As we slowly come out of these unprecedented pandemic times, it was an honor to sit down with Saint Louis-born singer-songwriter Brandyn Burnette to talk about his upcoming EP “F.A.T.E” and the rollercoaster that is life.
The St. Louis artist spoke of how he continued to develop his sound stronger than ever when the pandemic hit. But much like everyone else, he was forced to do things differently.
“The music industry shut down.”Brandyn Burnette
Before the pandemic hit, Burnette was spending a lot of time in studios. And was starting to build a new sound, after recently signing with a new management team.
“I’m very social,” he explained.
“I love hanging out with friends, love being in the studio, giving and feeding off energy to my collaborators. Before people started getting into zoom, the music industry pretty much shut down. All my sessions got canceled, trips to other countries, songwriting camps… So it was pretty hard, early on, just navigating life indoors.”Brandyn Burnette
But within those doors, Burnette had recently gotten into a new relationship which revealed itself to be truly inspiring. “I had so much to pull from…” he said.
From going outside mindlessly to suddenly being stuck inside, we were all confronted with this unpredictably insane amount of time to spend with the same people. Brandyn explained how grateful he was to thrive as a pair with his newfound love in that unprecedented setting.
Making music in a digital space
Music is a feeling and energy-based art form and there was definitely something strange about engaging through a screen when it became the only way to create.
“It was a whole new world to navigate,” Burnette explained.
Before that, working with other writers, producers, musicians, “you’d get excited, you could feel it in the room.” Indeed, the digital universe presents a whole new set of challenges.
But the singer-songwriter embraced it: he could work with new collaborators and find comfort in recording from home.
“It felt like a safe space to kind of like explore and to try out different sounds or write about different parts of my life. Some of it was very personal, about what I was experiencing, being somebody who loves being around people, and suddenly being alone with myself.”Brandyn Burnette
Sources of inspiration
No artist this year wanted to find themselves writing only a series of COVID-related songs about being in lockdown. And simultaneously, human as we are, there came a point where we just couldn’t get on another Zoom call.
So what are you left with to put into a song? Burnette shared those exact frustrations but sought inspiration from them.
“I started finding myself writing about what I wanted life to be like, which was interesting because I’m usually writing about what life is like. But, you know, I had those memories in the back of my head, so I started thinking about what it was going to be like when things opened up again. It was definitely challenging creatively.”Brandyn Burnette
“I was expressing myself and it really helped with my anxiety… Without knowing where the world was gonna be, with tons of people getting sick around me, people losing loved ones, it was [a] very dark time. But to be able to pump up some creativity and kind of still keep moving through that was amazing, it really got me through… Writing songs got me through COVID.”
F.A.T.E (From Anxiety To Euphoria)
Not only did writing songs help Burnette deal with daily life during the pandemic, it led him to his new, upcoming project: a 7-track EP called “F.A.T.E.,” put together entirely during his time in lockdown working with different producers and musicians from home (including B-Sams).
“I’m so glad to be an artist in this day and age because I feel like a lot of artists are taking more risks and collaborating more with others outside of their genre.”Brandyn Burnette
The non-conformity in genre is something that is as present as ever in this upcoming project. Pulling from genres that accompanied him throughout his life, he’s kept with him a mentality he learned from his first ever collaborator, the multi-talented musician Jon Bellion.
Burnette constantly finds himself breaking boundaries and doesn’t limit himself to what his music can be; and he still creates his distinct sound palette.
The journey from “anxiety” to “euphoria” reflects the emotional shift he experienced between broken heart and new love, and all those months in between. He explained it ultimately as an “epiphany moment”, when falling in love pulls you out of the darkness.
“F.A.T.E” is about coming out of extreme sadness and anxiety, into a whirlwind of serotonin and euphoria with somebody new.”Brandyn Burnette about his upcoming EP
For Brandyn Burnette, it is all about being 100% present
As he continues to create, the ever-evolving Saint Louis musician is digging for even greater levels of honesty than he recently achieved.
Admitting to spending time under the influence, as it is often conceived and true of the music industry, Burnette recently said goodbye to having a foggy mind and somewhat distorted thoughts. After 5 years of smoking regularly with his former partner, he did feel connected to his music but “not super connected to myself,” he said. “So I decided to live a sober life.”
Writing with a clear head is allowing him to dive into deeper parts of himself and tell his story in a clearer way. “It lets me explore things I’ve gone through that I used to think weren’t cool to put in my music but that are actually really important to talk about. Things I never really explored before, because I wasn’t in the best headspace to do so.”
Rather than glamorizing drinking or smoking as he might have done, the singer-songwriter is looking to dig into more personal things such as overcoming anxiety and other mental health issues, peer pressure, and continue writing to help those around him through hard times.
“My emotions are at the surface of my body now.”Brandyn Burnette
It is a challenge, because of the environment that the entertainment industry provides. But as Brandyn explains, “I’m excited see what it’s like to write about life, without something distorting my headspace. Sometimes it’s painful, but it’s thrusting me towards more honest songwriting.”
Stay tuned for more from Brandyn Burnette
If you haven’t heard them yet, Burnette recently released two of the singles from his upcoming EP “F.A.T.E (From Anxiety To Euphoria): “Addicted” and “Punching Bag”. But there’s more coming.
His new single “Swish” is out today. You can stream it now to get lost in his fresh groove.