If it were a game of basketball we’d definately call Kayla Brianna a first round draft pick.
The daughter of NBA champion and TNT correspondent Kenny Smith, don’t expect Kayla to be bouncing any basketballs for the WNBA anytime soon.
This girls got pipes and she’s ready to blow.
Her first single, ‘If You Love Me’ was featured during TNT’s halftime show when millions were tuned in to heated game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat.
We were intrigued by the budding star and couldn’t help let this mini ‘press conference’ pass us by. We chit-chatted a little with Kayla recently about her game-plan for the music industry, her latest single and much more.
SSM: When did you realize you wanted to be a singer?
Kayla Brianna: When I was younger just seeing award shows, just seeing Destiny’s Child or anyone on stage I would be like ‘wow, I really wanna do that’, seeing the reaction they got, things like that inspired me to want to sing, but I was always so shy. I never sang in front of my parents, until I was about eleven, and from there on I guess that was like my approval that I needed. My fear was finished. I think I was always just intrigued by entertainers and performers but i never had the courage. But now I do.
SSM: Who would you say is your idol or an entertainer who you look up to?
Kayla Brianna: I would say, I think I take things from artists like, it could be how someone writes or someone performs, so there’s a lot of different artists who my sound influences grew off of.
SSM: So, what would you say your sound is like right now. Are you R&B, are you Pop?
Kayla Brianna: I would say R&B/Pop. There are a few uptempo tracks that could be crossover tracks, but a lot of my music is R&B.
SSM: I know that you’re currently working on your debut album, what should we expect from that?
Kayla Brianna: It’s definitely very personal and relatable. I call it ‘sassy R&B’, cause it’s R&B, but when we go back and listen to the lyrics and things like that , ‘I was like o.k., a lot of these lyrics are a little edgy, a little sassy’, so I put that title for it. I made a song for every occasion. If you’re going through a heartbreak, or if you’re about to go out, you know I just think it’s really personal and relatable. I’m really proud of where it’s going and I’m excited for everybody to hear it.
SSM: Are there any guest features on the album?
Kayla Brianna: Well, if you’ve heard, ‘If You Love Me’, the video that aired during TNT, Lil Twist from Young Money, he actually does a feature on that, I think it’s online somewhere…I mean, it’s not suppose to be online anymore but I think you can find a link here or there. You can look out for that. I think we’re gonna use that for radio, so we’ll see how that goes and definitely we’ll have a couple more features that are still in the air right now but Lil Twist is on ‘If You Love Me’.
SSM: We’re very excited to hear it, any release date as yet?
Kayla Brianna: Definitely by the end of the year. I think we’re going to put another single out or we’re waiting for a sample to clear and “If You Love Me’, and then we’re definitely going to radio full-force with that.
SSM: I first heard about you and heard the single ‘If You Love Me’ when I was watching the TNT halftime of the Laker/Heat game show with your dad Kenny Smith. How important was that moment for you and how did it feel knowing so many millions of people were watching and listening to you?
Kayla Brianna: It was definitely overwhelming, it was kind of bittersweet, ’cause I’m like ‘oh my gosh’, so many people are watching this right now. Like, I kinda got a little nervous and a little scared but I was like ‘o.k., I can’t think like that, this is my project and I’m every proud of it and I know how good it is.’ So it was really exciting. I was seriously on the verge of tears. Tears of joy obviously. It was crazy.
SSM: It was a very nice gesture and having a father that’s in the industry or is famous, does that put any pressure on you at all?
Kayla Brianna: Um, I don’t think so. I think because I’m in a different field, I don’t think so. Like if I were to try and play the WNBA or something trying to live up to his name, then everyone would be comparing me to him as a basketball player, but since he hasn’t had any experience as a singer, thankfully I don’t have anything to try and take after, so I’m not really nervous about any of that.
SSM: That was actually one of my questions. Were you ever interested in playing basketball?
Kayla Brianna: Yea, I did play basketball two years in high school and then a little bit in middle school, but I never was…I never saw myself as a WNBA player, I don’t think I was that good. But, my brother plays basketball, he’s really good!
SSM: How supportive is your family now that you’re in the music industry?
Kayla Brianna: Oh, they’re very supportive! We’re all just a really supportive family. I usually attend my basketball games and we just always support each other with whatever we’re doing. So I’m just thankful that I have them to take advice from or just if I want to talk about something that I’m going through regarding my career they’re very helpful.
SSM: So, we told some of our readers that we would be interviewing you and we just wanted to know if you had any words for your fans who are rooting for you.
Kayla Brianna: Oh, wow! I just wanna say thank you so much for the support and I definitely see and recognize each and every one of you and I’m just so thankful and glad you guys are here to enjoy the ride with me.
SSM: One last question, we have to find out, what makes Kayla Brianna MAJOR?
Kayla Brianna: I think my fashion, like I’ll always try and stand out wherever I’m going. Like if I’m going to the grocery store, if I’m going somewhere I want someone to be like, ‘who is that’. I think fashion is definitely a way of expressing yourself and making a statement.
We foresee MAJOR things for this shining star!