Two Things I Know: Negative opinions only motivate me. Hard
work pays off.
Today, I’m honored to introduce you to an amazing young man, songwriter, David Brandon. I first heard of David on Facebook. He wants his music to be heard. Well, it sure got my attention. The first thing I thought when I listened to David on YouTube was “Wow, I can write to this.” His music brought me back to my late teens, early twenties—my wonderful college years―and listening to contemporary blues of Eric Clapton.
When I write, I use music to stir my emotions. For some reason, Keane’s music stirs up action-packed fight scenes. Jason Mraz, Norah Jones, Mika, Adele wake up that heart-wrenching emotion I need to write not only love scenes, but moments when my characters are at their worst. David Brandon believes he still has a lot of work to do. Well, his music fits right alongside my favorite musicians on my playlist. Get ready music world, he’s on his way.
David, I can’t thank you enough for taking the time during finals to be part of this series. Please take a minute and tell us a little about yourself.
I’m twenty years old and a junior at Towson University. I love to travel and meet new people. I’ve always been a very active person. I tend to spend a lot of my time out in the country or on the water; I love to surf.
I’ve always had an interest in music, it just makes me feel good, you know? When I play, or write, I feel like I become a different person. I’ve been playing the drums since the sixth grade. The drums are what introduced me to music. My freshman year in college, I picked up a guitar and tried to play a few chords. I couldn’t put the guitar down, and soon after, I began to write. Now, I write about everything, and probably couldn’t stop writing if I tried.
I love to relate to people, and it is an awesome feeling when people tell me they can relate to my lyrics, or how my lyrics helped them get through their day. I tend to listen to artists like Jack Johnson, John Mayer, Eric Clapton, Jason Mraz, Norah Jones, Sublime, Soja, and so on. I don’t spend a whole lot of time practicing or playing other people’s songs. I can play covers, but playing covers isn’t where my heart or interest is. I’m more interested in perfecting my own tunes and my heart lies within my own lyrics.
People of all ages have forgotten how to dream. What inspired you to dream?
Hmm, I’ve been dreaming since I was very young. I dream about traveling, meeting new people, and maybe even inspiring them with my music. Something believing in the power of a line in a song is an inspiration. I want to change the way people think through music. The dream of being able to stand on a stage with hundreds or thousands of people in front of me, waiting for the strum of a string, or a voice to come through the speakers inspires me.
We all place obstacles in our path which brings our dreams to a dead stop. I call these obstacles dream killers. What was your dream killer and how did you overcome it?
I think that everyone probably has had a 'dream killer' experience, but these comes in different waves. I haven’t necessarily had a dream killer experience because I’ve never doubted what I am capable of, but negativity can be hard to overcome.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. I’m use to strong criticism and other synonymous forms of negativity. I’m sure every artist has at least a few people that cut them down. But part of the fun in writing is seeing whether or not you are going to elicit a response from your listeners, and seeing whether or not they will care enough to develop an opinion. Being able to change an opinion is an accomplishment. Succeeding and following through with your plans is overcoming a 'dream killer.'
How do you keep the dream alive under extreme adversity – external or internal?
You have to believe in yourself. When people get you down, or when you get yourself down, you need to take the punches and build from them. One strike only makes you more prepared for the next. Learning to channel adversity in a positive direction is what gives me the ability to keep my dream alive. Show people what you are capable of!
When you reached the top, how did it feel?
I think making it to the top can be interpreted in a lot of different ways. I have not reached the top yet, so I’m not sure of how it feels. In order to get to the top- going on tour, or signing a record deal-, would give me the ability to market myself. Being able to use a record deal to my advantage in order to inspire and communicate with the people would be a huge accomplishment. Making it to the top for me is when I know I have been heard.
How did realizing your dream change you?
When I finally realized what I wanted to do, I felt changed in a sense of really knowing and believing that I could make it. I am here for a reason. Learning new instruments and having the ability to play by ear is also an advantage. Every time I listen to a new song, or listen to the radio, I think of how I could change that song to make it my own. I have only been playing the guitar and singing for a little less than two years. I am constantly editing my lyrics to make sure that I can relate to the people in the best way possible. I still have a lot to learn. I am open to all new styles and ways of playing. I like to listen to other artist’s styles and combine them to create and enhance my own sound.
What's next? What new dream would you like to reach for?
My goal is to really branch out and market my music in the next year. My dream would be to collaborate with a few artists who are known in the industry. Landing a record deal would just be icing on the cake. I have a lot to learn and a lot to work on. But with proper guidance and a good mentor, I believe I could learn new things and succeed in record time. I’ve always been a quick learner. I plan to have a few new songs written in the next couple of months and schedule some studio time to record them. Once the songs are completed, you will be hearing from me, hopefully through your radio. Success takes time, and I am patient, but look out.