STORY & INTERVIEW by: Lex Perry (@lexpji)
ARTWORK by: LDR (@lisadelarosa)
It all started at the house of praise when young 13-year old Brandon Garcia first got his hands on a set of strings. Now picture a light bulb moment with the guitar being in a natural spotlight, then queue in a 5-sec sensational audio clip (AAAHHHH!) yes its one of those magical moments, and his was obviously love for music. Provided that there church was savy having other instruments lying around, he also learned to play percussion, piano, and bass; self-thought by the way (OH HA!). But for someone who plays worship songs, it’s interesting to know how he grew to like hardcore music.
To be more specific, he’s into Screamo and is fond of listening to Asking Alexandria, Bring Me the Horizon, Dance Gavin Dance, and the likes. And yes, he did have his own band, and they went by the name Synesthesia in which he was their synth programmer and vocalist. For about 2 years, he pursued Post Hardcore and went to gigs were at times the number of people in the audience were only one to none.
He notably felt unwelcomed trying to be in this kind of scene, and he knows what its like to be frowned upon because apparently, there are people who think that his physical looks don’t match with their music. Yeah it’s sad to know about such, but perhaps we can look at it as a mere phase that he had to go through.
Seeing that things weren’t working out for them, Synesthesia disbanded. But even then, that didn’t hinder him from immersing deeper in music as during his third year in high school, he was adding yet another arsenal under his belt. This time, he was learning how to produce his own tracks. Although he realized that his works were shifting towards electronic music, somewhat Owl City-esque – and that’s according to him.
He was still with his then drummer who was more of a pop musician and the two had the idea of merging both genres to see how it would sync. With the addition of 2 members later, their Indie Pop band called Caffeine & Taurine was formed, and he was commandeering bass and vocals. Now unlike his experience before, they were getting support from a lively and significant number of crowd and some of which are members of highly-coveted band Autotelic.
Things were flowing pretty smooth for them, their songs were being played on the radio, they were being invited to notable gigs, and they knew they were working their way to get there… until Brandon had to leave for 3 months, and that’s when the group began to misalign. They lost enthusiasm and decided to shift priorities. They tried to gel the chemistry and see how they can patch things up by making adjustments here and there, but they’ve realized that not all of them were on the same page.
For now, Caffeine & Taurine is on hiatus and the members are on an indefinite leave, but he was quick to express that his doors are open should the possibility of playing and performing with them would arise… ‘cause why not? I mean they can really make harmony that even well-known bands take notice, plus they do have unreleased tracks waiting to be heard – so heres to hopes of hearing the group play altogether again (well you can still play their songs on Spotify 😏)
Moving on, he’s also shared that aside from the benefit of having group-mates who can help make your music better, the reason why he opts to be with a group is because he has a stage fright and having friends on the stage helps him overcome that. He had other endeavors such as being in a rap duo and even became a part of a collective label where he was able to link with other artists in which he later collaborated with.
However, there’s just differences that weren’t able to help him sort things out. So with the experiences he gained, the techniques he has learned and developed along the way, then now having the confidence to go on his own, he finally decided to go as a solo artist entering the Hiphop scene. Come January 2018, he started to introduce himself as the performer we now know as Nobrvnd.
Drawing inspiration from sad and unfortunate events, he was adviced by his friend to relay his song in tagalog, and Brandon was game with his idea. They made a track together and as a result, his official debut song ‘Sabihin Mo’ feat. Gabrang was made. It did get significant reach as even our friend, artist and producer Ryke gave his acknowledgements complimenting the track.
Reeling through the said abilities he has utilized over the years, another vital skill he learned was filmmaking and videography, and you can assume that he was particular with music videos. Now a graduate with a degree in Multimedia Arts, his association with school buddies Jade and Deej proved to be timely as the voluntary act of helping him create the official music video for his debut song, eventually led to the birth of The Million Vibe – a prod team who makes awesome vids. (previously having them as our interns, we can certainly vouch for their work)
But even with the ball rolling, struggles aren’t easy to avoid. Being more meticulous with his works, it took him 5 months to release his next track because he didn’t want to follow-up with something that he wasn’t completely happy about. He made ‘The End’ & ‘Ghost’ but it hasn’t quite live up to par with his first song – well at least not yet ‘cause who knows what the future may hold. As a consequence, it led him to question wether or not he just got lucky during the start.
Even with worries, he keeps his head high looking what he can capitalize on as he moves forward. He then thought of tapping Alisson Shore and asked him to do a feature in his upcoming song and the deal was locked when they met during the launch + party of the DBTK F/W ’18 “Further Beyond” attending as our performers. He strongly felt the essence of the collaboration between them as there were vast changes made from the original track, and it did raise some concern on his part.
But when he heard the final tweaks made, everything became mutual and they’ve gotten better grasp of the overall mood and feel of the song. Skipping the technical work made, their track ‘Bakit’ was released on the same day with the launch of the DBTK S/S ’19 collection “CloudFire” and the songs’ music video was premiered during the event.
It reached 50k views on its first week, and it was also his first song which got included in an official Spotift playlist like ‘Trending Tracks’, ‘Top 50 Viral’, and ‘OPM Rising’ to name a few.
Now the song is nearing a million plays and has now garnered more than 700k views on YouTube. Talking about a setback, this was definitely a major comeback and it should be enough to shake off his doubts. But realizing that his top two hits are but with a feature, he doesn’t want people to think his music only gains traction through collaborations so he sets out to do more solo tracks.
Just recently, he’s blessed his listeners with the drop of his latest song ‘Langit’ which has now accumulated around 100k streams on its first month and its also made its way on the cover of official Spotify playlist ‘Pinoy Rap’. Now that’s some kind of statement. Presently, Nobrvnd is still looking to do more and widen his environment as an artist, but his journey is already something that one can learn a lot from.
Like what we encourage and always remind you guys, Dream Big, Start Small. Setting Standards. Well, this is another story that greatly epitomizes our cause and provides excellent examples of what we wish to impart with our short messages. With the highs and lows, fair share of ups and downs, and a pool of constant change, Brandon makes it known that his waves won’t stop.
And so should you. Keep moving forward no matter what you through. Give the songs below a listen. Have a great one!
Stay updated with his song releases and gig schedules by giving him a follow on his socials (@nobrvnd) and like his Facebook page Nobrvnd