Turning heads in the music world

Clare ex-pat Brodie McKay is embarking on a creative journey after deciding to close his construction business earlier this year.
Clare ex-pat Brodie McKay is embarking on a creative journey after deciding to close his construction business earlier this year.

It is funny how one trip can change a life.

Brodie McKay, who grew up in Clare until 2002 and whose parents also ran the Taminga Hotel, was on the way home to Adelaide at Tokyo’s Narita airport in November 2016 when he suddenly collapsed.

Brodie had spent the last five years operating a building company in order to generate funds for his many creative outlets, but unfortunately it caused him a lot of stress which he struggled to cope with.

It all came to a head in Japan after spending 48 hours in the airport, and needing his wife Abbey to carry him on to the plane just to get home.

“I had a bad couple of months but if it was not for that, I would not be where I am now,” he said.

“I sort of had a bit of revelation in Japan and that turned into a breakdown, and also I cannot stand being on planes so that contributed to it.

“But it was just a revelation and that made me realise what I really should be doing.”

The next day, he pulled the plug on his company and decided to focus on something that made him happy, his creative projects.

One of those projects is film making, and in February he placed second in a film competition with more than 16,000 entries and judged by a panel consisting of various Oscar winners.

“I just stumbled upon the competition on Instagram, and I had my screenplay that I had been working on for the past five years, but it needed a bit of work and the deadline was the next day so I stayed up all night finishing it,” he said.

“I submitted it and then did not think about it for a month, and then I got a phone call from Texas at 6.30am congratulating me on coming second place.

“I won a lot of film gear like a camera and microphone which was cool, but to come so close was hard.”

His screenplay 'If You're Watching This, I'm Already Dead’ is a mockumentary/musical about a struggling musician, influenced by his own experiences as a performer battling against anxiety.

A few weeks after his placing, Brodie turned his attention to working on the soundtrack and set aside the film as he dealt with coming so close to winning.

Six months later, he has launched his new project ‘Brodie Trent’ and has just recently released his new single titled ‘Phoenix James’.

It has already caught the attention of various independent music blogs around the globe and has even been played on a German radio station.

His success coming so quickly after putting out his debut single has taken Brodie by surprise.

“I felt like I could put out some good songs and thought it would do alright, but I have been getting contact from people all over the world,” he said.

“It has been pretty crazy.

“I have had people from the UK emailing me, reps from labels in the UK emailing, people asking if they could represent me to service my song to radio stations … same thing has happened in the US.”

Legendary musical engineer Greg Calbi, who has worked on iconic albums by John Lennon, Bob Dylan, David Bowie and Bruce Springsteen among many others, lent Brodie a helping hand with the mixing of the track at the Sterling Sound studio in New York.

Brodie said it was crazy to think he sat in the same chair as David Bowie and heard stories about John Lennon.

Early next year he will be working with Australian music producer Francois Tetaz, best know for his work on Gotye’s Grammy award winning album Making Mirrors, and hopes to head over to Los Angeles to work with him in person, with hopes of releasing an EP some time in the near future.

Brodie is no stranger to music, having played in a punk band in the mid 2000s called Her Latest Flame, which attracted so much attention they played the Adelaide leg of the 2007 Big Day Out festival.

Having fallen out of love with music for a period of time, Brodie has well and truly rediscovered the buzz.

Coincidentally, the first shows that he played under the Brodie Trent moniker happened to be on that fateful holiday in Japan.

For all he knows, Brodie might still be unhappily running his construction business if it was not for that one trip.