Brandon Bee is a hard man to pin down. As a world traveler and dad of several kids, I caught him while he was in the car en route to renew his 16-year-old son’s passport for a trip to Italy. Raised by parents who were in a band, Brandon knew life on the road, and it seems his kids will grow up in what was normal to him. There is nothing ordinary about a guy who has 300 albums to his producer credits. More than a prolific musician and dad, he is also a minister of the gospel, serving in a local church in Eastern Washington state and leading a worship music movement in Italy.
On top of all of the accomplishments in ministry and music, Brandon is a singer-songwriter, creating music from his unique perspective of Pacific Northwestern folksy blend. If you have heard his past solo projects or time with Stomptown Revival, the pop sensibilities are a fresh expression from his broad musical palette–from indie folk to rock. Of course, folk-leaning music can be arranged in any instrumentation. In this case, his new release washes us with synth textures and electronic landscapes underneath vintage guitar tones. Masterfully, it weaves together Brandon’s various inspirations.
From the Sky is as polished as an experienced artist and producer would create while feeling vulnerable and fresh. Filled with songs singable for the local church worship gathering, From the Sky touches the heart of worshippers. There is indeed story to behind this recording. So, I wanted my readers to hear about the zig-zagged journey to record and release a project like this. Imagine losing a whole project when a hard drive fails?
Here is a bit of the conversation Brandon and I had the other day.
How did you end up becoming a producer and artist?
My parents were artists in a band before I was born. After a break, at three years old we were living on the road. My mom was on the road when I was 11, traveling the world entertaining the troops. I feel weird not being on the road and not making music every day of my life.
Christians at times don’t see being a musician as a “real vocation.” You agree?
I never really had an option. There was positive and negative. Whenever I tried to have a real job at a church, there was a learning curve.
What is the biggest thing church leaders don’t understand about artists?
All (Christian) artists are considered apostolic in gifting, The Church needs to understand that this is their calling. We are not good at playing games. The church doesn’t allow us to be who were are. How can people hear, if there is not one to tell.
How did this recording come about?
I recorded this three years ago. The hard drive that had this project on it and others got fried. So, I had to record the entire project over again and did it in two weeks. In two years I moved five cities, two states, and two countries. So, I wasn’t able to get around to finishing it.
Either I am supposed to give up being an artist or make this record. I had to choose what the Lord wanted me to do.
You found your anchor in the sky?
Lived in this city (TriCities, WA) for a year, longest for a long time. Feels like they have been a part of my life for a long time. We toured through which is how we know them.
The record is a snow globe in time, glimpses into my life of what it felt like for three years to not know where my home was. “I Give You My Whole World”—was revolutionary for me. I was giving to God when I was on. Most people would say I was giving it all based on looking at me, but I wasn’t.
What is the message you hope people get from this recording?
One song on the record sums it up. It doesn’t fit but does at the same time. “Your Name Says it All”—a “poppy” song I wrote directly to Jesus.
The song “I Celebrate the Lord” I wrote my former pastor from he lost his kid, and it was super painful for the new church plant. It’s about the sheep that gets his legs broken, which is not in the Bible, by the way. We literally created that story as Christians. It’s about that, how sometimes we are the wounded ones. Sometimes were wounded for a reason. He can make the good out of the bad. At the same time, we should celebrate. I watched my pastor, and his kids celebrate the Lord with that song. It rocked my world to see that.
The whole record paints a picture of both our need and inability to worship in the hard stuff.