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El Paso County Colorado District 49

Stand Up. Speak Out: Brendan James

Falcon School District 49 is bringing in several musical acts to perform at the ìStand Up. Speak Out.î concert Aug. 17. The concert, aimed at putting an end to bullying, will take place at Security Service Field in Colorado Springs.Among the artists scheduled to perform is New Hampshire native singer/songwriter Brendan James. The concert is close to his heart. James, who also plays piano, has had experience with bullies. ìI canít say I was bullied every day, but I can say that I was intimidated a lot in junior high and high school by the ëcool kids,íî he said. ìI was really intimidated by certain groups of people in high school, and I sometimes wondered, ëAm I ever going to get through high school?íîJames said he started writing songs while in college at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. When a mentor stepped in to encourage James to use his musical talents to send a message, rather than just sing songs, he said he became inspired. Although he had never taken a piano lesson, James said he began going to the basement of the music department and taught himself to play.After graduating from college, James moved to New York City. ìI kind of went all in after college and moved to New York City because thatís where I was told to move,î he said. ìThatís where Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder and all those people got their start.îìI found a manager, and he and I basically got a couple of gigs going, got a following, made a demo, and Capital Records liked that demo. It just took off from there,î James said. He is currently on tour and has had his songs featured on television shows like ìPrivate Practice,î ìAmerican Idolî and ìArmy Wives.îJames said he considers himself a conscious writer, which means the anti-bullying concert is right up his alley. ìWhen an issue comes up that I can help with my songs and my art, Iím glad to do it,î he said. ìThe first song on my third album is called ëNone of Them Are You.í Itís a really important message about staying your course and being an individual and not letting anyone bully you or pick on you or change you. You just have to stick on your path and be who you are.ìIím excited to play on a bill with some other great musicians and bring as much awareness as we possibly can to whatís facing Americaís youth. My role in this concert is to show them that you can rise above anything, and you can get through any tough time youíre having. You will be able to do it and realize your dream. You can get through this and turn into a happy adult.î

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