While most of her friends were still trying to master the different animal sounds in "Old MacDonald Had a Farm," Brianna Perry was standing on her tippy toes in a recording booth at Miami's famous Poe Boy Music Studio, doing what she does best: entertaining.
"I would rap about my little brother and being the flyest kid on the playground and making straight A's," Brianna recalls.
She was also earning the respect of some of Miami's most iconic hip-hop artists. Not bad for a 7-year-old. "I begged them and begged them and begged them, and at 7, they finally let me in." Brianna says. "They just saw it in my eyes."
She recorded her first song — a collaboration with legendary femcee Trina called "Kandi" — at age 10 under the name Lil' Brianna and befriended Missy Elliott shortly thereafter. Eleven years later, a lot has changed, but that fire in her eyes has never died.
These days, her name is mentioned alongside artists such as Nicki Minaj and Trina. Last year, she found herself competing against the two at the BET Awards in the Best Female Hip-Hop Artist category. It was Brianna's first time attending the awards. "Just to have my work compared to those women who were in the category was mind-boggling," she says.
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Her breakout single, "Marilyn Monroe," is millimeters away from joining the 1-million-hits club on YouTube, and her most recent mixtape, Symphony No. 9, features hip-hop juggernauts like Pusha T, Trey Songz, and T-Pain. Oh, and she's doing all of this while majoring in business at the University of Miami.
Despite the hectic schedule, she couldn't see herself anywhere else. "I love Miami. I've been all over the world, I've been to different countries, and there's just no place like Miami."
After recently signing with Atlantic Records, she sees nothing but progress ahead. "Brianna Perry is so ready for 2014. I have so many great things lined up, and I think the people who have been watching me are going to get what they've been waiting for."