How Hip-Hop Artist British Mendoza's Faith and Military Service Inspired Debut EP 'I.M.A.G.E.'
Tony Naylor
24 Stars Who've Been Vocal About Anxiety, Depression & Mental Illness

British performs live for TooFab and explains how her faith helped her cope with her brother's tragic suicide.

British Mendoza is a human chameleon.

She's lived many lives in her 28 years on Earth, including serving as an intelligence analyst in the United States Air Force and working full time as her church's head audio engineer, but TooFab's TooGood Artist of the Month caught our attention with her hip-hop music.

April 24 marked the four-year anniversary of British's move from Atlanta to Los Angeles to pursue a dream she "pretended not to have," and she commemorated the occasion by releasing her first EP -- "I.M.A.G.E."

"'I.M.A.G.E.' actually stands for I Move According to God's Excellence," British told TooFab. "I named it that because my image -- not only my physical image, but my spiritual image -- has changed, and it has something to do with the songs that're on the album."

"Getting out of the military and then moving here and going to school, becoming a sound engineer -- that all prepared me for this moment," she said. "Now is the time."

The EP is comprised of four tracks: "Receive," "Musicians," "Bonfire" and "A 2 La," which was inspired by British's relocation to the West Coast. And although the 28-year-old loves Los Angeles, she said her "family is in Atlanta, so that's always gonna be home."

British said her family has always supported her passion for music, which she's been chasing since long before April. In fact, British even practiced her craft during the six years she served in the Air Force and the two times she was deployed in Afghanistan. She said she'd write songs and record vocals for a friend back home, which she says helped keep music a positive outlet and a constant in her life.

British still applies the "discipline" and "technical skills" she learned in the military to her current endeavors. "The way that I moved had to be very strategic," she said, adding that her pursuit of musical success follows that same guideline.

Although British is a strong, disciplined woman of faith and family, her entire world came crashing down in January of last year when her brother, Ty-Key Brione Douglas, committed suicide.

"I will be completely honest and say that the first six months were very hard as far as spirituality goes," she said. "As far as faith, it was just a lot of questions -- not even for myself, but for my family. I just felt such a tug for my mom, losing a child in such a way. But after those six months and after prayers, continuous prayers -- shoutout to all my friends and my pastors -- I kind of was like, you know, it happened for a reason. I had to kind of figure out what that reason was for me, and it kind of sprung me into what I am now -- this super happy, won't let depression get to me-type of person."

"Unfortunately, some of our family members battle depression really bad," she continued. "It never got to the point to where it was for my brother, but [his passing] kind of helped my family spring into, 'No. Devil, we will not let you have this. We are going to be OK.'"

Although British is "not opposed" to one day dabbling in Christian music, she feels hip-hop is her current calling.

"I'm not opposed to it, I just feel like the crowd that I'm supposed to help save -- and I'm not calling myself Jesus at all -- are those that are looked at as being lost because they don't listen to Christian music," she said. "I kind of want to appeal to them, like, 'Hey, you can be lit and still for Jesus, too. My EP has God in it.'"

Enjoy our full interview with British above, and stay up to date on her music endeavors at NameIsBritish.com.

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