BRYE RELEASES ‘DIET CULTURE’ TO RAISE HER VOICE ON BODY POSITIVITY
Incredible as it may seem, global society continues to fight against beauty standards that are almost impossible to meet and that generally affect women much more, although not exclusively. This is one of the reasons why more and more artists join the voices seeking a change of perspective and a way into self-love and acceptance.
This is precisely the path followed by “Diet Culture” by the Chicago native artist Brye, who started writing songs at twelve years old and dove headfirst into learning music production at fourteen.
Throughout high school she obsessively honed in her songwriting and production style, taking major inspiration from artists like DODIE, Tessa Violet, and Oh Wonder. With the experience acquired in the last year, Brye’s music has managed to become a great mix of timely lyrics, great music, and a wonderful voice that still has a lot to offer.
In just three years Brye has amassed over seventy million streams on Spotify alone and gained 300,000 social media followers combined.
Brye, how are you? Can you tell us a bit about your musical journey? When did it start? How has it been so far?
I’m doing so well, thank you so much for asking! My musical journey began super young, I was two years old when I began singing along to the radio in the car. I started playing the guitar at 10 and started actually writing my own songs at 11. My mom’s side of the family is classically trained, and my dad is a huge pop music lover so I kinda got the best of both worlds haha. Songwriting has been my biggest coping mechanism ever since. When the world doesn’t make sense, music does.
What kind of themes inspires you to write?
Whatever is happening in my life is what I tend to write about. Themes of trauma, friendship, love, mental health, family, basically anything that I need to verbally process, inspire me. I frequently bring whatever song I’m writing to my therapist and we’ll talk about the lyrics in session. Songwriting is my biggest coping mechanism and it probably shows.
Let´s talk about ‘Diet Culture’. It is -in my opinion- an emotionally-raw song, but really on point and straight to it. What did you see around you that led you to write this song?
Diet culture was a funny one to write about. I had had quite a few runs in’s with various people that week, all of which who had different struggles with food and body. I kept noticing how it would seep into every conversation.
I worked at a grocery store that summer and the guilt people felt for buying themselves an ice cream or a frozen pizza would constantly be brought up. I’d be at a friend’s house for dinner and somehow weight and carbs would always come up in conversation. I’m usually pretty good at having selective hearing when it comes to that stuff, but this week was a particularly hard one, and I was so angry, so I wrote down every single example that came up and I turned it into this song
Obviously, years of therapy and recovery gave me the language to actually articulate what I wanted to in Diet Culture, but that particular week was the biggest inspiration for me.
Why do you think that today it is so common to hate our bodies, why do you think it is so hard to accept and love us as we are?
The diet and weight loss industry is currently valued at 200 billion dollars, and it’s projected to reach 300 billion four years from now. There are entire jobs, marketing campaigns, food companies, clothing lines, etc dedicated to making us hate ourselves.
We are profitable so long as we think we need fixing. Self-hatred, fatphobia, and eating disorders are systematic issues at the core. It’s no wonder we’re all so caught up in it. it can feel overwhelming to know how many factors are working against recovery, but it’s important to remember that is possible.
It is curious that social media or the content that they show can be part of the problem, and at the same time a great tool to invite people to personal acceptance, don’t you think?
It feels so contradictory right? There are entire communities online dedicated to bullying plus-sized people, there is so much muck all over the internet, and yet the body positivity/neutrality movement (which was kickstarted almost exclusively on social media) has completely taken over so many people’s feeds, and saved so many lives. It’s even affected major brands like Target and American eagle, and it’s given so many fat women modelling careers. this new visibility is so tangible and I love it so much.
Do you think that music can serve to inspire others in these situations?
Absolutely. Music therapy and art therapy are successful for a reason. Even the simple act of feeling seen in a song’s lyrics can give people the motivation to keep getting better. I know personally music is the backbone of my mental health.
Have you in particular had a situation where you felt a lack of self-love at any stage of your life?
I’ve been in eating disorder recovery for 5 years now, and I’m only 19. I think teenage girls in particular are at incredible risk, if I had had Diet Culture at 14 maybe it could have helped me, and I really hope it helps others now.
There are many artists within the industry who have raised these flags of self-esteem, respect, appreciation, etc. Is there anyone within the entertainment industry that you appreciate for speaking up and normalizing these issues?
It feels so predictable, but finding Lizzo’s music when I was 16 was a huge deal for me. To see a visibly fat woman making it in this industry with so much pride and talent was incredible.
What personal mantra do you repeat to continue with your mind focused on the good?
There’s an Olivia Barton song called “good sign” that I am constantly singing to myself throughout hard moments. The end of the song has this string of affirmations that make me sob:
“When everything falls apart, I will trust it.
What if all this is a good sign?
And when I let go, it makes space to try?”
What are your professional plans in the medium/long term?
So. Much. Music. I have so many songs ready to see the world, and I have so much to say I’m so excited about all of the people I’m going to get to meet along the way. I want to do this for the rest of my life, this path has been extraordinary so far.