Photo taken by Decoro Images.
On February 15, 2017, after an especially brutal day at her music conservatory, Brianna made the decision to drop out of school, move to North Carolina, and start life anew. In late 2018, she was gifted an electric cello and a loop pedal. This was the moment that Brianna finally found the expressive outlet she had spent her entire youth searching for. Brianna's personality traits that were seen as flaws in her classical career (namely her spontaneity) could now be used as strengths in her electric career.
Between 2019-2020, Brianna spent her time learning how to play the cello standing up, how to master the art of improvisatory live-looping, and how to behave in a non-classical performance. During this growth period, Brianna decided to briefly dabble in the professional classical music scene, securing the position as Principal Cellist of the Spartanburg Philharmonic, as well as Assistant Principal Cellist of the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra.
Towards the end of 2020, Brianna decided that she was ready to try her hand at growing and managing her own music career.
Her first task was to release her music to the world. In February of 2021, Brianna released her debut album, Growth, an emotional all-cello, loop-inspired album, featuring entirely original works. Creating the album marked a major milestone for Brianna as it required her to overcome her deeply-ingrained fear of composing, a fear that haunted her from her classical training.
Layer by layer, riveting solo electric cellist Brianna Tam uses her bare feet on her loop station in order to envelop captivated listeners in her epic symphonic experience. Her gift of building and illustrating worlds through sound is exhibited in her multi-faceted career as a composer, performer, and recording artist.
As a child, Brianna was drawn towards the piano, but unlike many Asian-American children, she was not granted with piano lessons. Her interest in music then remained dormant until she was eight-years old, when she accidentally missed her school's deadline to sign up for violin lessons, and got stuck on the cello instead.
Though her intuition and passion were both evident from the get-go, Brianna was pressured into following a traditional, classical cello career. She competed in concerto competitions, performed with world-class musicians, and briefly attended a highly competitive music conservatory.
However, what wasn't seen to the public eye was the hours Brianna would spend watching Apocalyptica's Metallica covers and writing cello arrangements of her favorite tunes. What was also hidden was Brianna's growing misery of competing in a field in which one's worth is measured by their ability to cover the 1800s' biggest hits.
Photo taken by Decoro Images.
Over time, Brianna has managed to blossom both her multi-faceted career as a performer, composer, and recording artist.
Her gift of building and illustrating worlds through sound has landed Brianna in the role of composer for the films The Tannery (post-prod), Healing Waters (2022), and Wild Fire (2023), as well as for the game, The Gold Crow (2022). Brianna’s epic and inspiring single, “Bioluminescence,” was recently awarded First Place for the 2022 International Songwriting Competition in the Instrumental Category. Brianna is a signed in-house composer for both Eternal Music Group and Artlist Original.
Brianna’s intimate, yet enthralling one-woman performances have garnered her a diverse array of shows and opportunities along the East Coast, including a mesmerizing TEDx Talk in North Carolina, an electrifying Metallica-cover concert in Florida, and an enchanting performance for a private event with Dr. Gary Chapman. She was recently selected as a Top Shelf performer for NPR’s 2023 Tiny Desk Contest. Brianna will be engaging in her first performance residency for the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum in October 2023.
The Big Picture
Brianna's goal is to build worlds through her music so that listeners can experience feelings and ideas that can't be explained through words alone. By evoking such feelings, Brianna hopes to encourage listeners to be vulnerable with themselves, and thereby promote a lifestyle of wholeheartedness and authenticity.