Bren was merely nine when he discovered the love of his life. His parents were hosting another party and he had known there was a band coming to perform live, but he could have never predicted that band would change his life forever. They began playing and as he walked down the stairs, his small eyes grew wide with enchantment. Everyone around him was smiling, dancing and free. He had never seen so many happy people in one place before. He didn’t tell his feet to move, but they began moving as if the music had swept him off his feet. That night Bren feel in love with music, and was mesmerized by the dancing, the colors, the joy, and the freedom it brought. The evening came to an end far too suddenly for Bren and although exhausted, he wished he could still be dancing.
Many years later, Bren stood in front of a large crowd. The spotlight was blinding, and fed the anxiety within him. His sweaty hands balled into fists and he could feel his stomach crawling towards the back of his throat. He felt dizzy and sick and it was almost as if he could feel all of the eyes looking up at him. Mustering up all his strength, he took a deep breath and grounded himself. Suddenly all of his worries melted like a popsicle on a summer’s day. Perhaps it was the first note that he strummed, or the first note which was sung, but standing there, he knew he was exactly where he belonged. Looking out on the crowd, there were all different people, but in his eyes they all had something in common: they shared this moment with him. They all possessed love for music and they felt every word that he sung to them. All these people, who are looking on, all had different stories and different ways of living, but in this moment they were all moved by whatever hypnotic power filled the air.
While the meanings of his words may differ widely throughout the crowd, the overwhelming essence is not about the artist, but the experience. An experience meant to simultaneously treasure and share with one another. Whether present because they listen to Bren’s podcast every day, or because they love his music more than anything in the world, they have all been inspired by the artist’s authenticity.
It is difficult for many to imagine that such a charismatic person experienced so much tragedy. Yet, the journals he now fills with lyrics were once filled with sorrow. There was no easy way to move forward, but Bren soon realized that if he wanted to be happy, he had to carry on. With the help of his family and friends, Bren discovered a sense of belonging in music. Perhaps it was the discovery of this talent, the talent to transform feelings into music, that changed Bren from being lost and suicidal into being an inspiring artist. The transformation is so incredible, when you look at Bren now. Giving TED talks to crowds, and putting his first record out. You may think that he has become a different person, but in reality, his transformed his struggles into his strength. Today you can only see the spotlight that follows him across the stage, but know that once there was only darkness in his life.
Bren strives to make a difference in the world. Hoping that when he has long ago been wiped from the Earth, his albums will remain for the generations to come. Because each day the world will go on spinning, and every year, our planet will complete another trip around the sun and what is the purpose of living if when time goes on, our lives are forgotten? Every gig Bren has, he has one goal: to inspire and with every show he learns inspires more. He hopes that people will turn on his music and dance. He hopes that people will turn on his music and sing. He hopes that people will turn on his music and listen. And he hopes that his music will help them accomplish their dreams.
Story written by Karen Richards.