Keith Obrien

Story

I'm a Musician, Singer, Song Writer, Composer. I work on my own recordings at my home studio on Long Island in Brookhaven, N.Y.. I am a Member of A.S.C.A.P. and I Self Publish my songs and compositions for purchase. I'm just trying to get my music heard to see where it goes, I don't expect to make a fortune writing music or performing. This is my second career that I wished had been my first career. Hard to say who has influenced me, I've heard so many over the years and have tried writing everything from Folk, Rock, Church Music, Pop all the way to Country and Bluegrass. I put that I have 500+ performances because I started in the 70's as a Church Musician and was responsible for Liturgical Music on a weekly basis for over 16 years which included weekly Masses, Concerts, Community Events, Weddings, Confirmations and the occasional Baptism and all the rehearsals for such and that's beside the Gigs that were not Church related whether with a group of friends as a band or solo. I've written many songs that were used for Church Liturgy as background, Responses and Communal Singing. I've even written music and instrumental composition for a couple of concept performances of which one is a play that I started writing back in the 80's and I am now currently working on again to get it published and heard. After college I couldn't find a steady job as a musician so I worked a regular 9 to 5 job after to support my wife and so we could start a family. I didn't just play and sing Religious Music, I also did covers and some originals at local venues but never got a break, so I have a lot of music that I've written over the years but not had a lot of exposure. I'm hoping to change that in the near future. No, it's not all religious music, some are love songs, fun, qwerky songs and thought provoking songs. Hope you like my music as I post some of my audio and videos, like I say in many of my song descriptions, Thank You In Advance.

Profile

Instruments

Genres

Influences

Equipment

Languages

What is music to you? What does it give you?

In one way Music gives me freedom, it's a way for me to express myself, to cultivate my thoughts, my emotions and views through music and lyrics. Music has always been very personal to me and when I play a cover of a song I try to put what the song means to me into my version. In my original music I try to tell a story about something that I have experienced first hand in life or one that was conveyed to me by the person who did experience a life altering event. Sometimes my songs are thought provoking or they may be whimsical and even funny and fanciful.

What is your music dream?

Ultimately, to have other people play and enjoy my original songs and compositions. I don't expect to become world famous as a song writer, but it would be nice to be known las a Long Island Musician and Song Writer. I am originally from Queens, New York and as of 2018 have since moved to the Brookhaven Area of Suffolk County. While I wrote many of my songs and compositions while in Queens, I have started publishing all my written music while in the Suffolk County area.

If you could change the world - what would you start with?

Education or the curriculum in what children are taught. Instead of them being taught how pass a test to make teachers look good, go back to the things that were taught back when I was in school and learn the important things. I feel a lot of what was taught has been dropped from being learned in school and that kids do not know stuff that they should. I don't feel it is the fault of the teachers, it is the fault of the higher up Administrators. I do not like when Art and Music programs are cut from school programs, they are just as important as Math and Science or any of the others.

Which is the most memorable song from your childhood?

Happy Birthday! LOL! I was taught a song that I've always known as the China Man's song that I was taught by my Mother, who learned it from her Mother and it was a catchy tune and had funny lyrics. It is probably not a appropriate song these days, but the question was asked so that is my answer.

Who are your favorite musical artists or bands?

Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young together and as separate artists. The Band, Chicago, Lighthouse, The Allman Bros. Band, Pink Floyd, The Eagles, Mountain, The Beatles, Robbie Robertson, Harry Chapin, Dave Van Ronk, Shel Silverstein, Terry Kath, Eric Clapton, Frank Zappa, Cat Stevens, David Gilmore, Leslie West, Duane Allman, Dickie Betts, Steve Vai, Bob Dylan, John Denver, and so many others. I've listened to many styles of music over the years and have been influenced by those from my youth as well as many who may be younger than myself like Slash, David Grohl or Alex Skolnick. I am also very inspired by the talents of the musicians of Trans Siberian Orchestra, Paul O'Neill masterfully blends Classic music and Traditional Christmas songs with Heavy Metal. I might hear something that I like in a newer song that when I'm writing a new song and want something different, I'll try to borrow from it and try something similar to what I've heard recently in my new song.

What inspires you to make music?

Feelings mostly. Not always sad feels, sometimes happy or something that is funny in a situation will make me write lyrics. I get a lot of influence from what goes on around me. If something happens that affects me, I will sit and write words that become lyrics and if I have an idea for a melody I will try to document it on paper, or on my computer with a music app. and if I don't have a chance to finish it, I'll go back to it another time and work on it until it becomes a song. I have actually come up with a whole song based on a comment made on Face Book that someone wrote. It was an interesting turn of a phrase kind of thing that I put my own back story onto and is now a song.

What is the message you want to send with your music?

Hope for those who are sad, to let someone know they are not alone with feelings that may not know where to turn in a situation. We all experience sadness in our lives and some of us don't know how to handle it, so some of us write about it and try to express it and if possible make it have a happy ending. I also try to take the joy of a situation and try to walk the listener through my experience.

How do you feel when you perform in front of an audience?

A little scared to get up on stage, but pretty good once I get going. I used to be a Church Musician and played every week for Mass as a Guitarist in a Folk Group back in the 70's. I was responsible for rehearsals for an Adult Group and responsible for Children's Groups for 16 years. Besides the weekly music to go with Liturgy we would also do events like Concerts, Confirmations, Weddings, Graduations and occasionally Baptisms. Due to playing this often, I became very comfortable playing in front of a lot of people, but it was always different when I played outside the Church at Gigs with Bands and small groups I played with at Bars or Coffee Houses or Block Parties. It always went away as the first song got going.

How do you see the musicians’ reality nowadays? What could be improved?

Not sure how to answer that question? I have noticed a lot more places for musicians to go to Open-Mic to get their feet wet though. When I was starting there weren't too many places as like I see now. Places for the new musicians to play as a solo or as a group is important and I love when I see that there is a place that will let the budding musician up to perform in front of a crowd. They should be supported and given encouragement. If I had things to do over or if I could afford it, I would establish a venue that would allow new musicians a chance to show what their talents are, good or not so good and wether they are good or not they would be welcomed and applauded just to be up there and try. It would be a confidence builder and could possibly make a difference to someone who may be great if they were given the right feedback.

What do you think of Drooble?

I feel it is a great place to be seen by peers and I hope a place be to encouraged with positive criticism that isn't demeaning and crushing to a fragile ego that hasn't been prepared for what may feel like a bad review.

What frustrates you most as a musician?

At this point in my life, really nothing. I have played in front of people and I don't do it as much anymore by choice. This is my second career that I wished had been my first. I just want to write my songs and record audio and video and post my music to be heard and if the songs I write are liked by anyone who cares to tells me, that's fine, if they don't like them, say so also. Just don't be nasty about it. For new musician's, I guess that being heard is the most frustrating thing about their music, my advice is to find a venue to try music in front of an audience and get feedback wether it is good or bad and listen to it and then take good and keep going but the negative needs to be listened to and accept it and make changes to make it better. It will help you. Get a thick skin, you're gonna need it.

Do you support your local scene as a fan? How?

I try to get out as often as possible to see other musicians play. I love to hear new musicians take on a song and make it their own and I absolutely love to hear new music from upcoming artists. I "Friend" many musicians through social media and some are established and are working musicians and some are new budding musicians looking for advice and a voice. I will many times find out out that they are playing an Open-Mic or have a Gig as an opening act and I will take the information and pass it on to "Friends" that may not have them in their friend list to help promote a larger audience. I do the same if they are hawking their CD or any other way they put their music out to be heard.

What qualities should a musician nowadays have in order to get their music heard by a larger audience?

Self Confidence is key. They should be ready to listen to criticism, not just the praise. The criticism is just as important and could help you change something that may get you more attention and a larger listening audience and fan base.

Share some awesome artists that we’ve never heard of.

ME! Keith O'Brien, I've got a lot of music to offer and may be the best Singer - Song Writer you've never heard! LOL