By BENJMAIN NJOKU
Los Angeles-based jazz singer, Brettina has not visited Nigeria for the first time in life. But she’s constantly in touch with the country’s music, which she has come to describe as the future of the world music.
According to singer, Nigerian music is an embodiment of freedom of expression.
“I’m also hearing a lot of instrumentation, which seems more appreciated and is sometimes lost in other mainstream genres,” the songstress added.
Brettina, who was introduced to the country’s culture, music and food, following her relationship with a Nigerian family back in Chicago said all music derives from Africa and jazz/island rhymes fall in that rhythmic feel.
The singer said she’s looking forward to collaborating with Nigeria’s music superstars such as Burna Boy, Wizkid, Yemi Alade, Tiwa Savage among others. She’s also planning to do a remix of her new single, “New Day”, this year, as well as dropping a full length album of her single titled ‘Bop Baiye’ and the catchy viral single ‘Simple Pleasures.’
She once had a desire to perform in South Africa, where she has a huge following in that country and hopefully capture the European audience.
Born in the Bahamas, the songstress writes music fusing traditional jazz and island tones. Like waves washing over the listener, Brettina’s sound is refreshing; her originality appeals to both jazz purists and younger audiences drawn to more contemporary mainstream music.
She began singing at age four, under the influence of her mother, as well as Theo and Kirk Coakley of the popular 1970 Funk/Soul group T-Connection.
Brettina cites as her main influences Nancy Wilson, Sarah Vaughan, Shirley Horn, Shirley Bassey, Sade, Adele, Diana Krall, Corinne Bailey Rae, Tiwa Savage and LIRA. She sings jazz, and describes her style as “organic”.
“It organically came together. Being of Bahamian decent and having a pure love of classical jazz, made for a natural smooth blend,” the singer said.
Brettina’s music is honest and unique. She sings about real life and a lot of her fans can connect with her because of that. She draws from personal experience in her songwriting. For example, she cites her poor childhood as the inspiration for her song “Poor Old Times”, her fondness for “Chai” as the inspiration for “Chai”, and childhood memories as the inspiration for covering the Belafonte-Burgess song “Island in the Sun”.