“Misfortunes sometimes bring a certain catharsis in one’s life that oftentimes bolsters epiphanies or skill, which may propel him to the cusp of success. With quite a number of hurdles he had jumped (or at times ran over), in his young life, Fil-American fiddler Bryson Andres is surely braced to make a name for himself as a travelling musician around the world. His first stop, the Philippines, as Resorts World Manila, the first integrated lifestyle and entertainment hub in the country, brings to its shores this great and inimitable talent.
Born in Hawaii to Filipino parents, and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, this talented and pioneering one-man-band has awed multi-generational music fans with his own fusion of classic and contemporary covers and originals via his trusty violin and live looping. Googling his name registers over 1.2 million hits, prominently featuring his viral videos from YouTube where his Spokane Street, Washington performance of One Republic’s “Secrets” has garnered over 2 million views. Not at all bad for a 21-year old who grew up without ample money for a private music lesson, and more so his own violin.
Bryson was reared by his grandparents after his parents separated when he was 2. At 5 his mother reconnected with him, but only to return him to the care of his grandparents in Alaska after 4 years. With such transitory phases at a young age, Bryson managed to adjust to the peculiar upbringing, albeit developing a certain wariness in social circles, not to mention his having an inborn Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).
Bryson’s first violin was given to him by his father whom he has never met prior, and at the start of his school age, basic lessons were offered to students. The young fiddler immediately enjoyed playing it, notably due also to the fact that he fancied a girl and wanted to impress her with his playing. The inspiration grew on Bryson and further, his dexterity with the violin began to sharpen.
The pursuit for the girl went out of kilter and so did his father’s presence in his life. His mother had another life with a new husband, and his grandparents weren’t approving either of his new found interest in music. So much so, that he was advised to give it up as the elders have dismissed it to be a waste of time and money. “Nobody paid attention to violinists in Anchorage”, says Bryson as fiddlers come a dime a dozen in the subarctic municipality. By the time he was 15, almost everything except his determination to learn the stringed tool seemed off track, but his hard up situation did not permit him to study formal music classes as well.
Everything would eventually change however come Sophomore year when Bryson picked up the violin again. At a fateful school recess, when all the other kids where nibbling their lunches, a Mr. Donaldson would spot Bryson polishing his music. The man would eventually make a way for him to earn a sponsorship for formal lessons with music teacher Nina Bingham, and for him to be included in the Anchorage Symphony Youth Orchestra. Nina would also become one of Bryson’s guides in honing his craft in both the contemporary and classical genres, even gifting him with his first loop station for his musical experimentation. Bryson would then win a “Battle of Schools” competition all by himself and over full bands and ensembles.
Listing vocal wonder Imogen Heap and Josh Groban string collaborator Lucia Micarelli as his influences among others, Bryson further developed his art by progressing into inventive demos using both electric and acoustic violins. He would now loops bars, and add on to them until the tracks build up into a full blown symphony of cohesive strings and beats. With a new melodic and sophisticated sound, coupled with Nina’s tutelage and his own unique methods, Bryson was able to pioneer a fusion of classical, jazz, pop, hiphop, and rock anthems that dish off a unique and ambient sound for audiences.
From then on, both fans and music suits have now began to take notice of Bryson’s craft, but not without misfortune having to peek out its head once again to challenge his career. Numerous times has Bryson been duped by studio executives, TV show producers, and even local communities who have asked him to fly over to the city just to cancel his performances at the last minute. One that takes the cake though according to Bryson, is how a supposed big-studio executive promised to build his career and promote him incessantly to stardom. Thinking the executive was legit with all his spin doctoring and contacts from all over, he went on with the man for photoshoots and even a road trip en route to Los Angeles for supposed engagements. Eventually, during a stopover, Bryson finds out that the alleged legit suit turns out to be a drug-depending, dismal, and hostile character who threatens him and threw discouraging remarks at everyone in his pathway. Undoubtedly, Bryson had to get off from the cursed road trip as soon as possible. He did, but with less than $3,000 of his own money, his clothes, his looping machine, and an amplifier.
To date, Bryson has written over 25 originals, admitting that somehow his ADD affects his songwriting proficiency, while his many covers of pop favorites from the likes of Coldplay, Beyonce, and Lady Gaga, among others, have catapulted him to online stardom. After playing shows with the likes of classical pianist David Lanz, David and Tamela Mann, and hiphop giant Ludacris, Resorts World Manila brings Bryson’s unequivocal talent to the Philippine audience where many have already joined his fan bandwagon. “Filipinos are a very humble and appreciative people”, he states noting that his performance at the Newport Mall is one of the most energized and exciting shows he’s ever been through.”
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