10 Questions with ... Briana Galluccio
October 4, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I was born and raised in Stoneham, MA, a nice little suburb of Boston. I attended Arlington Catholic HS and then got my degree in English from Boston College (Go Eagles!). Throughout college I interned in publishing, working in eBooks at EBSCO Information Services and at a magazine publishing house in Parma, Italy. During my senior year of college, I interned for Greater Media Country WKLB (Country 102.5)/Boston in the promotions department, and I loved it so much I ended up working for them until I was lucky enough to join the All Access Nashville team!
1. Briana, you're the newest member of the All Access family. Welcome! You came to us from Greater Media Country WKLB/Boston. Did you always know you wanted to work in music?
Thank you! If you asked me at the beginning of college if I thought I'd work in music, I probably would have laughed in your face. I actually wrote my college essay about how many times I changed my answer to that question you always get when you're a kid: "So, what do you want to be when you grow up?" Sixteen year old Briana would have answered, "a Supreme Court Justice," obviously. But it always came back to writing and storytelling, and in my head that meant I should go into publishing. I didn't love publishing as much as I thought, and I realized I was very passionate about Country music. That's when I decided to apply for an internship at WKLB/Boston, and since that first day there I've known I belong in music.
2. You grew up in the Boston area and attended Boston College, but visited Nashville several times before deciding to make the move. What is it about Nashville that drew you here, and has the reality lived up to your expectations so far?
The few times I visited Nashville, I felt this overwhelming sense of belonging. It was the same way I felt when I listened to Country music. I can't really describe it, but I just knew that I wanted to come back, and each time I visited I knew that if I didn't try to pursue a career in Nashville, I'd regret it. I've only been here about two weeks, but every second has been amazing. I've met really nice, welcoming people and have made some great friends in this short time, which has reinforced that feeling of belonging here. I love that music brings people together in Nashville in a way that I've never experienced before.
3. During the interview process, we were very impressed with your writing skills, and you've proven yourself to be a strong writer since coming on board. When did you first develop a love of writing, and how did you hone the craft?
I've loved writing since I was 13 years old. I used to be an avid reader, and instead of paying attention in class I'd write short stories or spin-offs of my favorite books. In high school, I began writing longer stories (one of them was like 250 pages). I loved creating worlds where exciting and sometimes impossible things happened. I took some great creative fiction and non-fiction writing classes at BC, and in my Business Writing class I got to apply writing with my passion, Country music. I owe it to my teachers and professors who challenged me to continue to grow as a writer.
4. You have one of those really legitimate degrees from a really legitimate school! How did you decide to go from majoring in English at BC to joining this crazy music industry of ours?
Ha-ha. My dad would probably tell you a degree in English isn't a real degree. When I was in high school, an amazing English teacher quoted Joseph Campbell, and told us that the way to live a happy life was to "follow your bliss." I've always held that advice close to my heart. I had one of those moments before my senior year of college where I thought, "I am a lost child of the universe." And then an amazing friend reminded me to follow my bliss, and that's how I ended up at WKLB/Boston. I loved it so much there and did what felt like a million informational interviews with people in Nashville in the music industry, and I knew this was the industry for me. I suppose it's not the traditional career path for a BC grad, but my favorite BC alumna Amy Poehler didn't do anything traditionally BC, either.
5. At WKLB/Boston, you worked heavily with the promotional side of the station. Who were your mentors, inside and outside of the station, and who really encouraged you to follow the path to Nashville?
My biggest mentor and role model is definitely Ginny Rogers (APD/MD at WKLB/Boston). As a 21/22 year old, not many people take you seriously when you say with what you think is conviction, "I want to work in Nashville in the music industry." Ginny always believed in me and took me seriously, which is one thing I really admire about her. If we (her young promotion staff) were willing to go after our dreams, she was always willing and happy to help. Not only that, but her career is so impressive that it's hard not to look up to her. Ginny didn't just tell me what it takes to be successful; she showed me. She and Mike Brophey were such a great pair to work for, and I can only hope to be as well-respected as they are.
6. Briana, you're a bit younger than the rest of the All Access Nashville staff -- and we really like that about you! What do you think radio and records staffs could learn from the younger generation of up-and-coming industry professionals? What do you hope to learn from those who have been in the business longer than you have been alive?
I think radio and records staffs first can learn that this younger generation of up-and-coming industry professionals should be taken seriously. One of the greatest things I learned at Boston College was not learned in the classroom. There was a common drive among the student body to reach its full potential. We were constantly being taught to, "set the world aflame," and I think that it might not be an idea exclusive to BC. I've met a lot of great, young people with fresh ideas and good heads on their shoulders, and I hope radio and records staffs keep their eyes open for the hard workers in this generation that is often labeled the lazy generation. That being said, I think the people in this industry do a great job of recognizing potential in young people.
When I left WKLB/Boston, I was given the advice to "become a sponge," and I hope to absorb as much as I can from everyone I meet. I am so incredibly lucky to be surrounded by people who have been in the business longer than I've been alive. I'm 22, and I've learned everything in my entire life so far in just these 22 years, and some people have spent those 22 years in this business. There is SO much I can learn!
7. Speaking of being young, you have a bright future ahead of you, having just completed college and making your first in-roads in the industry. What does your 10-year career path look like, in your mind?
First, I want to spend time at All Access. I love writing and I love learning, so this is the perfect place for me to do both of those things. I suppose once I learn more and have more experience, I'll better be able to determine my 10-year path. In my mind currently, I next want to work for a label, somewhere on the promotions and marketing side of things. I loved radio, but I am so fascinated by the label side of the business. I would love the opportunity to be at one of these amazing labels here in Nashville. I'm not sure where in my 5, 10 or 15 year plan this falls, but at some point in my career, I would love to be a part of Country music giving back to the community in any way that I can.
8. When working at WKLB, you probably saw a lot of artists come through. Was there an artist or group that came by that really caught your attention? Which young artists are you most excited to see grow their career in the coming years?
Yes, a lot of people definitely caught my attention, but in particular I really was impressed with Maddie and Tae. They were so down to earth and so real, and I love how they have such vibrant personalities. I'm pretty much excited to see everybody grow in their careers ( I think that's why this is the perfect industry for me), but in particular, I'm most excited to see the growth of Thomas Rhett, Kelsea Ballerini and Brett Eldredge. They're all so uniquely themselves and are pushing the boundaries of the format, and I respect that and I'm excited to see their journeys.
9. You've seen a lot of concerts over the years. Who are some artists that are on your bucket list to see that you haven't yet?
Technically, I've seen her perform maybe three songs, but I would most like to see Carrie Underwood. I worked at CMA Fest this year and I ran down to the pit on my break to go see Carrie perform, but I don't think that actually counts. Carrie Underwood has been one of my favorite artists since day one, and her music pretty much got me through high school and college. I really look up to her as a person and an artist, and I think she's number one on my bucket list. I think I've been lucky enough to see all of my other absolute favorite artists at least once.
10. You've been in Nashville just shy of a month now. What stereotypical Nashville things have you done so far, and what is still left on your list of places to go and things to do that are "just so very Nashville?"
I don't think I'm doing a great job of checking off my "Just So Very Nashville" Bucket list. Before moving here, I was only ever in town for a couple of days, so I haven't really explored Nashville in depth yet. And when I worked CMA Fest, I didn't really want to explore because it was so crazy busy and packed everywhere. I guess being at CMA Fest counts as something "very Nashville," right? I've done tours at the Ryman and Country Music Hall of Fame Museum. I still have to go to the Opry (I know, I can't believe I haven't done that). I did get to go behind the bar at Tootsies and go onto the roof (the actual roof, not the roof patio) so that was a cool experience. The city looked so beautiful from up there.
1. You have stated that you are "very Italian." Your mother and father are both full-blooded Italian, and you even studied abroad for a time. So, take your favorite Country music lyric and translate it to Italian for us -- then tell us what it is, of course, because none of us here speak Italian.
Yes, my second home and one of my absolute favorite places is San Donato, and I was also lucky enough to study abroad in Parma. Okay, here goes: "Continuare a sognare anche se spezza il cuore." Translation: "Keep on dreaming even if it breaks your heart." From Eli Young Band's song, "Even If It Breaks Your Heart." Thank you Eric Paslay and Will Hoge for those awesome lyrics.
2. You're very new to town and have been meeting a lot of people lately. If you were to have to introduce yourself to someone new in the industry using five fun facts about yourself and your background, what five fun facts would you share?
In no particular order: My favorite pastime/guilty pleasure is binge watching re-runs of Law and Order: SVU; I've been stuck in an elevator twice; I was fluent in Italian when I was three years old (and proceeded to lose all Italian speaking abilities after I started kindergarten and stopped staying at Nonna's house); I was a Girl Scout for 12 years (very embarrassing but a fun-fact people seem to love); and I was a huge Latin nerd in high school, so much so that I almost decided to major in Classics.