We are beyond delighted to welcome back an old friend to our artist talk series with some breaking news. Brianna Ruelas has released her first original song on November 30th 2021. “Thieves” is a powerful, authentic ballad, that adresses the twisted conversations we have with ourselves when feeling like we are not living up to our expectations”.
Brianna, who we all know as a thriving music business coach with a special focus on reality singing shows, is a true Southern powerhouse. Located in Dallas/Texas with her husband and three daughters, she is a successful entrepreneur and artist, living her most authentic self on the daily.
She has written and cowritten countless songs for emerging artists in recent years, but was pushing back on releasing her own music. We got to chat with Brianna about her inspiration behind Thieves, her journey through the music industry and why we need authentic songs more than ever now!
Brianna, big congratulations on the release of “Thieves“. What a great and powerful song! Tell us a bit about the song´s inspiration, would you?
Thieves started out as a personal anthem of perseverance, but over time I realized this song was much bigger than myself. After sharing it with a close friend who lost her loved one, I discovered this ballad of hope is a universal reminder to silence the lies and negativity that pollute our minds, trust, and believe we will overcome.
Ultimately, I just wanted to have a song that was my personal reminder that despite life’s challenges, we can open ourselves to the process of circling back to faith and trust there is freedom in surrender.
Thieves is your first original release ever. Most of us know you as a powerful, innovative music entrepreneur. You´ve built a coaching business comprising online courses and private coaching for indie artists. You are a bestselling author/ prolific songwriter and a former American Idol contestant as well. Tell us a bit about a typical day in your life? How do you manage to move ahead on so many accounts?
I do my best to start my day out very intentionally. I rise early to focus on creative projects before my daughters wake up for school and once they are off, I also carve out time to tend to my morning success rituals (walk/run, daily journaling and meditation).
I’m big on self-care and believe when we are rested and fresh, we’re able to give our best not only to our business, but to those around us we love most.
As a mom of three and entrepreneur, I’m thankful for the opportunity to show my girls the importance of work ethic, but also demonstrating that anything is possible with self-belief, hard work and tenacity.
Wow! I love what you said about self-care! What made you carve out time for your own writing in these crazy times and why did you feel like now was the right time to release your music?
This song has been in the works since prior to the Pandemic and is an accurate depiction of my personal battle with comparison, self-doubt, and regret as I would lay awake each night, however, the song evolved as I waited almost a year to return to the studio as a result of the Pandemic.
As a 42 year old mom, I believe age is just a number and that pursuing dreams is for everyone at every stage. We all have our own battles, but at the end of the day, I want to encourage listeners to hang on when the going gets tough and remember we have the power to silence any negative narrative in our minds.
My hope also is that listeners feel held, encouraged, and loved during every season of life.
Beautiful! I love the lyric line: “Been hiding shadows and secrets, your light is waivering, noone has to know.” Don´t we all deal with doubts, disappointment in ourselves sometimes? Then in the chorus you kind of talk to yourself “Keep holding on”. I felt this was so powerful, as your vocals transport the weak voice that gets stronger as the chorus repeats throughout the song. Was it hard for you to open up about this topic publicly? What made you do it anyways?
It was hard at first, because as I mentioned before, Thieves began as a personal anthem for myself. But when I realized how universal and powerful this message was, my mindset shifted and I actually felt a personal duty to share the song.
The perceptions others have of us on social media are dictated by what we want them to see. I’m often the positive cheerleader on social media but this song highlighted a different side of me.
A very real, somewhat dark side, but that vulnerability is what makes this song so special. I don’t want to hide in shadows or mask my struggle. I am human. We are human.
Absolutely! Like Dolly Parton once said “…if you want the rainbow, you gott put up with the rain”. It is all a part of life. As a songwriter, how does your process look like when starting a new song? Do you start with melody, lyrics? Or both? Do songs typically come fast or bit by bit over time? Fill us in:)
My songwriting process is not consistent. Sometimes, a line of the song or even song title will present itself, and from there, I will start building out story lines to accompany the line.
Other times, the melody or hook presents itself, and from there, 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, so with that, I think it’s safe to say that my songs evolve over time.
Love that! I always let go as well, if things do not flow anymore. I do not believe in “constructing songs too much”. Do you prefer writing ballads or up-tempo songs and if it is one or the other, tell us why?
For me it’s not a preference. I’d LOVE to write more up-tempo songs because I love performng them, but ballads seem to flow out of me more naturally.
As a mentor for so many songwriters and a fantastic writer and performer yourself, what is one thing you think holds most writers back from writing their best songs and how can they move past the hurdles?
We hold ourselves back. Whether it be fear of what others may think, perfectionism or even desperation to get it right, we are our biggest block to success.
We must get out of our own way, relax and have fun in order for the creativite process to run its course. Stress and anxiety stifle the creative flow, but when we release the pressures we place on ourselves, we open up to create great work. Work that we can be proud of and work that impacts lives in a deep and meaningful way.
Amen! Tell us a bit about your journey through the music industry. From being an American Idol contestant to building a coaching business, writing books to being a performing artist. What were some of your biggest learnings from within the industry?
No matter what industry you are in (and especially the entertainment industry), look at it as a Long Game.
I didn’t set out to be an Author, Course Creator and Coach but as I actively tuned in to where life was taking me, I stretched myself in ways I never thought possible.
I recognize that life is full of stepping stones and my experience on American Idol was not an end, but rather a beginning that ultimatley brought me to where I am today.
Lastly, I constantly educate myself through hiring coaches and enrolling in online courses that will make me a better business woman and creative. Our education is not over. If you want different results, you must take different action and I believe hiring a coach is the best way to accelerate your results.
Yes, I agree! Like any industry, the music industry requires constant hard work as well. Do you think these are great times for indie artists or is it getting harder to build a career in this seemingly saturated market?
The market is saturated, but every artist must look at their WHY and create their own expectations for their life and career. Success looks different for everyone and when you don’t take the time to identify what success looks like for you, you give shelter to comparison, self-doubt and all the nasty voices teling you – should’ve happened by now.
There are more opportunities than ever to create a sustainable career for yourself in music, but you must continue to innovate and think out of the box. What are your goals? What is important to you, as it pertains to your life and music? What do you value?
Thieves is a good reminder to us all, to acknowledge our fears and doubts, but eventually move past them and out of our comfort zones. Isn´t that the perfect message for year´s end and with regard to starting over anew on January first? To wrap this up, is there anything else you want to tell your listeners and fans with regard to Thieves?
“You may not feel “READY”, but life is short and you’re never too old, too young, too tired or too busy to GROW, LEARN and MAKE THINGS HAPPEN for yourself.”
Beautiful! Thank you so much for your time Brianna and best of success to you and yours!
Picture credits for both photos: Kathy Tran
To follow Brianna online, go to:
For more Song Brewery content and updates, follow us on Instagram
And do not forget to sign up to our monthly newsletter below ;):