Brandon Best is an International Gospel Artist. You might remember his name, either from hearing it on the radio, or from Rizon, who named dropped Brandon in his feature on the site. We're so glad he did. We checked out his music, his cool Caribbean style. We liked. We feature.
1. How do you define creativity and what does it mean to you?
Creativity in my opinion is the unique ability of every individual to express themselves by taking what they see in the world, and what exists in their imagination and bringing it to reality. As it pertains to me, creativity means expression. It is my ability to express myself in whatever form or craft, it makes my thoughts loud and gives me a voice.
2. How much of your creative ability do you think is innate? Or is your creativity a skill that you have developed?
I believe that my creativity is definitely innate. However, like everything, creativity that is not developed by training, practice and consistant attention, would lack fundamental skills. That is needed to bring the creativity that is innate in all of us out in the best possible way.
3. When did you realize that you wanted to express your creativity? Was it encouraged by others (e.g., parents)?
I would say I wanted to express my ability around the age of 3 years. I always singing and my mother was very encouraging as she also sang and was one of my inspirations as a young man that loved the art.
4. What is your standard for evaluating your own creative work and the works of other people? Do you think that monetary rewards can be compatible with creativity in general? Are monetary rewards relevant to your own work?
a. When I create I would normally try to compare my work against a dominant or major artist that is known for being successful in the particular genre. It helps me to gauge if I am creating work that is at the same level as some of the best Artist in the World. Also,The Bible and just pure confirmation from God that what I created is at the standard of content as well is what I use to evaluate my work.
b. In general, no. Creativity is an expression of one's imagination which is vast; since it can't be measured there is no real monetary reward that can be compatible for it.
c. Yes it is. Measured or not it is still a profession whereby the cost of producing, recording, packaging and distributing alone is extremely expensive so a just monetary reward is definitely relevant.
5. Do you think your own perception and evaluation of your creative endeavors are influenced by the views of other people? What role do you think the culture that you live in plays in your creative efforts?
a. Yes it is. Especially when I am writting a song. I always tend to write with the listener in mind. So as i develop a song there are many changes that would be made along the way because of consideration of how the listener would receive the music when it is given to them.
b. Well, being a Trinbagonian, culture has allowed me to be distinguishable on an international stage. Being able to pull from my Caribbean culture is awesome when I travel because I have something to offer that is different.
6. What do you do when you experience a creative block?
I Pray. While waiting on a way forward it's always good to leave the song alone and come back to it later. Sometimes you don't get the rest of the song until you experience the thing that needed to be added to it.
7. How do you make the leap from a "Spark" in your head to the action you produce?
I bend my knees and jump into it! LOL just joking. I would say that once the spark has persuaded me enough to act honestly, all the inspiration and puzzle pieces to get it done just start to fall into place and I see the story I want to tell. The only thing left to do is start.
8. Do you have any special rituals that you do in order to achieve your creative goals?
I am not really sure. However, whenever I start writing I become very observational and aware of everything that's going on around me - in my circle and in the world. So I would say I observe a lot. And well, before every song prayer is important.
9. Has your creativity changed stylistically as you have matured? If it has changed, please explain how?
Oh yes it has. Society changes everyday, topics change and the world continues to evolve. My perceptions changed over time, and as I matured it surely affected my style. Also with the technology that is present today, the number of people doing music has greatly increased and has caused a lot of people to improve their skills to stay on top of their craft. So I have really been inspired and challenged continuously by others, which has brought a new spin to my approach to my music.
10. What has been the greatest sacrifice that you have made for your craft?
Wow. Well to pick, there was a time where I spent almost all I had to get my music done. I couldn't eat much or pay my bills for almost two months, but it was worth it.
11. Who or what has helped you to persevere and not quit?
Firstly God. I honestly would not be doing anything if it wasn't for Him just coming into my life and giving me a real reason to live and do anything. Outside of that my friend and amazing artist/producer/songwriter Udo Ibeleme has really helped me persevere over the years. Also brothers that I look up to like Rizon, Positive and Issac Blackman have all been a real source of support to me. I am greatful.
The "what" of it was the death of my mom. I keep pressing to keep her legacy alive in me it's the only way i see her constantly. So i just can't quit.
12. Do you believe that it is important to be accepted by others as being creative or is just doing what you love to do enough to justify your work? Explain.
To me it is not very important. Creativity is not defined by how many people accept it. Everyone has the right to accept or reject anything, but i believe if i stay true to myself and give everything I do my all and my best, every time, as I develop the creativity would be recognised.
13. Has rejection ever affected your creative process? Explain.
At a stage in my life it did. It hindered my ability to create some years ago. Sometimes people can tell you a lot of hurtful things that can discourage you. And then the flip side is sometimes the truth just hurts. Either way, I have learnt and grown from that place where I can now see rejection as a great opportunity to improve in any area I may have over looked.
14. Looking at what you have created in the past, would you change anything today? Why or why not?
LOL yes. I released my first song when I was 16 years old. The way I sing now is in no way close to what I sounded like then. My range has drastically expanded and my tone is a lot warmer now. It was not a bad song. However, based on where I am now I would probably want to record a new version to it.
15. Have you ever doubted your talent? If so, how did you work through your doubt?
Yes I have. Growing up a lot of my friends and even family members would tell me that I was never good at singing or music. They would all insult my attempts at doing anything; one of my siblings told me I would never be an artist and they would never see or hear my music on the tv or radio. That was until the day that they saw me on television and heard my music on the radio and called to apologise. So after you take ridicule like that you begin to doubt and question yourself, but thank God I didn't allow my doubts to stop me. Truly developing a relationship with God was what really got me through because I now saw myself from the place that God saw me and not where the everyone else did, and in that I found strength.
16. What piece of work are you most proud of? Why?
To be honest, I really love it all, but if I would have to pick one it would be "This Kinda Love" featuring Nisa Nora and Udo Ibeleme. The success of the song locally and worldwide has just been amazing and it continues to be successful so I am thankful.
17. Have you helped or mentored anyone else? Is there someone that you see (name drop) that you would like to Mentor?
Over the years I believe i have been a help to a lot of artists and aspiring artists and I am very happy with their progress. This one is hard, but my choice would be Jay-Ann Baptiste. She is a singer coming out of beautiful Tobago that loves the Lord, has a passion for souls and is eager to express herself musically. I would love to mentor her and see her soar in her craft.
18. To a young Creative emerging in your field, what advice would you impart unto them?
Dare to Dream. The world is a big place and if God has given you the talent and the vision, then by all means go after your dreams. Don't be afraid to fail at times and get it wrong, because true winners fail a lot in order to win but a true failure stops after they fail the first time. Keep Pressing.
19. What would you most like to be remembered for?
My music and my Love for God and others
20. If you were a crayon, what would be the name of your colour?
Brandon Best. LOL