Growing up in Orange County, Brittany McDonald knew she had a passion for music before she could even talk. Taking inspiration from Gwen Stefani's confidence and stance on societal views of women, Brittany realized her true mission was to change the way people think through her songs.
Graduating from the University of Southern California with a degree in psychology, Brittany packed her bags and headed to Nashville, TN. Her first few songs gained a lot of attention from music industry big shots calling her music too opinionated and edgy to fit in with other country music produced by females. On that note, moving back to Southern California, Brittany poured her soul into her newest single Notice Me.
Notice Me grabbed the attention of Ariana Huffington, who personally gave Brittany her own blog on the Huffington Post. We sat down with Brittany to ask her questions as to what motivated her to write a song with such a powerful message, especially for the society we live in today.
S22: Did you write the song yourself?
BRITTANY MCDONALD: Yes! I did write the song myself, as well as with one other fabulously talented woman, Melissa Peirce. Notice Me is very near and dear to our hearts.
S22: In the future, what do you hope to accomplish through your music?
MCDONALD: For me it's really about relating to people, touching them, and hopefully empowering people to be the best version of themselves. As a creative person in general, I'm always hoping to create things that add something to the world, that attempt to make it better, rather than take away. I believe that everyone has a purpose, that everyone wants to leave some sort of legacy or message, and music is merely my vehicle to do so.
S22: What's the message behind the song?
MCDONALD: The hook of the song says, “But if I took off my clothes, maybe you would Notice Me,” and is actually a tongue-in-cheek way of saying look, I have brains, street smarts, am confident and secure and made a name for myself, but of course if I took off my clothes, that is when you would turn your head and finally notice that I exist.
I know a lot of people, not just women, want to be noticed, appreciated, and most importantly LOVED for who they are…but unfortunately, more often than not, it seems that artificial and materialistic aspects are what attract the most attention.
S22: In the video, clips from other well-known artists are featured throughout. Do you think those artists use their looks in a negative way?
MCDONALD: I used clips of other female artists to exemplify that this is not just a problem that a couple of women face or feel, rather it has been felt by everyone at one point in their life or another. It really wasn't meant to pinpoint anything about those artists in particular, but instead to capture the emotion of what it feels like to not be truly noticed for who you are, and the sadness that comes along with it.
S22: Besides music, what are your other passions?
MCDONALD: I am very much into anything that is an outlet for self expression; whether its fashion, design, makeup… virtually anything that I can take and add my own personal touch. I am a HUGE DIY person, so much that my room is like a permanent craft store. Lol.
Being a SoCal girl, I'm in love with everything summertime – the beach, flip flops, water sports… But on the flip, side I am an eternal geek. My bookcase is filled to the brim with everything from A Light In the Attic by Shel Silverstein to The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. I guess you could say that I'm a constant learner, relentlessly trying to get the most out of this beautiful life.
S22: Have you personally experienced getting something based solely on your looks? Have you been denied of something because of your looks?
MCDONALD: As far as getting or receiving something based on my looks, I'm not sure if I could pinpoint anything either way. I wrote Notice Me because of the personal challenges I have faced in the current music industry, especially being an independent female artist.
A lot of the entertainment industry is based solely on looks, and when you are creating art, writing songs, and wanting so desperately for your music to be heard, it is a tremendous challenge to get the industry to move past looks and to focus on what the content of your music/art is really saying. When you create something to speak, rather than to sit still and look pretty, in an industry that wants you to sit still and look pretty…you really are going against the grain.
S22: Do you believe successful women only get what they want based on their looks?
MCDONALD: When I wrote this song, it really didn't have much to do with women against other women, but rather women banding together and saying, “HEY! Look, there is so much more to me than what meets the eye!” Whether I feel skinny, overweight, pretty, or ugly, I want to be noticed for the best parts of me that go beyond the surface, where the real meaning lies.
I believe that successful women get what they want because they have found a way to be noticed for what they do and how well they do it. It is not my place to judge why a woman is successful, my intention with Notice Me was to capture the feeling of wanting to be noticed for who you are, and then having the confidence to throw away all the garbage that society subliminally tells you that you have to be, in order to get noticed.
S22: Do you think men can also experience a “notice me” situation or is it strictly women?
MCDONALD: I most definitely think that men can experience this feeling and do experience it, not just women. Most people have felt the sadness of being misunderstood, overlooked, unrecognized, and ultimately unloved for who they are. I think that is the most basic of all human wants, to be noticed, appreciated and loved, and is absolutely a universal emotion.
S22: When people finish watching your music video, what's one of the main things you want them to walk away with?
MCDONALD: When people either listen to the song or watch the video for Notice Me, the feeling I want them to have is that they are not alone. No matter who you are; how popular, famous, beautiful, and wonderful a person can be/seems, we are all equal, and we all go through hardships and deep feelings of sadness about ourselves and how the world treats us. It is so important to know that you are not alone, sometimes all people need is to feel understood, and that makes a world of difference.
S22: What do you think this video says of the world we live in today?
MCDONALD: I think Notice Me captures the challenges that women all over the world face today, but more than anything I believe the song/video challenges the world to create an environment, a society, that is better than what our current landscape is.
Notice Me stands up for and supports character rather than aesthetics, and hopefully it relates to people and lights a fire in them to break the stereotype that you have to be or look a certain way, in order to get what you want. All you ever need to be is yourself…just learn how to be the best version of yourself, because you are enough, you are good enough to accomplish anything you want.
For a free iTunes download of Notice Me, click here!