Emerging Artist Spotlight: Beatrice Brigitte


Beatrice Brigitte doesn’t like to follow formulas. The 25-year-old singer rejects the lush production and auto-tuned, anthemic vocals that rule the pop charts in the American Idol era, in favor of a simpler, more organic sound. On many of the songs she writes (such as “The Day”), her voice floats like a ghost through spare, quiet string arrangements.

Brigitte paints textured landscapes that combine a dreamy, otherworldly sound (think Mazzy Star) with lyrics exploring dark themes such as fear, personal betrayal, and suicide.  In these themes the listener can detect the imprint of one of her influences, Jim Morrison (“Ode to End,” which contemplates suicide, thematically evokes the death wish of “Yes the River Knows” by the Doors).

I discovered her music on Global 14, Jermaine Dupri’s social community where members share interests ranging from music to sports (and it’s an excellent platform for emerging artists). In the following Q&A, Brigitte shares her story and provides a glimpse into life as an emerging artist. Make sure you experience her music on Soundcloud and get to know her on Global 14 and Facebook.

Let’s talk about your background — who you are and how you got into music.

Who am I? Well . . . I’m me. An entrepreneur, an artist, spiritual-being, a wife, an old soul; I have many roles.

To me, music is more of an art form than a way to be famous. I come from two artists who were both painters, and I love painting. I was born in Berlin. My father passed away a month before my seventh birthday, and my mom moved me to San Diego, where she remarried. I grew up in sunny San Diego for most of my life, but my parents moved to Phoenix while I was in high school. At age 17, unlike your conventional rebellion as a teen, mine was discovering music and using it as therapy. I never partied, drank, or did drugs growing up. I was that kid who would be at each concert and festival, standing there in awe.

I have been writing forever, but I did not always want to pursue music. The turning point was watching the band Brand New live in Phoenix. The performance by their lead singer, Jesse Lacey, blew me away. His music was honest, with no bullshit, and very bold. The band’s guitar riffs were very emotional. The experience changed my entire perspective on music.

At age 19 I moved to Los Angeles to work for a tech start-up, which I was working nonstop. I was making a lot of money but not doing what I really wanted to do, which was making music, finding my true self. My first day off occurred when I was 21. I asked, “What the hell am I doing?” I realized how blinded I was by social constraints, and that I can’t be a follower.

I began my journey as a musician by experimenting with being in bands and creating an alter ego, and then concluding that I just have to be a solo artist . . . just to be me, not to hide behind a band or an alter ego. It’s been a great journey and growth process.

Who are your musical influences?


A long time ago, I was really into Jim Morrison. I went into a whole Doors phase. He was into writing poems and turning them into songs, not writing lyrics in the conventional sense. And he has hidden meanings and analogies in his songs, which is how I write. I also enjoyed the melodies and organic pop style of the Spice Girls growing up. And Winston Churchill is a huge influence on everything I do. Yes, Winston Churchill. He was not only a leader — he was an artist, too. Did you know he was a painter?

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Dick Wingate Talks Music and His New Record Label BHi Music Group


What’s the role of a record label in an era when musicians can manage their careers with platforms like Kickstarter and Soundcloud? According to industry executive Dick Wingate, a good label matters more than ever before, if for no other reason than to help artists break through the cluttered music landscape those digital platforms have ironically helped create.  Wingate has a perspective largely unmatched in the music business. He collaborated with musical giants such as Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello and Pink Floyd as those artists exploded to superstardom in the 1970s.


Dick Wingate and Bruce Springsteen at the printing press inspecting the cover of Darkness on the Edge of Town

He held executive positions for labels such as Epic, PolyGram and Arista during a golden era for the music industry, signing and having hits with Eddy Grant and Aimee Mann (‘Til Tuesday), among others. He worked for technology pioneers such as Liquid Audio long before his industry peers were waking up to the disruptive power of digital. And now his storied career is coming full circle with the launch of BHi Music Group, a label he founded in November 2013.

Wingate recently discussed with me why he returned to the label side of the music industry and his excitement about emerging artists on his roster, such as Jon and the Jones and AM Aesthetic. As he explains in the following Q&A, musicians today face a paradox: on the one hand, it’s never been easier for an artist to break into music thanks to do-it-yourself recording and distribution tools such as Tunecore. But as he points out, the flip side to having fewer barriers of entry to the music industry is that “there is so much music available it is almost white noise to the average consumer.” Consequently, not only must an artist’s music be great, but also the artist needs to work harder on marketing and touring to cut through the clutter. And rising above the noise is but one function that someone like Dick Wingate can play for an artist working with BHi Music Group.

Read on for more wide-ranging insights into issues facing artists today, ranging from the impact of streaming services to the very future of music.

Congratulations on the launch of BHi Music Group. Why did you return to the label side of the business?

It wasn’t planned. I was on the board of startup Big House Music Publishing and as I became closer to the founders, Christian Cedras and Krista Retto, we found our musical instincts very much aligned. When a great singer/songwriter (Jon Moodie) came in with literally dozens of great songs, a unique voice and a great look we decided to record him with a band, which we put together as Jon and the Jones. After that we fell in love with AM Aesthetic and suddenly we had the two acts with which to launch the label.

How would you describe BHi Music Group in one sentence? What sets you apart?

We are very hands on with our artists, meeting regularly to review songs, arrangements and stage presentation. So we are focused on artist development above and beyond everything else. Not every act wants that much input from their label.

The BHi Music Group Facebook page says BHi Music Group bridges the gap between DIY and majors. How do you do that? 

DIY usually implies that a band records and releases and does a little bit of social marketing to the extent they can afford it. We provide a great deal of hands-on management and artist development, as well as putting our collective decades of connections and experience to work to create partnerships, get sync licenses, create videos and bring the right tastemakers to see or hear our artists.

What type of artists are a good fit for you?

The genre is pretty open but the artist must be willing to take a lot of direction (if needed) from BHi on songs, performance, staging and appearance. In order to do this we are very focused on the New York City region as we want our artists to be available for regular meetings, showcases, etc.

Tell me more about Jon and the Jones and AM Aesthetic. How did you find each other? What do you like about them?

As I mentioned Jon came in as a solo artist. He constantly writes so many songs there is really a fantastic wealth of material. His attitude towards collaboration with the label and bandmates couldn’t have been better. Most importantly he has worked hard to improve his performance on stage and his songs have become bigger in scale and arrangement, taking advantage of the (now) four piece band. It’s a heady combination of rock, blues and alternative, and doesn’t fit into any defined category.

With AM Aesthetic, the material is consistently compelling. They are a dynamic, loud three-piece band that lights up the room with their melodic alt/rock combination. We see them as playing festivals in the near future, with college kids and young adults as the core audience. They also work very closely with us on songwriting, arrangements and staging and are wonderfully open to suggestion.


AM Aesthetic

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