Barry Brandon is a walking medical anomaly. By the age of five, he had undergone four open-heart surgeries and was granted a final wish from the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Unfortunately for him, they could not grant him the health he needed to pursue his dream of performing on the stage. So he took it upon himself to beat the odds and create magic.
Barry attributes his medical success to the love, laughter and support that he has received from his family over the years, but never forgets the other kids in the hospital who had to undergo this agonizing experience alone because their parents couldn’t afford to travel to the hospital. With these realizations in mind, Barry finds his voice for the first time by creating a one-man show where he tells his story through comedy, spoken word and song, called In My Own Words. The show has been performed in 6 states in 8 cities spanning from NYC to L.A.
He released a compilation full length album on iTunes in January 2012. The album, titled ETC features studio recordings, live recordings and a remix. Finding a home in Atlanta he has conceived, created, produced and promoted a monthly themed dance party titled Bedlam Presents. The party launched in May 2010 and has been going strong ever since winning numerous awards.
In 2012 he created and produced an Atlanta based singing competition titled Sing for your Life. The show became a success and is now gearing up for its second season.
In 2013, The Tin Man Project will begin its countrywide independent film festival run.
He is a comedian and cabaret performer who has surpassed his life expectancy since birth, when he was first diagnosed with a rare heart condition. At age 27, Barry is told that he will need his eighth open-heart surgery. Barry picks up a camera to record his time with friends and family as he prepares for an extremely invasive procedure that he is told by doctors could be his final moments on earth.
While friends and family joke and laugh with Barry, he tries to conceal that he is in massive heart failure and makes an unsuspecting goodbye to those for whom he cares most. Although the prognosis is grim, comedy roars as Barry, his prophetic mom Linda and his sidekick sister Aleacia make a well-documented raucous journey through the Mayo Clinic.
Near death, Barry reflects on his nine lives, the hand he’s been dealt, and the legacy he wants to leave. Attributing his medical successes to the undying love of his countless faithful friends and believers, Barry discovers the healing abilities of love and laughter. Using this concept, he creates a foundation to raise money for families of ailing children to stay together in times of crisis. Barry, his family, his friends and doctors trace his journey through raw footage of his last surgery, home videos, and the one man show he created, “In My Own Words” as he hangs onto every breath to see his dreams come true before his time runs out.
What’s the origin of Barry Brandon ?
It is my real name only first and middle. No one could ever say or spell my real last name so I got rid of it… truth be told I forgot how to spell it one time when I was signing something. That is how long it’s been since I had seen it!
Have you changed your name before?
Where Are you originally from ?
I am originally from Miami. I was born there though my entire family is from Brooklyn, NY.
when did you start sing for your life ?
The show because in October of 2012. I believe that is when we opened video submissions to the public for Season 2. We are now in Season 2 and things are so much bigger!
Can you give WWS MAG a sneak peak into the 2nd season?
Ohhhhh what would you like to know other than the talent is amazing, they deliver fantastic performances each and every Thursday night and on Tuesday nights you can tune in to GDMRadio.com to hear all of the performances that you missed from the contestants followed by downloading them for free after the show. Check out my website for info at HausofBarryBrandon.com. Click on The Barry Brandon Show.
What genre of music do you consider your work to be?
Pop. There are all of these subcategories of pop music but at the end of the day it’s pop
Who are your major influences?
Robyn is my everything and then mix her up a bit with some niceeeee 80s – Pet Shop Boys, David Bowie, early Janet and a huge splash of Bernadette Peters.
When did you form your band? What inspired you to make music and start song writing ?
I have been singing ever since I can remember. My mom sings as does my grandmother. My great uncle was a famous opera singer in Italy so I think it runs in the family. I recorded my first music in the studio in 2001 and then revisited it all again in 2008. That was the year I released my first EP.
Do you have a record label? Are you a member of any music organizations?
I am not on a label. I am all me, myself, and I – though I am planning on forming a label this year .
Where have you performed?
I have performed all over the US – in about 15 or so cities in about 10 or so states. No gigs overseas yet though.
What are your favorite and least favorite venues?
Omg I don’t want to name them!! That would be so rude!!
Do you have any upcoming shows?
I have a show called Sing for your Life that I am the Executive Producer of. This is an Atlanta based live singing competition much like The Voice and X Factor so I am there every Thursday and I am, coincidentally singing this Thursday night! (tomorrow).
Which songs do you perform most frequently?
That changes depending on my audience and my mood. A go to that the audience always wants to hear though is IDNU. They live for it!
Do you prefer to perform live or have some pre recorded options available?
Live. All the live. Makes people respect you that much more.
Do you ever play any covers? Do you have a set play list?
I sometimes do covers. Some Adele, some Robyn and some contemporary musical theatre stuff. I sing Never Land and Home by Scott Alan pretty often.
what inspired you to start the tim man project ?
I started filming myself a couple of months before heading into surgery and filmed all the way through. I turned over the footage to my good friend Jordan Hackworth who has since turned it into a full length documentary.
When do you think it will be released ?
The film has been submitted to film festivals and is now awaiting responses on where it will debut. Fingers crossed for any of the 3 huge festivals that it has been submitted to. I hear we will hear something in a matter of weeks.
are you close to reaching your goal?
Not even remotely close.
What are your rehearsals generally like? Do you have a set time each week in which you practice or are rehearsals more spontaneous?
I have been singing with my best friend JL Rodriguez for YEARS! He is also my songwriter. He pretty much directs me musically and I in turn direct everyone else. Funny how that works… I think it’s because he knows me so well and I trust him. It’s easier from the outside looking in so when you have someone that you respect so much it’s easy to know what the audience will love and comprehend – and therefore react to.
How has your music evolved since you first began playing music
Absolutely! Same songs but with a different delivery. That much more wisdom and truth in the lyrics, ya know?
What has been your biggest challenge as a song writer ? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how?
The biggest challenge for me has been to find my piece of the puzzle. I got annoyed that I wasn’t understood – like my point of view wasn’t being taken to the next level so I opted to create my own world. Now I have eyes on my work and projects because I created the world in which it all lives.
.What’s your ultimate direction AS Songwriter and singer ? Are you seeking fame and fortune?
I wish for Sing for your Life to be a televised show and I wish to have a full service creative and management company and record label that my creative circle and team will be a part of. I wish for the world to have an opportunity to see and hear the art that is being created in our heads.
When is your album releasing?
My full length compilation record was released last year, in January of 2013, via iTunes. You can download it now actually!
.How can fans-to-be gain access to your music? Do you have a website with sample songs or a demo CD?
You can buy the album on iTunes (linkhttps://itunes.apple.com/us/album/etcetera/id592657045 )
Keep up at HausofBarryBrandon.com (my twitter instagram and facebook links are on that site so you can link those)
And keep up with Sing for your Life atwww.SingforyourLifeATL.com
Where We Stand Magazine will be doing an Interview with the Winner of Sing For Your Life Season 2! So y’all Better Bring It !