20 questions (pandemic edition) with Braden Lam

This week we check in with musician Braden Lam whose new album Inside Four Walls is now available for download on most digital music platforms.

Braden Lam
Braden Lam

During this time of social distancing and dark venues, Halifax Presents continues to check-in with members of our arts community to find out how they are staying creative and managing during the pandemic.

This week we check in with musician Braden Lam whose new album Inside Four Walls is now available for download on most digital music platforms.

1. How are you staying creative during the pandemic?

I was pretty uninspired to do anything creative at the start of the lockdown this past spring. But over the summer, I got the creative juices flowing again through the recording of my new album and co-writing songs with friends over zoom.

2. What’s the one thing getting you through?

One person, actually. My wife. We got married in June. A little pandemic wedding with our close friends by the ocean. Living together has gotten us through this.

3. How are you staying in contact with family and friends who are not in your bubble?

We both have family in Ontario and BC, coast to coast. Mostly stay in contact over regular phone calls and FaceTime.

4. What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far during the pandemic?

That I want to avoid working a 9-5 job for the rest of my life. There’s no time like the present to go after your dreams and be your own boss.

5. What do you feel the most grateful for right now?

I’m truly grateful to be in Atlantic Canada. We were the safest place in the world for some time, and I was even able to squeeze in some tour dates. Not many musicians can say they safely hit the road for some shows during this year.

6. What is something you are doing now that you don’t normally?

I find myself tipping service industry workers much more and more often than usual. As well as shopping and buying local as much as possible.

7. What skill have you developed since the pandemic started?

Funny enough, I took up the piano for the first time. I started learning music on guitar at the age of six but always wanted to learn piano. This was the year!

8. What have you missed the most?

300 sweaty people packed into The Seahorse Tavern for live music or a dance night.

9. Your #1 pandemic survival tip.

Find an outlet to capture this time. Some form of artistic expression (journaling, singing, drawing, etc.) to document your everyday. It’s therapeutic.

10. Your biggest indulgence since the pandemic started.

I bought a lot of new home recording equipment and a new guitar, haha.

11. What have you stockpiled?

Not much, really. I’m not one to get stressed about stocking up on storm chips, toilet paper, or whatever. I think for a week or so in March there we were using a paper towel as TP.

12. What have you been reading?

I spent the past 4 years in university reading textbooks and lost my passion for reading. But I’m currently getting back into it by reading poetry. Right now, it’s The Flame by Leonard Cohen.

13. What have you been watching?

Lucifer, a TV show on Netflix, was a favourite that we discovered!

14. What have you been listening to?

The top albums I listened to in 2020 were by Tim Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, Valley, Jeremy Zucker, Donovan Woods, and Andy Schauf.

15. What are you doing for exercise?

I love to run or bike! Doing a loop up and around Citadel Hill is my favourite.

16. The one thing you haven’t been able to live without?

Java Been K2 Espresso beans and my home espresso machine.

17. Do-it-yourself haircut or the natural look?

I’ve only had my hair cut twice since March.

18. Night owl or early riser?

Night Owl.

19. Will you be the first out as restrictions are gradually lifted or taking a wait-and-see attitude?

I’m a big outdoors guy, so I will always be the first to get outside and travel as much as allowed.

20. What’s the first thing you will do when this is all over?

Visit our newborn niece in Vancouver and book a Canada wide tour.

Meet Braden Lam

Braden Lam takes listeners on a journey of growth and aspiration with Inside Four Walls, six songs that walk from adolescence and a wide-open future into the reality of adulthood and its sundry limitations, trying to find the ideal balance between art and responsibility. It’s a soundtrack to reconsidering your views of society, others, and yourself.

Recorded with Prince Edward Island’s pre-eminent pop producer Colin Buchanan (Paper Lions, Adyn Townes, Sorrey), the new album sees the young songwriter looking beyond the walls of the bedroom he made his debut Driftwood People in and seeing a more complex world. Inspired by the honest storytelling and heart-pulling melodies of songwriters like Tim Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Maggie Rogers, Lam’s own craft is a study in the day-to-day, with a sharp, specific eye and a knack for expressing observations universally.

It’s music for driving and singing along to, for late-night heart-to-hearts and Sunday morning papers, for growing up and letting go. It’s bearing witness to the death of your old self and accepting and celebrating the person you have become.

You can find out more about Braden at bradenlam.com. You can also follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube.