BRAILEY LENDERMAN

photography by JOHN ELLIS
makeup by CLAUDIA LAKE
hair by NEAL PITTMAN
press agent RHIYEN SHARP
assistant QUAN MICHELLE

interview by MATT MOREIRA

 

 

Matt Moreira: What is your earliest musical memory?

Brailey Lenderman: Earliest would have to be a talent show I entered in 1st grade.  I was obsessed with the movie Oliver and Company.  There is a song in the movie that my mom always sang, so I entered the talent show with that song.  I sang it while my mom played the piano.  It’s like the shortest song in history but I just repeated the same verse about 12 times.

MM: What are your influences/do you have any musical influences that would seem out of place or coming from left-field?

BL: I have SO many influences, from every genre.  My two that I always say are Eric Church and Ryan Tedder.  I have always loved Eric Church, I love his story, his hustle and the way that he has never changed himself to get to where he is today.  And Ryan Tedder I mean, he started in Nashville, his songwriting is unbelievable, I am no inspired how he takes a concept and creates a master piece out of it.
I don’t believe I have any out of left field. I guess what would come out of left field would be Ben Harper.  His song, “walk away,” was the first song i learned on guitar.  He too blew me away with the way he captivates an audience while on stage.

MM: You’re originally from outside Atlanta – how has moving to Nashville affected your life and your musical direction?

BL: It has made my life better, to be honest.  There wasn’t anything for me in Atlanta.  I knew if I did not take a leap of faith and move to Nashville, my dreams would always stay dreams.  This move has helped me grow emotionally, and musically, I am a better person because of it.

MM: Talk me through the writing process for Remember All The Nights – did it come from a past experience?

BL: This was the first song that we created in studio.  Jared Logan, my producer, was playing a little riff on the guitar and I loved it, so that is the first thing you hear in the song.  With the melody Aswan North, my other producer, just started to belt this catchy tune, immediately knew we had something going.  Lyrically, we just kept throwing ideas out until we loved the arrangement.  Some ideas were from past experiences, and others were just by accident.

MM: You’re managed by Phoenix Stone – how did your relationship come about?

BL: I am not kidding when I say he just dropped into the studio on a good day but thank goodness he did! I sat with him as he listened to my song, and I remember feeling instantly comfortable around him. I ended up exchanging numbers with Phoenix and I made a note to myself to keep in touch with him.  After two years and 7 amazing songs later, I let him know I was done with my project, and it’s been magic since then. I never imagined doing the things I am doing so early in my career, and I mean, it can only go up from here because I do have someone in my corner who believes in me.

MM: There’s a real grit to your voice that could easily fit into many genres – are you interested in venturing into musical territory outside of traditional country music?

BL: I grew up on country, my heart is always going to be in country music, it’s my roots, but honestly, as long as I am making music, I do not care what genre I am in.  I want to create music that ALL people love.  People put too much pressure on being in a “genre” but that is changing, we have had so many crossovers already, all which have been huge hits.  So long story short, yes, I would venture out haha.

MM: What is your go-to cover song? Do you have a personal connection to it?

BL: I have two: Fast car and Hallelujah.  Both songs I have always loved, Fast car is just nostalgic, and I do not know one person that doesn’t like that song.  Hallelujah took on a whole new meaning when a close family friend passed away and I played it has his memorial, it was his favorite song and before he passed he asked me to play it.  Obviously, I said yes, so it’s a song that is near and dear to my heart.

MM: If you could go on tour with anyone right now, who would you choose?

BL: Eric Church of course.  As already known, he is a huge inspiration, but his shows are always sold out, so I know I would have a good turnout.  Who wouldn’t want to tour with an artist they truly look up to?

MM: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve gotten recently?

BL: It wasn’t recently, but it’s a piece of advice I carry with me always.  When I first moved to Nashville, my mom turned, looked at me and said, “Don’t you ever give up, you hear me? Do not ever give up, you keep going.  Unless God makes a different path for you, you never stop okay?”  I was raised to listen to your mother, and that’s exactly what I am going to do.