Brendan de Cruz writes songs about relationships. No, he’s no Taylor Swift wannabe and neither is he an Adele aspirant. His songs reflect the various relationships he has/had with the people who matter/mattered most to him. Hmmm …
If the guitar-toting singer-songwriter’s surname rings a bell, that’s because his late dad is revered music journalist Errol de Cruz, who was instrumental in shaping his music journey, exposing him to everything from vintage cowboy and trail songs to the best classic rock from the 1960s and 1970s.
It’s no surprise then that his performance material includes everything from Elvis Presley to Kris Kristofferson, Coldplay to Muse, James Taylor to Bryan Adams and Hozier to Adele (hmmm …).
More important though, he makes music of his own, and just released his debut album, Even So.
Popping up at random open mic events allowed him to hone his craft, and after plying the circuit for a few years, the fruits of his labour have materialised in this six-song excursion.
Even So vaunts the hallmark of the proverbial poet in pain, intimating tales of love won and lost, the agony of defeat, the euphoria of victory … and everything in between. From the futility on Break, to the guilty pleasure of Machine-Gun Devil, this comes across as a collection of tunes well past its composer’s youthful age of 27.
1. What kind of a name is Brendan anyway? Shouldn’t you have a cooler stage name?
Haha. Well, I can’t really argue with my birth certificate. And I owe it to my parents for picking such cool names for all their children. de Cruz is a pretty cool stage name, no?
2. What is the worst response you’ve had to your music, and did you beat those people up for it?
This one fellow at a bar, who clearly already had a few, kept insisting I play some Lobo. And during my breaks, he would speak to me on how my current “method” might not be working, and that Lobo would be key to my progress as a musician. And no, I did not physically beat him up. I might have swung a few in my head, though. Haha.
3. How difficult is it to get a gig for an artiste like yourself and how have you worked around that?
It’s never easy getting a gig, in my opinion. There’s rejection at every corner, with many people doing their best to take you for a ride. The best way to get a gig would be to really put yourself out there. Be presentable. Be friendly. Always smile. Hit different venues and make it a point to meet the venue owners, if possible. Always do an Open Mic whenever you can, just for that extra exposure. It’s about an ounce of luck, and endless hard work. But if you work hard enough, things will come your way.
4. Ultimately, what do you want to achieve and where do you realistically see it going?
I would love it if I could survive just off my music, as if it were a 9-5 job. That’s the goal I am working towards, and somewhere deep down, I believe it to be possible. I have been doing okay so far, but I have only just begun to really get myself out there, so we’ll see what happens. A day at a time.
5. How would you sum up the indie scene today, and what should the audience look forward to?
Things seem to be picking up. There seems to be a lot more recognition for local, independent music, but of course, still not as much as we would like. There are many venues popping up these days that cater to local independent music, and this helps us independent artistes, as we have more platforms to work with to showcase our work. I believe within the scene itself, the support for each other is great, and right now, that is what keeps it going. If the momentum remains, the local independent scene could be something to be reckoned with in due time.