Life is Beautiful for Dan Bremnes.
Released on Christian radio last summer, the talented local singer-songwriter’s song Beautiful from his album Your Strength is proving to be a winner.
Not only was it on the top 30 charts for more than eight weeks, Beautiful has just been announced as a finalist in the Gospel/Christian Music category of the International Songwriting Competition (ISC).
Another song, You Are, placed third in last year’s competition.
“There are 15,000 entries in the competition from all over the world and I am one of three Canadians in my category,” he says, noting he’s up against good friend Greg Sczebel for the Gospel/Christian Recording of the Year in the BC Interior Music Awards that run April 23 in Kelowna.
The album was nominated for a Covenant Award from the Gospel Music Association of Canada in 2010.
A video of the powerful song, which Bremnes describes as being symbolic of what God does in our lives, “taking something broken and turning it into something beautiful,” was released on YouTube last week. The video is already creating a buzz. Since its release March 31, it has sparked interest primarily in eastern Canada, including an appearance at a large concert in Fredericton, N.B. that will take place Aug. 27.
“I never realized how much of an effect the music video would have,” he says. “It looks as though people are sharing it, even in Africa.”
The day it came out on YouTube it ranked the 26th most-talked-about video of all You -Tube Canada videos in the music section.
“We filmed it in an old, abandoned house near Lumby with a local guy, filmmaker Nathan Pawluk, who was also on Greg’s Glee video,” says Bremnes. “He’s a tremendously talented guy and YouTube is a great way to get your music out there.”
The guitar Bremnes plays in the video is integral to the storyline, showing Salmon Arm guitar maker Jed Wiebe making the beautiful instrument from scrap wood.
Bremnes is also a talented drummer and laid down all the drum tracks on his new album.
A Salmon Arm Secondary grad, Bremnes says he and Sczebel flourished in Brian Pratt-Johnson’s musical composition class.
Describing his music as a “modern worship sound,” Bremnes says much of it is God-inspired. Others songs are “about life, about things that happen and the way I relate to it.”
One of the most profound, and devastating events in the 27-year-old’s life was the loss of his mother in a tragic accident on the Trans-Canada Highway in September, 2006.
“Mom was definitely always the one that encouraged me, and I dedicated my CD to her,” he says. “A few times when things are tough and I wonder how much I should give in to the music, I think of her… she was a person that would give everything and encourage me – she was all or nothing.”
Bremnes will set off on an 11-day tour with two other B.C. artists and will bring the show to Salmon Arm June 18. Following that, an eastern tour will take him from Ontario to Nova Scotia and a national TV spot on 100 Huntley Street July 8.