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video interview with austin brockner
As a child growing up in a brood of eight kids Austin Brockner learned how to compete for attention. There was an art to carving out the space for oneself. More recently Brockner has leaned into his music as the thing that sets him apart and more importantly helps bring him closer to others.
Born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee until his mid teens Austin found himself living in Florida. This is where he would let the change that comes with being in a new place fuel his passion for music.
Curtis L. Reeves Jr. spoke to Austin about his music, his inspiration and how it all came to be:
Quoted as saying “I’d like to say both my parents were musically talented but my dad, to quote him, would say he couldn’t carry a tune if you put it in a bucket for him, but thankfully my mom was a piano player and singer”, Austin would give credit to that hereditary drive and also his love for music and theater as impetus for his personal journey with music.
Austin reminds me, as he does himself often, that he started his musical journey five years ago, workshopping songs at open mic events. So things feel lived in and new all at once.
Crediting one of his earliest songs from this independent EP Chasing Sunsets as a time stamp for when he felt he stepped into himself as an artist.
“Conversations was, I think, me finding a voice, that song from Chasing Sunsets is the oldest one on there and that was (I think) right when I started to understand what my voice was and what I wanted to say”.
‘Conversations’ just so happens to be my own favorite song from that ep and hearing Brockner discuss it reminds you that he, like so many of us, is trying to find that authentic way to communicate himself to others.
“That song has just been one that stops people, I think the reaction, that was when I think I really started to not just see but believe it in myself that these things I’m singing about; I mean they’re so much a part of my life they’re my experiences but I want to share them in a way where it’s not me it’s more of like, you guys know what I’m talking about right? That’s what that song is”.
When prompted on his earliest/best musical memory Austin dives in fully.
“It’s not a hard one for me, I talk about it with everyone. I feel like every show I talk about this cuz it’s beautiful and it’s these early Saturday mornings when I was you know seven, eight, nine; my dad, like I said, I had a lot of siblings so my dad was cooking breakfast every Saturday cuz that was how we got fed, you know otherwise we’re spending a million dollars to eat out. So he would get in the kitchen and you know I was young so I was like I wanna flip some pancakes I wanna help I wanna help and I’d be in there and my dad was playing The Temptations, Ray Charles, Allman Brothers, BB King, Dottie Peoples, Janis Joplin, it was his music. It was his life but, I mean, as an impressionable young kid and you know you, I think, adore these parent figures in your life ... it became me. That music is so much a part of my life now and it shaped me and I’m so grateful that he did share that stuff with us”.