Brendan O'Hara newest album is called Late Night Radio.EXPAND
Brendan O'Hara newest album is called Late Night Radio.
Photo Courtesy of the Artist

Brendan O'Hara on His New Album: "I Just Pray Someone Sees the Honesty in What We Made"

It’s hard to put a handle on Brendan O'Hara. For one thing, he rarely sits still. A bundle of irrepressible energy, he’s constantly on the move, both physically and philosophically. A Miami native, he’s been travelling the country for the better part of a millennium while sharing his music and his story telling. Alternating between performing as a one-man band and with a full ensemble, he makes a sound that’s equally as sprawling, a mash-up of genres that’s all but impossible to pin down. His new album — and his fourth to date — is tellingly titled Late Night Radio, and like radio in days gone by, it defies specific formats. A confluence of rap, rock, hip-hop, folk and introspective singer/songwriter influences, it easily bounces from one style to another with a still-seamless certainty.

“The sound of the album isn't for the reviewer to decide,” O’Hara contends. “I don't like to tell people what they should hear. It blends my influences. I try to use the tools at my disposal, including different instrumentation — live and synthetic — and tempos and dynamics that best suit each song.”

O’Hara list of influences is about as broad as it gets. “Life,” he says when questioned about specifics. “The everyday experiences that make me feel human, primarily hurt and hope.”

With a sound so diverse, it seems only natural that O’Hara would find a welcome response here in multi-cultural Miami. “I think we have a very unique audience-to-performer relationship across the board,” he suggests. “Some folks are very loyal and come to every show. But that's rare. It's a scene that’s not necessarily support driven. I think there is the beginning of a resurgence in the music scene, so if I've inspired people to seek out other music, and vice versa, then lucky me.

"I've been accused of over saturating myself and playing too much,” O’Hara admits. “But I don't know many people who turn down doing what they love. For me, I trust that every show is a unique and singular event, from the way the songs are presented to the way the crowd hears them and feels them. That puts a lot of variables on the table, including the need to make the shows defy expectations more often than not...unless your expectation is to hear some good fucking music rooted in the moment.”

Clearly O’Hara doesn’t lack confidence. That’s evident in the way in tackles his various musical mantras. But it’s also apparent in the way he presents himself once he’s onstage.

“Not to sound cocky, but I just think that me and my team of awesome musicians present our music particularly well here. I can't say the same about everyone. I hope people hear the album and consider it both on par and unique, to that live show."

O’Hara has some clear goals in mind for his future. “What's my five year plan?” he asks rhetorically. “Let's just say I'm either way ahead of it or significantly behind, depending on when you ask and on what day. My goal is to move 100,000 copies of Late Night Radio...the whole fucking album not just a single. I think the album is that good."

He pauses to ponder and then finished histhough. "I just pray someone sees the honesty in what we made.”
Brendan O’Hara Album Release Party. 8 p.m. Friday, October 2 at The Annex, 44 NE 29th St., Miami; 305-423-9969; theannexwynwood.com. Admission is free; RSVP at eventbrite.com.

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