Like many little girls, Britani Myers sang into a hairbrush and dreamt of fame.
Throughout high school, she performed at various talent shows and family gatherings, but she was never labeled a musician. The Virginia Tech mid-distance runner never thought she would make it as a musical artist, much less become one.
“The first shows that I did were in front of people I didn’t know at all,” Myers said. “When I performed at my high school, people knew me for being the 'hometown runner person.' It’s definitely a cliche for people to tell me that I’m following my dreams. That’s exactly what all the other girls are doing. I just happened to get the call.”
The call came because Myers recorded a CD for her mother to listen to while she was at school. What started as just an unofficial family recording became her ticket to success in Nashville.
“For some reason, the secretary at Curb Records was listening to my CD and the CEO walked over, heard it and really wanted to contact me,” Myers said. “I was definitely lucky.”
Myers related her signing experience to another upcoming artist at Curb.
“I’ve been talking to another new artist Curb signed as well, and she’s been singing and writing since she was three years old,” Myers said. “She’s lived in her car, her parents quit their jobs — everything just happened so fast for me, compared to her. I’ve gone from doing nothing to this in a little over seven months and it just feels really crazy.”
Myers’ journey into the music industry began seven months ago; she learned to play the guitar in only two. Producers at Curb Records have been calling her back to Nashville, and are already urging her to write her own lyrics.
“It’s entirely different from someone just handing you a song and telling you to sing it,” Myers said. “It’s very challenging, but it’s also a really good way to get my emotions on paper.”
Myers said Taylor Swift is one of her major influences because she is the face of teenage girls and emotions.
“I think it’s very hard to not write a song about that kind of stuff at my age,” Myers said.
Curb Records lays claim to artists like Rodney Atkins, Hank Williams Jr. and LeAnn Rimes. Myers recently opened for Rimes in concert.
“Opening for (Rimes) at my high school was nerve wracking,” Myers said. “People knew me there, but when they know you — that’s when it’s easiest for them to judge you.”
Myers is now learning to balance the pressures of being a full-time student, running and pursuing a music career. She approaches music in the same way that she approaches track practice.
“In music, you only have one performance to show people all of the work you put into it, just like with running,” Myers said. “You have a certain amount of time to show people what you’ve trained for.”
Freshman Leigh Ann Soistmann has seen much of the work Myers puts into her performances. Myers and Soistmann competed against each other in high school races, and they are now teammates, and roommates, at Tech.
“She’s as dedicated to her music as she is with track,” Soistmann said. “We’ve been talking about a lot of people who try to make it big in Nashville, and I think she’s devoted to making her once-in-a-lifetime opportunity happen.”
Myers’ parents are just as excited about their daughter’s success.
“It’s kind of a sticky situation in my house because my mom tells me to go for the singing and my dad wants me to stick with running,” Myers said. “It’s always been his dream to have me run, and that’s my dream too.”
Myers said her parents would support her no matter what path she takes. That’s a good thing, considering her own plans for the future.