OWTK Interviews / OWTK Kindie Music News

OWTK Interview: Brady Rymer

A big tip o’ the cap to Gwyneth of Gooney Bird Kids for tipping me off to a new Brady Rymer song on CDBaby.  The tune “Love me for Who I Am (Please Don’t Try to Fix Me)”, it turns out, is step 1 in an ongoing project the Rymers are developing to make music for autistic kids, their families and folks of any age dealing with the universal emotions surrounding being different, change, love and self-expression.

Sounds awesome, so I decided to shoot a couple questions over to Brady (and his wife Bridget) to find out more.  I think you’ll see that you don’t have to have been touched by autism to appreciate what Brady is doing and to enjoy this new music from one of the finest and happiest dudes in kindie rock.

Brady Rymer at KC Jiggle Jam 2009

OWTK: Give me a little background on the song “Love me for Who I Am (Please Don’t Try to Fix Me)”, the gigs that inspired it and the school receiving some of the proceeds. What did you see in those special kids and what’s in store, big picture-wise, with this autism project.

Brady Rymer: I have been playing for about ten years at the Celebrate the Children school for autistic kids on all points of the spectrum – a school in northwest NJ run by Monica Osgood, the wife of my longtime producer (and bandmate in From Good Homes) Dan Myers. The kids there have loved listening to my music through the years; one of the highlights has been the live show every summer. I’m always so energized by these shows – the kids have so much enthusiasm – they share so much love & the music means so much to them – it’s always a joy to visit the school. After one of the recent shows I thought it could be great to write some songs specifically for the kids – tunes that would speak more directly to their world and their experiences, that they could call their own – anthems, in a way. I talked about the idea to the school director and my producer, who’s the music teacher there, and they came back to me in a few days with a bunch of song titles that came directly from the kids, and that reflected some of the personal challenges the kids face each day. I immediately started bangin’ out the songs – having the spirit & memory of the recent concert still in me & a batch just kinda came out – over the next few days a few more came. Monica listened & loved what she heard – and we realized then, together, that we might be creating not only a great gift for these kids, but a record to share with autistic kids, their families, and the larger community of kids and families everywhere.

One of the cornerstone tunes is “Love me for Who I Am (Please Don’t Try to Fix Me)“. This was something that one of the students said to Monica one day “don’t try to fix me!” – you know, recognize me for who I am & celebrate that.

We’ve been able to play the songs for the students – a unique experience & we have gotten some amazing feedback – especially since the tunes were inspired by these individual kids.  It’s amazing to see that the songs communicate & touch these kids – they are now part of their worlds.

Right now we are exploring what the final project will encompass.  Certainly it will be fantastic to include a visual component inspired by the students, and to show the interaction between the kids and our live music, which is incredibly powerful and exciting.

I guess what’s also there, at the core of this project, is that I personally really love the songs! I don’t really see these songs as exclusively directed at the autistic community – they address subjects that are part of everybody’s everyday life – picky eaters, wanting to express yourself clearly, wanting love & affection, interacting with the world outside, being afraid of changes, not wanting to wear clothes (my kids once started to strip at a Japanese restaurant – “check, please!”) While the songs certainly have special meaning for autistic kids and their families, I think in showing how much we all have in common, they will encourage understanding and appreciation for autism in the larger community in a really natural way.

OWTK: One of your strengths musically is that the listener is always aware of your joy and infectious smile.  In what ways do you think that your overwhelming and genuine positivity can impact autistic kids, their family and friends.

Brady: I hope these kids feel good when they hear the songs and their lives presented in a positive way – maybe the songs can help open up a dialogue with their parents, friends, teachers, about their worlds & their individual challenges.   Since I love the songs, I perform them with as much joy as i would any other song in my repertoire – I have no doubt that the kids will feel my genuine enthusiasm & passion & I hope to be able to pass that on to them.  As we know, sometimes just seeing somebody doing something that they love can be inspiration enough for you to go ahead & do what you love to do. Hopefully these kids will feel that when they see me play the songs live or listen to he recordings -knowing that I love what I’m doing & havin’ a great time singing and playing for them.

Bridget Rymer: Brady was inspired initially by the genuine warmth and positivity of the staff/student/parent relationships he experienced at Monica’s school – you can see clearly in the kids how that attitude has affected them – they feel supported and loved.  Brady’s work has a natural place in that school, and aligns with their spirit of cooperation and good feeling.  On a larger scale, I have seen over and over how Brady’s genuine joy and positivity affects all kinds of kids – and it’s been particularly inspiring to see how that joy impacts and empowers children on the autistic spectrum.  We hope kids will take these songs for their own, as anthems to celebrate who they are.

Download “Love Me For Who I Am” now.  A portion of the proceeds from the song will be donated to Celebrate the Children School.

Brady never stops touring. Check out his upcoming dates and go see him & the Little Band That Could if you get the opportunity. His is one of the best live shows period – kids or adult music. Tell ’em Jeff @ OWTK sent ya.

Brady Rymer at KC Jiggle Jam 2009

Tags: , , , ,

Comments are closed.

Wordpress Social Share Plugin powered by Ultimatelysocial