I actually found SayWeCanFly while letting YouTube show me new music through their algorithm. I fell in love with his haunting voice and decided to hop onto his channel and really give a good listen.
I never would have realized he was Emo without actually watching those videos and researching him as an artist. I love the way he emphasizes certain lyrics in his songs with a distinct difference pushed forward with his voice and ethereal harmonies made with it.
He does all of the music arrangement himself on his laptop and releases his music when he’s ready. I’m just blown away by his talent and drive. He’s making a success of his art, which was his goal. I wanted to share his music with you on Untapped Sound. So, meet Braden Barrie –
PERSONAL/ PROFESSIONAL HISTORY
The musician who at first started making music in his bedroom using the stage name SayWeCanFly is from Lindsay, Ontario, Canada. His actual name is Braden Barrie.
Braden had a rough upbringing with not a lot of friends, so he began playing acoustic guitar around grade 8 as just something to do to keep himself going. He was always into the emo-kids groups in high school, finding a kind of quiet camaraderie with the outcasts.
He saved up to get an old mixer with hopes to post them on social media. He decided on SayWeCanFly because of having a challenge finding an Emo name on YouTube – which is where he wanted to make sure he had his videos.
He really got into talking to people on various platforms while in high school and learned from watching marketing tutorials to help him out. Braden realized that this was what he wanted to do. Constantly releasing new content & connecting with his listeners, Braden’s social media following grew from nothing to collectively over a million in just a few short years.
He dropped out of high school to pursue his music career by focusing on his social media presence and touring.
In 2013, Barrie released an EP titled Heaven Is Hell. SayWeCanFly was ranked number three on Alternative Press’s 2013 Readers Poll: Best AP&R Band.
In January 2015, Barrie released his debut album titled Between the Roses. It sold over 10,000 copies and hit the Billboard charts. He then started his own label Purewolf Records to distribute his own music that year.
In both 2015 & 2016, Braden was given a spot on the entire Vans Warped Tour; the largest touring festival in North America, where he played alongside bands like Pierce The Veil, Bebe Rexha, Sleeping With Sirens, Riff Raff, Sum 41, Metro Station, New Found Glory, and Good Charlotte.
Then, later in 2016, SayWeCanFly toured Europe and the UK with co-headliners Tonight Alive, Set It Off, as well as The Ready Set.
In 2017, after the tragedy of the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, SayWeCanFly released “I Didn’t Know” – a song that touched my heart when I first listened to it and broke it when I watched the video.
In the description, Braden says, “The LGTBQ community has my full love & support.. just want everyone to remember we all feel pain equally, and all deserve the chance to fall in love and experience life beside who we choose. It breaks my heart that some never get that chance, but we can change that.”
In 2018, SayWeCanFly released their third and fourth full albums, Beautiful Mess – as SayWeCanFly which features the same acoustic vibe SayWeCanFly’s fans know and love, and also Limitless – as Braden Barrie which has actual full big musical sound to it.
His music videos began receiving airtime on MTV along with being featured in print magazines such as Alternative Press, Rocksound & Guitar World.
In 2019, after performing music and touring for many years he began his acting career with the comedy series “Dake & Tyke” and made his first appearance in a feature film “Cup of Cheer”.
Getting in on the first developments in social media, being diligent in releasing music and touring, and keeping himself hard at work on his own marketing strategies has paid off for this legend.
To date, his songs have been streamed over 30 million times and sold more than 130,000 copies. SayWeCanFly has now played shows for hundreds of thousands of people across North America, The United Kingdom, and Europe.
He has released a total of seven studio albums including his first full-length album. He is a full-on success on Spotify and has millions of listeners around the globe.
STYLE AND INFLUENCE
As Barrie explained to the folks at the Songwriters’ Lounge Podcast – “Music and writing was just kind of a way I could craft what I wanted to express to people and because I didn’t know how to do it otherwise.” — “Somebody might need to hear exactly what I say even if I think what I say doesn’t matter.”
Braden continually pushes the limits on what it means to write from the heart by sharing pieces of his journey through music. He plans to continue to work alone, though.
He says it’s simply easier to get things done that way. He’s struggled with anxiety and depression and has written about it before. He also explains in an interview that he’s able to write things from the heart because he was writing things down before he even had an audience.
He just continues to write as if he’s doing it for himself and the audience gets to experience that.
As to what music influenced his own style – in his younger years, he was introduced to a lot of Christian music and was influenced a bit by Relient K and Skillet. He says he got into Underoath after that.
Braden told Songwriters’ Lounge that one of his first inspirations was Aaron Gillespie’s vocals. He also loved the acoustic, indie music he heard and felt that influenced his style. He mentioned also being influenced by Never Shout Never, Chase Coy, and Secondhand Serenade – especially this artist’s variations on chords.
He also mentions the vocal production on “May It Be” by Enya as something that was a goal of his to emulate as a producer of music. I believe he may have found the methodology because some of his vocal harmonies using reverb are beyond beautiful to listen to.
COLLABORATIONS & CONNECTIONS
Braden feels like he’s been blessed with his audience because they have actually helped him fund the creation of two of his records.
He has collaborated with other artists on tour, but he has also partnered with fundraising and mental health awareness to fight the stigma with To Write Love on Her Arms. He explained in an interview with them that it’s necessary to talk about mental illness.
“If we don’t talk about it, we are left to deal with it ourselves. I spent so many years keeping things bottled up, and it was almost impossible to function. I know not everyone has an outlet so I think it’s incredibly important just to be constantly reminded that you’re not alone. It sounds cliche to some, but I believe it’s the truth. We are all here on this earth together for the time being, and we need to remember that. For me personally, being able to play shows and have conversations with people about the heavier aspects of life, helped ME realize that I wasn’t by myself. That only happened through communication, and I’m very thankful for that.”
A percentage of all of his sales from the two crowdfunded albums Limitless and Beautiful Mess went to support suicide prevention and awareness through To Write Love on Her Arms.
ORIGINAL SONGS or DISCOGRAPHY
As SayWeCanFly –
- Between the Roses 2015
- Blessed Are Those 2016
- Beautiful Mess 2018
- Will I Make it to the Big Time, Brother Landon? 2010
- Sleepy Time EP 2011
- Dandelion Necklace 2012
- Riverside Drive Memories
- Landon the Founder: My Life
- Heaven Is Hell 2013
- Anything but Beautiful
- Darling 2015
- Storyteller Unplugged 2017Nosebleed 2020
As Braden Barrie –
- Limitless 2018
- Coffee Thoughts Podcast 2014-present
Before and during the pandemic, he released his own podcast called “Coffee Thoughts.”
Braden released “Always Love You” in June of 2021. Catch that release using the links below or using the links in the description of his video!
According to his Twitter, Braden is hoping to release some US tour dates with his friend Johnnie Guilbert very soon. Until then he has been thanking his many followers and supporters on social media and has also begun his own clothing brand Stay Cozy Clothing – the links are below.
Similar Sounds – This is difficult because Braden is so unique in the way he produces his music that a comparison is not going to be very close, ya know? The artists that come to mind are actually bands. Maybe he’s close to Smashing Pumpkins? Some of his songs remind me of a few Thirty Seconds To Mars and My Chemical Romance songs. However, his songs don’t always have those harder rock overtures.
FIND OUT MORE:
As always, if you want to share more, or feel I’ve missed something, let me know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
To be honest, most of the information, I got from the singer/songwriter’s own social media and website. But also –
Songwriter’s Lounge Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYkF7Ar71Ao