressured to be a certain way. The new one actually incorporates what I wanted to do as an artist a lot more than the last one did. I’m really really excited about it.
I know you’ve been very vocal about relationship abuse. Have you found that topic has served as an inspiration to you?
Brianna Taylor: I definitely use life experiences. For me, it’s extremely hard to write about something I don’t know anything about. If I’ve never been angry, then I can’t write about being angry. Josh Groban has a song about Vincent Van Gogh. He’s one of my all time favorite artists. If I didn’t know anything about him, I wouldn’t be able to relate to his songs. We’re human beings so we all have emotions. To just have that knowledge, it definitely helps me out as a singer songwriter.
If you had to describe your album in three words, what would they be?
Brianna Taylor: Edgy, gutsy, and innovative
What would you say has surprised you the most about the music industry?
Brianna Taylor: The whole cutthroat side of it I already knew. There are so many people in this world that have the look and have talent, and yet they keep putting out this teenybopper singers or just people that look good and have no vocal capability at all. My best friend is a dancer. She even says the same thing. There are so many people that get jobs dancing that can barely move. If you have a basic sense of rhythm and you practice and practice, you can look like you’ve been dancing your entire life. My best friend, it’s phenomenal how she moves. So, that’s the thing that really surprises me about the industry. Sometimes I think to myself, there’s no real music anymore. What happened to it? We don’t have singers like we did back in the day. Music is supposed to convey a message. Music is supposed to make you feel a certain way. Now, I don’t want to hear about big bootie shaking on the floor. I don’t care about that. Music just isn’t what it used to be. I really think that with the times changing, labels do actually need to get that and stop signing all these crap artists.
Tell me a little bit about The Ruins and what made you decide to that. Was it what you expected it to be?
Brianna Taylor: I’ve always wanted to do a challenge because I watched them and I meet the people and I’m like they’re not athletic at all. I look at the challenges and I’m like I can do this with one hand tied behind my back, you want me to eat what, yeah I’ll do it, I don’t even care. I’ve always at least wanted to do one. I was thinking to myself when I signed up to do it. Maybe if I do this, I’ll like it and sign up for another one. You have the opportunity to win money, travel for free, and see part of the world I may never get the opportunity to see. People watch it on TV and don’t realize how nerve racking it is. When you have a house full of egos, it’s ridiculous how big these people actually think they are. They have no talent and nothing going for them. Some of them still live with their parents. Some of them don’t have jobs or cars. How do you think you’re any better than anyone else in the world? It’s crazy to actually meet people like that. That’s really the reason I got turned off from doing the challenge. Don’t get me wrong. It was a great opportunity. I got to see Thailand and I loved it. The flight home was terrible. I will never make that flight again. I’ll never do another challenge ever again. I’m glad I met the people that I would have never had the chance of meeting.
Concerning Real World, how much involvement does MTV have in your lives during the taping? How much of it is you guys doing your own thing and not being influenced by the network?
Brianna Taylor: They don’t influence anything at all. The camera people aren’t even allowed to talk to us. As soon as I got out of the van they said you’re going to walk down here and meet your roommate. After that we can’t talk to you anymore. So I was standing there going ‘where is my roommate, where do I go?’ I looked at Will and was like he is cute. I didn’t realize he was my roommate. I did break the boundaries and talked to the director and she was like go back over that way. I finally found Will. I loved doing the Real World. I would do the Real World again in a heartbeat. They have like a back to Hollywood episode. I would love to do it again. I had so much fun and I met some really awesome people.
What’s next for you?
Brianna Taylor: Probably some touring in the future. I’m hoping everything works out. If it doesn’t, then I have to get serious. I’m getting older I gotta think about my future and I’m always going to pursue my singing career but I would like to go to school. I wouldn’t like to go to school, but I would like to have a career. There’s just so much that I want to do and so much that I haven’t seen yet.
Do you have any hobbies?
Brianna Taylor: Well, of course singing. I like to go out with my girlfriends. We like to have game night, have a box of wine, and talk about boys and why we hate them all. I’ve actually gotten into walking with my mother. I’ve been getting into modeling a little bit. I would love to do something on the TV or the radio.
Interview By: Emma Loggins