We recently sat down with the local Branson band, Prince Ivan, over a nice & healthy virtual chat that covered everything from their recent songwriting contest, Hooked, to their first full-length album, The Preface.
This talented music duo is comprised of Brydon Brett and Aaron Space, who explained that, though Prince Ivan has experienced many great moments this year, 202o hasn’t been without its share of challenges. Brydon explained they had just released their new album, The Preface, in Mid-December of 2019 and had shows booked January-July. However, when COVID-19 first hit, Brydon, and Aaron shifted gears.
“It was looking like a great year for a tour, and all of that except for one show got canceled,” Brydon explained. “So that was an impact. We’ve definitely had to pivot and innovate our approach. It’s forced us to grow in ways we know that we needed to go. We’re grateful to be doing as well as we are because, in entertainment, a lot of people are struggling really hard. It’s a tough industry to be in right now.”
With all of the things happening in the world today, Aaron said they wanted to create music with positive themes and encouraging messages, a point he expanded on as he told us in the interview: “We feel more of a sense of urgency to create great quality music that also has a great message. I think 2020 will serve as a landmark in our trajectory that we will look back on and remember that it was a large catalyst in our journey.”
Despite the year’s challenges, Prince Ivan kept themselves busy doing several events, including hosting an American Idol-style songwriting contest(Hooked), presenting virtual concerts so local high school seniors could celebrate Prom Night, and attending Springboard Music Festival West—an event they participated in early September 2020.
“Essentially, Springboard is a conference for up and coming artists to network and get advice on everything from songwriting to the legal side of the music business, which includes song licensing and when you know you need a manager,” Aaron clarified. “There’s also performance component involved as well. We get to showcase some of our material specifically to radio DJs, as well as music; we participated in that earlier this month(Sept.), and it was a really great experience. They ended up wanting us to pre-record the performance, so we did that.”
Similar to Springboard, RoadNation will also feature Prince Ivan in a live stream along with four or five other artists. As Brydon explained, RoadNation is “ [A] California based company who found us online and liked our stuff and wanted to feature us on this live stream concert series. We’re excited about it!”
Prince Ivan has also done a couple of local songwriting workshops here, including at the Buchanan Campus(post-COVID). Due to present social limitations, Aaron and Brydon said they are currently shifting their main focus to working on the Unity EP Project, which tackles the conversation of racial and social injustice.
“We are trying to bring a spirit of compassion, love in a unified, progress thinking vision,” Aaron said. “Obviously, a lot of the issues being talked about right now deal with things that happened in the past and what is happening currently. We want to be part of the conversion of how to repair things and set a good course for the future. That’s a lot of what we want to talk about in this EP Project.”
Though the band is focusing on the Unity EP Project now, Brydon and Aaron said they would get back into the lane of producing new albums for what they’re calling The Chronicles of Prince Ivan.
Brydon explained The Preface is the first in a series of albums that the band will be releasing over the course of their musical career. “It’s like in a book series; it’s the beginning. It’s the preface. It’s a little introduction into the world of Prince Ivan. We are trying to help change the world and help create a new one where love, compassion, and unity reign. We have that utopic vision that Martin Luther King had. It’s the Global community. That’s really our main objective with anything we do in our career. That’s the end goal that we are seeking. The Preface is beginning to move us in that artistic direction. You will notice the artwork as a little boy prince named Ivan, and he is entering into a new world, and that’s symbolic of what the project is in terms of the Prince Ivan ecosystem.”
Prince Ivan has come to call their musical output SpectraPop as they try to blur genre lines, generational lines, and cultural lines as well so people of all generations, demographics, and cultures can take something away from their music. Prince Ivan holds it to themselves to keep their music clear of any inappropriate messages and/or profanity.
As Brydon explained, “ [W]e are creating this whole artistic world with the hopes that we can bring people together in a community called SpectraCulture where we bring the best of all our cultures and leave the bad behind. We decided a beautiful world of love and inclusion is the broader vision. We are the big dreamers!”
With a new year on the horizon, Prince Ivan plans to keep their momentum going with tours, concerts, and releasing singles throughout 2021“at a steady clip.” The Hooked Songwriting Contest will be hosted again next year, along with new music videos typically filmed in Branson. Both band members said they want to continue growing and developing the songwriting community and essentially “turn the eyes of the world toward Branson.”
Brydon went on to say that, as Prince Ivan pushed this new album out, they were getting a lot of acceptance and attention from some big cities: “We’re talking about L.A., New York, Atlanta…just these major music centers, and they’re asking about Branson. They’re like, ‘What’s this place all about?’ I think we are on an upward tick with the mainstream music industry and the record industry. We already have a great live show industry, but the recording industry, we don’t really have that here, so we are trying to make that happen.”
Everything Prince Ivan stands for is positive and inspiring, and Aaron said they couldn’t have done it without their fans who believe in what Prince Ivan stands for and what they’re trying to do. Aaron told us, “In a bigger way, we feel grateful to be part of a community of people who really are passionate about changing the world for the better. We feel blessed to be the figureheads of that movement and the faces of it within a Prince Ivan universe.”
Thank you, Prince Ivan, for all of the positive and inspirational things you are doing for the music industry, your fans, and the community of Branson, Missouri! If you would like to learn more about Prince Ivan, check out their website herehttps://www.princeivan.com/about- for news, merchandise, videos, links to social media sites, updates & more!
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Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/PrinceIvanMusic