Interview: Brenna Whitaker

by Deanna Chapman

I recently had the chance to ask Brenna Whitaker some questions about her self-titled debut release. Check out the interview and the music video for “Black and Gold” below!

Let’s start with some background. Where are you from and how were you first introduced to music?
I was born and raised in Kansas City, MO. My mom was a thespian {touring musical theater actress} and my dad was a school teacher and drummer. They restored historic houses the majority of my life so I was immersed in history and music and a lot of crazy old people with stories…I played the piano as a kid and had a great elementary school teacher who gave me solos in choir. That’s how I figured out I could sang.

You started out in theater, how did you make the transition to releasing your own music?  
I fell pretty hard for singers like Dinah Washington, Peggy Lee, Ruth Brown and Nancy Wilson and Etta James. I started putting bands together and getting “my book” of music together and really creating my own live shows.  As my life progressed (bad boyfriends, the grind of waitressing, drinking and partying and falling in love) the theatrics of my life combined with my love for music somehow unfolded into becoming a recording artist and entertainer.

Are there plans to do theater work and continue releasing your own music?  
I definitely would love to get back into theater. I have a good friend, Leslie Odom in “Hamilton” on Broadway right now. When I see shows like “Hamilton” I’m heavily inspired to be a part of a theater family. I will hopefully always be making and releasing music. I’m already working on my second album while I’m touring this first one 🙂

What was the inspiration behind the new album?
This is my debut album so I wanted to start at the beginning with just me being a “good ole fashioned” singer first. David Foster is one of the finest vocal producers ever in the world and I wanted to blend my love for the songs and stories with his inflection. My struggles with Hollywood and coming of age as a woman in Hollywood were the drive behind my inspiration for singing the stories in the songs.

What was the best part about the recording process?  
I have been pinching myself the entire time… I’m so lucky that I get to even deal with the bad parts of the process. The best part for me is the audience and knowing I might have emotionally touched someone in a positive way.

Any big plans for 2016?  
I’m ready to take what I’ve been doing in Hollywood the past 7 years and go see how they respond to it in Japan or France.  Touring is going to be 2016 and I’m so excited I get to be with my band and travel the world doing what I love.

Where can our readers find you online?  
Please follow me at @brennawhitaker on socials 🙂 and  for tour dates and such 🙂