Things You Don't Know About Brianna Mazzola

Going from Philadelphia to Los Angeles like the Fresh Prince himself, Brianna Mazzola is a young singer, dancer, and actress to watch out for. Since September 2017, she's been starting to make her mark as a new member of Disney's Club Mickey Mouse, in the first new incarnation the group has seen in more than 20 years. Born on August 24, 2000, she joined up with the House of Mouse at age 17, becoming part of a wholesome showbiz tradition revamped for a new era. But just who is this newcomer to the stage and screen, and how did she work her way up to where she is now? Here are all the things you didn't know about Brianna Mazzola.

Philly born and raised

Mazzola was born in Philadelphia, and came up practicing her singing skills at school, at home, at open mics, or on the streets. Pennsylvania, however, could only take her so far, and she moved to Los Angeles at the age of 13, which is when she began her journey from talented amateur to a legitimate rising star. While it's true she needed to make the move to the City of Angels from the City of Brotherly Love for her career's sake, she hasn't forgotten where she comes from, and still keeps Philly in her heart.

A music nerd from birth

Some kids are born entertainers. From an early age, Mazzola was a person who wanted to express herself, and her first medium of choice was music. As a result, she's got a whole lot more to offer than just a pretty voice, being able to play a range of musical instruments, including the piano.

"I started singing at a really young age," she said in an introductory video posted shortly after she joined Club Mickey Mouse. "I was always singing around the house, putting on shows and performing whenever I got the chance."

She's not just saying that. She really walked the walk, performing in musical theater and singing solo song covers practically as soon as she was able. To this day, she still posts Instagram pictures geeking out about new microphones.

According to her, her music fandom was intense enough that it ostracized her from her peers. But rather than keep quiet about her passions, she stayed true to herself. "Most kids didn't understand why music meant so much to me, but that made me different in a way," she said. "And I realized it's okay to different. To stand out, and just embrace who you are."

YouTube covers

Brianna began uploading song covers to YouTube in summer 2010, starting with a cover of "Over the Rainbow" from The Wizard of Oz that was recorded when she was only 9 years old. But she had been singing in live environments since even before then, and her subsequent uploads included videos of her performing in live environments (sometimes with a full band backing her) at as early as age 7. 

By 11, she was performing live in the Pennsylvania area with an amateur teen singing group. Before long, she cobbled together a home studio setup and began churning out a number of song covers. During this period, she took up street performing, sang at the Apollo Theater's amateur night, and continued to develop her voice and stage presence, upping her production value and gaining polish bit by bit. 

It's true what they say about overnight success—it took Brianna years of work to come out of nowhere. These days, she's leaning more in the direction of R&B or pop music, with musical idols that include Beyoncé, Rihanna, Jessie J, and Usher.

Taking Off

In June 2013, at the age of 12, Mazzola started out her music career in an entirely different genre, producing an album of contemporary country music called Taking Off through the label CD Baby. The six-song album isn't widely available in physical form, but the songs can be downloaded via Google Play. She even produced a music video from the album for the song "Airplanes" that's available to stream on YouTube. At an age when most kids are still coming straight home from school to watch the Disney Channel, she was paving her way toward an actual career with the company.

The Voice audition

At the age of 15, Mazzola made an appearance on the tenth season of NBC's The Voice, appearing only in the blind audition episode, ultimately being rejected for inclusion by judge Christina Aguilera. The appearance itself is still a major accomplishment,  one she was rightfully proud of, considering that auditions for the show have been known to draw lines around the block. Either way, when you're a young artist looking to break into show business, any footage is good for your reel—even if it means getting a personalized turn-down from Xtina on national TV. 

Acting

In addition to working on her vocal talents, Mazzola has also been working on her acting career. She began with modest roles in small productions, starting with a 2011 horror short called Lived. She showcased her singing talent in the hour-long musical Another Assembly, produced by acting coach John D'Aquino's Camp Hollywood. In 2017, she played a role in the crime drama feature Sable, a role she said was a favorite because the character is nothing like her. Through that performance, she was able to land a spot on a drama series project called Vengeance

Although she's currently a part of the wholesome, family-friendly Club Mickey Mouse, she's not necessarily looking to stay in kid-focused entertainment, at least as far as her acting is concerned. Asked about her ideal role, she said she's aspiring to more work in drama films and thrillers. "Anything that is more of a serious, natural performance," she said. "That's what I enjoy playing the most."

But while those naturalistic performances may be more fulfilling for her artistic side, she certainly wouldn't say no to an awesome action role. Asked if there was any particular character in the world she'd like to play, she responded, "I would totally pick something like [The Hunger Games'] Katniss or [Divergent's] Tris, because I think it would be so much fun to get to do all the stunts."

The New Mouseketeers

Mazzola has said that she considers acting and singing to go hand-in-hand in regards to the way she expresses herself, and fortunately for her, Club Mickey Mouse gives her a platform to do both. The programming, delivered primarily via Instagram and Facebook, follows Mazzola and her fellow Mouseketeers as they rehearse and produce original music videos each week, allowing plenty of camera time for all types of performance. 

Since she became a part of the new team, the squad has produced a holiday special, made a handful of music videos, repped the brand at Disneyland, and uploaded tons of videos documenting their lives behind the scenes and the work they put into rehearsing. It's a life in the spotlight, but Mazzola shows no signs of buckling under the pressure—this is what she's been working for all her life. She summed her mission up best in a group interview with Club Mickey Mouse, recorded shortly after the new team was cast. "I sing, I dance, I act, I write, I play instruments—I just like to entertain."