Brandon Cunningham
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Brandon Cunningham

San Antonio, Texas, United States | SELF

San Antonio, Texas, United States | SELF
Band Folk Rock

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A Series of Hopeful Songs-2010

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When asked what he wants to do with his life, the only answer Brandon can genuinely muster up is, "I want to play music". For him, it's that simple. It was that simple when he was 6 years old listening to nothing but gospel and Brian Mcknight, trying to sound just like the latter, whom Brandon claims is his singing idol. He even jokingly claims to have mastered all the vocal tricks and runs of Mr. Mcknight, but later confesses that he wasn't joking. Brandon grew up singing gospel songs in church and in the choir, wanting nothing more than to sing with the likes of Boyz II Men or Take 6. When he received a guitar for his 12th birthday, he was sure that it would take him where he wanted to go. 4 years later when he learned how to play it, it started to. Brandon wrote his first song for a girlfriend of his when he was 16. He promises that he can't remember how it went but assures us that it was terribleā€¦just awful he says. Luckily, he thinks he's started to get the hang of writing songs since his early tries. He played his first show ever at a local coffee shop before a popular Christian band. The crowd was big and supportive, but he admits to being almost paralyzed by nerves. Things have changed. Brandon says he feels like himself onstage, almost implying that he doesn't quite feel that way when he's not onstage.
When Brandon first heard Bon Iver's "For Emma, Forever Ago", he says music became more than just an inclination; it became what he had to do. He wanted to do what Justin Vernon of Bon Iver was doing. "When he plays music, you know it's coming from somewhere else other than just the guitar and his mouth. It's not really human". It's with this idea that he recorded his first record over the summer. Recorded in the house of members of The Blowing Trees with a band of friends who were kind enough to assist him, this record goes for just that. Recorded mostly in one short weekend, it exceeded all of Brandon's expectations. "The band totally meshed," says Cunningham. "The guys had never heard the stuff before that weekend. We got in the studio and I played the songs and we came up with the stuff on the spot. It was totally organic." "The songs are really just about hope. You look at the world and all the stuff wrong with it, and see the horrible things people have to deal with, but you also see those people finding something to hope for. People are clinging to the hope that they have, and with all of the horrible things going on in their lives and around them, people are still hopeful. It's really just about that."