Becoming Young
(Rob Bondurant)

Brandon Calano, a.k.a Becoming Young, is an up and coming music artist who writes and sings beautiful songs. I reached out and had the chance to interview Brandon about his new song “Temptation” which will be released on August 27th. Below Brandon goes into detail about “Temptation,” his new album set to release in September called “Feeling Single,” his inspiration for music, the origins of the name “Becoming Young” and more!

You recently hit over 1 million streams on Spotify, how exciting is that? How does this motivate you to continue producing music?

It’s energizing to know that people are listening and sharing with their friends. Music has never been metric to me, and I try to avoid getting too deep into the stats because that takes the fun out of it. But seeing folks streaming in realtime and hearing from fans on IG, keeps me on my game. I love it when I wake up to a DM from someone who has just discovered my music.

Where did your inspiration for music come from?

Most of my songs started as letters to another person—stuff I needed to get off my chest. It’s rare that I’ll sit down and say to myself, “I’m going to write a song about XYZ.” Most of the time, it’s just me, alone in my room at like 3 am, writing the things I need to share with someone.

When did you know that you wanted to be a musician?

When I was 11 years old, I earned a black belt in TaeKwonDo, and shortly after that, I decided to switch hobbies and pick up the guitar. That was around the time Green Day dropped American Idiot—I was determined to be the next  Billie Joe Armstrong! My mom gifted me a guitar that Christmas, and I was hooked.

Who do you look up to in the music industry?

Dermot Kennedy and Matt Maeson are two of my biggest influences. They write from such an honest headspace. And their vocal chops are insane.

Who has helped you the most during your career?

My parents. They have been incredibly supportive over the years. Since I was a kid, they’ve let me make a racket in their respective basements. Drums, amps, band practice… you name it. They had a lot of patience! No one starts out great. It takes a lot of practice, and my parents were so encouraging from the beginning. As I’ve grown older, they have continued to advise me as I navigate this industry. My father is a marketing guru, and it’s been fun to bounce ideas off of one other this year.

Why did you choose the name “Becoming Young”? What are the origins of that name?

Becoming Young is all about letting go of everything we are not so that we can become who we were meant to be. When I came up with the name, I was in a long term relationship that I needed to leave. The name Becoming Young represented an escape from a life that was keeping me from being my true self. I eventually left that relationship and started a whole new chapter. That’s where most of my new songs came from.

Becoming Young’s Spotify artist picture. (Brandon Calano)

Which song of yours is your favourite? Why? What’s the message behind this song?

“Reckless” is my favorite song on the album I’m currently releasing. I wrote it near the end of a summer romance when I was newly single. I was feeling hesitant to let anyone in, and I knew we would probably end up hurting each other. But every time I heard her voice, I wanted to take the chance and see what we could become.

Do past experiences inspire and shape your songs? If yes, do they feel like they’re more genuine and relatable songs because of this?

Absolutely. Songs are like audio photographs, they capture snapshots of my life at different points. I’m always writing for an audience of one, and believe that my songs feel more relatable because of that.

What can we expect “Temptation” to sound like?

“Temptation” is a departure from the pop vibe of my last five singles. Think James Bond. Sultry and sexy, dripping with tension. It kinda sounds like Two Feet, with the vocal swagger of Johnny Cash.

Temptation Artwork (Carsen Calano)

What was your favourite part of creating “Temptation”? Was it the writing, recording the lyrics, creating the music or something else?

Definitely writing it. I got together with my friend Sara Sturm and played her almost every song on my upcoming album. Once Sara was up to speed, we were able to go deep. Not many writers are willing to dive in like that—we had a blast. Sara is an amazing musician herself, check her out!

What is the message you are going to convey in “Temptation”?

“Temptation” highlights how confusing attraction and emotions can be. Sometimes you’re with someone, yet you know it’s not going to work out. But the attraction/connection is so intense that you can’t stop. The song dances around that feeling. The vibe is characterized in these lyrics: “We’re too old to say that this is just lust, but too young to know if you’re the one… Girl, what are we doing?”

Then the song drops… “But please don’t, don’t stop / Don’t think too much, give me your love.”

How excited are you to be releasing a full length album in September?

I’m stoked! And the best part is that this is just one of two albums that will release within the next year. Feeling Single showcases where I was at when I had just ended a long term relationship and was re-entering the dating world. I was unhinged and exploring, it was an inspiring phase of my life.

How many songs will be on the album?

Eight. It was supposed to be an EP with four cuts. I expanded it to six and then eight songs, and before I knew it, I had a full record.

How much time has been spent on the album?

When COVID hit, I was nearing the end of recording my winter 2020/2021 album, The Songs I Wrote You. As soon as I realized I was not going to be touring this summer, I decided to turn Feeling SIngle into an album, so that I could surprise the Becoming Young fam with new releases every month, while we’re all locked down. I’ve been working on Feeling Single, amongst other recording projects, all year.

What is your favourite song on the album? What’s the reasoning for this song being your favourite?

I love them all in their own way! Another favorite is “Cherry Twist,” which I wasn’t even planning to record. But a few people in my inner circle repeatedly told me I was crazy to not record it. ”Cherry Twist” is just a fun, sexy song.

Also, I wrote it about this cute girl in Denver with the most amazing long red hair. Every time I play “Cherry Twist,” I get high on her vibes.

You’ve announced on Instagram that you will be releasing another album in 2021. Between the release of that album and the one in September are there plans for releasing new singles that will be part of either album?

Indeed. The Songs I Wrote You will start releasing as singles in December of 2020, and it will be out in its entirety by Spring. I will be releasing singles every month from December through April.

I’m planning to let Feeling Single ride through October and November. But I might drop a surprise single in Oct/Nov. During my off months, I will be sharing some of the live, in-studio demos from the 2021 album with my Early Access Group.

What are your plans moving forward after the 2021 album?

I’ve already planned a follow-up EP to the 2021 album and will start recording that this fall. I can’t reveal the title because it will give too much away about the cliffhanger that comes at the end of The Songs I Wrote You. But I’m eager to get started on the EP.

Aside from that, it’s hard to say what touring is going to look like post-COVID. I’m optimistic that once we have a vaccine, smaller concerts will become an option. I love playing house shows and Sofar Sounds shows—I thrive in intimate environments where I get to tell stories and make new friends. I’ll definitely start playing those events as soon as the CDC gives the green light.

And no matter what, I’ll be in the studio. I love creating new content to share with y’all!

Anything else you’d like to share?

Yes—want to give a shout out to my amazing friend and producer, Austin Shawn. That guy just gets me on such a deep level.

We’ve had so much fun working together on Feeling Single. Endless belly laughs, long days, missed meals, but it’s always a blast. I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished, Austin. And the best is yet to come!

Thank you again to Brandon for agreeing to do this interview about his new song “Temptation.” It’s scheduled to be released on the 27th so be sure to check it out and give it a listen!

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