Daily Discovery: Cereus Bright, “Happier Than Me”

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

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ARTIST: Cereus Bright

SONG: Happier Than Me

BIRTHDATE: 8/28/88

HOMETOWN: Memphis, TN

CURRENT LOCATION: Knoxville, TN

AMBITIONS: Music and people have always meant a lot to me. I long to connect with people, to bless them, to inspire and challenge them. I want to have conversations – to talk about life and love and hurt and doubt. Music provides me a way to do all these things. My ambition is to continue. Today (and hopefully for many years to come) my medium is music, but more than anything I want to continue forward into meaningful living and loving.

TURN-OFFS: When people pronounce, “Reese’s” like “Reesees”. It’s the most annoying thing in the world. These same people then mis-pronounce “piece” as “peesee”. “Reesee’s Peesees”. Ugh. It’s terrible. I also get really sad when I experience art that is clearly not heartfelt. Also, my news feed right now is driving me insane. If I see one more article headline, I might explode.

TURN-ONS: I like when people have interesting fashion. I like whiskey. I love saying no. I like people who know who they are and aren’t afraid to live it out. I love seeing people be excited and excellent at whatever it is they do. I love poetry… is that enough? I could go on. Life is full of wonderful things.

DREAM GIG: A sold out show at the Bijou Theater here in Knoxville. It’s always been a really special place to me. Getting to fill it with the people here in Knoxville that have been such a big part of our journey would be a dream come true. Also, playing on one of the Late Night talk shows would be pretty hilariously awesome.

FAVORITE LYRIC: There is absolutely no way I could choose one. No way Jose. But, I can give you one I really love from the Damien Rice: I can’t take my eyes off of you. There is so much emotion in it. It’s really powerful.

CRAZIEST PERSON I KNOW: That’s difficult! I know so many crazy people, but I need to give a shout out to my bandmate, Evan Ford. I may have written this song, but he made it come alive. Without him, you wouldn’t even be hearing this song. To many people, I’m the crazy one, so for him to believe in me and these songs so much probably makes him even crazier.

SONG I WISH I WROTE: Fix You by Coldplay. I was an avid Coldplay fan growing up (I still love them). The first time I heard that song, I had to pull over just to take it all in. There’s something really magical about it for me.

5 PEOPLE I’D MOST LIKE TO HAVE DINNER WITH: Not this question! Hmm… Justin Timberlake, J.R. Tolkien, Plato, My Great-great Grandfather, Albert Einstein. Or, maybe just my old college roommates. We haven’t had dinner as a group in a couple years and that would be really fun.

MY FAVORITE CONCERT EXPERIENCE: Probably seeing MUSE and U2 play in Atlanta. It was a whole other level of performance and musical experience – unlike anything I’ve experienced. You don’t realize how powerful a concert can be until you see something like that. As a band, we got to play a show called Bluegrass Underground last year. It’s in a cave almost 400 ft below the ground. It was one of the coolest venues I’ve ever seen, so to get to play it was such an incredible and humbling experience.

I WROTE THIS SONG: In an age of constant connection, it’s almost impossible for us to escape each other. I wrote this song after a relationship ended. Even though I knew it was over, I still found myself watching this person’s life play out from afar. Not only was I watching, but also I wanted to win. I wanted to come out on top. I wanted to seem happier than she was. I thought that if I could appear happier (if only publicly), it would give me some kind of internal victory. Since I wrote this song, I’ve realized that these themes apply not only to ended romances, but also to a lot of our culture as a whole. We live in this state of constant connection and comparison and then we put on these facades to convince those around us how happy we are – while inside we are hurting and messy.

 

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