My name is Brenda Cay, and I am a country and coastal Americana singer-songwriter. I grew up listening to a wide variety of music, but as an adult, I really grew to love country music. I began writing about ten years ago, and I tend to pull inspiration from some of my favorite artists – Sara Evans, Terri Clark, and Kenny Chesney. I signed with Heart Songs Music Group in 2020 and released my Fragile Like A Bomb EP, which garnered twelve licensing deals. Earlier this year, I released my Love or Dreams EP. The two EPs have amassed over 3.7 million streams on Spotify. My latest single, “This Ain’t That,” was released on July 22nd. I co-wrote it in Nashville with country artist Josh David and songwriters Casey Carpenter and Josh Johnson. I’ve already had some fans tell me that they are playing it on repeat, which I love to hear! I have also been working on a video for the song, and I can’t wait to share it!
Tell us a little about your musical background; how old were you when you started playing guitar, and what inspired your musical desire?
I have enjoyed music for as long as I can remember. As a kid, I took piano lessons. Then in high school, I learned to play the flute and joined the marching band. It was my love for writing that really pulled me into the music business. I began playing the guitar when I started writing. I know this isn’t how most people learn to play the guitar, and I don’t recommend it, but it was important to me to be able to compose music and lyrics. The guitar had really become an important part of my life now!
Where do you find the inspiration for your music?
Inspiration for my music comes from everywhere. I find hooks and story ideas in conversations with friends and family, movies, signs, t-shirts, and even other songs. Taking that inspiration and forming an idea and then watching it blossom into a song is so rewarding. The only thing more powerful is sharing it with listeners who tell you what the story means to them and seeing how that inspiration has come full circle.
What is your songwriting process?
I often start with a hook and create a story idea around it. Many times, but not always, I will write the chorus first. That gives me a direction for the verses. Once I have a good first draft, I will play through the song several times and rewrite things I don’t like. Then I will share the song with a few other songwriters that I trust to give me good feedback. Sharing is an important part of the writing process. I like to share it without any backstory, so I know that the song can stand on its own. After playing it like a hundred more times, if I still like the song, then I record it!
What’s your go-to guitar for songwriting?
My go-to guitar for songwriting is a Taylor 214ce. It has great tone and playability. My first guitar was a Taylor, and I fell in love with it. I traded it in for another Taylor and another after that. I’m hooked!
Music to me is…
Music, to me, is an essential form of communication. It allows us to connect and express emotion and vulnerability that we can’t express otherwise. Music has the ability to make us feel things that words can’t, and it can transport us to other places and times. Throughout history, music has been used to bring people together! How powerful is that?
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