NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WJZ) —  A Black woman born and raised in Baltimore is using her voice to make a name for herself and people of color within a predominantly white industry.

Brittney Spencer grew up in and around Baltimore City.

She went to Loch Raven Middle School and the George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology for High School, but after that she moved to Nashville to pursue her dream of becoming a country artist.

Spencer spoke to WJZ over Facetime from her Nashville home on the heels of protests erupting nationwide following the death of George Floyd.

“I think we’re all journeying together, that’s what it feels like,” She said.

When Spencer first told her family she wanted to move to pursue a music career, her family urged her to go to Atlanta.

She said she had to really accept that her life in Nashville might be filled with challenges, because of her race.

“The challenge with pursuing in a predominately white industry, such as country music is that there’s very little representation of yourself and your life experiences,” Spencer said.

As a teenager, Spencer loved the Dixie Chicks and she loved singing gospel music. The two coupled together made her want more for her life and the dream to become a country star was born.

When she got to Nashville she said, “You feel like you’re fighting to exist not just fighting for a chance you’re fighting to exist in a space that doesn’t like to acknowledge the presence that doesn’t look sound behave or sound like itself.”

At times, she said, it was like living different lives.

“Which is the reality for many people of color they feel like they live in two America for me I feel like I live in two Nashvilles,” she said.

As protests continue around the country, Spencer tells us the lyrics of a song she plans to releases soon, called ‘Compassion.’

“One of the lines is ‘time and time again I faked my song just to belong you thought you had me figured out guess you were wrong damn right you’re wrong,’” she said, “It’s just like the lies we tell ourselves about who we think were supposed to be the lies people tell us the stereotypes they put on us or the labels they put on us.”

In an industry where Spencer said it is hard to be a woman, let alone a Black woman, she just wants to see the change she knows is possible.

“There is a time of reckoning that’s happening– now is the time the system is busting wide open and people are finding space to be able to tell their stories in a meaningful way where people can receive it hear it and want to participate on the right side of history,” she said.

Spencer has an EP coming out next month called ‘Compassion,’ and she wanted to thank her family who has supported her throughout her music career.

Rachael Cardin

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