Anchor Music News had the privilege of interviewing Brandon Williams. Brandon Williams is releasing “The Wilderness” on November 1, 2015. In this interview we talk about musical influences, the new record, touring, and Galveston places to visit.
This interview was the one I’m most proud of. Brandon is a musician on the rise. He is articulate and passionate about being a musician and believer. I look forward to continue covering and seeing his musical growth.
Rob: Who is Brandon Williams?
Brandon: A broken man, a beautiful mess, but one that’s constantly being reformed and transformed by Jesus. I love Jesus, I love music and I love the effect Jesus through music has to bring people together. I love old movies, NPR, and frozen blueberries with milk if that helps.
Rob:What inspired you to be a musician?
Brandon: I was a loner in school, battled a lot of depression. Music for me was how God really ministered to my spirit. When I wrote songs I could be really honest without having to be afraid of what anyone thought of me. The words and melodies were all a way I could be brutally honest with myself and everyone else.
Rob: Who are your biggest musical influences?
Brandon: I love storytellers like Ray Charles, Michael Jackson, Donny Hathaway, Feist, Bruce Springsteen, Brandon Flowers from the Killers, and Caleb Followill from Kings of Leon. Those guys just have a way of cutting through all the fluff to the heart. As far as worship, I love guys like John Mark McMillan, Dustin Kensrue, Citizens and Michael Gungor. The way he blends in classical, jazz, blues and so many other styles into music that is not only lyrically deep but also super approachable just amazes me. He is one of my top favorite musicians of all time
Rob: What is your creative process?
Brandon: It usually kicks in around 2am to be honest. Great music always puts me in the mood to write. I wrote “Ghosts” after a Sterling pop show concert. I remember sitting in my car after the show just really inspired by all the talent I had seen that night. Then i just got this little melody in my head and started singing Oooo Oooooo Oooooo. It just kind of hits me and then I can’t stop writing it. Sometimes it’s a quick process other times it takes years. I wrestle a lot with the songs I write, probably a little too much. Song writing isn’t for the faint of heart. If you’re not tearing off a piece of your heart and putting it into every song you write, then you shouldn’t be writing.
Rob: Your first album “The Wilderness” comes out on November 1st. Can you go into detail about the record?
Brandon: I kind of swung for the fences with this one. “The Wilderness” is the first of three cd’s project called “Where The River Meets The Sea”. The whole project follows the life of a man named Israel as he wrestles with death, sadness, faith, and joy. Every song is basically a moment from Israel’s life. The first cd “The Wilderness,” that’s coming out November 1st, jumps right into the mess. Israel’s been homeless for years and has literally been lost in the wilderness. We see his heart starting to change and Israel beginning to come to terms with the mistakes he’s made. This cd is really aggressive, slightly angry. My hope is that the listeners will not only be able to feel the tension, the chaos, doubt and the longing but hopefully be able to relate on some level.
Rob:What are you wanting people to get from this album?
Brandon: First, I want people to be able to see themselves in Israel’s struggles and understand that they’re not alone. God is intensely present in our suffering. Second, I want people to see the hope of redemption in their lives through Israel’s. I just want people to see that there’s hope in Christ.
Rob: I noticed when listening to your music you are a storyteller. What is the motivation for telling stories in your music?
Brandon: I love stories. I think it’s the telling of stories is what binds us together. That’s one of the things I love about the Bible. It’s all these beautiful, honest, and messy stories about God using these imperfect people to do amazing things. God has given us all stories that demand to be told. It’s through these that I’ve personally seen God bring healing and redemption. When we don’t tell our stories, we isolate ourselves and that’s never good. I tell stories really in order to help people tell their own. It’s like an 8th grade dance. Everyone’s sitting on the side not dancing. They’re all dressed up but not doing what they came there to do! But once that one kid with the glasses and the bad acne that never said a word in class gets out there and starts doing the moonwalk then everyone else gravitates towards the dance floor and huzzah! The dance is saved. It just takes one voice to have the courage to speak up. It’s that voice that gives others the courage to do the same.
Rob: You are currently on the Living Room Tour. What has the reception been?
Brandon: It’s been great! Everyone’s been super supportive. Everyone has their own favorite songs, which is cool. It’s been cool to hear people singing a long and just enjoying themselves.
Rob:What is the best thing about being a musician?
Brandon:I think the best thing about being a musician really is the connections I get to make with people. Music has a great way of bringing people together and expressing things that are sometimes hard to say. I love being able to create something raw, real, and personal. When I get to play those songs for the people I love and they’re jamming out, there’s no feeling quite like it.
Rob: Being from Galveston. What is one place everyone should visit in Galveston?
Brandon: Galveston is filled with good food, art, and music. I would say Mod Coffee on Post Office street is one of my favorite spots. The coffee is great; the people are awesome and super kind. It’s great place to study, work on music, or just chill. Plus, Hey Mikey’s, which has amazing ice cream, is right next door!
You can pick up “The Wilderness” here.