Interview with Brianna Ruelas

Written by Divine Magazine

Brianna Ruelas is a Dallas Based Music Industry Strategist, Singer-Songwriter, Reality TV Music Coach, Online Course Creator, and Best Selling Author to “Make Reality TV Your Reality.”

Most recently, Brianna launched the Reality Singing Show Success Academy and produced the first-ever Reality Singing Show Summit to help independent performing artists prepare for and leverage the reality singing show platform to create momentum in their music careers.

As a singer and performer for thirty years, Brianna has studied internationally and performed all genres, from jazz to rock to pop, received a BA in Theatre Arts from Pepperdine University, and spent years honing her musical theatre chops. After graduating college, Brianna departed from the theatre to pursue music as a solo artist and also worked as a commercial voiceover actor. Brianna has fronted her own rock band and experienced the reality television craze in its early days, as a Top 100 finalist on American Idol, Season 4. 

For 7 years, Brianna support her husband and Restaurateur, Victor Hugo with the Behind The Scenes work on their family-owned restaurant, Victor Hugo’s Dining & Bar which became a significant contributor to Brianna’s entrepreneurial journey. 

She couples these entrepreneurial strategies with her passion to support her clients as achieve reality singing show & music career success!

What is your creative process like?

Typically, I get ideas in three different places: 1. On the Open Road:  Long road trips are restorative and inspiration for me. 2. In the Shower: a bit inconvenient, but it happens often. 3. Between Sleep and Wake: Neverland as I call it and when a lot of my sparks fly. I always have something nearby to capture it upon waking, before it’s too late.

For songwriting ideas, once the melody or hook presents itself, I open myself up spiritually to access the message that needs to be shared, and often the lyrics begin to flow.  I record the lyrics in my songwriting journal and the melody in my iphone voice memos and from there I play with the concept in a very natural way. If it starts to feel forced or the flow is simply not there, I set it aside to let it breathe. Sometimes I circle back to creative projects within hours or days, sometimes it’s the following year.

For writing projects or other creative endeavors, I’m a mind mapping, brain dumping queen. I love putting pen to paper and set a timer for 10 minutes to let all the creative ideas pour out. This process has helped shape the content for both of my books and my signature online course, The Reality Singing Show Success Academy.

What is one message you would give to your fans?

You’re not alone. When life presents obstacles, trust and believe you will overcome.

How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business?

The internet is a game changer. When I was in my early twenties, having a “music career” was a pipe dream. The record labels were the gatekeepers and unless you were highly connected and/or super affluent, getting “discovered,” was not something you had a whole lot of control over. The internet and DIY music revolution opened up opportunities for artists to make music and get it heard. It enables talented musicians who exercise their tenacity and drive to make their music impact.

What is your favourite song to perform?

“The Story” by Brandi Carlile. It’s actually a very difficult song to sing, but the lyrics are so raw and vulnerable and the emotion is palpable. The song also makes me proud of the “lines across my face.”

In your opinion, how do artists in this industry stay on top of the game when faced with so much competition? What’s the secret to making yourself noticed?

Artists who stay in the game at all are artists who are thinking big picture and long game style. Every career in every industry ebbs and flows and individuals who are open to risk and even failure are the ones who are able to shift and learn through experience. From challenge comes growth, and oftentimes this is how we evolve as artists.

I believe the “trick” or “secret” to separating yourself from the competition is having full confidence in all the incredible things you bring to the table and remembering your voice and your message is unique and meant to be shared. When one relegates to comparison and focusses their energy on how hard the competition is, they align themselves with fear and desperation and this is the antithesis of confidence and will leave you with lackluster results.

Are you creative in other disciplines?

Yes! I am an author and online course creator. I wrote my first book “Performing Artist Pathway: Navigate the Highs & Lows of Your Music Journey” to support singers and performers as they walked through their musical path. 

My second book, a best seller on Amazon, “Make Reality TV Your Reality: Crush Your Reality Singing Show Audition and Ignite Your Music Career” walks artists through the three phases on their reality singing show journey: Preparing for the Audition Experience, Crushing the Audition Performance and most importantly, Maximizing and Leveraging the Opportunity to create momentum in their music careers.

Where was your current project recorded?

My current project, “Thieves” was recorded in my hometown of Dallas Texas

Was anyone else involved in writing, recording, or producing the songs?

My dear friend and music brother, Adam Pickrell (Nelly Furtado, St. Vincent, John Congleton) produced and co-wrote my single “Thieves” with me and Tiger Darrow did the string/choral arrangement and performance.

What would be a good theme song for your life?

“Always a Woman To Me,” – Billy Joel

What was the last TV series you watched on TV?

“Schitts Creek”

What’s your least favourite personality trait you like about yourself?

I am solution oriented and a solver of problems… This is wonderful when it comes to my own business, but because I authentically desire to help others, sometimes I give unsolicited advice that they either are interested in or aren’t ready to hear. I try to remind myself to first ask if they’d like my input before spilling it out.

What makes you nostalgic?

Tracy Chapman “New Beginnings” album and Tori Amos “Under The Pink”

Do you have any lucky items, objects, or traditions?

I love my crystals. I always have some black tourmaline, selenite, pyrite and labradorite on me to protect my energy and invite positive, high frequency vibes and opportunities my way.

What’s your favourite children’s story?

I have three girls (ages 16, 11, and 8) and we are obsessed with Chris Colfer’s “Land of Stories.” We will read it over and over and now have it on Audible as well. He’s created the most epic fairy tale characters and adventures and it’s a blast.

If you were talking to a younger version of you, what advice would you give yourself?

“Brianna, you’re a freaking rock-star. Keep your energy high and never forget that!”




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