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ASOS SUPPORTS TALENT

Meet Bryndon Cook

By Luke Keleher, 16 May 2017

Bryndon Cook is a NYC-based musician, who has been producing and touring since his college days. His latest project sees him collaborating with the Newark Boys Chorus School, in a move that he hopes will inspire the boys to pursue their creative dreams. By giving them a spark of excitement and showing them that their creative dreams can be realities, Cook wants to 'pay it forward' to the boys, who remind him of his own young self.
Bryndon Cook, musician, actor and writer | ASOS Supports Talent

Tell us a bit about yourself…

My name is Bryndon Cook, and I’m a musician, an actor, semi-pro dancer, writer at times, and amateur comedian. I'm from Greenbelt, Maryland, born in Washington D.C. and based out of New York City.

What's your passion project?

I wrote a song a long time ago that I imagined (in my wildest dreams) to feature a boys choir. I’ll be recording the song from my upcoming album with the Newark Boys Chorus. We'll hopefully get the song some exposure, which can then bring the boys some funding through the sales of the song.
ASOS Supports Talent Bryndon Cook

Why is that important to you?

It has a lot to do with the history of where I’m from and how I came up. I was really fortunate to tackle my own passions when I was young, and to label them, put a finger on them and run full force through that alley. I was introduced to music through singing in choirs, so I thought it would be a full-circle moment to involve a group like this. They're going through that mode of life on this debut album that's all about boyhood and figuring out manhood. There's a tradition in communities of colour where singing in choirs is very key, and we pass it down like a custom, but not many kids see it as a viable option for a career. We're not given the visibility, so there's a lot of deferment of those dreams. I wanted to give the boys this memory that they can go back to, that they were part of something bigger than just the choir or their neighbourhood.

When did you first start out in music?

I'm good at a lot of things but I really enjoy art and singing, so when I moved to Atlanta in 2001, I joined a band. I learned saxophone, played in a marching band, and joined choirs. When I was at acting school, I was really fortunate to be surrounded by close friends who were into producing music and I started cutting up rap beats and samples, like when Kanye came out and everyone wanted to be like Kanye. My friends at college were the ones who really supported me and they're still my friends today.

What comes to mind when you think of ASOS?

It’s interesting how life comes full circle, because when I started playing with Solange Knowles in 2013, we went straight to tour and the next year she was still playing a lot of festivals. We played FYF one year and the whole band was wearing ASOS. That was the first time I'd heard of ASOS.
Bryndon Cook, musician, actor and writer | ASOS Supports Talent

What is your greatest achievement?

Being able to play on Solange's record that she just put out, because so many things that were on my bucket list just rapidly came true – like playing on Saturday Night Live. Just being in the room with all these people, just to work as equals. That's when I met Sampha and we were up till, like, 3am, just churning it out. But more than that, being able to play on Solange's Don't Touch My Hair song was huge.

What’s the ultimate goal?

I always wanted to win an EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) just because when you grow up, especially in the family I grew up in – which is really beautiful, but very intellectual and driven – there’s very much a focus on what you want to do when you grow up. My heroes are the ones who did it all, who didn't confine themselves to anything and let their dreams define who they are.
Bryndon Cook, musician, actor and writer | ASOS Supports Talent

What inspires you?

A lot of people in my life inspire me. Right now, the people who really inspire me are my mother and Solange, and they finally just met! It was amazing. I've been playing with her for four years, but my parents had never really gotten to see a performance, so we had a show at the Peace Ball in Washington D.C., which was scheduled for the night before the inauguration, as a symbolic, powerful antithesis to it. Across the street, you had our current President having his concert, then you had us in the new African American Smithsonian Museum with Angela Davis and Linda Sarsour speaking, and Van Jones, Solange and Esperanza Spalding performing, and I got my mum to come. It was a real full circle thing.

What advice would you give to young people who want to follow their passions?

Oh, you're going to make me cry! It’s tough. It's a capitalist society so people are born to always factor in money into ideas and dreams. You could have something come to mind, and just as quickly as the price tag comes to mind, and just that alone is enough to shelve it. The National Endowment for the Arts might be gone, like that's crazy to even say. It takes a lot of mental fortitude, but if you can think of your dreams and aspirations not as intangible things that you’re going to have to put up on a board, but think ‘What is the life you want to lead?’. When you have dreams and goals, hold onto them like you're setting them on your calendar. There’s something magical in holding onto your dreams, and not letting other people define it or confine it.

 

I guess my advice is to find what you love, and put that into your life by any means necessary.

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