Briana Dinsdale: She’s Bringing Country Back

Briana Dinsdale goes a mile a minute, laughs easily and often, with a brightness behind her icy blue eyes. 

On stage, she roars to life. Her brightness increases tenfold, blonde hair shimmering under stage lights, her mouth curled into a smile. She delivers with unwavering focus and precision; each strum of her guitar, every breath drawn, and each lyric feels perfectly, intentionally placed.  

Briana is a Brisbane-based country singer-songwriter, and the lead singer of the Briana Dinsdale Band. She is blazing a trail for young Australian country music artists. She performs with four other musicians, who have only been playing together since 2022. Briana has performed at venues like the Gympie Music Muster, Tamworth Country Music Festival and the Melting Sunset Festival, often alongside big country names like Pete Murray, The Wolfe Brothers, and The Whitlam’s.  

Stomping her cowboy boots to the ground, it’s clear the stage has been her home since the age of eight. Some people are born to perform, and from the very first song of her set, it’s obvious Briana is one of them. She takes to the stage in hues of bright pink, flared jeans, and a rotation of delicately embroidered boots.  

Music National PR and Media Manager at Universal Music, Johnno Keetels, first met Briana when judging the EKKA Country Music Showdown a few years ago. 

“She had this remarkable tone in her voice that was just show-stoppingly good, her vocal control was excellent for someone so young, and she had a real understanding of dimension, which is something I really remember about her, the light and shade in her voice,” he said.  

With a classic American country tone, smooth and sultry, her voice evokes elements of soul and blues and gospel. Briana moves gracefully from soft, smoky love ballads to playful, sassy numbers that have the crowd stomping along within a matter of seconds.  

“She’s a magnet on stage; she’s someone who is constantly smiling, she enjoys what she does, and that’s half the battle won. If you can make people want to watch you by the way you move on stage and interact with your band members, then you become this magnet on stage that people can’t take their eyes off,” Keetels said. 

When watching the band rehearse together, the chemistry is palpable, and it’s clear they have struck a golden combination. They practice in Briana’s bedroom, surrounded by posters of their idols, sipping hot chocolate and laughing at one another. The band bicker and joke like siblings. 

The Briana Dinsdale Band: Briana Dinsdale (Lead Singer), Ashlyn Dinsdale (Bass guitarist and Backing Vocals), Brodie Campbell (Lead guitar), Jackson Thompson (Lead guitar), Baxter Dalgliesh (Drums). PHOTOS:

But from the moment the opening chords begin, ordinary life seems to disappear; if you close your eyes, you are no longer at a band rehearsal in Brisbane but rather in a smoky Nashville country bar. 

Each member of the band brings a unique sound to each song. It’s rocky, fun, boot-stomping and effortlessly smooth.  

“A lot of country music singers in Australia will primarily be a solo artist, and then will just hire people depending on what state they are in. For me, no matter where I go in the country, I’m going to take these guys with me, I would never do a gig without them. I don’t think we would play as good without all of us, it just wouldn’t be the same,” Briana said, smiling. 

Ashlyn, Briana’s younger sister, plays the bass guitar and sings backing vocals; she’s poised and delicate, mature beyond her years. It’s clear that Ashlyn admires Briana greatly. But she is a force within her own right – she is a standout musician, and like her sister, has a voice like silk. The two harmonise during each song, and together they sound like smooth honey, warm and rich. Their connection on stage is breathtaking; they seem to read each other’s minds, changing pace and tone without so much as a word uttered between them. 

“I admire the way Bri shows her character. She is also a phenomenal live performer, she is flawless, but just the way she lets her character out, she isn’t afraid to be herself on stage,” Ashlyn said.  

Ashlyn and Briana performing together. PHOTO: Greg Young Photography

Over the last few years, country music has exploded into the Australian scene, with the likes of Morgan Wallen, Luke Combs and Zach Bryan taking up residence as some of the most listened to music in country. But country music hasn’t always been ‘cool’. 

Peeling posters of country stars line Briana’s bedroom walls, and dusty country music trophies line the shelves. A faded yellow poster on her wall reads “This is my 13th Birthday present”, framed with images of Briana up on stage with Keith Urban.  

She laughs warmly, telling the story of stopping on the way to the show with her dad to make the poster on the side of the road, just in case Keith saw it. By some turn of fate, that night, thirteen-year-old Briana was invited on stage to perform to a sold-out crowd at the Brisbane entertainment Centre on the last night of Keith Urban’s world tour. 

“That was definitely a moment when I knew country was for me. Just the crowd was so supportive. I was so starstruck,” Briana said. 

Her inspiration for her songs come from many places but is particularly connected to mental health, heartbreak, and her everyday life. For such a young artist, her lyrics are complex and beautiful, sounding as though they were written by someone much older. 

“Lyrically, she gets pretty deep and dark, which is what country music is famous for,” Keetels said.  

Briana’s original songs have made serious headway on the country scene in both Australia and the USA. Her debut album, Beginnings, broke records on the independent country music charts across the nation and allowed her to receive the ISSA silver award for International Young Artist of the Year. 

Keetels explained that international artists are bleeding into the domestic scene, which is allowing greater exposure for the genre, and helping domestic artists to cut through. 

“You can walk down an aisle at Coles and hear Morgan Wallen on the radio, which is great, and definitely a step in the right direction,” he said. 

Country music is being rebirthed in Australia, and artists like Briana Dinsdale are at the teetering edge of a revolution in the Australian music scene. 

One thing is for certain; country music is back and cooler than ever. 

Want more Briana Dinsdale? Click here to see a list of her upcoming shows.  

Jess Morgan is a Law and Journalism student at QUT, she has always been drawn to words and the way we shape them. She has been published in QUT Glass, The Stew Magazine, the interactive exhibit ‘Love Letters to Brisbane’, ScratchThat, as well as being a reader for QUT Literary Salon. She has a passion for poetry, and free-form creative styles. Jess believes that stories shape us and connect us to one another. Find more of her work @wordsfromthe.sky_ 

Jess Morgan
Jess Morgan
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