Brittany Flickinger is perhaps best known for winning the MTV reality show Paris Hilton’s My New BFF. However, Brittany sees BFF (which she refers to as the “joke show”) as more of a detour than a claim to fame. Working as a model and musician since she was eighteen, Brittany signed up to be considered for the show on a lark. She hadn’t expected to be chosen, let alone to win it all.
Now her focus has returned to music as she prepares her debut album. Brittany spoke with Falling Rock about her careers, her unexpected trajectory into the national spotlight, and of course the pressing issue of singing while drumming.
Falling Rock: You went from winning a reality show to starting a music career. Did you think you should have just done American Idol instead?
Brittany Flickinger: After the way I was treated…if I HAD to pick one of the two shows, I’d go with American Idol. I mean, both shows are great, but the reality contest crap is just not for me, and it kinda went further than I expected. But I’ve been in the entertainment industry far longer than [when] I got tangled up in that TV show, and I hope my status isn’t damaged from doing it. It’s really hard to get taken seriously doing something substantial like music after you’re seen doing something ridiculous.
Yeah, I noticed that on the show, it always seemed like that game from Sesame Street: “which one of these things is not like the others?”
You have mentioned that you signed up almost as a joke. On the other hand, has the profile you achieved from the show been somewhat helpful now that you’re putting an album together?
The only thing at this point that it helped was to push me to move to L.A. I met all my contacts now on my own and made them see who I actually am, which is why they’re stoked to work with me. Being a “washed up reality star” doesn’t exactly give you good cred. Ha.
Is it necessary to be in Los Angeles to be a musician, or to at least start your career? Do you plan on staying there for the foreseeable future?
Eh, it’s not completely necessary to be in L.A. to do music, but it’s where I feel like I personally need to be for what i want to do. It’s also convenient for easy access to connections. There are so many different things I want to do besides music. TV, movies, art, clothing design, etc.
I’m interested that you mentioned clothing design as an interest. You used to be a fashion model, right? Is that something you’re still doing?
Yes, I used to be a model. I don’t really model anymore. The fashion industry is one of my passions and I want it to be part of my life. I can still model, but I don’t. Kind of busy with music, you know?
About your album: you seem to be experimenting with a range of styles in the singles you’ve put on your website so far. Is there an overall vibe you’re going for? Do you think it will be a collection of singles or will there be a through line?
I’m hoping for a collection of singles. I love music so much that I can’t really pick ONE solid style. I want to roll a bunch together and then branch off into different styles – appropriately – if that makes sense. Haha.
I don’t want to categorize myself beyond “artist.” As long as it’s marketable, I’m happy.
I think the result is better if the artist is experimenting. What are some of your influences (musical or otherwise) for this album?
Ugh. Such a long list. It’s more individual songs and elements from them that inspire me.
More Amor – Ob Forever
Lights – Drive My Soul
3 oh! 3 – She’s Still Around
3 oh! 3 – Holler Til You Pass Out
The Maine – Everything I ask For
Forever the Sickest Kids – Believe Me I’m Lying
Jason Mraz – I’m Yours
Imogen Heap – Hide and Seek
T.I. – Live Your Life
The Recieving End of Sirens – Planning a Prison Break
50 Cent (his beats)
Thrice Red Sky
Muse (everything about them)
T-Pain’s vocal fx
Lil’ Wayne – Amilionaire (and all his new sick stuff)
Flo-rida – Swing
And feelings too: love, anger, heartache, good weather, bad weather. Driving in the car with the windows down. Art shows. Good paintings. Runway shows. Memories, friends. Things that happen in real life that you only think happen in movies. Anything in entertainment or nature or…life…really…
Besides your voice, do you play any instruments? Are there any you’d like to learn?
I dabble with guitar bass and keys. And I can drum, but only with my hands – haha. To explain beats I want or acoustic sessions.
I can’t for the life of me sing while I do any of that stuff though. Horrible. Horrrrible. Haha.
How about recording versus performing live? Do you prefer one over the other? What does a Brittany Show look like, for those who haven’t seen one?
I don’t perform my new stuff yet, BUT it’s gonna be insane. I’m also gonna be dj-ing. It will be full of energy and lights and craziness. Hip hop mixed with metal stage presence. Nuts.
I love performing. Tracking and writing is fun too, but performing is just…unexplainable.
Well Brittany, that’s the last of my questions. Thank you! It’s been wonderful talking (or, typing).