5 Questions With ... Brett Dennen

Singer/songwriter brings music to the hopeless
  • Photo: Mark Sullivan/WireImage.com
    Brett Dennen attends the Los Angeles Chapter's GRAMMY Block Party on July 30
August 23, 2011 -- 10:07 am PDT

(A portion of the proceeds from The Recording Academy Los Angeles Chapter's GRAMMY Block Party benefitted PATH, a Los Angeles-based organization dedicated to ending homelessness for individuals, families and communities.)

Folk singer/songwriter Brett Dennen recently participated in an installment of The Recording Academy's 5 Questions With … series. Held during The Recording Academy Los Angeles Chapter's GRAMMY Block Party at The Academy's headquarters in Santa Monica, Calif., Dennen discussed his most recent release, Loverboy, musical influences, his songwriting process and advice for aspiring musicians, and the importance of giving back to the community, among other topics.

"Always listen to music," said Dennen on his advice for aspiring musicians. "Put on an old record [or] put on a new record. Always go back to that inner joy and that feeling that got you involved [in music] in the first place."

West Coast native Dennen first garnered attention in 2004 after his single "Desert Sunrise" earned significant airplay on Santa Monica-based public radio station KCRW. Dennen's self-titled debut followed in 2005, subsequently earning the singer/songwriter a record deal with Dualtone Music Group, and his sophomore effort, So Much More, was released in 2006. Two years later Dennen released Hope For The Hopeless, cracking the Top 50 on the Billboard 200. Released in April, Loverboy features 13 tracks penned by Dennen, who describes it as an album for all seasons. "It's a good album to put on in the summertime, [and] it's a good album to put on in the winter when you wish it was summertime," said Dennen. Dennen has collaborated with artists such as Femi Kuti, Natalie Merchant and Jason Mraz, and has toured with the likes of the Dave Matthews Band, Rodrigo Y Gabriela and the John Butler Trio, among others. Dennen's philanthropic efforts include involvement with the Mosaic Project, an outdoor school that provides fourth- and fifth-grade students from diverse backgrounds with essential skills to thrive in a diverse society and encourages them to strive for peace. Dennen is currently on tour throughout the United States.

Come back to GRAMMY.com on Friday to view performances from Dennen's set at the Los Angeles Chapter's GRAMMY Block Party.

Click on the "5 Questions With ... interviews" tag below for links to other GRAMMY News stories in this series.

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