Bringin’ it Backwards: Interview with Brandon Jenner

Listen & Subscribe to BiB

Videos by American Songwriter

We had the pleasure of interviewing Brandon Jenner over Zoom video!

Brandon Jenner’s music feels like a lot of different things—often all at once. In some ways, it’s like your childhood best friend disclosing an important truth by the glow of a beach bonfire. In other ways, it’s like the moment you stop worrying about what other people think and can laugh and smile anywhere without apology.

However, the Los Angeles-born singer, songwriter, and producer describes what his music feels like best.

“I try to make it feel like a warm, cozy blanket,” he laughs. “I hope I’m able to be that way in life as well!”

Music always gave him this warmth. With a singer-songwriter mom, he went from “being a fly on the wall” in his stepdad’s studio (just Google his stepfather!) to developing his own relationship with music when Ben Harper’s “Forever” got him through his first true breakup. After a pair of EPs and major syncs as one half of Brandon & Leah, he launched his solo career with the independent Burning Ground EP in 2016. The title track amassed over 26.5 million Spotify streams as he claimed coveted real estate on popular playlists such as Your Favorite Coffeehouse, License to Chill, and more. In between touring with the likes of Rachael Yamagata and Joshua Radin, he unveiled the Face The World EP [2018], Plan On Feelings EP [2019], and So Childish EP [2020]. After a whirlwind of gigs around the world, marriage, and the birth of his twin sons, he personally wrote, recorded, and produced his Nettwerk debut EP, Short of Home, in the middle of the Global Pandemic.

Coupling life changes with a lifetime devoted to music thus far, he opened up like never before.

“I think I’ve gotten better at giving myself the license to be truly vulnerable,” he admits. “It’s about what the songwriter is willing to let the listener in on. I’m not trying to overcompensate for the blessings in my life anymore. I’m writing about the changes in my life. I wanted to go back to what got me to play music in the first place, which is singer-songwriters with songs that make you think and feel deeply. For the first time in a long time, I have a label partner too, and I’m really excited about that.”

He introduces Short of Home with “Something About You.” Faintly plucked acoustic guitar wraps around his intimate delivery as he delivers a love letter to his wife.“

The lyrics just seemed to roll out like a runaway train,” he says. “It was an overwhelming feeling that brought me to tears. I’m so happy and grateful. It captures my first impression of my wife and my love for her.”

Originally penned in some “hipster-y hotel in New York,” slide guitar echoes underneath dusty verses on “There You Are” as his high-register hypnotizes on the hook.

“It’s mostly about how society forces us to lose sight of the fact the only thing we have is the present,” he admits. “We spend so much of our time planning for the future—which causes stress—that we spend very little time in the present. It’s a reminder we have lungs that work and hearts that beat. You’ve got to silence the noise of society and be in the moment.”

“Give It All You’ve Got” rides along on upbeat guitar towards an affirmation to “live life without filtering yourself through the opinions of others.” Then, there’s “Life For Two.” Written at the request of a dying fan in Denmark, he gives her two children “a song about what their mom went through.” Everything culminates on “Wolves.” A piano-laden rumination, he croons a heartbreaking refrain, “No, you’re not special to me anymore.”

“It’s the moment when you’re over someone,” he comments. “It was written with a lot of emotion because it’s what I was going through at the time. It’s honest. I’m not trying to do anything other than express myself. I found myself in an energetic shift that needed to take place.”

In the end, Brandon Jenner’s music really feels like home.

“In the past, I just wanted people to respect me as a musician,” he leaves off. “With my last name, it was something I was hung up on. I don’t care so much about that anymore. What I really want is for somebody to feel the emotion I did—to feel better, safer, more inspired, and like the world has meaning. I went through so many challenges and changes and found relief. If you do as well, it’s all worth it.”

We want to hear from you! Please email [email protected].

#podcast #interview #bringinbackpod #BrandonJenner #Jenner #zoom #aspn #americansongwriter #americansongwriterpodcastnetwork

Listen & Subscribe to BiB

Follow our podcast on Instagram and Twitter

Leave a Reply

Jakob Dylan

Review: The Wallflowers’ ‘Exit Wounds’ Makes an Indelible Impact