Monday, September 21, 2009

Sam Bradley breaks through the Twilight zone

Singer-songwriter Sam Bradley has been on a journey; selling out venues across America, releasing an innovative digital format album, and launching an official website as a headquarters for his growing fan base. But looking deeper into his thoughtful lyrics and heartfelt live performances, it is apparent that there is something more profound taking place under the surface; an emotional journey of a musician choosing the road less traveled and finding himself along the way.

Bradley’s rise to fame began when his song “Too Far Gone” was featured on the Twilight Motion Picture Soundtrack as “Never Think”, sung by friend and British actor Robert Pattinson. The soundtrack quickly shot to the top of the charts upon its release in November 2008 (still remaining on the Billboard 200 today), and fans were soon visiting the musician’s MySpace page in astonishing numbers to hear more. In response to the sudden and overwhelming demand, Bradley began releasing previously recorded demos and home videos to share his engaging personality and obvious talent with the world.
The soundtracks for the Twilight Saga movies have become a cultural phenomenon in and of themselves – following the enormous success of the first soundtrack release, established musicians such as Thom Yorke and Bon Iver as well as multitude of up and coming artists have all been rumored at one time to be vying for a spot on the next installments. But while a feature on a project with such wide spread interest offers exponential growth for a fledgling musician, bringing them to the attention of listeners around the globe, little thought is given to how the artist will rise above the hype to become a phenomenon in their own right.
As an up and coming musician, Bradley faces the already daunting task of establishing a unique sound and firm footing in the precarious music industry of today. But with the unexpected surge of attention, he now has the additional struggle of growing as a musician under a broader spotlight and discerning scrutiny – with pressure to prove to skeptics that he’s “more than just a Twilight guy.” So how does one balance the rise above the very entity that elevated your status? In this author’s opinion, exactly how Bradley has chosen to.
Recognizing that a large portion of his fan base derived from the movie fandom, Bradley has maintained a relationship with Twilight friendly websites and events (performing and speaking on panel at TwiCon 2009) while at the same time moving forward to new ventures, reaching out to a different genre with new music material and releases of video covers of iconic artists like Bob Dylan and Ray Charles. He launched his first American tour this past summer and will soon be embarking on another - both tours a mix of performances supporting other more established artists (Thriving Ivory, Justin Nozuka) to give a nod to the path of the average up and comer, as well as solo dates to make clear that he is more than capable to fill a venue with his talent alone.
Rounding out the balance is the release of a self-titled EP that Bradley put an extraordinary amount of time and effort into, and it shows. Featuring fan favorites and new material alike, the album offers a new and genuine emotion, as if Bradley has drawn upon the extraordinary changes and experiences of the past year and channeled it into his lyrics.
Further to the EP, more new material has followed in the form of videos on his MySpace page, including the song “Wide Open,” in which Bradley croons the telling lyrics, “my mind has never been this clear.” It seems he has his feet planted firmly on a solid path to success, and is wide open to the experiences along the way.

-- Posted by Ashley from iPhone


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