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  • Ashlyn Knaebel

Art that impacts: A musician's calling

Brendan Abernathy album cover. (Photo courtesy: Brendan Abernathy's Spotify.)

Brendan Abernathy, an up-and-coming folk musician, played on Sept. 10 at Composition Coffeehouse in West Palm Beach, Florida.

“Number one, I have to make good songs, and number two… in performing, I just want to be entirely authentic,” Abernathy said.

Although Abernathy graduated with his degree in economics and pre-med, with a minor in Spanish and a certificate in leadership, he chose to live out of his car, hoping to create inspiring music for college students.

Originally from Dunwoody, Georgia, Abernathy toured for three consecutive years, with a three month break in 2020. Driving from state to state and playing at venues for free to promote his music, he makes a living by selling his merchandise to performance attendees.

Abernathy exhibits a unique performance style by using the skill of looping to keep his audience intrigued.

“My favorite thing when I’m watching a live performance is the imperfection of it, so when I was deciding to do this, I was trying to decide how I could portray art in a way that gives people hope,” Abernathy said.

To create that “imperfect feeling” and remind his audience that he is also human, Abernathy chose to be the only performer on the stage. Through this, he can connect with his audience and listeners, something he says he strongly cherishes.

Brendan Abernathy naturally posed. (Photo courtesy: Brendan Abernathy's Spotify.)

A part of Abernathy’s authenticity is rooted in his religious beliefs. While he does not write or produce Christian music, he strongly believes that "God can be seen and reflected in everything people do."

“Whenever anyone is creating art, they are in a sense collaborating with God, because God is the creator, and we are created to create, so we are glorifying him by creating art,” Abernathy said.

Abernathy’s love for Jimmy Buffet inspired him to create his own music. At the age of 6, he bought his own guitar. During his senior year of high school, he was enlisted to help lead worship at a mission trip. Shortly after, he starred in his school’s musical, which solidified his desire to become a performer.

Abernathy said that his goal is to sell out Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado and have the whole place singing his songs back to him.

“I just want to make art that impacts people... affects culture, and makes a difference in the world,” Abernathy said, explaining his motive behind writing and performing music.

At the end of the day, Abernathy wants to connect with his listeners on a deep and personal level.

“I think that in order for people to have hope, they also have to be able to relate to you, and they have to relate to your art,” Abernathy said.

On Sept. 14, his newest song “Ghosts Pt. II” was released. His song is referencing people and memories from your past that haunt you, as well as the concept of actually being ghosted. On Sept. 30, his mixtape “Single and In Love” came out as well.

By Ashlyn Knaebel

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