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Britton and The Sting Photo by Drew Shade

Concert Night

Sunday Schooled! Britton & The Sting Is Church

Saddle Up for Sunday Service and ride that magic carpet of music and healing into the band that is Britton & The Sting. Church will commence on April 14th, 2024 at Nublu (151 Ave C New York, NY). This Is Church! We sat down with the head of this dynamic band to get a little more insight into his journey into “Church.”

Broadway Black: What inspired you to create a band called Britton and the Sting, and what does the name signify to you personally?

Britton Smith: One night, I was leaving Harlem Nights, got into the cab, and the cab driver spoke into my life, and without asking me if I was an artist, a singer, on Broadway, etc, he said, “Do you have a band?”  I was stunned. I said, “No.” He said, “You need to start a band.”  I started a band. That was a divine moment for me. It ain’t been easy, but it’s been so worth the journey. I’m grateful for that clarity. The name “The Sting” came from a show I was in called The Sting. I came upstairs and saw “Britton & The Sting” on a note card and knew that was my band name. Its meaning has evolved. STING now represents those things in our life that tried to kill us but instead were transmuted into an opportunity for growth. 

BB: As a Black and Queer artist, how does your identity influence your music and performance style?

Britton: My identity is bigger and older than mine. In this lifetime, I’ve been given the gift of blackness and queerness to be in service of what my spirit is here to do. So I let it out. It’s all in service.  

BB: Your concerts are often referred to as “church.” Can you share the significance behind this term and what attendees can expect from one of your shows?

Britton: I’ve learned that I am a walking church. Everything I was told to get from a building, a pew, an altar, a reach for wisdom from a pastor figure, or a book all live within. Our sanctuaries live inside, and if we trust it to be our compass, we can find unique clarity just for us. No copying someone else’s way to the divine. Go inside your church thru your way – which can’t be taught. It has to be sought after. Earned. Found. Then, kept with honor. Simultaneously- Church is also the sacred happening between you and anything helping you become closer to who you are. 

BB: Your music seems to make people feel good. How do you define “feel-good music,” and what emotions or messages do you aim to convey through your music?

Britton: Feel-good music comes from pain. I hang to it to get out of a dark place. 

BB: Can you walk us through your creative process when writing and composing songs for Britton and the Sting?

Britton: Many of our songs come from prayer, humming the lyrics, and then sharing them with other bandmates. I’m starting to write with nature, and listening is huge now. I want to say what must be said, writing in service to something. Even if I’m unsure what I’m being led to, I honor every impulse. My band is amazing, and they arrange with me. They bring their blood and love into everything, so you hear seven humans in community. 

BB: As an emerging artist, what challenges have you faced in the music industry, and how have you overcome them?

Britton: I’m trying to balance ministry and business. Pray for me (laughs)

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