Many music artists have that extra talent that makes them so special. Multi instrumentalist Rodney Branigan is one of them. The Texan born Rodney’s talents as a musician are unbelievable, as the many instruments he expertly plays side by side. The London based singer/songwriter masterfully plays two guitars at once or both guitar and piano simultaneously. However, it is his ability to mix this extraordinary skill with his own heartfelt lyrics and rich, soulful voice that have led to Rodney Branigan becoming one of the most followed global performers of the moment. Rodney has travelled the world with his own, inimitable style of musicianship, thus earning him love from new fans and respect from established musicians alike.
Rodney Branigan the songwriter and instrumentalist is a truly gifted man. He has to be seen to be believed. He has made India part of his tour schedule many a time and has also played with the country’s biggest rock band, Pentagram. His voice delivers honest, self-penned lyrics with soul and feeling; His voice is fresh and waiting to be heard.
We caught up with Rodney for a short chat while he was performing at the Sulafest sometime back and learnt that he is not only a globally recognized performer, but has an Indian connection too.
Read on to find out more on this charming lad who is making waves.
Tell us how you started off playing the guitar.
I started off in my childhood at 8. My father was a musician, so he taught me my first set of chords and scales. I later on went for classes.
When did you discover you could play multiple instruments?
I discovered it when a friend of mine in Texas dared me to show him, after I told him I could write and draw with both my hands. So he asked if I could play two guitars at the same time and it started there. Then it went on to adding either a drum or another guitar to it.
You started out with the guitar and went on to percussions after you came to India?
Yes I did go from guitar to percussion, but not because I came to India. I always played percussion. It’s just the Indian technique that I used to play the drums, like the people who played the tabla.
Do you know anybody who does the same thing as you do?
I do know a few people who use the guitars body for the percussion parts, but I don’t really know people who play the drum and the guitar at the same.
Have you done any other tours in India before this one?
Yes I have, I came here in 2008, then in 2009 and twice in 2011. Now I am here after about two years.
We did not hear about your visit. Was it a private event or something like that?
Yes mostly, I did a private show in Blue Frog in Mumbai the first time it had opened many years ago.
Have you got any albums out in physical copy?
Yes I do, one is being re-released this year and I have 4 albums that have already been released. They are all available online. For a physical copy you would have to order it.
Do you do covers or originals?
I do covers as well as originals, I do covers of the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, It all depends on what the crowd is into.
What are your thoughts on the audience in India?
Well it’s exciting, the last time I came in 2011, it was different. A lot has changed since then.
Could you tell us something about your personal life?
Well I have a wife back in UK. She was born in India and moved there when she was 2 years old. Her father is Indian. So yeah I have a lot of Indianness in myself and I that why I love coming to India.
Interviewed by Verus Ferreira