Growing up in New Jersey, Fenkart never really planned for a career in the performing arts. However, listening to legendary storytellers like Billy Joel and Paul Simon sparked a new interest. “I just sat down at my piano and began teaching myself chords. I wanted to make my own and hone my craft.”
Over the years, his own stories became songs that created “Simple & Grey,” his EP released in early 2012. The songs included on the album were mostly written in 2011 and represent where he is, emotionally and spiritually. “Really, I want to be less complicated. I tend to overanalyze and constantly ask ‘why?’ I want to be in the moment and these songs really express that.” While the inspiration for the album came from his own life, his creative process is just that—a process. Often times he gets an idea for a lyric and then goes back later to work on the melody, waiting for the song to come together. “It’s definitely true that the best songs start when the melody and lyrics come together but in reality, that doesn’t always happen,” says Fenkart. This more organic approach to creating an album definitely paid off as the finished product is a windows-down, pop rock album that will quickly be on your “most played” playlist.
Being an independent artist, making the decision to even front the money to pay for an EP was a tough decision and one that took sacrifice. However, a surprising event that occurred a few months before changed his outlook. “I had auditioned for Memphis while it was on Broadway and was cast as the understudy for the lead. As an understudy, you just hope to go on…little did I know I would go on over 200 times!”
In the meantime, Fenkart was in the studio working on the EP during the day and at the theatre at night. It wasn’t easy but he knew the hard work would pay off. Perhaps the most difficult of balancing the two was transitioning from telling his own story to the stories told through Memphis. “With my own music, it is automatically personal but I had to adapt to tell someone else’s story. It’s hard to make it organic and believable but I didn’t have a choice; I needed the audience to believe it.”
When asked to offer up some advice for aspiring artists, he offers words that are sometimes difficult to hear. “I tell kids all the time that if they can imagine themselves doing something else or having a back-up plan, they should do it. Being an artist or musician is not easy and requires 100% devotion and dedication and it not for someone who isn’t in it forever.”
To stay up-to-date with Bryan, visit www.bryanfenkart.com.