Brianna Hall is the founder and director of Eliana, who came to my attention as they jested with a future Gold Logie winner. Perfect feature guest to have as someone in life chattin’ music and more.
Hall gave (recorded mid-2018) an open conversation about themselves, the music in their life and little on their time sharing the small screen with Grant Denyer (then Family Feud).
As release this episode it’s close to 21 years to day that Constitutional Convention happened – from the archives the late Mr Bruce Ruxton (from 9th February 1998).
To listen, click the green ‘play’ triangle… [note: may take few seconds to load]
(Transcript of the Brianna Hall chat below, check to delivery in audio)
SHOW NOTES: Brianna Hall episode
Where to find the show to subscribe/follow:
….and many more. Search “radionotes Podcast” in your favourite podcatcher.
IMAGE: Hand-drawn by host, as a book-mark until official image may arrive to use (clearly NOT an artist)
Both guests on this episode shared views that are – in parts – very opposite to my own personal ones, which is important in a society/community. Equally so is to respected that they hold these views as part of who they are. It can be way too easy to shout-back, critique harshly and the like… Be assured across coming episodes views directly opposite to theirs will be shared. Note my role in these conversations is not to debate – for example, I believe no one should climb Uluru for spiritual reasons and that also Aboriginal communities should be acknowledged in Constitution though not everyone shares my views (and I respect that). To debate takes away from them explaining what they actually think, freely.
Oh, as not sure what promotion Channel 10 is doing…. and I really want to support Denyer (& Keller)…. Dancing With The Starts starts Monday 18th February 2019 at 7:30pm, who’s on it TV Blackbox has that.
In The Box:
- Mantell – Can I Set It Right (Bandcamp)
- Dave Orr Band – As Soon as I Know (Spotify)
- Casey Barnes – Better Days (Offical Music Video)
- Biffy Clyro – Modern Love (links to audio release)
- Goo Monday – Start a Fire (Offical Music Clip) Post-Punk article
- Plum Green – Sound Recordings (album – Bandcamp) Cannibal (Official Music Clip)
- Stickers – Office Spaced (Bandcamp)
- PKEW PKEW PKEW – Optimal Lifestyles (Bandcamp)
Biggest thing for me, is making people happy and making people find the joy. It’s about an experience.
FEATURE GUEST: Brianna ‘Brie’ Hall of ELIANA
- Eliana (Official website)
- Briggs in conversation with Henry Rollins
- Music of Netball – Australian Diamonds playlist
- Tori Kelly – Don’t Worry ‘Bout A Thing (Official Music Video)
- Grant Deyner – Gold Logie Win (Channel 9)
- Genyer – Hard Chat (The Weekly) #Denyer4Gold
- Uluru (National Parks)
- Laura Story – Perfect Peace (Lyrics Video)
- DJ Otzi – Hey Baby (Music Video)
- Candles and music for (Prince) Harry at Norway camp (News)
- 5 Tips to How to Burn Candles (Eliana)
- Ed Sheeran + Missy Higgins (YouTube, Bootleg) – Brisbane not Melbourne
- Missy Higgins – Futon Couch (Official Music Video) …year ol’ in a few weeks.
- Ed Sheehan – Small Bump (Official Music Video)
- Miley Cyrus – Malibu (Offical Music Video)
- Lauren Daigle – You Say (Offical Music Video)
- On Diamond – Poison Blood (Spotify)
- The Beasts – Still here LP (Facebook link) are tour Nationally in support of release
- Hannah Cameron – I Lay Where You Lie (Bandcamp)
- The Beasts – On My Back (Official Music Video)
- Chelsea Wilson – Breaking Down (Official Site)
- Kate Ceberano – See Right Through (Official Music Clip)
- Ceberano’s request for covers – as InstaStories (Instagram)
- ARIA Singles – Week starting 18th February (PDF)
- Kate Miller Heidke – Zero Gravity (Eurovision clip)
- Arvil Lavinge feat. Nicki Minaj – Dumb Blonde (Lyric Video)
- Meow Meow + Thomas Lauderdale – Hotel Amour (Broadway World – News)
- Rufus Wainwright
From the archives: Mr Bruce Ruxton
- Bruce Ruxton (Wiki) ABC News 2011
- 1998 Constitutional Convention (February 2 – 13, 1998)
- Malcolm Turnbull (Hardie Grant page)
Theatre – worth seeing from where I sit:
[Radio Production – notes: Feature chat BRIANNA HALL In Q: 05’03” (Sting) Brianna Hall… Out Q: 42’00 North of Australia (Sting) – Track selection, your pick… though why not go, Tori Kelly or Lauren Daigle]
Theme/Music: Martin Kennedy and All India Radio
Web-design/tech: Steve Davis
Voice: Tammy Weller
You can make direct contact with the podcast – on the Contact Page
(for direct quotes check to audio, first version of transcript by Natalie F at REV)
Tammy Weller [Introduction]:
Brianna Hall went on National TV with her family and jested with Grant Denyer.
Punched out some short jibes, which Denyer responded to… as good was given.
Telling the Shepparton News “It was fun” the appearance on Family Feud…. to then appear also the following week on The Project…. which all made for front page News.
But, who is Brianna?
A founder of their own company – Eliana… and with a vision, drive to learn and eye to their future.
John was to record a chat as part of radionotes’ Melbourne tour, but work called for Brie – as she likes to be known – so here they are joined over the line… to share a wide ranging and unscripted chat.
John Murch: Brie welcome to radionotes.
Brie Hall: Thanks. Thanks for having me.
John Murch: You join us from the Shepparton area of Australia, and we want to talk music, so let’s get it out of the way. Do you know Briggs?
Brie Hall: No. Should I?
John Murch: Briggs of course, is one of the great exports from that region when it comes to music. Won an award last night as well. So if you don’t know Briggs, who do you know in the music scene? What kind of music are you listening to in Shepparton?
Brie Hall: That’s a hard question, because I listen to everything and anything. I don’t have a particular style that I like. Got no particular favourite band that I like either.
John Murch: Let’s get a bit of a profile feel of your background, and what music may have first influenced you. Because, of course I do know you’ve been doing music as a music teacher until the end of 2017 for grades four to twelve.
Brie Hall: I think it all started from my mother. She basically told me when I was seven years old, “You are learning the piano. And I’m going to teach you, and you’re going to learn it, regardless of whether you like it or not.” So I actually didn’t have a choice. And then it got to the point where Mom was like, “I can’t teach you anymore because we’re having too many arguments,” so I got a teacher. And I did that for a few years, and to be honest, I really hated it, and I begged her, I was like, “Please let me stop playing the piano. I hate it. It’s so boring.” But then it was funny, as I got older, when I was probably 18, I actually started to love it, I think because my maturity and my development, I started to enjoy listening to music. And because I was so skilled in it then, I also had a great appreciation for a different works, like even more production type stuff. I was very intrigued by all of it.
John Murch: Can you talk to us about the conversation you had with your mother about music. Obviously it wasn’t hatred all the time. I’m sure there was a bit of connection about what you were learning at the time.
Brie Hall: I think because she’s musical as well, there was that family thing of being able to do it together. And that’s also what would’ve driven my love of it, because I eventually taught myself to play more chords and things so that I could actually sing to it, because I’m a vocalist as well, and I also taught singing. So being able to play the piano and then actually sing together and then put her in doing harmonies and my other sisters can sing as well. So we had three, four part harmonies going there for a while. That’s the kind of influence and the things that I loved about doing music with my mum, because we could do it together. It was a thing that we enjoyed doing together.
John Murch: Was there a pulling out of the records or was by note, by teaching.
Brie Hall: She shared some of her books that her teacher used to go through with her. And apparently her teacher was more ruthless than my teachers. Apart from that, no, we just gotten a beginner book and she just taking me through it. And I just did whatever she asked me to do.
John Murch: So that’s a music teacher. Now teaching was going to be the career for you.
Brie Hall: I thought it was there for a while, because I really started enjoying music. It was easy. I enjoy communicating and teaching children. And at that time, I also thought about being a schoolteacher. So I was like, “Well, I can do music as well and just teach music, because I love teaching the kids. I love teaching music. Let’s do it and put it together.”
John Murch: What happened? Was it the realisation that kids are kids?
Brie Hall: Pretty much. I went to university, and I started in education at Bendigo. I did one year. I got into placement, and I went, seriously, is this all that teachers do? These kids don’t even want to learn. Why do I want to get in and teach them from nine to three o’clock and then stay afterwards and do all this boring paperwork. I was like, “I can’t do this. Those kids are too bratty. I want to teach kids who want to learn.” Which in reality, are there any kids that actually exist who want to learn? Or if they are, they’re probably pretty far and few between.
John Murch: Did you reflect on your own childhood and the kind of child you were at that stage?
Brie Hall: Probably a little bit, because I’ve always been fairly studious. So most of the time I loved going to school and learning. I was never a troublemaker. And the school that I went to, the kids were quite challenging. A lot of them came from really hard backgrounds. So there wasn’t the ability for them to actually sit there and listen well. So they were always going to be hard to teach anyway. But no definitely, I think reflecting on my own, I thought, “Oh, it’ll be easy. Kids are all like me.” But in reality they’re not.
John Murch: What do you see the involvement of children in music, and what they need to get from music?
Brie Hall: It’s funny actually. I’ve been thinking about this for the last little while. Music for me is a huge outlet, a huge outlet, I think because I’m a creative person as well, that starting at a young age I began writing songs like in grade six. Maybe I’d had a really tough day at school, and you know, it was probably the most ridiculous song ever, but that didn’t matter, because it was actually a way for me to let go of some of my frustrations and just vent, I suppose, of things and be able to deal through it and work through my emotions. Because growing up and learning who you are is a very hard process.
Brie Hall: Really found that music was an avenue that I can release all of that. And I think kids these days, especially like even thinking about my brother, most of the time he’s just spending on computer games and different technology and apps and all that kind of stuff. But less and less kids are getting outside and just living in the moment. They’re so caught up in exciting entertainment that I don’t think they’re really looking after their mental wellbeing so much so, because they’re not doing these kind of things. So music for me was huge influence in terms of, I suppose, finding out what I am, and just being able to be exactly who I am.
John Murch: Where were you finding music? You say you had a wide taste of music.
Brie Hall: From a range of sources. Like obviously, radio is a huge thing for me. I would just be on my way home from work, or when I was sitting on the bus on the way home from school, I just could listen, “Oh, I really like that one.” And go home and look up the lyrics that I’d seen, and ooh, download that one because that one’s good. It’s also just from different events and things. Like I’ve got some friends who are musicians, and they go out and perform gigs and things in restaurants and stuff. So I’d go out to that and listen to them. I even go to our church, without we’ve got lots of music there that I like to listen to and that we sort of bounce off ideas and even bigger churches, we listen to their genre stuff. Like I said, it comes from nearly anywhere. Like walking down the street, in a supermarket you hear a song, “Ooh, I like that one.” It’s really anywhere.
John Murch: Now your father is the pastor of that church?
Brie Hall: Yes. Yeah, he started the church about seven years ago. So we moved from our previous church who released us to go out and plant a new one, and we’ve been doing that for about seven years. So I’m one of the worship leaders there. So I’m on the team every second week doing music and running my own lists and picking what I like. So yeah, it’s good.
John Murch: We’ll move on from religion very soon, unless you want to stay there, but I want to ask, in terms of music, in terms of the communication of what you’re trying to share, the storytelling element of it, is that a strong element of why music’s so important within that environment?
Brie Hall: Absolutely. In all music, that’s what it is. You’ve actually hit the nail on the head. This is what I tried to communicate to my kids all the time. Music is an art. It’s actually an art of storytelling. I would often get my kids to sit, because I had a lot of kids who were doing exam pieces, and I had many of them who would play very robotically. It was like they were reading a book and going, the-cat-fell-over. It was just so boring. I said, “You’ve got to think about this piece, for instance the Nutcracker. What is it about? What is going on? There’s a dance going on. You’ve got to talk that emotion, that flow. You’ve got to tell the story within the song. Because if you’re not, it’s boring, and there’s nothing in there and nobody wants to listen to that.” Definitely storytelling is a huge part of music, and displaying that through the way that you play and the way that you sing.
John Murch: Not saying your church is part of, I don’t know much about churches, but Hillsong, for example, regularly are charting the charts. They’re getting number one. People can dismiss that as being some marketing or something else, but the fact is, the music itself is doing some sort of connection, and that’s …
Brie Hall: Yeah. Absolutely. And a lot of their music I find incredible. I’ve had some very low moments in my life, and a couple years ago I was at a very, very difficult spot, and I was able to just listen to those songs. And it was amazing how much it stirs your soul and just calms and brings peace, and that’s what music can do. And that’s what Christ can do. So definitely.
John Murch: As a leader of a musical group, you seeing some sparks.
Brie Hall: Absolutely. I mean, I have some people in particular that … It’s funny how some people you connect with easier than others. And I’ve had particularly one who’s become a really good friend now. And we’re able to just … She picks up a guitar. I pick up piano. “Hey, let’s pick up this song. Let’s go.” And suddenly we’re just starting to sing harmonies together and it’s just all working. We don’t even have to communicate. It’s just like we know, and I haven’t even known her for that long, but it’s just this connection, and I don’t know how it works, but it’s incredible. When we start playing together, it just sounds amazing. I mean, it helps that she’s super talented as well. So yeah, definitely.
John Murch: Speaking to the founder and director of Eliana, talk about that a little bit later. We’re talking about music right now, particularly that of the connection, the religious, maybe gospel, maybe not so much, but I want to continue on that line in terms of the songwriting that you were doing at a younger age. Are you still songwriting now, and is it in the form of this kind of music, or is it something a little bit different?
Brie Hall: I haven’t done as much songwriting as probably I would have liked to have done. I actually did VCE music performance in year 11 and 12, and I hated it. I had a very … He was a very talented teacher, but he was very, very hard, and he was expecting like four to five hours of practice a night. I probably love my sport a bit too much, and so I couldn’t dedicate the time that I wanted to in music. So it almost killed my love of piano and music, which was really hard. It’s probably only in the last 12 months that I’ve actually come back and played for fun. That really hasn’t happened because I had worked some hard. I was over … I didn’t want to touch a piano ever again. But songwriting, I definitely want to start doing again, but like I said earlier, that for me is an outlet. That is for me, a way to express myself.
John Murch: You mentioned sport. I want to talk about sport, even though it’s not related to music, not related to your company either. Because I know it’s such a passion for you.
Brie Hall: Oh yeah. Oh my gosh. I love sport. I could talk all day about this. I play netball myself. I have played tennis. I’d love to give AFL a crack one day. I made my dad teach me how to actually kick a football properly so that I don’t get called a girl kicker.
John Murch: How is he at sport? He had a bit of a back issue back in 2004. How is he now?
Brie Hall: Yeah, he’s really, really good actually. He got onto this lady in Sydney called Sarah Keys. She apparently was like physio for the royal family at some stage. And she got him onto a series of exercise and things that was able to get him to get back into a position to be able to walk and actually do things. Because it got so bad he couldn’t even pick up my newborn brother who was six kilos. He couldn’t even pick him up, which is ridiculous. No one can live a life like that.
John Murch: So talk about this chance that you might be in the AFLW in the near future.
Brie Hall: Oh, I don’t think I’ll be making that any time soon. I’m far too short. I just love sport in general. I think it’s a team thing. It’s something you can do with others. I mean, we spoke about my sisters. So we played all together last year, all on the same team and all on separate parts of the court. One was a defender. I was mid court. The other one was a shooter. And it’s funny as well playing with your sisters, because I think you’re so connected. I would always just throw balls, knowing exactly where they were going to be. I could do it almost with my eyes closed. There was just this telepathic connection or something. And I just loved it. You know we drove up together to away games, and just spent time together and bonded with that as sisters and the team, and just it was a lot of fun.
John Murch: Let’s talk about the rhythm. Let’s talk about the music of netball. Well, the rhythm of netball, at least.
Brie Hall: Well, like music, when you play the notes properly, and play them together, it’s all goes smoothly and fluently. It’s the same on the court. We set up plays and processes so that I can get the ball from one end to the other without stumbling or falling. It’s a fluent, flowing process.
John Murch: The last tune you listened to, what was it?
Brie Hall: Tori Kelly, Don’t You Worry About a Thing.
John Murch: Never heard of them. Who are they?
Brie Hall: I’m pretty sure she’s by herself. I’ve got a couple of her pieces, but I actually heard about it when I watched this movie scene which is just a little kids cartoon movie, and I just loved her voice and her energy and her passion. And it’s one of those songs that just really gets you going in the morning. It’s just a super upbeat funky town song.
John Murch: We can’t asked what kind of vocalist are you. You’re a singer songwriter, but what kind?
Brie Hall: I am a mezzo soprano singer, but I think I’d rather go a little bit lower than the soprano range, because I probably lost a few notes because I’ve been a little bit out of practice.
John Murch: You mentioned before that you’re short. This is a good time to mention Grant Denyer.
Brie Hall: Oh, I never should’ve brought this up, should I?
John Murch: You mentioned short. Now he did win a Gold Logie. How’s that going? How do you feel about Grant and Family Feud closing?
Brie Hall: I’m really sad about Family Feud being over. I actually had the best time on that show. I mean, ah man, I was in my element, I was loving every bit of it. I had everyone going, “Oh weren’t you nervous.” I was like, “No, not really. I was just having a blast. It was awesome.” And Grant Denyer, man that cracked me up. I knew he was kind of funny and quick on his feet, but it wasn’t till that moment that I realized how quick and funny he actually was. I think the best part was too, I assumed that Grant would be a little bit like, okay, I’m really funny on screen, but as soon as cameras turn off, I’m not even going to talk to you. But the funny thing was, when camera’s like, “Cut,” he just kept laughing and kept going. He’s like, “I can’t believe we just went there.” So I think the whole experience of that thing was incredible. So I am so sad that it’s over now because so many people are missing out on such an awesome experience.
John Murch: But he’s now on radio, and of course that’s where his charm is shining, in Sydney radio. Live television you’re there with the family.
Brie Hall: I think for me family is a huge thing. I’m still living at home now with all my siblings. I mean I’m 23. A lot of people can’t do that because they can’t even stand their parents or their siblings. But that’s the kind of relationship that we have. I just got back recently from a holiday to central Australia. We went to Alice Springs, all Ayers Rock, all of that. And we did that for two weeks together in a bus. I mean, that can be enough to kill people, but that’s the kind of family we are. We’re very close knit and we’re able to do things like that together. So when we applied for the show I was like, “C’mon mum. You want to do it with me.” And my sisters already keen because we’re pretty happy to do that kind of stuff. But yeah, that’s for us, it’s family.
John Murch: You mentioned you went to Uluru. Obviously being of the religious background and having a pastor as a father, the spiritual significance, how did you connect while you were there to the Uluru experience?
Brie Hall: It was really fun actually going there. We were just looking at all these amazing things, seeing this huge rock which is just enormous. And for us, it’s looking at that and saying, “Well like our creator God is incredible. He put this here so that we can enjoy it. He put this here to show that he’s all powerful and all loving and it points to him.” And even looking at the stars in Alice Springs, the stars are so clear. The sky, it’s beautiful. And just showing that you know, we are so small on this earth, and we have such a tiny role, but he cares about every single one of us, regardless of the things that we do, of our sin, he loves us and forgives us for those things. And his creation points to him and his magnificence.
John Murch: Of course for the indigenous people they have their own story and history for the rock as well for Uluru. What was the reason, was it a birthday celebration?
Brie Hall: We go on a family holiday every year. That’s been our tradition since I think, they said when I was 10 months old, we’ve gone on a holiday every year as a family. We decided to go Ayers Rock and Alice Springs and all that because the rock is closing to climbing next year. Because it’s I suppose one of the iconic Australian things, and I was like, “Ah, I really want to go and do it.” So we thought, well let’s do it this year because otherwise we may not get another chance. So that was why I went to Ayers rock.
John Murch: And you understand why it’s closing next year and all those reasons.
Brie Hall: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So I appreciate that, and so I thought, well let’s take the chance while we can and let them have their time.
John Murch: You mentioned obviously being television. That brings me to being in front of the camera, La Trobe University. Have you got a bit of a bug of being in front of the camera? Is that why you went on Family Feud, because you just enjoy being in front the camera.
Brie Hall: Yes. I love being in front of the camera. It’s ridiculous. I’ve actually applied for some other TV, actually one other TV show. I am super keen to get on The Block. I’m a really [inaudible 00:16:23]. I’m an outdoors person.
John Murch: Really.
Brie Hall: Oh man, I have already applied twice, I think. And they say you have to really apply at least five times to get on.
John Murch: And of course your love of Gold Logie winners, Scott Cam.
Brie Hall: Oh my gosh, that would be so good. And Scotty Cam. Ah, I love him.
John Murch: We’re going to have a chat regarding basically company, but it’s more than a company that you’re a director and founder of, but before we do I want to talk about that of pastel colors.
Brie Hall: I definitely love pastel colors. Even my friends know that, because the last flowers I got were the pastel bouquet. So I just love the softness of it, and the warmth that it brings, and it makes me happy really.
John Murch: So where did the kernel of the idea of come from?
Brie Hall: I talk a huge go getter. I was sitting in the car and I was saying to my dad, “Ah, I would like to buy that property, and I want to turn it into the new KidsTown.” So KidsTown in Shepparton is a huge adventure playground that lots of kids love to go to. It’s pretty fun. And I was determined to make this new KidsTown, and make it, I suppose, the rival competitor. So I think it all started from a very young age and being very entrepreneurial, even though I probably didn’t understand what that word meant.
John Murch: What age were you saying this to your father?
Brie Hall: Being around the 10 to 12. I was pretty young. Actually it’d be less than that, because I probably would’ve been like grade three grade four. I was pretty young. Finish uni. I got a job. And I just went, is this it? Is this just how life goes? You just go to work from 8:30 to 5:00 every day, walk in walk out, do what you have to do. I was like, it just doesn’t fulfill me, or it doesn’t satisfy me. I was like, I want to be own boss. I want to be able to make the decisions myself. I don’t want to have to go and ask this person’s, who’s got to ask this person, who’s got to ask this person. I understand we’ve got to look after and look up to our authorities and that kind of thing, and I respect that and I’m working that kind of situation. But I wanted to be able to make the decisions myself. And so I saw starting my own business as being able to incorporate all the range of skills that I have, accounting and marketing.
Brie Hall: I was like, right, I can do the bookwork by myself, I can also do all the marketing and communications myself. Of course I’ll learn more as I go along the way and meet new people and build on that, but that’s what I wanted to do. But the hardest part for me was the idea of what sort of business. I was like, I don’t really have a skill apart from accounting and marketing. I’m not a hairdresser. I can’t go and start a hairdressing salon. I’m not a tradie. I was like, what do I do. Ah, so stuck and I was getting really frustrated because I’m like, I want to find something I’m passionate about. Anyway, so I was just lying in bed one night, looked over, had a candle burning and went, you know what. I love candles. I love it when people give me candles. I was like, they’re like the best present ever.
Brie Hall: I was like, surely I would be able to make a special soy candles and hand pour them myself and market them that way. So that’s basically what I did. I just bought some ingredients, thought, all right, let’s see how we make these, see if I can actually do it. And I tried it and they turned out amazing, incredible. So I thought, “All right. I’m going to turn this idea into a business.”
John Murch: Now the extension of that, particularly in terms of marketing is that of events. And you’re in the Shepparton area, and they of course would have events, but there is events right across Australia and the world, but in particular in the Shepparton area. What was one of the first events that you went where you went, “Okay. I have soy candles. I have a marketing eye.” Where was that next step where you wanted to go into the marketing of events?
Brie Hall: I think it’s probably always been on backburner for me, but I probably felt not as confident about it, because I thought no one will want to do events from me. I don’t know, I lacked confidence in my ability to be able to pull if off. It was funny because I was talking to a lady after I started my candles, and I told her, “Look I love my candles, and I want to keep doing candles, but I also love events, and I love being able to decorate beautiful tables make gorgeous centerpieces and beautiful welcome signs. I love doing that, and I can do that.” And she goes, “Why haven’t you started this earlier. I thought that was the first thing you were going to do.” She was just so … “You’re so creative and talented in that way, I thought you would’ve done that already.” And so I think that just reaffirmed for me that actually I can do it, and I don’t need to talk to myself negatively about that. It’s about getting out there and letting people know what I can do for them.
John Murch: This is where going to go back to music Brie. At that point, let’s call it a low, because that’s what it is, where you’re self doubting and doing all those kind of things, what music was actually plucking you out of that situation? What was your go-to music at that point?
Brie Hall: Listen to range of stuff, but most of it was very slow, really soft music, so this beautiful artist called Laura Story. She had this song called Perfect Peace which is just like, it’s very basic. It’s just a vocalist and piano and some other small instruments but it’s nothing big, and listening to songs like that, very simple and even some nice acoustic ones, which were just really taken back, really allowed me … I suppose it calmed my thoughts and my heart so that I could think clearly. I think that’s the biggest thing. Now listening to something like Tori Kelly, that was probably not going to work. That would just hype me up and make me more stressed and “Aaah!”. I just needed something to soothe me. So definitely a lot acoustic stuff. I would even just type in Spotify, popular acoustic playlist, and even artists I’d never heard before, I mean just listening to that kind of stuff was really, really helpful.
John Murch: What are you listening to now as you try to drive this business ahead?
Brie Hall: Oh, yeah, it’s more of the Tori Kelly stuff. All like upbeat, invigorating, even some old hits like Hey Baby, If You’ll Be My Girl, so I’m like punching out the top of my lungs. All that kind of stuff.
John Murch: I have no idea what that song is.
Brie Hall: Oh, it’s so old. It’s so good.
John Murch: Let’s talk about raw brownie mixture with vanilla ice cream.
Brie Hall: Oh, I have weird addictions. So I always used to eat cake batter as a kid, but one day I just couldn’t bother waiting for this brownie mixture to cook. So I was like, look, surely it can’t be that bad. I had a few tastes, I’m like, “This is amazing. If I add ice cream this’ll be 100 times better.” And then I just got addicted. And so now I have to be really, really careful. Okay Brianna, only one lot of brownie mixture this week. You’ve got to be good.
John Murch: What kind of niche or focus do you have for the weddings, the events.
Brie Hall: I think the biggest thing for me is making people happy and making people find the joy in whatever they’re getting. And for me, I know that it’s always been when I’ve bought something. It’s about an experience, and so I always want to make an experience which is above and beyond anything else. I don’t want someone to just go and just buy a candle, and ooh, I’ve got a cool candle in a box. It’s more than a candle. So some of the new ranges that I’m looking at launching, I think just make people feel happier, and actually make them feel better about themselves. So some of the things I’m going to introduce are really going to hone in on those things.
John Murch: What I could create to make others happy. So the actual act of creating something, as you’re saying, that’ll give people joy.
Brie Hall: I love being happy, and I love seeing other people happy. And that I think is what makes me happy. I’m a real people pleaser. I hate to disappoint people. I think that’s one of the biggest things in life that I’ve had to work through that I can do my best to please all people, but I can’t in the real world, and I have to learn to deal and work through that. But that’s what I thrive on. That’s what I really enjoy and feel satisfied and fulfilled in is actually … Especially people who are maybe not feeling so good, and being able to bring something to them that actually brings them out of that hole or that sadness or that gloom, and able to bring them some sort of joy. That makes me so happy, like I can’t even explain how happy. I’m always crying and just thinking about people that I’ve been able to help and that makes me feel awesome.
John Murch: It’s also a very long process sometimes as well, because it’s not always just plucking someone oof a situation. It’s not a, hey you’ll be right. What is it that drives you to look at the longevity of such things?
Brie Hall: The reason … It’s so funny that you bring this up. Because I have been through some really difficult stuff, which was not a pluck and pull situation, which some people tried to do with me, and it did not work. And it actually probably made me more upset because I thought, “Oh, I’m meant to feel better now but I don’t feel better. I feel really awful still. I feel really sad and anxious. Oh, now I feel bad because I’m disappointing them as well.” And it just became a little bit too overwhelming. I think for me I had an understanding of that, which is why I really love to come alongside people and say, “Hey, what do you need today? What’s going on. Just talk. Just let it out.” Because I had that empathetic connection with them, I actually understand that sometimes it is a very long process, and the only way that people can come out of that is actually by letting them come to that realization themselves, or allowing them enough time to heal. Time.
John Murch: When you’re standing next to that person, it is laying out the steps. It’s laying out for sort of foundation, not just holding their hand.
Brie Hall: Oh absolutely. I mean especially for me, I became so unwell that I couldn’t even think clearly. And so I didn’t someone coming to me and going, “You need to do this, this, this, this, this, this,” and being just like … Lording it over me. I needed someone to come alongside me and to steer me and say, “Right. The next thing you need to do is this,” but communicating it in a really loving and relational way.
John Murch: That’s where candles do come in handy. The sense of reflection.
Brie Hall: Oh yes. Absolutely. Even a couple weeks ago I was just … I wasn’t feeling that great. I was a bit upset about some things that have happened, and a friend had hurt me, and I didn’t want to talk to anyone. And so I just went in, I ran a hot bath. I lit a candle and I just literally sat there in silence. And then I started to play some soft music as well, and it’s that calming that comes over you and that relaxation that actually makes you reset, because we have to look after … Obviously I look after my physical body through sport and things, but we’ve also really got to pay attention our mental side of things, because it’s not something you can really see. It’s something that’s internal. And so candles is a huge way for me to just unwind, reset the mind so that I can get up the next morning feeling much better.
John Murch: Candles like yours for example, provide that sensory for the nose, for example, where you can actually go, “Okay brain. What are we doing? We’re smelling stuff. Why are we smelling stuff? It’s because we are looking in that flicker.” That kind of extrasensory that happens as well.
Brie Hall: Absolutely. And sense too that have such a powerful connection with your emotions and your mind and memories is a huge thing. Even as you’re talking about the flicker of a candle, that is so mesmerizing, I could just … Fires are beautiful. Just being able to look at that little flicker and just watching it. It’s helps you stop and just live in the moment, which is so hard these days.
John Murch: Recently on your trip to Alice Springs, some campfires, and yet again, that that getting the kids, including yourself outside into the environment and then having the fire as well.
Brie Hall: Absolutely. I am a huge believer in being outdoors. It is great to be inside. It’s great to have wonderful homes we can live in. A little while ago Mum was reminding us as kids, there was obviously that huge drought back then, and I remember one day it just started pouring rain, and we just wanted to run outside and run in it. And obviously you can get sick and things from being out in the cold for too long, but she goes, “I [inaudible 00:27:44] wanted to let you girls go outside and just run out and enjoy because you hadn’t seen rain for so long. Yeah I brought you back in and dried you off and gave you a hot bath and it was fine.” But I thought it’s even from my parenting that this whole philosophy of being outdoors and enjoying it and being social with it as well. And that’s all part of crafting who we are. I was fortunate enough that I was able to live on a big property and even go on [inaudible 00:28:06] go on walks and things like that, but I’ve been able to really enjoy that whole outdoor experience.
John Murch: We’ll get back to candles by asking this. There are five tips to keeping your baby aglow. The first burn is the most important.
Brie Hall: Things that I recommend you doing. Obviously is trimming your wick. This is a huge one that I didn’t know about until I started making candles, looking at it myself. Because what happens is the wick starts to go mushroomy and lets off black soot, and it looks terrible. And it doesn’t burn well. So trimming the wick is a huge one.
John Murch: It’s like it’s burning itself. Is it just burning itself, it’s not actually engaging the soy or the rest of the candle.
Brie Hall: And it keeps at a more even burn and things like that as well. Obviously you need to let it burn for two to three hours they recommend, no more than four, and no less than one, because what happens if you don’t burn the entire surface, you start to probably half melted candle which goes down and forms a bit of a tunnel, which is not pleasant and it doesn’t look good.
John Murch: What’s the deal with soy was compared to let’s say, beeswax? Is there a difference? Is there a preference?
Brie Hall: I went with soy because I liked the color better. Beeswax is probably a little bit more natural in its form, except it has a very, very yellow look, which I find quite unappealing. But I wanted to go with soy and not paraffin, because soy is much, much better for the environment. A lot of people even do a blend of soy and paraffin, but I just wanted to steer clear of that full stop. I just went, nah, I’m going 100% soy all the way, because I feel that’s a better burning candle.
John Murch: Let’s get back to music. We’ve only got a little bit time left together, but let’s talk about the last gig you went to, the last music even that you went to.
Brie Hall: Ed Sheeran I reckon. I went to his concert in Melbourne.
John Murch: Okay. Did you turn up for Missy Higgins?
Brie Hall: Saw the whole Missy Higgins, the one before that we missed a little bit of. She was great too. She was awesome. I hadn’t heard much of her music, because it just never been my style. But I come … I think it’s called Futon Couch. I loved that song. I was like, “Oh, this is so cool. And it’s like Aussie artist.” And yeah, I loved it.
John Murch: What was that experience of being in that audience?
Brie Hall: I think the best part was everyone was so into in and everyone was really, I suppose, upbeat and especially when … Because Ed is a very talented guy. I don’t agree with all of his music. Some that’s a little bit against some of my morals. But his talent is incredible. I couldn’t believe that he would do all these different things with just himself and a guitar. It sounded amazing. I was like, this guy it truly being a talented artist. I think because you lose the perception when you hear albums because you go, oh, like they just autotuned, or oh, they just added that in with technical stuff. But this is not … Obviously they still do stuff on the night like that, but a lot of it, he is … He’s just a very, very gifted musician.
John Murch: You said that there was some issues with the orals of Ed Sheeran and in answer.
Brie Hall: So me as a Christian I firmly believe in marriage before having sex and things like that. And so for some of his songs they’re probably very sexual in nature and talking about that just in a causal girlfriend boyfriend relationship, whereas I believe that should be kept strictly within the confines of marriage. And even just crude language and things like that can sometimes come, even if they’re innuendos are still being applied, and we know exactly what they’re talking about. But a lot of the time there’s some just great happy songs, but I don’t believe in getting drunk. I’m not opposed to drinking. I don’t mind in people want to have a drink, that’s fine, but not drunk. It’s against God’s ruling and for our own health and safety as well.
John Murch: So when you’re listening to the radio is that a dial changer for you?
Brie Hall: Yep, absolutely. So I’ve got a CD in my car as well that if there’s some music that I don’t agree with the lyrics, or the morals of that, switch it straight over. I’m not going to listen to things that I don’t believe are good for our souls or are against things that I believe strongly in.
John Murch: Kids that you’re teaching are obviously listening to this kind of music. What kind of conversations do you have, if any, about music to them at that level?
Brie Hall: Yep, for me it was a very easy decision. I was working in a school that allowed me to, I suppose, craft and not … I suppose have a bit of control over what music I teach and play with my children. We also had strong morals as a school, and so they were very clear on expectations about what should and shouldn’t be included in music. So I had department heads helping me with that as well. But for any song that any of my students ever brought to me, I’d say, “Look, before you show me what the song is and let me listen to it, I want you to bring me the lyrics.” So I’d read through the lyrics. If I was happy with the lyrics, “Yep, go ahead. Let’s do the song.” Or, “Look this song probably just doesn’t have quite the right meaning behind it. You need to think of something else for me.” So I’d always ask them to give me three or four options and we’d select two from those.
John Murch: Help me out with this because I’m a listener of Christian radio, as I am with all kinds of radio formats, not just that format. They’ll have a Madonna song, but clearly Madonna has views and ideas and has done things in the past whilst those song are being recorded that they’re playing on the radio. Does it go beyond what’s sung and performed to the person themselves, in your opinion, in the way that you consume music?
Brie Hall: I think for me, I probably haven’t focused too much on the person. For instance, even Miley Cyrus, she obviously went off the rails for a fair bit there, but even listening to her beautiful song she brought back Malibu. That was beautiful. I quite enjoy listening to that. I think too, I probably don’t know a lot about the artist’s lives in general. Like for me it’s a lot of names. I probably haven’t done a lot or research into the actual artists. But for me, I probably more focus on song by song rather than looking at what they’ve done. I’m not going to judge them based on past events and things like that.
John Murch: What is the artist that you’re looking forward to seeing to in the future, if they were to tour through Shepparton and go to the local front bar, who would you like to see playing in the front bar?
Brie Hall: It’d almost depend on what sort of mood I’m in actually, I reckon. If I’m feeling something a little bit more mellow Lauren Daigle is an artist who I absolutely love at the moment. She has a really beautiful raw voice, and just for the acoustics it’s incredible. I love listen to her. But it’s not something you’d want to go do a bit of a party thing to.
John Murch: We’re talking front bar though. A quiet beverage, alcoholic or otherwise.
Brie Hall: She could do well there actually. She’s beautiful in surroundings like that. Her, or otherwise like I’ve probably mentioned I’m having a bit of a love relationship with Tori Kelly at the moment, so she’d be my next one.
John Murch: How are you feeling about what you’re doing right now as a company director really?
Brie Hall: Pretty exciting actually, being able to launch your own thing and see it start to grow and have changes. I mean, even just this week I started to go out and look at wholesalers and I’ve had some really great reception, which is really encouraging, because that’s the direction I want to take. I want more people to find out. I want more people to have the joy of getting a candle and opening up and just absolutely loving it.
John Murch: Finally on the issue of joy, what is the one thing, only, that is bringing you joy, bringing Brie joy at the moment?
Brie Hall: The one thing. That is difficult because there are so many things in my life that are bringing me joy. Number one for bringing me joy at the moment is probably my relationship with God, just being able to communicate to him through songs, through speaking, through others, even just speaking with my friends and my family, because we all share that relationship. That’s the thing that really brings me that joy that lasts and sustain. I mean happiness can come through candles, but it ultimately doesn’t last, because once the candle’s gone, the joy is gone. But having God as my leader in my life and just having relationship with him is the one thing that I know I can always rely on, and it will always bring me joy, even through the hard circumstances.
John Murch: That seems to be a wonderful happy note to finish on. Brianna, thanks for your time.
Brie Hall: Thank you so much for having me.
Tammy Weller [Outro]:
Brianna Hall. Owner of Eliana… that can be found at ElianaCo.com
Since recording, Brie has started an exciting new chapter – away from family home – in the North of Australia.