Aubrey Wiest

Bri Dimit: JMF Staff Member and Storytelling Musician

Bri Dimit is a modern day bard; Her stories focus on the everyday lives of the bravest people – her own community – whom she elevates with her song. Bri is a Storytelling Musician and Speaker based out of Indianapolis, Indiana. This week, on July 15 at 8 AM EST, Linking Indy Women presents: The Story Starts with You featuring guest speaker Bri Dimit. Tickets are $10 and will be donated to the Joseph Maley Foundation.

At JMF, Bri works in schools, supporting program associates, assistant manages the disABILTY Awareness program, and oversees the HOPE program. She also has recently been working on upcoming events and fundraising for the Foundation.

You can find Bri Dimit’s music on any streaming or downloading music platform (i.e. Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music).

Keep reading to learn more about Bri, and where her passion for music and serving others stemmed from.

How old were you when you started singing and songwriting? 

When I started singing and songwriting I was about five years old. For as long as I can remember I have been singing and writing. It was a way for me to communicate and cope. I struggled with cognitive and social emotional function due to my epilepsy and songwriting and music was always my outlet.

At a young age I experienced a lot of grief and adversity which led me to lean into my music even more.

At age 13, in an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) meeting, I was told I would only go to a community college at best and (if I was lucky) achieve an Associate’s Degree due to my seizures and delays in school. Fast forward to my senior year of high school: I got accepted to Ball State University (a four year, Division 1 college), and graduated with my Bachelors in 2015. I later achieved my Master of Arts degree from Ball State, as well, ending with a 4.0 GPA.

Although my passion was always music, I went into education for a degree because “music wouldn’t pay the bills.” 

But music was always there. I was still writing, connecting with friends who were going through the music program, auditioning for The Voice, American Idol, Ball State University Singers, etc.

I kept following my passion.

 

When did that passion transition into becoming a musical storyteller, or a ‘’Storytelling Musician”? How did you come up with this idea? Who are your influences?

It wasn’t until January of 2018 that I became a Storytelling Musician. It was an idea I really came up with on my own. After being in the education world for three years, I found that my passion for allowing others to feel truly seen and heard was becoming more of a priority for me. Witnessing my colleagues experience grief, loss, hardship, insecurity, and so much more without the safe space nor the ability to feel nor cope through those life experiences was frustrating for me to watch. These were very similar experiences to ones that I had gone through at a young age. The difference though, is when you are younger it is more acceptable to feel. As you get older and become a “professional,” those spaces become harder to find. That is when I knew I wanted to use my empathetic gift and passion for songwriting to make a difference in people’s lives, to create opportunities for individuals to feel truly seen and heard.

Something that always helped me cope with life was songwriting, music, it was my therapy. And I thought, if it has worked for me, why can’t it help others too.

January 2020 I took the leap of faith, quit my 9-5 job, and pursued my music and speaking career full time. 

 

What is your process for interviewing the people you write about, and then also for writing the songs? 

The Storytelling process starts with a 45-60 minute interview. I sit down with the individual in person or via zoom and ask a series of questions (that they receive ahead of time). This first step is intended and set-up for me to really just listen. So it’s not as much of a conversation as it is me just documenting and fully understanding your story in your words.

After the interview, I pull repeated phrases and important meanings from your responses, which create the “message” of your song. This really depends on where the individual is in their story. Are they in the midst of their experience, are they sharing a past experience that they have healed from already, etc.

I then decide the music/rhythm of the song based on where they are in their coping process, what their “message” is, and what they need to hear.

I then piece it all together to create their song in their own words.

Finally, I go to the studio to professionally record, mix, and master your song. The client and I then decide on a date for their private reveal before their song gets released to all streaming and downloading platforms (Spotify, Apple Music, etc.). 

 

What is your personal connection to your work, and what does creating in this manner mean to you?

This is very rewardable work for me. Being able to provide others a sense of healing while also doing what I love is something I feel very privileged to have found, especially at such a young age.

I believe the hardships I overcame made me who I am today. If I hadn’t experienced the amount of loss, heartache, and adversity that I did, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do today. It’s purposeful work. I feel like this is what I was created to do. This is why I was put on this earth. 

 

How does musical storytelling, your story, and your work with JMF interconnect? Why is it important to you that the proceeds for this event go to JMF?

My personal and professional mission is to create opportunities for others to feel truly seen and heard and my involvement with JMF is an extension of just that.

The Joseph Maley Foundation serves children of ALL abilities by embodying love, inclusion, and allowing children to feel enough today. 

As a child with epilepsy who had to navigate the constant reminder of schools “not being able to meet my unique needs” and not feeling “normal,” I have a great appreciation for JMF. Witnessing the work of JMF and the impact they have on childrens’ lives is indescribable. Focusing on individuals’ amazing abilities opposed to (dis)abilities is imperative work that I am proud to be a part of. By donating to JMF you are donating to the lives of children who deserve to feel and experience this kind of love. 

 

Do you have a favorite song of yours, or a song with a powerful story that sticks out to you for any particular reason?

“Collapsed” is definitely my favorite. It was my very first song, about my very first client, and I am excited to talk more about it during the Linking Indy Women Event on July 15th. It’s an amazing story but ultimately I love any feel good song. The lyrics of songs really resonate with me. So any song with a good message and an upbeat rhythm is my jam. Right now the song “Good Example” by R3HAB and Andy Grammer is on repeat. 

 

So, why can’t we miss this!?

This event is not only an opportunity to donate to an instrumental nonprofit [Joseph Maley Foundation] that is changing the lives of children each day, but it is also an opportunity to start your morning inspired and empowered to live a life you love. You don’t want to miss this. We cannot wait to see you there!

 

Find tickets the Linking Indy Women’s Event featuring Bri HERE.

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