Artist Spotlight: Brendan James

The Day is Brave is one of my favorite albums by indie artist, Brendan James, so I was so excited to learn he was a new What's In-Store Music client. He's promoting his EP, The Howling, featuring "Bring My Love Home," playing at retail.

Here are his five questions and a shameless plug:

1. You truly are a touring vet, headlining and also opening for some very big names. What has been the most memorable “on the road” experience?

There are way too many to list, but playing the Lido Deck on John Mayer's rock cruise, as the ship pulled out of long beach harbor, with 2,500 people holding drinks in the air, and John himself introducing me in a ridiculous sailor outfit. That was a good day.

2. Your music has done very well getting placement in TV shows, documentaries and trailers. When you write do you have these opportunities in mind? Or is your music just a natural soundtrack for life?

I've never been great at "writing for just a moment." All my TV/film spots have been songs I'd already written I suppose. People that do that amaze me. I'm just a writer doin' my thing, who sometimes gets the good news that a song is headed for Hollywood.

3. You recorded “Let The River Run,” a duet with Carly Simon, which was featured at the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony. What was that experience like?

Can I speak 3,000 words here? Ah! It was life changing. Not only did we stream the duet live for the Ceremony in Oslo that day, but Carly ended up inviting me to her house and studio several subsequent times. It was magic ... surreal. A time in my career that I'll never forget. I learned so much about songwriting from her in those visits, but also about pursuing fame, and the high highs and low lows that come along with it.

4. Your songs often tackle some heavy subject matters, which you addressed in a 2013 TEDTalk. What messages are important for you to convey to your listening audience?

I just try to keep my eyes open, write from an honest place, and never avoid big truths. If I'm madly in love, I'm gonna write about it. If there's a war going on, I'm gonna write about that too. There's always a balance to be struck, but when art is honest and aware, I think it's good.

5. How does your most recent album, The Howl, differ from your previous albums?

I stayed up 'til all hours of the night dancing with my headphones on to write this EP. It's me just having fun in my own weird writer head I guess, trying to showcase the new voice and mindset I acquired out on the road, and trying to write memorable hooks without lame formulaic songs. It's just bigger and badder I guess really, but hopefully still me. Whatever that means.

Shameless Plug: What would you like our readers to know about you?

I have a daughter I love to the moon, and I can do a backflip.

Learn more about Brendan James:






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