One of the most recognizable names on the independent family music scene, Brady Rymer, was just nominated for his second Grammy. We chat with the Southold-based artist, whose song “Jump Up” was included in Songs for a Healthier America, a compilation of songs that is part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign, about his recent nomination, musical inspiration, and more.
How did you find out about your Grammy nomination?
A Tweet! I was blown away and tried furiously with fumbling fingers to confirm the news.
What did you do to celebrate?
I had a show that night so I played a concert with a big ol’ smile on my face. It couldn’t have been a better way to celebrate.
What kind of an impact does getting a nomination have?
More exposure is key. It opens doors and helps introduce the music to more families around the country.
How did the idea to fund your record via Kickstarter come about?
I loved how, with crowdfounding, an artist could create something with fans; it seemed more meaningful than releasing an album the traditional way. The process became much more personal for me, especially when I was mailing every backer’s reward and writing thank you notes! It was so amazing to write the Kickstarter update announcing our Grammy nomination—“Look what we did together!”
How did you bring attention to your campaign?
We presented the music that was going to be on the album and worked hard on the rewards. I made personalized books for families, they came to the studio and sang on the album, they even came over to my house for an album release party/concert.
Have you always been interested in music?
I started in a garage band with my brother and friends in 7th grade and have been playing with them ever since. Then after college I was a founding member of From Good Homes—we were signed to RCA in the ’90s and had a good run. We disbanded right around the time my wife and I were starting a family—I just naturally started writing songs for my son. Since I was looking to continue playing music, I discovered this new gig of playing and writing for kids and families.
What inspires you to create new music?
A lot of it ties into the daily things that we experience as a family. I’m also inspired by the connections that I make with kids and families.
Do you test out new material on your children?
I used to much more! When they were younger my favorite way to write was to casually play my guitar around the house and have a musical conversation with them. They’re 16 and 18 now, but they’re still good listeners and I’m always asking their opinion.
How did you get involved with “Songs for a Healthier America” (SFAHA)?
Claudia, accordionist for the Little Band That Could, met Olajide Williams, one of the visionaries for SFAHA, at a party. They talked about the project and she said that we’d be perfect. He listened to a few tunes and agreed. I love the project and our positive message fits perfectly with their mission.
What do you love most about living on Long Island?
I love the friendly, down-to-earth people on the North Fork, the laid-back vibe, water, vineyards, and the light. It’s a magical place to live.
What are some of your favorite East End spots?
We mostly go to East Hampton to visit my mother-in-law—so one of my favorite spots is her pool in the summertime! And I continue to play many shows in the Hamptons. I love the families I’ve met, and it’s so rewarding to see them come back. And you gotta love that there are still record stores selling vinyl!