Brett Dennen is an artist who not only loves music but also has a passion to help people and create peace within the world.
His upbeat and bubbly qualities make him a very charming performer and above all, a down to earth guy. The mellow, folk-pop singer/songwriter is currently on his Love Speaks tour. Brett’s latest album, Hope for the Hopeless, released in October of 2008, has been rising on the Billboard charts.
Brett can most certainly entice someone with his sweet voice and intriguing lyrics, and the album illustrates what he stands for as an artist and a person. Supporting non-profit groups and charities is very important to the musician.
Brett Dennen will be making his eighth stop on the tour Saturday night, playing at the Trocodaro here in Philadelphia. The Temple News had a few words with Brett, who took some time out of his touring schedule to talk about his music, inspiration and his tour.
The Temple News: How would you describe your music?
Brett Dennen: I would say acoustic and singer/songwriter in a sense. I am interested in experimenting with certain sounds. I love Samba and African music.
TTN: What’s your favorite part about being on tour?
BD: I love that I am always playing music. Playing music every night is obviously the best part but also, to visit new places and see the world. I like that I’m always meeting new people every time I come into a different town.
TTN: Who are some of your artistic inspirations?
BD: I’m really into Van Morrison and Paul Simon.
TTN: Who is the most influential person you have collaborated or worked with so far in your career?
BD: My favorite person would be Femi Kuti, an African musician who is featured on “Make You Crazy” on Hope for the Hopeless. Some call him royalty in Nigeria. He is such a powerful person musically and his aura is so wonderful, as well. He has a sort of mystique. His presence is very strong and I really enjoy being around him. Not only musically did I benefit from our work together, but I loved taking to him about his family and how he comes from such a different culture than I do.
TTN: What is your favorite song on the album and why?
BD: “So Far from Me.” It’s the song I’m personally the closest to. Although we don’t play it that much at shows, it’s still my favorite. It’s very raw and tender.
TTN: Philadelphia is a city full of aspiring musicians. What would be some words of advice you could give them?
BD: Always be writing. Challenge yourself the most and really push yourself to write more. Writing is very important. You should push yourself to also be honest. I’m always trying to write new things, but sometimes it’s hard to get the words, which is why it takes time. Working hard and going on tour are also important. The more you play, the better. You’ll then gain a fan base and finally discover where you belong and start your rise to success.
TTN: You started getting involved in the Mosaic project. Tell us about that. Why and how did you get involved?
BD: I first started in college with some of my friends. It’s a program where different children from different schools get together. Children from all different backgrounds, ethnicities, races and cultures that wouldn’t have meet get to interact. It teaches them who they are and different skills to use as they grow in a diverse and peaceful society.
TTN: What do you hope people will gain from your music?
BD: I think, hopefully, people will realize that I don’t just sing to sing. I really want to inspire people to be themselves. I hope my music will really show people that they can do anything and that anything is possible.
For more on Brett Dennen, visit his Web site, brettdennen.net.
Danielle Grossman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.