Brett Gleason: Strong and, Thankfully, not so Silent

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The one thing I have always loved about NYC is the music scene. As a matter of fact, the reason I started blogging about ten years ago was to highlight musicians I met around the city. Brett Gleason happens to be one of the first people I interviewed. Since then he’s become a great friend and I’ve seen him perform numerous times over the years.
The thing I’ve always loved about Brett is that his music is truly an extension of who he is. When I first heard him, it was very unique to me because I was going through a mostly pop and R&B phase. His lyrics were and are like poetry, but not the everyday kind, they remind me of deep literature class poems.
Besides being a wonderful musician, Brett is also a very vocal advocate for the LGBTQ community (He’s written for HuffPost) and he advocates for mental health. As you’ll read, it is very inspiring that a boy who was mostly shy as a child because of a speech impediment became such an advocate and performer.
Getting a chance to interview Brett is always a treat and a pleasure. He’s got so much going on, like adding a band to his performances, changing up his sound a little, AND this amazing Patreon community he is building (if you aren’t part of it yet, you will want to join to keep up with him). I invite you to join our conversation to learn more about him, make sure you follow him on social media, and reach out to say HI to him (and to me too). Check out his videos for Expiration Date and Alive at the end.
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Q: For those who don’t know all about you, tell us a little about Brett Gleason’s beginnings and Brett growing up. Was music always a part of your life?
Brett Gleason: Hey Tommy, thanks for asking.  I’ve always played music but the role it played in my life has varied – as a kid, piano lessons started as just one of my many activities, my main one being gymnastics.  As I grew into my teens I was a seriously competitive gymnast but as I developed emotionally and dealt with injuries, I took to music more personally and started listening to Tori Amos and the Smashing Pumpkins and realized music was something really important to me and was going to be my life’s path and I started writing songs.
Q: I’ve known you for a long time and I’ve always said your lyrics are very intellectual, kind of like musical literature. Will we ever hear a pop song from Brett?
Brett Gleason: To be honest, I think that my music isn’t too far from pop, especially my new songs, which I guess are still to be heard by most.  My sounds are more rock, or even folk sometimes but my structures are getting more simple as I’m trying really hard to get my message across. I  used to write more complex songs but I think I was just hiding, or even showing off.  I’m using more simple song structures now which is kind of what pop is.  It’s not obvious mainstream but it’s simple & heartfelt.
Q: How many instruments do you play? And did they all come naturally to you?
Brett Gleason: The piano is my main instrument but I’m also a fairly accomplished guitar player, a proficient bassist, and an intermediate ukulele player.  NONE of them came naturally to me, it was all work.  Most people think musicians were just born with ‘talent’ and it may be easier for some but it’s been a long journey, I’ve been playing for 25 years and I still have a lot of limitations but our limitations are what we work around and that’s how ‘style’ is born.
Q: The definition of Indie Artists has become a bit misunderstood by many. What does it mean to you to be an Indie Artist?
Brett Gleason: The phrase ‘indie’ has been co-opted by corporations to mean ‘rock’ music these days so now I say DIY. If you’re on a label, have funding, you’re not ‘indie’.  I know there are ‘indie’ labels but some of them are pretty damn big.  I’m DIY.  I do it myself with the support of my fans.  They support me financially and emotionally and I make the decisions that I think are best for the music & them.  It’s a really slow process but I’m thinking big picture.  A label could help me blow up fast but they’d own everything and could quickly abandon me if things go wrong, take all my music and leave me with all the debt.
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Q: You recently added a band to the Brett Gleason experience. How did this come about?
Brett Gleason: My recordings have always had a ‘band’ but as a multi-instrumentalist, I played most of the instruments which has been tricky to pull off live.  I don’t play drums so I’ve always had a great relationship with my drummer and often play live together but it hasn’t been financially feasible to consistently hire a full band. However, I’m stepping things up this year and now that I have some consistent support through my Patreon and new music that really calls for a special sound, I think it’s finally worth it.
Q: You have said that you had a solitary childhood because of a speech impediment. How did you overcome that and what/who helped you to get through/past it?
Brett Gleason: Kids are amazingly resilient and I was so young that I just rolled with it.  My parents were smart and kept me busy, they put me in gymnastics, music lessons, lots of individual things that I could do alone to build up my confidence.  I had speech therapy, worked on creative writing – it definitely affected me socially but that’s where art comes in.
Q: You have been so open about your own struggles and mental health. What advice can you offer to those who are struggling and especially to those struggling in silence?
Brett Gleason: Open up to someone.  And if they don’t listen, open up to someone else.  The sooner the better.  I waited way too long until I was in crisis because I didn’t think it was serious enough but it usually doesn’t get better until it gets worse and there are so many resources out there but you can’t access them alone, especially as a kid.  I needed help when I was 13 but I didn’t get it until I was 19 and then I had to drop out of college and get hospitalized but still, at least I did that then.
Q: There’s new music coming! Tell us a bit about it. Will these songs reflect the changes like the band and the work you’ve been doing on you?
Brett Gleason: Thanks for asking! I have a new single coming out on June 7th called, ‘The Strong & The Silent’ that will kick off a new sound for me.  It’s about a proud man who uses his strength as a shield against vulnerability…
Q: What’s one thing you absolutely cannot live without and one thing you wish we could all live without?
Brett Gleason: I really can’t live without coffee but I wish I could.  This sounds very idealistic but I wish the world could live without borders dividing and defining us.
Q: You’ve also been vocal and open about your sexuality. What does it mean to be an out artist, especially in today’s climate?
Brett Gleason: I really don’t know anymore…I’m very open about being gay and bipolar as I like to be transparent and give my music context but I don’t call myself an out artist anymore because my music doesn’t really vibe with the ‘gay music community’ very much and as a cis-white gay man, music mags that focus on queer content aren’t interested in posting about what I do so its kind of pointless to promote myself as such.  I just like sharing who I am, looking for nothing in return other than connecting with other people.
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Q: What would you tell your younger self about being gay and what would you say to the young people who are having a hard time that is being made worse by all of the political stress going on now?
Brett Gleason: I would say to my younger self that being gay is like the 3rd or 4th thing that defines you.  I spent much of my 20’s trying to find where in the gay scene I fit in and it tortured me because I never felt like I belonged.  Now I spend my time in the music community specifically and meet lots of cool gay musicians and non-gay musicians who really don’t care whether I’m gay or not.
To young people stressed out by the political times happening now, I really don’t know what to say other than to tell them they really need to educate themselves on the last 5 decades of gay struggles to see the overall arc of progress and to see that people have been fighting hard for their rights and that there is always a push and pull.  There will be more progress, things have been worse and things will be better.  But you need to educate yourself, be grateful for those who came before you and advocate for your future.
Q: You have been using Patreon to connect with your fans. What has that been like and what can people expect when they join you there?
Brett Gleason: Patreon is the future of music.  It’s a fan club for artists to connect with their fans.  It’s a semi-private site/app where I post all my work in progress and more personal, substantive blogs that I wouldn’t put publicly online.  In return, my fans choose a monthly amount to support me with, anywhere from $1 to $100/month.  This has changed my life – allowed to consistently create new music, explore new sounds, work in a proper studio and hire a band, mostly from small donations.  It has also helped me connect with people who really care about my work as opposed to people who just click ‘like’ on my photos but never listen to or support my work.  It’s deeply changed how I view myself as an artist in the most profound ways.  I highly recommend checking it out, there’s no contract or anything.
Q: Where else can people find you and your music online?
Brett Gleason: Google me! I use social media a lot and would be grateful if you’d follow my Spotify for when my new music comes out.
Here is my SpotifyInstagramTwitterFaceBook & of course my Patreon!
Q: What’s up next for Brett Gleason?
Brett Gleason: The ‘The Strong & The Silent’ comes out on June 7th, I’m doing a release show in NYC on June 20th at Berlin and then a Northeast tour in August.  I’ll be following that up with another single in the Fall then a new album in 2020.  Hit me up, shoot me an email. Say hi! Thanks Tommy, love you!

Brandon Rogers turns Apathy into a cathartic, emotionally-charged musical experience

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Some people were meant for music and, in some cases, music was also meant for them. Such is definitely the case with Brandon Rogers. If you’re a fan of his from his American Idol days or just a fan period and you follow his journey on social media, you see how he literally lights up when he’s singing. That light is always something I find contagious whenever I am watching someone perform. Plus, as you’ll learn, Brandon has been surrounded by music from a young age.

If you know Brandon, you know that in addition to being so talented, he’s also a really good guy. I have had the privilege of hanging out with him a few times, so I’ve witnessed his kindness and humor but again, if you follow him on social, you see that shine through regularly. Some of my favorite posts of his are when he watches Idol and shows his support for the current contestants, gives his advice, and offers encouragement. He also showcases that sense of humor on the regular, so if you aren’t following him, make sure you do so!

His new song, ‘Apathy’ is a beautiful statement about moving past hurt and difficult relationship memories. It’s also a stunning video with lots of familiar faces (My very good friend Ronnie Kroell appears in it as well). I included it at the end of this interview for you to enjoy!

Now, let me allow you to experience a little of Mr Brandon Rogers:

Q: Your journey with music has taken you so many places. Tell us a little about how you got started, did you always know you had such talent and were you always ready to honor it?

Brandon Rogers: Thanks so much for the compliment! Music has always been a part of me; I’ve been singing pretty much my whole life. My mom and dad both sang around the house growing up and my mother was even an aspiring songwriter at one time – but as she would say life got in the way.  I’ve just always been immersed in musical energy.  I’ve played piano since I was 9, played sax in bands, sang in choir in school, studied vocal performance and jazz in college, then joined a boy band right after school.  I’m lucky to have parents that always supported and loved my musical aspirations.

Q: Speaking of journeys, your song and video ‘Apathy’ take listeners/viewers on a bit of an emotional one. Where did the inspiration for the song and video come from?

Brandon Rogers: I’m sure it goes without saying, but I love this song.  I loved writing it and it was cathartic emotionally in a way that I didn’t anticipate.  When it came time to figure out the visual medium, I just wanted to convey that no matter which side of a breakup you’re on there’s going to be some sort of residual emotion that is sometimes tricky to shake.  I wanted it to feel like I was simply the narrator while all the talented actors (some of which were real couples) displayed the range of emotions expressed in the song. The flashing Edison bulb is the device I used to bind all the scenarios. I’m really proud of how well the director (Rashsaan Patterson) realized the vision.  We then sat down and edited it ourselves until we felt it had the right energy.

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Q: Being an ‘American Idol’ alum, are you glad to see it return? What advice do you offer current/future contestants? What advice do you wish you had received when you were on the show?

Brandon Rogers: I’m always glad to see American Idol return.  It definitely holds a special place in my memory.  I made some friends that I’ll have for a lifetime and it got me out there in front of the public in a major way. The advice I would give to all contestants is to enjoy it while it’s happening.  It’s easy to get caught up in the future – meaning where you’ll end up/what will you sing next week/what happens afterwards/etc but I think it’s important to just be in the moment.  The experience is singular.  Relish it. What I wish I would’ve known was that when it’s over, it’s completely up to you what happens next.  It’s can be a springboard for your career, but YOU have to do the work.  It’s not just going to happen automatically and they won’t necessarily help.

Q: ‘Apathy’ brings up a great point. “The opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s apathy”. That applies to personal relationships, but in our current situation, it also applies to much of the social and political issues we face today. Do you think there is a cure for the kind of apathy that exists in that context?

Brandon Rogers: Good catch. I wish I could say that I made it up but I borrowed it, with love, from the holocaust survivor/activist Ellie Wiesel. The quote starts “The opposite of love is not hate, its indifference.” I used it in relation to a relationship, but it’s original meaning were definitely more politically salient. To me, the hard part in avoiding political apathy is that we’re so inundated by information from every angle that every new tragedy or scandal has become routine. The only cure would be realization that we all have the agency to push for changes we want to see in the world.

Q: Will we be seeing/hearing a new album soon?

Brandon Rogers: Definitely.  I have most of it written already and I’ll be releasing them one by one as they’re finished. Next up is a song I wrote called “Weekend Love”. It’s an upbeat song about that moment when you start to realize a relationship is drifting from a casual thing on the weekends to something more serious. Should be out in the coming weeks.

Q: What is one thing you absolutely cannot live without and one thing you wish we could all live without?

Brandon Rogers: The one thing I can’t live without and the one thing I wish we could all live without are the same thing : my phone. It’s definitely a mass addiction.  Maybe we’d all connect a little more if we disconnected a bit online.

Q: Where can everyone find you online to keep up with all you have going on?

Brandon Rogers: The best way to find out what I’m into is to follow me on IG/Twitter @brandonrogersla and to subscribe to my YouTube page (I need followers!)

Q: What’s coming up next for Brandon Rogers?

Brandon Rogers: I’m going to try to release more music and video at a more regular pace.  First “Weekend Love” then either a song called “Science” or “Run”. I’m on the fence.  In the meantime, I’ve got a single out with an Italian DJ Matt Strike called “I Refuse” that I co-wrote with Will Jay. Additionally, I’m just going to keep on writing and being creative every day in hope of putting a more positive creativity into the world. 

Daniel Alexander will be around more than Just For Tonight…

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I first met Daniel Alexander in Ft Lauderdale, Florida while I was on vacation. At that time he told me all about his passion for his music and his desire to make some changes to his career. He was feeling like he needed to experience more, get out of his comfort zone, and find his voice in more than just a musical way. We’ve kept in touch since and one night when I was leaving The Abbey in Los Angeles I literally bumped into him on the street. At the time, he was planning to move to Los Angeles but I hadn’t realized he had arrived already.

Last year, we hung out at LA Pride, where he told me about some of the changes he made and shared with me his plans to release new music soon. Well, the time has come for that music to be shared with everyone…… so, I got him to agree to a little interview……

Q: You have said that Just for Tonight is autobiographical. It’s a deep song that definitely seems to have lots of meaning behind it. Tell us what the inspiration was behind it?

Daniel Alexander: While Just For Tonight has elements of a fun Pop song, it is actually a deeply personal track about my struggles with anxiety and making it in the music industry. “It gets real late at night, I walk the street alone. These LA city lights always set the tone.” The song was inspired by a 3am walk I took down Sunset. I was thinking about how far I’ve come and where I want to be. I wondered if I’d ever be good enough or if I’d ever become the artist I’ve always wanted to be. The “boy” in the song is me. It’s the younger version of myself who I’ve been trying to live up to my entire life. That little boy with the big dreams of becoming a Pop star.

Q: You write your own songs so would you say they are all autobiographical or do you incorporate others’ experiences into your work?

Daniel Alexander: I have to say that most of my songs are inspired by something I’ve been through. Even the party tracks are written after an insanely fun night. Whether they are dramatized for the sake of the song or not is a different story. However, I’m an artist. I tend to see things in a more dramatic light than others would. I feel things in a more intense way. My life is a movie and I always have the lead role! 8214DE88-558B-4224-A2CF-0019603338D5

Q: You appear to have definitely come into yourself as you made other changes in your life. How was it to move across the country and sort of start all over?

Daniel Alexander: Leaving where I grew up to move to LA was one of, if not, the hardest things I’ve had to do. Before I left, I really underestimated the challenges and mental strain it would have on me. However, I knew that staying where I was and not taking the leap would have a greater effect on me. My drive and passion for music is what allows me to breathe. It’s the reason I wake up in the morning. I knew it was the right thing to do.

Q: Speaking of starting over, you also did a little re-branding and redirecting. Was that all as a result of what you learned about yourself from moving?

Daniel Alexander: The re-branding started happening before I moved. I grew up, went through so many life experiences, breakups, makeups, etc. The essence of who I am is the same but, I’m also a completely different person. In turn, a completely different artist. I didn’t see myself through the lens of my old music. While I still love it, this sound, these lyrics represent exactly where I am at this moment. Moving across the country definitely affected me as well and I’m so excited to have written and recorded this track a year after my move. It’s so representative of what I’ve been through here in LA.

Q: What advice would you give to your younger self about taking the path to the music business?

Daniel Alexander: To buckle up and get ready for the ride! “It’s going to be a crazy one!”

I would tell myself to never lose confidence or take my eye off the prize. To keep my head up and to only listen to the people who believe in what I’m doing. When I was younger, I would take what people said to heart. As I got older, I started realizing that people won’t support something they can’t understand or have the confidence to do themselves. “Just keep going and believe in this! You’re on the right track!”

Q: What’s one thing you absolutely cannot live without and one thing you with we could all live without?

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Daniel Alexander: One thing I couldn’t live without is my iPhone! It’s how I communicate with the world, share my music and interact with everything that keeps me going. It helps me share my music, discover new music and put myself out there. As well as set up dates and a bunch of B.S! Haha. “Let me call this Uber right quick…”

Q: How do people find you online to keep up with all you are doing?

Daniel Alexander: Instagram is the social platform I use the most. It is the central source of Daniel Alexander. You can follow me @dalexandermusic. You can also reach me on my official site: dalexanderonline.com

Q: What’s up next for Daniel Alexander?

Daniel Alexander: I want to travel the world! I’m so excited to set up this promotional tour and just get out there! New music and an EP is also on the way! 🙂

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Derek Jameson wants to help you to know your self-worth

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Derek Jameson has become a perfect example, to me, of someone who evolves the right way, in the right direction. His music and voice always spoke to me and I’m impressed by his knowledge of health and fitness. When he started to be vocal about his spiritual journey, it made so much sense. His posts, personality, and demeanor always had a tinge of peacefulness to them so I wasn’t surprised at all to find out he was also in the know about meditations, angels, and guides.
I’ve always believed in higher power and that there are entities who guide us, protect us, and lead us to other souls that are part of our journey. I’m thankful that those entities led me to Derek because knowing him for as long as I have has been a total pleasure. I also knew I could totally trust him to do a reading for me. I would highly recommend heading over to his website after you read our interview to schedule something for yourself. You can also check out his other services and jewelry too!
I was very impressed and pleased with my own nine card reading. So pleased that all of my bragging piqued the interest of at least one of my friends to reach out to Derek for her own. That makes me extremely happy too, when you trust and believe in someone, you want your friends to benefit as well!
I always love talking to Derek Jameson on social media, via email, and in person – so I could have asked him hundreds of questions. For now, I hope you enjoy the ones I chose:
Q: You definitely embody the term “Multi-Talented” – Musician, Trainer, Guide, Healer… am I leaving any out? Tell me how you got started on the music first and where that journey has taken you.
Derek Jameson:  Lol! I am sure there are more titles that can be squished into description, but we can leave it at a digestible amount.
I started off performing as a character at a Paramount theme park in Northern California at 15 years old.  Hiding behind a big head allowed me to explore my creative side and still be hidden away.  I was very shut off from the world when I was young.  Being made fun of started in 5th grade, so I had a few years under my belt to really base my self-worth on what others thought about me haha! At the same time I was writing lyrics and playing basic chords on the piano.  It was a way to express the dark that was burrowing inside of me.  This creative outlet allowed me to be free.  Since then I was in bands and winning awards.  My solo projects have gotten me signed to a label under UMG, songs in film, TV, and allowed me to have my own tour in Asia.  Now, I am collaborating on projects with other artists, DJ’s, and producers with an aim to move people to feel.
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Q: How did you get into the Physical Trainer part? What has that been like for you?

Derek Jameson: Going back to self-worth, I would look at magazines and feel like I should look like the guys I see on them. I was reallllllly skinny.  In retrospect I completely understand that it was my journey of learning to build armor and make myself stronger so that I could teach others how to.  I discovered that if we have the idea, then it lives inside us waiting to manifest.  I wanted to help uncover what they already had inside them.  I thought this was done through physical fitness, but now I see that it was SO much bigger than that.  Being a trainer has allowed me to bring people out of the dark.  It has given me radio, TV, and film opportunities as well.  Being in Los Angeles, I have had the opportunity to work with high-profile entertainment clients to assist them on their journey.   People want to say “luck.”  I know it’s just about knowing what you want and following your inner guidance.

Q: When it comes to physical training are there certain things you can say we should never eat or is that something that varies from person to person? Is there a big list of no-no foods one just need never consume? 

Derek: This is a funny question because you can’t tell ANYONE what to do or not to do. They have to figure it out for themselves you know?  How else do we learn how to tune into what FEELS right for our individual needs and desires at that particular moment?  I have had to go from eating Mama Celeste pizzas just to gain weight to eating organic and plant-based nutrition to be healthy and honor my body.  It all has served it’s purpose within my particular life plan.  Right now you might love eating chicken and that totally works for you.  That’s great!  However, you may wake up tomorrow feeling that chicken no longer serves this vibrational space you are in and it’s time to eat more plant based and organic.  It’s all for good if you are listening to what your body is telling you.  It’s about learning.  So, I never tell anyone not to do anything unless they are asking for help and I then tell them how to manipulate and modify what they are doing to meet their expectation.

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Q: In your experience, what are some of the most common questions and concerns individuals have when they come to you for spiritual guidance/healing?

Derek: They typically don’t even know what they want, but they know they need something.  I typically get first timers who have trust in me enough to sit with me.  The issues they are facing typically arise naturally.  Many are going through a major cleansing and shift in their vibration and they don’t fully know how to approach it. I bridge that confusion by clearing out the unnecessary helping them to realign to their inner being and offer soul support.   You would think it would be a lot of relationship stuff, but it’s been more about aspects of their life that aren’t working.  This just goes to show you that we are ALL connected and everyone is going through this major shift. It’s so beautiful lol!

 

Q: Being a Guide and Healer does actually fit into the whole Physical Trainer part for sure. How did that begin? Tell me a little about where it’s taken you so far.
Derek: I mix spiritual development in with my training clients.  Sometimes it’s through clear exercises, but mostly they are receiving vibrational tunings within the conversations we have during sessions.  I realized the biggest issue with physical fitness is the word physical.  It’s removing the other planes of existence.  We also need to focus on the mental, emotional, and spiritual.  If they aren’t aligned in all these areas, they won’t see the results they want because they never learned how to SEE themselves truly for the energy they are.  They just see this outer casing that ends up not mirroring the inner being.  It took me a while to discover this missing component and how to fully integrate it, but it’s proved to be extremely effective.  If you can’t see yourself as perfect already, you will never be fully present with yourself and thus always seeking outside validation.
Q: When you did my 9 card reading (which I highly recommend) we touched on realizing one’s purpose. What are some common things that prevent us from realizing our true purpose, path, or calling? 

Derek: Self worth is the most detrimental component to seeing, trusting, and carrying out true life purpose.  Everyone is talented. Only some have the balance of self worth that allow them to surrender to what they came her to do.  No one’s life purpose is your life purpose.  So, comparing yourself to what others are doing isn’t even a valid activity.  Fear is an illusion that tries to keep you from what you came here to do.  Everyone knows what lights them up. If they say they don’t it’s because they have fear surrounding it that they aren’t ready to face.  People must choose to look at themselves in the mirror in order to walk through it.

Q: We are always talking about and hearing there are major shifts going on. What do you do if you aren’t feeling them? Does that mean they weren’t for you or are you just not open enough to feel them?

Derek: If people aren’t feeling the shifts taking place, that’s just their life plan.  Again, not everyone’s life plan is the same.  We make pre agreements before coming into this life and we also choose the time we start to awaken.  If people aren’t feeling the shifts, it’s because they don’t necessarily want to or are ready for that.  That is all okay.  That’s what people like you are there for.  Sometimes your simple post, suggestion, or experience is the seed that plants in the minds of those who are ready.  That is what you are here for.  They will then have their own journey, but you planted the seed that allowed them to feel the sun.
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Q: What is one thing you absolutely cannot live without and one thing you wish we could all live without? 

Derek: Peace of mind.  Fear.

Q: In regards to music, who are some artists you’d like to do collaborations with?

Derek: Most of them are not well-known, but in their style communities.  Haelos, Birdy, Vini Vici, Matt Nash, Kaskade, EDX

Q: Where can we find you, your work, and your music online?

Derek: IG – @derekjameson
    Itunes – Derek Jameson
    Spotify – Derek Jameson
    YouTube –  Wonderful Light Body
    YouTube (Music) –  Derek Jameson Music
Q: What’s up for Derek Jameson in the new year? 
Derek: QHHT Past Life Regression Healings. Music collaborations with DJ’s, artists, and producers coming out in 2019.  Spiritual readings and healings.  More amazing-ness!
Here’s something from Derek’s YouTube channel for Wonderful Light Body:

And, of course, some of his music:

Have you met David Hernandez?

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David Hernandez began singing at the young age of six. He was chosen for one of the lead roles for a local theater company, Valley Youth Theater and decided on a career singing and performing after his grandfather took him for the audition. He took vocal coaching and training at Voices, a vocal coaching studio in Arizona. His teacher has said that Hernandez trained “whenever he could afford it” as he wasn’t always financially stable.

When David was growing up, he was a gymnast and won medals in the Grand Canyon Olympics. He’s even tried his hand at acting and was in an independent film before he entered our living rooms on American Idol. At one time, he thought of becoming an entertainment show host (which I could totally see with his humor and personality). Before Idol, he worked various jobs, including singing on cruise ships as part of a singing group called Vinyl Four, working as a server at a pizza bistro, and working at night clubs. He was also part of a local Phoenix cover group called Tribe 7.

As a teen, David went to a Arizona State University and had a job selling knives door-to-door while majoring in broadcast journalism.

After American Idol, David Hernandez made his way to The Ellen DeGeneres Show (where he performed the song “In the Midnight Hour”) Today ShowAccess HollywoodTRL, and TV Guide Network’s Idol Tonight. He was asked to perform at The Children’s Hospital of New York Presbyterian where he sang “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone” and “In the Midnight Hour.”

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David has toured with Diana DeGarmo, Kimberley Locke and Chikezie on a 20-city Idol Holiday Tour but these days, he’s busy with his brand new album ‘Kingdom: The Mixtape’. The album is available everywhere you get your music and I’m hoping to get my hands on a physical, signed copy one of these days.

I had the absolute pleasure of seeing David perform in NYC (for a benefit for his friend Sly, who had fallen ill) last year and then meeting him for the first time since we became friends on social media. It felt like I was visiting an old friend rather than a first meeting. I have a feeling that it’s just part of his personality from what I have seen of him over the years.

I have to say, without exaggeration, David Hernandez is one of my very favorite voices. When I listen to his album, hear him singing on his Instagram, or when I see him sing in person; I feel the power and emotions behind it all. I have said that I put him right up there with Whitney Houston, which, for anyone who knows me, is the ultimate level.

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Check him out, follow him on social media, subscribe to him everywhere, because I have a feeling we are in for so much more! (Plus, he now has this adorable puppy he posts all the time!)

Here’s his music video for ‘Shield’ and be sure to subscribe to his channel!

And I couldn’t pick just one video, ‘Never Did’ is one of my favorites, so I had to show it off:

Have you met Brandon Rogers?

brandon rogers apathy

Brandon Rogers has worked as a professional backup vocalist, and was the 12th place finalist on American Idol, season six. He also co-wrote “Happy Little Pill” for Troye Sivan and “I Built a Friend” with Alec Benjamin.

Brandon got his first big break as part of a Sons of Harmony, a band brought together through a radio boy band competition as part of The Kidd Kraddick morning show on 106.1 KISS-FM in Dallas, Texas in 2000. They had originally put together an audition as a joke to see if they could really create a boy band, but they ended up with five talented singers which they named Sons of Harmony. Mexican pop singer Marcos Hernandez was also a member of this band. When the group broke up, Brandon moved to Los Angeles, California to pursue a career in music.

He auditioned for American Idol in Los Angeles, where the judges, who included guest judge Olivia Newton-John, were impressed with his vocals. Judge Simon Cowell later said he was the best who had auditioned from Los Angeles.

Brandon has been a professional backup vocalist on Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera’s 2003 Justified and Stripped Tour and Anastacia‘s 2005 Live at Last Tour. He has also worked as a voice coach and wedding singer. In 2008, he even guest starred on one of my favorite TV series, Bones. He also appeared as a recurring character on a web-oriented series “Valley Peaks” and released his single “Broken”.

brandon rogers

I’ve noticed that Brandon continues to support American Idol and the contestants on his social media accounts (he frequently watches and posts his reactions in his Instagram stories during the season).

This year we saw the release of his latest single, Apathy, which is about dealing with a broken heart and getting over someone. Hopefully, you got to see him perform this year as well. I know I’m looking forward to it very soon and possibly sitting down to chat with him for an interview! I have had the pleasure of meeting Brandon and hanging out with him on a few occasions so I can attest to the fact that he is not only a talented artist, he’s also one of the good guys.

Be sure to check out Apathy wherever you get your music and follow Brandon on social media.