Proud to bring you today an exclusive interview with Braden Barrie, the one behind the project known as SayWeCanFly. He was an Artist Spotlight feature on the site back in December and I remarked that he has the most pure, delicate voice that I've ever heard with his wondrous vocals and immense positivity emanating strongly from his music that has inspired countless fans from all over the country and across the world for that matter. Braden was nice enough to carve some time out of his schedule as he gets ready to hit the studio to record his upcoming album and we talked about his early beginnings in music, along with the deep connection he has with his fans and why they're so important to him. Here is the transcript from our chat:
Tell us your name and what instruments your regularly play?
My name is Braden Barrie and I sing and acoustic guitar is my main instrument. I do a little bit of piano as well in my recording.
What is your earliest memory of listening to music at a young age?
When I was a kid, I was raised in a Christian family, so I was into a lot of Christian bands like Relient K and Underoath, there was also this acoustic act called Secondhand Serenade that got me into the acoustic side of things when I started straying away from the Christian tier and everything, I had always liked artists that did things more independently. When I first started researching people on YouTube and artists who recorded their own music in their own bedroom, those people were my inspirations.
How has music affected or shaped you personally into who you are today?
When I was 12, my parents split up and my sister ended up leaving as well, so my family had split. I didn't really have many friends in high school cause I just didn't know anyone and I was a pretty lonely kid, I remember paying $100 to go buy my first acoustic guitar and everytime I picked it up and played it, it took me away from those problems and I could go on for hours playing and it was always there for me and that's probably the reason it's such a big part of my life and part of who I am because it was the only thing that I care about and it was always the one thing that took me away from what was going on.
Describe your early years growing up in the Toronto area and how big of a role music played in your upbringing?
As a kid, the music scene was good when I was in high school and they were shows every Friday. In town, a lot of my friends threw shows but focusing on my music took me to a lot of different places and go on tours away from school, I didn't get too much time with my family because of music. Now my friends have gone off to college and I'm still touring and I don't get to see them much. I felt as a kid, I wasn't so much myself through music but I also felt I missed out on some things because I was always so focused on it, but it was sort of a sacrifice about it to make and be ok with, it was just a crazy experience as a teenager.
How does it feel knowing that your music has impacted the lives of so many people?
It's honestly the most amazing thing, and some of the times I step out and look at my music from someone else's perspective, but when one kid comes up and tells me his music has helped him through something, it's a honor because I remember bands I used to listen to and how important they were to me and so key to me getting through things. When I started doing this I never would've thought that would happen, it's the most rewarding feeling it means more than any numbers on the Internet or any amount of on air, it's a deep connection with another human I can't find anywhere else and that's the reason I love playing shows so much.
When did you first write your own songs and how has your writing style evolved since then?
I was 14 when I write my first song, I wrote it on a electric guitar. Back then when I started writing, you're always wondering how to do it better. I struggled for a lot of years figuring what I was going to write about which is funny because you would think that you would know. A lot of times I would write a song, and the words wouldn't make sense to me but then eventually it would. Now I feel like with practice and time, I'm able to articulate what I want to say and more easily with more imagery. And that's something I'm happy with, but for me songwriting is something that can't be forced it's whenever they come, they come and when I try to force it, I feel like I can't write so it's kind of a spiritual thing I can't explain.
Describe the recording process for “Heaven Is Hell” and what that whole experience was like?
That was the first time I went out of my country to record, which is amazing because the whole time felt like an adventure to me which kind of made it more fun. And working with someone I looked up to and having him bring his little touch to it was just such a great experience. It was weird, because originally I wanted to do the album completely acoustic but then it turned out to be a full band with drums and electric. Because it turned out that way, it helped me find my sound more as well, it helped me figure out what I don't want. Not that I didn't like it but it just really helped me grow as an artist, it was really fun and I'm really excited to go back and do it again.
Away from playing and making music, what do you like to do for fun in your spare time?
Honestly I take a lot of walks and go get coffee and stuff, I do a little bit of video stuff, animation, and photography. I do watch a lot of Netflix, but I'm usually always working on something doing with music because I always want to progress, I do play video games sometime though.
What are your plans for the rest of the year, any new music coming up on the horizon?
I'm leaving on Monday to record my new album, it will be my first full length and I hope to get that out by the end of the year. I'll be doing a whole bunch of touring as well, lots of new music and stuff and I'm really looking forward to it.
Lastly, if you weren't involved with making music, what do you think you would be doing?
It's hard to imagine that, but before I started playing guitar I was really into acting and movies, I used to juggle that and act things out for hours. I did theater in school and stuff, that was a huge passion as well. But I think I would've taken another form of art, it would most likely be doing with acting and photography or with movies probably.
Thanks once again to Braden for taking some time out to do this interview. You can see the impact his music has had on so many listeners, and he's an inspiration to myself as to how to conduct my life and always have that positive spark within you that has an immediate impact on those around you and everyone you come in contact with. For more info on SayWeCanFly, 'Like' him on Facebook here and follow him on Twitter right here as well.