Local Artist Brannon McLeod
It seems that, now-a-days, the way to "make it" in the music industry has as much to do with your computer savvy as it does with your actual talent.
It seems that Brannon McLeod has both. When I listened to "Into The Sun" for the first time, I heard John Mayer, Sting, and Jason Mraz, all wrapped up in one song!
I had the opportunity to speak with Brannon for a moment on the phone today. It was brief, but it was long enough for me to get his story, and long enough for me to realize 3 things: 1) This guy is extremely talented; 2) This guy is extremely motivated and passionate about music; and 3) I was in the audience when he opened for Tab Benoit a few months ago at Grant Street Dancehall!
Originally from Lafayette, Louisiana, Brannon McLeod's interest in music started when he was 6 years old: he was in a music store with his parents when saw a drum set. He didn't know how to play them, but he wanted them badly enough that he begged his parents to buy the set for him. His parents let him down, but, strangely enough, Santa Claus dropped off a set during his next run through town!
While listening to music with his mom (she was listening to a LOT of 80s music at the time; Cyndi Lauper, Human League, etc), Brannon was learning. He wasn't just learning the words or how to play along on the drums; he was training his ear to catch EVERY aspect of the songs: the rhythms, the way the instruments interacted with and accented each other, the way the artist crafted his words and feelings around those instruments and rhythms...... it's like he would "become" the song, and then learn it from the inside out. Not only on the drums; Brannon plays guitar, bass guitar, keyboards, and has mastered the FL Studio (a music composition program).
His musical exposure wasn't limited to Cyndi Lauper: Brannon also remembers being mesmerized by the sounds of Funk: James Brown, Average White Band, EWF, just to mention a few (he kept spouting out band names, I couldn't type fast enough!).
When Brannon was 16, he got a job with a video production company (with the intention of working long enough to get video production experience, and enough money to buy a super-duper video camera and editing software). In the video for "Into the Sun", Brannon uses that same camera, a few dancers he met at Vertical Barre, and his video editing experience to put together a music video rivals anything shot in Hollywood!
When I asked Brannon why he did it all himself, he replied "I wanted to be able to control everything about the video because I wanted it to reflect me, and what I was feeling. I wanted it to be honest".
Brannon, a graduate of Acadiana High School, has played locally at Artmosphere, The Shed, The Oasis, Bob's Pub and Grant Street Dancehall, among other venues.
"I really appreciate you taking time to do a story on my music" was one of the last lines he spoke to me before we got off of the phone.... No, Brannon, thank YOU for taking time to make music for us. Keep it up.
If you would like to support Brannon and listen to his song, you can click his iTunes link to download "Into The Sun" here. You can also visit his website at brannonmcleod.com, and follow him on Instagram and Twitter at Username: @brannonmcleod
In the meantime, watch Brannon's video, "Into The Sun"...