SILK LAUNDRY top; talent’s own jeans; CARTIER necklace and bracelets.
For 21-year-old singer songwriter Brika, music is more than just a hobby – it’s an integral part of her personality. Cathartic, like a personal form of therapy. “There was never a point in my life that I wasn’t singing,” she says.
“I can remember being musical before I could write.”
Born and raised in Miami, Florida, she’s found her style in an all-encompassing incarnation of Latin American-infused R’n’B: “I’m Cuban-American … so the Latin and multi-national cultures here have definitely had a strong influence on my music.”
From a young age, Brika (real name Briana Alexa Martinez) remembers stealing her mum’s tape recorder, singing melodies and drawing pictures instead of lyrics. When she decided to pursue music full-time, the name Briana didn’t resonate with her sound. “Brika felt just right,” she says. “It means ‘lighter’, which is perfect because my family has always said I’m ‘candela’ – an affectionate way of saying that I’m a ‘little fire of trouble’.”
“Music is my therapy and my most intimate form of self-expression.”
“I finally understood what it meant when [an] artist would say ‘they connected with the crowd’.”
Brika’s first album, Voice Memos, was made in collaboration with Grammy Award-winning producer Julio Reyes Copello and released in late 2014 to high acclaim. She’s been busy writing singles since, including the recently released You: “I want to continue to take risks and push myself musically to put out new and different music that I’m proud of and that fans connect with,” she says. “Recently I’ve been discovering new music so I’m very inspired.”
“When my music resonates with others, that’s when it’s really special.”
PHOTOGRAPHY Max Papendieck @ ABTP
FASHION Billie Iveson
HAIR Anthony Joseph @ ArtMix Creative
MAKEUP Joanna Simkin @ The Wall Group
PHOTOGRAPHER’S ASSISTANT Hose Cedeno