His family lived in extreme poverty and even though times were incredibly bleak, there was always singing, dancing and laugher, in his home that kept them all going. Bran marveled at the power and clarity of his mother's voice. When he was 9 years old, a man by the name of Srecko (which translates to Lucky in English) befriended the family. Srecko had an incredible voice also so Bran decided he would do anything to try to sing like Lucky and his mum someday.
In high school, Bran started to get serious about music. It took him a few years to save enough money to buy a cheap, rough Russian acoustic guitar. At the same time, he became fascinated with architecture. When Bran’s band Dina was just getting some recognition, the war broke out in Bosnia.
The struggle eventually got to be too much to cope with. In 1995, he made the heart-breaking decision to leave his country and move to Vancouver. He recalls: “There was more than enough food and opportunity for everyone here. It was a magical place.” But the magic would soon fade overtaken by the cultural shock.
Of this very dark period, he says, “At times it was agonizing. The only thing that was calming me down and always there for me was my music, and my art.” Bran sees many similarities between designing a beautiful building and writing an uplifting song as a musician. He says, "True architecture is like true music – kind of like cats who have nine lives. As long as the moment and emotion captured are true, they will last no matter when it’s actually printed.
I design my music like composing the architecture." It is obvious that Bran has been honing his craft for many years when you talk to him. He says, "I always had a close connection to words, and I believe that every word has a melody to it. My writing is also always connected to the deep emotion I’m trying to express. Often, I write a song around a new interesting chord I just learned, that evokes certain emotions.
Recently I started experimenting with my new instrumentals in a way that explores completely intuitive and accidental ways of creating music exclusively based on the pure emotion.” “You and I 20 years later” is Rebel Bran's first release, which is available in two versions; one with lyrics in English and the other in Serbian. As the name suggests, some of these songs are over 20 years old, yet they still work today. The title track begins with an ominous violin that suddenly turns almost Flamenco as it is joined by guitar and drums. Bran’s smoky vocals are reminiscent of Tom Waits or Leonard Cohen, but there is a smooth clarity to his voice usually reserved for Jazz singers.
“Bluesers” could be on the soundtrack for a Wim Wender’s indie film. There are layers of lush sound here, everything from guitar to techno bass, to cow bell. The song tells the story of how African-Americans have been oppressed, and got saved by singing their sorrows. It's a song about much needed hope.
This is the kind of song that stays with you long after it’s done playing. Bran plans to start doing live shows in support of “You and I 20 Years Later. He is nervous and excited to share the songs that have been a part of him for so many years. He says, “You should never give up on your dreams.
It took me over 20 years to make this CD a reality and that’s a small price to pay to live your dreams. It's all worth it now, and this is only the beginning for me." Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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