Brianna Nelson is an up and coming singer-songwriter basing her style around a new genre she calls 'boho-hop'. As well as performing all over the country at places like Rockwood Music Hall, in New York City, and World Cafe Live in both Philadelphia and Wilmington, Delaware, Brianna was also featured as a contestant on The Voice Season 6 Blind Auditions at age 15. Currently she is based in Boston performing in the surrounding area and writing music whilst studying at Berklee College of Music.
Brianna Nelson swayed softly as her green dressed danced around her ankles. A large mandala tapestry cascaded down the two stairs in front of her. It was draped in small white lights, pairing perfectly with her green Steven Tyler style scarf tied around the microphone stand. In her hands she held a mahogany acoustic guitar and delivered a caf show full of pop, folk, funk, and soul accenting the best parts of each genre whilst creating an aura of complete freedom and friendship.
Brianna opened the show with ‘Wanderer’, an acoustic song driven by a bass drum that blew through my chest. This song, based more in the folk pop aspect of the show, was backed by her band consisting of Berklee students John Cattini on guitar, Jacob Thompson on drums, Miles Waldman on bass, Joe Bagalla on synth. Cattini delivered guitar solos full of power and emotion, and Waldman played the entire set barefoot. The band effortlessly slipped between folk pop into funk and R&B grooves, commanding everyone to dance. A similar energy carried between songs as Brianna shared memories and inside jokes with the crowd. She made me feel as if we were old friends making cookie recommendations and discussing the highs and lows of romantic and platonic relationships.
This was most noticeable in the conversation leading into ‘Golden Silhouette’, her latest release. Synth player, Joe Bagalla, jokingly played with the effects of the backing vocals as Brianna spoke to the crowd, filling the caf with smiles, and that was the tone consistent throughout the show. She emitted an aura of positivity and laughter which welcomed the ups and downs of relationships, the 4AM songwriting sessions, and the part of us still trying to figure everything out. It was a show reminiscing intimate friendships between people who had never met through music you could sing and dance along to until 2AM. It was amazing.