NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) – It is family and faith that’s fueling the dreams of country music artist Brei Carter. After the release of her debut album, Carter sat down with WSMV 4′s Marius Payton to discuss the obstacles she faces as not only a woman in country music, but a woman of color in search of country music stardom.
Brei Carter is what you get when musical passion and opportunity collide. She’s a rising African American country music hopeful who’s all in on pursuing her dreams to make it big.
“It’s something burning deep within. I’ve always loved country music and faith has always been huge for me.” Carter said.
She has had to lean on faith. They say being a woman in country music is tough. But being a black woman in country music is an obstacle she’s found rooted in race.
“People aren’t just people. People see color. So that’s where it’s kind of like a shock because people don’t look at the voice or who I am. The inner and what they see. They look at what’s on the outside and that’s kind of been a struggle,” Carter said.
But Carter is used to hard times. She enlisted in the Army, graduated college and was commissioned as an officer. She credits the military for the tough skin. And her songs are a way to release some of the pain. The single “Stronger Than That” from her debut album “Brand New Country” tells the story of her life.
Carter is a child of the divorce in a small Southern town. She had to hold on to hope and find grace in a hurricane.
“This music is not just about me. Stronger Than That is someone else’s story. I tell stories. I want to empower people. I want to uplift people.” Carter added.
Charlie Pride was the man Carter idolized for as long as she could remember.
“I just knew someday I would meet him, but unfortunately he passed away.” Carter said.
Loretta Lynn and Patsy Cline are also idols. Darius Rucker and Jimmie Allen are current artists she listens to. And just like the struggles Rucker and Allen had as black artists breaking through country music barriers, Carter is up for the challenge.
“You have to believe in yourself because there’s going to be a whole lot of naysayers. You can’t do that. You’re not good enough. You’re not capable, but if I let that rule who I am, I will succumb to what they think I will become,” Carter said. “But I’m so much more than that. I’m stronger than that.”
She tells Payton she’s up at 4:30 every morning, strumming the guitar and preparing for her day.
She also works a full-time job in the medical industry to pay for the music. She says country music is in her blood.
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