We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Brianna Shelko. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Brianna below.
Brianna, appreciate you joining us today. The first dollar you earn is always exciting – it’s like the start of a new chapter and so we’d love to hear about the first time you sold or generated revenue from your creative work?
I earned my first dollar as a creative at 7 years old. I wanted to record a song, but I needed the money to do it. So, I created jewelry and went door-to-door and sold my bead creations to neighbors (and my mom’s work). By the end of that Summer, I had earned my first $400 and was able to afford to purchase studio time by age 8 to record my first single to perform at a local talent show. It was so rewarding! I got to be creative to pay for a creation. It was a win/win!
Brianna, love having you share your insights with us. Before we ask you more questions, maybe you can take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers who might have missed our earlier conversations?
I write in a way that breaks away from the normalities of music, and instead chooses to focus on what matters most – supporting the expression of my life stories while connecting with all peoples in its purest global form. We all have a story. We all want to be heard. What really helps me get ahead in the music industry is the God-given talent to be able to write music, lyrics, perform vocals and instrumentals as well as develop incredible music campaigns.
Beginning in my childhood, it became clear that I was born to be a musician. I’ve poured more than 20,000 hours and 20 years into this dream, written over 500 songs, and became profoundly known as a “7-minute hit songwriter.”
To make the dream happen, I have hustled more than 10 entrepreneurial side businesses to fund this music career since the age of 15. My side businesses consisted of a BRIANNA clothing line brand, painting custom canvases, creating a jewelry line, DJing 20+ weddings per year, teaching music for beginners, staging consultations for real estate, writing jingles for companies, photography and videography, writing songs for other artists and producers, and creating a podcast that features influencers from various Netflix series to share their life stories.
Let’s talk about resilience next – do you have a story you can share with us?
Have you ever been told “no” over 100 times? I have. When you’re an indie artist, just about anytime you reach out without management or someone “bigger” than you, the answer tends to be “no.” But, you can’t let that stand in the way. I remember… this one time in particular, I was raising money for my first really big music video (I was 16) and I went to a local BBQ restaurant to ask if they would sponsor my video, since we both represented the same tiny town. I’ll never forget it — the owner looked at my flyer ( the one I spent countless hours editing ), handed it back to me, and laughed. She said “yeah and what do we get out of this?” So, I explained that they’d be mentioned in the film credits, on the banner at my red carpet event (so they’d end up in every picture) and I’d even write them their own commercial jingle for sponsoring me. She said something like, “Well, sweetheart, we don’t donate to charity cases. You should be ashamed of asking people to give you money for this. Money should be given to more important things.”
Instead of giving up, I went to their competitor and go them to sponsor me instead. When one door closes, another opens.
Is there a mission driving your creative journey?
My goal is to impact lives through music and win 5 Grammys in my lifetime. I want to be the “go-to songwriter” for movie tracks and arena anthems. That’s truly the goal — to build a life I’m proud of, feed my family and earn a living pursuing my dreams.
- Instagram: brianna_shelko
- Facebook: Brianna_shelko
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bshelkosocialmedia2019/
- Twitter: brianna_shelko
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCD6VlHngUPhjCwZGweNgV6w
- Other: Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/2OH3ReqGM01badfIcRhncE?si=1YtwECWhR_Kk9ax6M_gzcw Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/brianna/1523607915