Interview By Stacy Baker Masand
Stacy: Do you have a specific diet or nutritional program you follow on or off tour? Can you briefly name it?
Brandy: No not at all. I tend to listen to my body and indulge in whatever it’s craving, believing that it knows what it’s doing. However, as a vocalist I believe strongly that whether you have acid reflux or not, it’s very unwise to eat or drink before bedtime especially if you’re sleeping on a tour bus. I also personally abstain from eating 2 to 3 hours before I sing, making sure to leave plenty of room for my diaphragm to expand and not putting any strain on the muscles surrounding my vocal chords.
Stacy: Do you have any kind of exercise regime that you employ while on tour? Do you have one that you employ while you’re off tour? Is it different?
Brandy: On and off tour, when I exercise I focus almost all of my attention on core exercises, strengthening my abdomen because I believe it supports good vocal health and less reliance on my throat.
Stacy: Do you use any alternative health modalities wither on of off tour?
Brandy: No, not really but I use a lot of sea salt rinses and take a lot of vitamins to keep me from getting colds on the road.
Stacy: Is there a specific health condition you have that you have employed natural remedies for?
Brandy: In the past I’ve suffered from insomnia on the road and like most touring people, musicians, crew etc. I have relied heavily on sleep aids, natural and prescription. I find that this can be so much more productively addressed with exercise a good mental attitude and not too much food before bed. That’s not to say that will work for everyone but as someone who took xanax or ambien and experimented with natural remedies such as melatonin; I’ve found a way to not need sleep aids on the road. I should say as a disclaimer that sleep is imperative to vocal health and more important than not using sleep aids.
Stacy: How long have you been a touring artist? What age to you expect to stop touring? Do you generally tour via bus, plane, auto or some other mode of transportation? Are you performances physically demanding?
Brandy: I’ve been a touring artist for 8 yeas and I stared out in a van. I’m an extremely aerobic singer and tend to perform between 1 and 2 hours every night. I used to say yes to everything that was asked of me i.e. radio, TV phone interviews, and meet & greets etc. but quickly developed vocal polyps. Now however, I’ve re-evaluated and limited the most performances I would do in a row to 5. I also got on a tour bus and started slowly developing small lifestyle changes that have become a really solid way for me to be a reliable and happy performer. Barring the inevitable cold/flu I can count on my voice 100% of the time.
Stacy: Does your tour promote any green or environmentally conscious practices?
Brandy: Absolutely, if you look close on stage you won’t see water bottles as we all drink from canteens. In conjunction with Reverb (an environmentally sustainable tour group) we mandate recyclable materials and we invest in green grants to help smaller bands plan environmentally sustainable tours. We also participate in Reverb’s Farm To Stage Program where whenever possible, all our in house food and catering is provided by local farms.