A conversation with Braska about “I Can’t”

Q: Hi! Can you share the personal experiences or global events that inspired “I Can’t”, and how they shaped the song’s message of resilience against injustice?

A: Hello! This is Braska. First of all I wanna thank you for giving me the opportunity of telling my story. 

I Can’t is a manifesto of what I represent. I’ve grown up feeling like I was the different one or the outcast, so I’ve always felt that what happened to me was an injustice and lived my whole life fighting a condition that affected me at the age of 2. I had to struggle with this condition in the middle of my childhood and teenage years, having to deal with the fact that my life was different than the one the other kids were having. So when they started socializing and playing or hanging out I used to stay home working on myself or growing skills when I was in hospitalization. I learnt how to write and read before getting into Elementary school and I started speaking English at the age of 7. In those years I realized I wanted to sing and that music was something that allowed me to express my feelings in a very tough moment of my growth.

Q: Working with LoZar, your manager and the producer of “I Can’t,” seems to have been a fruitful collaboration. How does LoZar’s production style complement your artistic vision and message in this song?

A: What made our collaboration work, in the first place, was our mutual past as musicians. Back in the days he was the drummer of a rock band, so his background as musician/producer definitely matched my artistic identity. When I was a teenager I really tried to immerse myself in different musical genres, though tending to soul, r&b and hip-hop music. I had my first stage experiences singing by myself with my guitar, then in a rock band and a gospel choir, as well as many other acoustic gigs in my hometown. When I approached songwriting and rap the result was kinda rough, because I was looking for my own sound that meant to merge my soulful timber and the rap lyrics. That’s why my connection and collaboration with LoZar worked and keeps working. He learnt how my voice and skills work and knows the type of instrumentals that fit my voice and musical style. We first had had a past in pop/rock/soul music, then hip-hop came secondly for the both of us and I think having a more rounded knowledge of music helped us in the process of making music together. What we’re trying to do is giving the audience an overview of the many different genres and styles I can explore with my voice, still sticking to an r&b/soul sound and rap lyrics but at the same time never stopping to learn, experiment and improve my skills.

Q: “I Can’t” is described as an anthem for those who refuse to stay silent against injustice. What do you hope listeners take away from this message, and how should it influence their actions?

A: I’m trying to urge people to stick to their feelings and be true to themselves. Respecting our feelings, our rage and pain letting these feelings out doesn’t mean disrespecting others. “I Can’t” is also about helping each other and not turning our back. What I’m trying to say to everybody is to “keep it real”. I think we need this in a world full of hypocrisy and appearances. People usually fake feelings and thoughts and carry on lying to themselves and other people in their job or their relationships, while this is something very far from me.

Q: Your music, especially “I Can’t,” encourages listeners to embrace and share their truths boldly. How has your own journey of self-expression and dealing with expectations of conformity influenced the creation of this song?

A: I may be loved or hated for this, but I always speak the truth in people’s face instead of their back. In my life I’ve lost friends and lovers because of this attitude of mine but at the end of the day, I don’t feel sorry for telling the truth and I don’t regret losing who did not understand the real meaning behind my words or intentions. Also, I think many people feel like fighting or facing an argument is a torture, while dialog should be the basis to every kind of human relationship. “I Can’t” means I cannot be that shallow and quiet and urges people to feel the same as me. The instrumental beat is sending good vibes, communicating a chill sensation that feels in contrast with the lyrics I’m singing. I’m trying to break that silence but at the same time making people feel comfortable through the mood of the beat.

Q: What challenges have you faced in the music industry, and how have you overcome them?

A: In my independent music journey I’ve encountered challenges on a daily basis, ranging from the organization of my own concerts, release parties, music videos and studio sessions; issues with collecting societies, DSPs and other actors which I collaborated with; crafting the proper strategy and marketing or editorial plan behind every release improvising myself as the music marketing expert; finding economic resources thanks to other jobs in order to reinvest these money in music promotion and connected activities. With the sole help of my manager LoZar, I coordinated all of the aspects related to my career (from music to videos, photography, fashion, promotion and live shows). As a musician you should just think about making music, writing new songs and improving your skills, but when you’re experiencing an independent stage of your career you need to cover all of these aspects as if you were a label or an agency, taking time away from what’s supposed to be the core business of your entire work. Another huge challenge we need to face as independent artists is to be taken seriously as professionals. This is something that really annoys me about the music business, because in most cases event organizers and other music insiders are more likely to judge you basing on the figures you generate rather than the years of expertise you’ve gained and the investment you’ve made in your music. It feels like a limit to be considered just an emerging act, not gaining recognition and economic revenue from your work though you are a professional for several factors such as the sacrifices and commitment you’ve put into it, the quality of your product and performance, the years of study and expertise, the quality of your equipment, the investment in production, mixing and mastering engineers, camera operators, photographers and video-makers, etc. In other jobs, when you have completed your studies and passed qualifying exams you get to be effectively working in that field and earning money from the work you’ve invested in for years. The downside of making music is that you always feel in a condition of uncertainty about your present and your future, yet knowing that everything could change suddenly, in the blink of an eye. I’ve overcome all of this because of this burning passion for music inside of me and the injections of courage coming from my producer LoZar, my family, friends and people that believe in what I do. Anyway I think that all of these challenges are very useful to realize if music is really meant for you or if it’s just a hobby. Without passion it is very hard to face all of these challenges, to keep grinding everyday, constantly pushing your music, putting effort into it and making sacrifices for it.

Q: Previous singles like “Tu Mi Hai Visto Cosi” and “Questo Mare” have gained significant attention, even featuring on Italian television. How does “I Can’t” build on or differ from the themes and musical style of your earlier work?

A: Thank you for the shout out to my earlier work. As I previously mentioned in the conversation, I do not want to limit my creativity to just one genre or musical style, hindering my artistic growth. This is the reason why my producer and I always try to experiment new moods, genres and melodies, still sticking to my soul and identity. When I first released “I Can’t” on Instagram is was more of a freestyle, a 2 minutes long manifesto of a personal feeling I was experiencing. It was still Braska, but in a different language and in a different way. This mood was heartfelt and defined as “unique” by my fanbase who enjoyed it more than I expected. I realized that this song should be released officially and get a wider coverage. It was right in that period that we were getting in touch for the first time with Muse and Powher Sound who were glad to get on board and distribute our project in the USA. I wanted to reach more people with my message, cross barriers and the boundaries of Italy.

Q: What inspired you to pursue a career in music, and how did you get started on this journey?

A: Everything came naturally. I grew up feeling music as a part of me. I started singing at a very young age. At the age of 12 I started taking my first music lessons, which contributed to mentally process my chronic condition and heal my young soul. Music has been my way through, my lifesaver, my medicine, the reason why I woke up in the morning, my everything. Growing up I turned the meaning of it all into a big source of energy that helped me face daily challenges, yet not forgetting about that little girl with tons of dreams in her closet. I’ve always known that music would have become my job, my way and direction. I’ve always wanted to be a singer and it did not change through the years. My parents were the ones who believed in me since day zero helping me pursue this dream and financially supporting me until I got economically independent. They knew – just like I did – that music was something that could give me a way out from my illness, yet being afraid I could get disappointed they used to remind me to stay grounded and always be humble.

Q: In your view, what role does music play in society, and how can artists use their platform to effect change?

A: Music is a very powerful weapon, in my opinion, and I think its role is crucial for the whole society. Artists have the power to lead people to an edifying message or vision of the world. I think music should inspire people and give them hope. Music put a spell on me when I was very young and never let me go for one second. I wanna give back that feeling to the people that listen to me. Music has its own kind of magic and everybody should respect that, though the message conveyed is not the one you personally share. I firmly believe that every artist should be free to use their music or their art as a means of expression. Especially nowadays, it’s very easy, as a young listener, to feel overwhelmed by the huge variety of singers, rappers, artists and musicians coming across our displays. I believe that through our music we should help and inspire a generation that easily finds answers in music and artists rather than in politics, religion or other myths. We have a great responsibility when trying to represent something positive, however every musician should feel free to represent what they think, through thick and thin. In spite of the media that provide a standardized communication, it’s up to the artists to craft a groundbreaking message.

Q: What are your future goals, both personally and professionally, and how do you plan to achieve them?

A: My next goals are to develop my career internationally and grow my fanbase in Italy. More specific goals are to be involved in an international featuring and to find a video maker that follows me in every moment of the process, someone who really believes in the project and wants to truly collaborate with me.

My main goal is to make a living out of music, that’s the reason why I’m working two jobs to run my music career. I want a life made of music and nothing more, that’s my dream. However, a goal I wanna keep in mind during my whole lifetime, is to improve my skills and never losing that sense of hunger that kept me going in the making. I wanna stay hungry, hungry for knowledge. That’s the true meaning behind music and life itself. When you feel accomplished and fulfilled you start feeling satisfied about what you do and that’s when you stop learning and getting better. We should be wise enough to never stop learning, yet not losing confidence in what we’ve learned so far.