In 2019, Breanna Dickerson and her sister Taylour were ready to give up on their musical duo, TomBoy. The two sisters from Long Island had been posting hip-hop covers online since 2013, and were feeling at a standstill with their progress. 

“My sister and I were actually in the car one night and we were just having this intense conversation, one of those dramatic artist moments of, ‘if we don’t get to a certain point and we see that it’s just not working out, we’re done,’” says Breanna.

America’s Got Talent

Coincidentally, that night they received an email from a producer from America’s Got Talent who had seen one of their videos. Not only were they invited to audition for the show, but they were invited to a selective music-only audition in New York City. That audition sent them through to the next round in Pasadena, California, where they performed in front of judges Gabrielle Union, Julianne Hough, Howie Mandel, and Simon Cowell, in an auditorium of 2,000 people. 

Breanna Dickerson auditioning for America's Got Talent
Breanna Dickerson auditioning for America’s Got Talent

“To actually stand on the red ‘X’ and to be there, it was just surreal,” says Breanna. “It’s still one of the greatest moments that we’ve had. . . . I remember Simon Cowell being like, ‘You guys remind me of TLC.’ We had heard some people say that before, but to hear it from someone who’s been in the industry for that long was cool, and we got a lot of great feedback from all of them.”

Berklee Online

Even though Breanna and Taylor got four yeses from the judges, they weren’t able to move forward to the next round. The reason: their covers posed licensing issues for the show. Their audition didn’t air on TV, but Breanna, who was in her first year in Berklee Online’s Music Business degree program, eventually found some clarity on the outcome. 

“Honestly, my time at Berklee helped me understand why,” says Breanna. “In that moment, I was ignorant to some of the intricacies of copyright law. We wanted to use songs where we were writing our own lyrics to them and kind of doing our own verses with the choruses and it was something they didn’t necessarily want or even could have us do. And I’m like, ‘Okay, there’s a difference between sampling and interpolation and covers. It was something that I wasn’t aware of at the time.”

Now five years removed from the America’s Got Talent audition, Breanna has strengthened herself even more as a musician and entrepreneur, and in May 2024, she will walk at Berklee’s Commencement ceremony in Boston. 

“I’m proud of everything that I’ve been able to apply,” says Breanna. “I’ve learned so much, and I’m wanting to make sure I’m actually applying everything. But it definitely just takes time and intention, especially when you have four years worth of really great stuff that you’ve learned.”


One area where Breanna has been able to apply her knowledge from Berklee Online is with her latest musical project, F.L.O.G.I.C. In 2020, Breanna and Taylour rebranded from TomBoy into the Christian hip-hop duo (which stands for Favored Ladies of God in Christ). They write original music, have toured the US, and won the “Up Next” award at the 2022 Kingdom Choice Awards, the official award show for Christian hip-hop and urban gospel music.

Breanna and Taylour performing at the 2022 Kingdom Choice Awards as F.L.O.G.I.C. where they won the “Up Next” award.

“At Berklee, it always seemed like whatever I was doing personally with F.L.O.G.I.C. always coincided with the classes I was taking,” says Breanna. “I remember when I was interested in getting together touring, I just happened to be taking Touring 101, or in my first semester, I remember a lot of the Project Management for Musicians class, and Developing Your Artistry. Overall the Music Business program itself helped me connect dots that normally people aren’t able to connect on both the business and music level. It’s helped me with just being prepared when I go out into the world and I represent my group.”

Breanna (right) and her sister Taylour (left) in front of an ombre pink and purple background.
Breanna (right) and her sister Taylour (left) formed the Christian hip-hop duo F.L.O.G.I.C.(which stands for Favored Ladies of God in Christ).

One example of this was in June 2022 when Breanna was invited to the Apollo theater in NYC to talk about the music business on their Crossfade career panel. She says she got a sense of her growing expertise when she was the only one on the panel who was able to answer certain questions about music publishing. 

“I remember at one point they were getting these pretty difficult, tough questions that were coming up, and me and one of the guys that was the engineer were the only two, and eventually he tapped out and it was all on me, and I just remember being like, ‘Thank God I took these classes.’”

Universal Music Group 

In addition to her musical endeavors with F.L.O.G.I.C., Breanna interned at Universal Music Group, first in their publishing department, and then in the Urban Catalog division of Universal Music Enterprises, where she got to work on artist accounts as varied as Nat King Cole to Mariah Carey to Ariana Grande. Universal Music Enterprises manages the catalogs of artists under the various UMG labels, repackaging previously released music to gain new audiences and sustain old ones.  

Breanna interned at Universal Music Group, first in their publishing department, and then in the Urban Catalog division of Universal Music Enterprises

“It’s interesting with catalog music because you’re basically reselling the same thing to people that they’ve already heard,” says Breanna. “So it definitely took a lot of creativity of, ‘What’s going to make this campaign different from when the song originally came out?’”

One of the biggest projects that she worked on was for Donna Summer, commemorating what would have been her 75th birthday, which coincided with the release of the documentary Love to Love You, Donna Summer. She had the opportunity to collaborate with Bruce Sudano (Donna’s widower), who was a guest on Berklee Online’s Music is My Life podcast

“He is a very sweet guy and definitely is open to doing whatever he can to honor his wife, which I think is really cool,” says Breanna about Sudano.  

Pursuing Her MBA

At the start of 2024, Breanna was hired full-time in UMG’s publishing department, but two weeks in she became one of many employees affected by their mass layoffs. While Breanna says that she would be open to working at a label again, she decided to enroll in an MBA program at New York University. 

“I want to be able to just focus on entrepreneurship, but I’m open to being a specialist or a consultant or something like that, but I like knowing that the ball is in my park versus someone else’s.”

Berklee Commencement

On May 11, Breanna will officially close out her Berklee Online journey at the Berklee College of Music Commencement in Boston. Taylour, as well as their mom, dad, and brother, will be there to cheer her on and to celebrate Mother’s Day weekend. Breanna also plans to meet up with her Berklee Online Advisor Eric Zawada, who also graduated from Berklee Online’s degree program in 2023. 

Looking forward to the future, Breanna is eager to take what she’s learned from first-hand experience about music publishing to improve the music industry for creatives. 

“Knowing how to navigate the music industry in a way that is beneficial to me as an artist has me thinking about what I can do to advocate for other artists and to make this industry better,” says Breanna. “That’s ultimately what it comes down to for me: how are we going to make it efficient for people with intellectual property to be able to create while being properly compensated for what they do?”

 Published April 5, 2024