Artist name: DeAndre Brackensick
Based in: Melbourne, Australia
Must-hear song: Sway
Congrats on your BEAUTIFUL album Black Denim. How did the album come along?
Thank you so much! The album is a collection of songs that I wrote within the last two years, of experiences of my own. I decided it’s time I put a full project out that was completely me, written by me, sounded like me, and repressed me as an artist. I’m an experienced writer, all my songs are personal stories. I’m selfish when I write, being that I write songs to help me get through what I’m feeling of dealing with. When I write I don’t write with anyone in mind, nor the intention of moving someone or writing a radio hit. It’s for me.
Now by saying that, when I put songs out for people to hear, I do want them to be moved and love what I’m presenting. Hopefully, it helps them with what they’re going through or at the very least take them out of their reality for 3 mins and 30 seconds … or however long the song is lol. But the initial writing process is that I write for me, because they’re all my stories.
Your Twitter feed is full of awesome retweets from music lovers. What are some the most honoring things people have said about the album?
I’m so so so humbled and grateful for all the love I’ve been receiving from everybody on this project. I still can’t believe the response I’ve gotten. But the personal messages from people saying that my music/lyrics have gotten them through hard times is really validating as an artist. Cause like I said when we put out a project we want people to receive it well. There was one woman whose husband had passed away, he was a musician and she was a singer. After his passing she had no desire to sing–it’s been 6 years since she sang she said–but she messaged me saying that my album inspired her and moved her to sing again. Now she’s starting to do gigs again and sing in the choir. She said it helped her heal. And honestly, that moved me more than anything.
The powerful words of your sister are featured on Black Denim too. What life lesson of her will you pass on to your future kids?
That you are the only person standing in the way of your dreams. That kindness is the most universal gesture you can give. It will take you anywhere. And it’s okay not to know what’s to come, happiness starts today, it can’t wait till tomorrow.
If you could pick three artists to get in the studio with, who would these be?
Tweet, Maxwell, Durand Bernarr. Tweet cause she’s one of my favorite artist of all time, there’s nothing I love more than that steady groove and a shit load of harmonies. She’s the queen of that in my eyes! Maxwell because he’s been an inspiration to me for years. I respect him as a lyricist, songwriter, and artist in general! And as for Durand, I’ve known him personally for a few years now, he’s one of the most talented people I know. His artistry, his vocal ability, and his choices I respect so much! To me, he’s one of the greatest vocalists of this generation and completely underrated. I’d love to share and be a part of that greatness by making music with him one day.
What made you decide to move to Melbourne? How did you get into the music scene?
I ended up doing a random show there on an Australian tour I was doing. I was literally there for one night and a morning and fell in love with the music scene! Then decided I needed a change a scenery to broaden my ear and expand my music, so I moved to Melbourne and recorded my album. Luckily I had contact with Billy Davis–a Melbourne artist–who was playing in the scene. I did a few gigs with him, one gig led to another and so I ended up being a full-time musician here.
What’s your most precious memory about your American Idol time? How have you evolved from then until now?
My most precious memory has to be performing in my hometown of San Jose. Getting the love from my city was really rewarding and seeing my friends and family in the audience was really special to me. As for how I evolved, I’m a bit more aware of fakeness and how the industry works because of American Idol. Also, I’ve learned so much about my craft because of the show. Being surrounded by such amazing singers every day, makes you easily pick up techniques and tricks from other vocalists.
Dream venue, dream city and dream audience to perform for?
Dream venue would be the California Theater in San Jose CA, filled with anybody and everybody who supports my music lol. I love intimate settings so I don’t prefer arenas. Also, to perform at the Essence festival is a goal of mine–it’s a bigger deal than Coachella if you ask me. Being able to have your name mentioned in a line up of artists that I look up to would be a dream.
What would be the best reaction you could receive from a fan after a gig?
The best reaction would be just letting me know how my music makes you feel. Whether it moves you, changed you, or just makes you feel good. I know my songs are making an impact on people, because that’s what I strive for when presenting my music to the world.