My name is Braden Barrie. For the last 10 years I have been releasing music, touring and working to leave something behind after I’m gone. I’ve always loved sharing my journey on this earth with everyone else & will never stop. Right now I have two full-length albums written. I’m no longer on a record label & am creating, releasing, & promoting these both independently. I want to give you the best art that I am capable of making & show you a brand new side of me that has never before seen the light.
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Sean Ritchie: You’re from Lindsay, about two hours northeast of Toronto. Talk about what it was like growing up there. What really makes it home to you? Describe some of the surrounding Ontario area.
Braden Barrie: Out there there’s really nothing. It’s a lot of fields and farms. Lindsay is probably the most populated town in a couple hour radius, but it’s still really small. I grew up only really knowing that surrounding. It really is one of my favorite towns, especially coming back now. I really appreciate it more. I think part of growing up there gave me such a drive to do music, because nobody from that place got out of it. Being stuck there made me determined [to get out]. I’ve always really connected with nature, so it was nice growing up there. A lot of my friends really enjoyed that kind of stuff. I think that nature and the solitude was a huge part of my writing when I started.
SR: That’s really cool to hear the love you have for your hometown. What did you do growing up for vacations? Was it going camping? Or, did you go down to Toronto? What would you do to get away for a bit?
BB: I think the only actual vacation I had when I was a kid was going to [Walt] Disney [World] in Orlando, Florida, and I barely remember that. So yeah, a would camp a lot. We’d go to a spot called Algonquin [Provincial] Park, a really well-known conservation area. I used to go camping with my dad during the summers; we’d go canoeing. There would be no cell service. We’d be in the middle of absolutely nowhere, but I loved it. I always really enjoyed that. I’m thankful that I got to experience that stuff, because I think that it did shape me as a person.
SR: I grew up camping a lot too. It was, and still is, one of my favorite things to do. It’s nice to get away and escape, especially now and days with cell phones and social media. It’s nice to break away a bit.
BB: Yeah dude, as much as I use social media every day, there’s a part of me that hates it. I grew up without it, until I had to start using it. I’m just thankful for that perspective on everything.
SR: Absolutely! To bring it back a bit, I wanted to touch on how you were exposed to music. Was it through your friends or family? I was reading that you decided to take the jump to pursue it as a career at an early age. Talk about that decision to make that switch and go full bore.
BB: I think I kind of discovered music on my own. I grew up at a Christian school, so I was very limited with what I was allowed to listen to. It was around an age that I was able to go out and buy my own CD. I was like 13 when I got my first album. It was a band called Relient K, who’s also technically a Christian band, but that got me more outside of just praise and worship music. So, I started listening to more and I discovered Secondhand Serenade, who’s an acoustic artist. That really directed me towards acoustic guitar.
All throughout elementary school I was into music, and I felt the drive whenever we got to practice music, but I really didn’t get to do my own thing until I was getting into high school. The reason why I started was because I genuinely didn’t have any friends. I know every artist says that, but I didn’t. And, my parents were always fighting, home life wasn’t great, so it was my escape. It was also my way of communicating with people, because I didn’t know how to talk to anybody. I knew that this was all I loved to do, so I didn’t even finish high school. I just spent my time getting better and learning about social media. I would watch business videos. I just made the decision and said, “I have to figure it out now.” It was a really natural progression.
SR: That’s really cool to hear. I feel that when it comes from a place of such passion, with such a drive to do it, that’s when the best art is created. It’s so cool that you kind of said, “Screw it, I’m going to pursue my dreams.” Really inspiring.
BB: Yeah man! The moment you trust yourself crazy things happen, things you don’t even expect. When you don’t know what’s going to happen, but you go for it, is you really learn about yourself.
SR: To fast forward, I know you’re about to release two albums ‘Limitless’ and ‘Beautiful Mess.’ Talk about those two albums and why you wanted to do both of them together. You’re also doing it through Indiegogo, and I’ve seen a lot of artists are doing that nowadays, releasing records on their own. What inspired to doing it this way?
BB: It’s kind of hard. I haven’t spent a lot of time reflecting about the “why” of this whole record cycle yet, but I was independent for a long time. I signed with Epitaph Records and was with them for a couple years until I fulfilled my contract. Then I was independent again, so I had to figure out what I was going to do. I just went through this really weird, perfect storm in my life where everything kind of felt like it was falling apart. I broke up with my now ex-girlfriend. I was living by myself in my own place going nowhere. I just felt so alone. I was just really lost with my direction. I veered off the course that I was on.
So, there was a long time where I couldn’t really write, for whatever reason I just could reach that spot. But, I finally found it again with a song called “Shallow,” the first single I put out for ‘Beautiful Mess.’ I was able to start piecing stuff back together. Because I was alone and by myself, I started watching tutorials on making EDM music. I never really had listened to it at all. The Chainsmokers were really the first artists I got into in that genre. Then I got into Martin Garrix and Illenium.
I just really had just a fun time making it, and if there wasn’t a day I couldn’t write a really emotional, acoustic song, I could just go make a cool beat. There was always a constant. I could always make a new beat. I got more-and-more into it and got to the point where I would make full songs. In my head I was trying to consolidate how to do both the acoustic and EDM at the same time. It just got to the point where there was no way to do one. I just had to do two. I had so much content, I might as well put it out. The Indiegogo was really a last-minute thing. I brought it up to my manager and he said, “Let’s try it.” I think it’s really cool how fans can give artists power. It’s a really cool platform.
SR: I think it’s a really cool way to get the fans involved with the process. It’s also cool that you’ve gone into EDM, because I grew up on punk rock and took a similar transition in taste into dance music.
BB: Yes, I am by no means an expert at it, but I’ve made stuff that I think is really cool, and I want to share it.
SR: Bringing it more into travel. When you have some downtime and want to escape, are you looking for a more remote vacation similar to how you grew up? Are you trying to be near a city? Or, are you after a beach?
BB: Honestly, for me, it’s really just nature man. I love to be in the woods on a hike. I love being by water too, but I’m not really a beach guy. If I can find a cool little stream that’s enough for me. It doesn’t really take a lot for me to feel really serene.
SR: One of our core objectives at SCP is to bring people together while traveling. I feel that there’s a huge parallel with music in that respect. You’re constantly traveling while touring and playing shows all over that bring people together from all walks of life. Everyone comes together through music. Talk about how cool that is to have that power to unite people in that way. How important is it to continue to do that in today’s world?
BB: It is awesome. As an artist, there are so many things that you could be thinking about — your next move [musically] or business stuff. At the end of the day I always remind myself that I can travel anywhere and strangers that don’t know each other will actually chill in the same room for a couple hours. This is especially true in places like Europe where everyone doesn’t speak my language. I always was curious how they got into my music. It’s so cool to not really have to say anything and everyone is on the same level. It’s really cool, and something I notice the more I do it. It is really important, because everyone goes through things in life, and to have that escape means everything. It’s the same outlet for me too forget about things and be there with people.
SR: Music is 100 percent an escape. There’s nothing like entering a concert or club and immersing yourself in the environment. Are there any tips or things that you need on a long-haul flight to help you through it?
BB: I actually have really learned to pack super light. That’s something I’m really proud of. Unless I’m going on a tour that’s months, I’ll only ever take a backpack with a couple changes of clothes. I really just need my notebook, computer and headphones and I’m good. I can create something then.
SR: How about countries that you haven’t been to? Are there a few that are on your list?
BB: Definitely New Zealand. I’m a huge “Lord of the Rings,” so I would love to see the place where it was shot. I’d love to go to Australia, as well. Those are the main two. I would be open to going anywhere, but those are the main two. Ireland is another one too. I have some friends there and I’ve always really wanted to go see it.