Y’all, I confess: I’ve got a mom crush on Brit Drozda, this month’s Smarty Mom.
She’s a singer-songwriter and a Davidson grad based here in Charlotte who happens to have a daughter who was in the same preschool class as my son last year. Brit is a mother of two, a musician and one of those people who is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. I’d be willing to bet after you read this blog about her – or listen to her music – you are going to be mom crushin’ a little as well.
If you’re like me, you won’t be able to watch her video for the title track of her last album “Let Me Hang the Moon” without a) choking up b) feeling like she already knows you as a mom and c) wanting to hear more.
“Let Me Hang the Moon”
You won’t have to wait long for that because Brit is releasing a new album called “Make Something Beautiful” on June 7. She is kicking off the release that evening with a live performance at the Visulite Theatre in Charlotte. “Make Something Beautiful” will be available on Spotify, Apple Music and wherever you get your digital music. For more information about Drozda’s upcoming performances and music, visit her website is www.britdrozda.com.
In the meantime, pull up a chair and listen to Brit tell you how she rekindled her passion for music on one particularly frustrating day with a young toddler and how being a mom has changed her as a musician.
Drozda grew up on the outskirts of New York City loving Broadway music, studied classical piano at Davidson and sang lead vocals after college for a group called “The Prices” with her brother Virgil. (Think “No Doubt” meets “The Killers.”) But not until she became a mom did Drozda find her place in more of a folk-rock genre and learn to speak her personal truth through music. It’s soulful and authentic and will strike you in a way you can’t forget. Enjoy!
Smarty Mom stats:
Children: Son Liam 5, daughter Price 3.
Husband: Married to Zack for 8 years
Hometown: North Palm Beach, Fla.
Neighborhood: Freedom Park, where Myers Park and Dilworth meet
Occupation: Singer-songwriter and mom.
Years in Charlotte: 7
What were you doing between the time you were in a band in your 20s and starting your solo career after having kids?
In 2010 I got married and (by 2011) we wanted to get back to Charlotte. I felt like I was floundering at that point with music. I was teaching music and also playing. I couldn’t tell if it was what I meant to do. I had a wild hair and decided to go to into culinary arts, take a break from music. I went to Johnson & Wales for their culinary arts degree and started a business doing in-home cooking lessons and personal chef services. Then I had Liam, and I started realizing cooking wasn’t making that much sense, logistically. I was trying to teach people in–home healthy cooking lessons and then giving my family a frozen pizza. Zack’s job changed from medical device sales to commercial real estate so his schedule completely changed. I took a step back and decided to focus on being a mom.
What happened to get you back into music?
I always had the piano in the house and my guitar still. I picked up my guitar one day when I was having a particularly awful day with Liam. Toddlers can sometimes drive you to your wit’s end, not that I didn’t love him so much (laughing) but I sat down and I starting playing. This song just came to me. He was napping, and I finally had a moment to reflect. Everyone says these are the best years with your child. Why am I wishing this moment away? That’s why I wrote “Let Me Hang the Moon.” It was looking at the positives of how he looked at me in that moment. He was 18 months, and I had all the answers. One of the reasons why he kept breaking down was because he would look at me for something and I couldn’t come up with the answer that would suit him. I felt like he was at a such a precious age and I wanted to remind myself of that. I also thought maybe it’s a song other people could relate to.
What kind of response did you get?
I played it for some friends at my first gig back at the Rhino Deli over on Morehead, and it was funny because the people who started to tear up weren’t the moms in the audience but the guys who were dads. When I saw that, I was like “Wow, there’s something here.”
How did becoming a mom change you as a musician?
I feel like there are so many things that I overthought in the past with music. I never knew if I was ready, back in my 20s. I didn’t trust myself. Now I feel like this is such a cool thing to have as a legacy for my kids. It’s almost like messages I can leave them in real time and in the future. They’re part of my audience now. I hope they can listen to these lyrics and are not only able to hear it from their mom but when my daughter grows up and she’s a mother or my son is a grownup being able to listen to some of these songs and hear the perspectives and different ideas and take them to heart hopefully.
You’re also living out the example too, showing your children the value of following their passions, right?
I’m trying to. I’m trying to not lose my patience with them when I’m packing up my car to go to a gig. I love playing earlier shows now. If there’s a 7:30 start time I am so happy to play that. I think there are plenty of people in the audience who don’t want to wait until 11 or 12 p.m. to see their favorite artist play. The other day I went and played at my friend’s fitness store – Fit Atelier – I’ve played for yoga (classes) there. It was from 5-7. I packed up my stuff. Zack got home from work. He watched the kids. I came home in plenty of time to put the kids to bed. I loved that. I could still have a little moment.
What do you know now at 32 that you couldn’t have five or 10 years ago?
Sometimes you try to force the timing of things, and you think your life should be mapped out a certain way. It’s really cool when it comes together in different ways. With my music, I was so searching for my sound and trying to do it in my 20s when I had all the time in the world. And I thought when I had kids it would all go away. It’s so funny because it’s the opposite. The kids have made everything so much more meaningful and also challenged me more, whether it’s time management or just life in general. And to have my sound… the contacts I made in Charlotte to be able to do this today weren’t there 10 years ago. It’s really cool to see how it’s come together. I’m really glad I picked up the guitar that one day.
More Smarty stats….
Favorite date night: Going to a show at The Fillmore, the Evening Muse or and the Visulite, or eating Italian at Stagioni.
Favorite Charlotte spot to shop: Poole Shop boutique. “Laura Vinroot Poole owns it and has been really supportive of me and my music.”
Guilty pleasure: Getting a facial at Woo, Palestra, or Toccare. “Whoever has an appointment available with an hour’s notice.”
What she sings to her children before bed: Silent Night. “It’s actually what my dad used to sing to me and strangely enough what Zack’s mom used to sing to him when he was a kid.”