Branan Murphy Discusses His New Music and the Dangers of Boredom

Branan Murphy

Branan Murphy has recently released the new track "Bored (feat. Byron Juane)" (Paravel Records / DREAM Records) (listen HERE). The song was co-written and produced by Eric Ramey (Tauren Wells, Hollyn, Danny Gokey) and is available on all digital retail outlets. Fans of Branan's lyrical vulnerability and penchant for tackling more sensitive subject matter will welcome this latest edition which addresses a fictional teenager that falls victim to substance abuse. 

Branan Murphy's newest radio single "This World Is Not My Home" has become the strongest debut of his career yet receiving 16 adds across the Hot AC, CHR, AC, Hot CHR formats and debuting at #27 on the Billboard Hot AC / CHR chart in only the song's second week since his add date.

In 2018, Branan Murphy burst onto the scene with the catchy, brutally transparent pop gem, "All The Wrong Things" which featured Stellar Award winning vocalist Koryn Hawthorne. The song shot up the charts peaking at #2 on the Billboard Christian Hot AC/CHR establishing Branan as one to watch. Two other top 5 singles followed, culminating in his notable debut LP "Who Am I" which delivered his highest streaming single to date, the catchy pop single "Coming Home". Murphy's unparalleled vocal talent and penchant for auto-biographical lyrical content has helped him build a legion of devoted fans and placed him firmly on the cusp of wider acclaim.

Q: Branan, thanks for doing this interview with us.  Let's start with yourself, tell us a little bit about how God called you to sing and write songs for him.

A. Thanks so much for having me! Like most singers would probably say, I've been singing my whole life. As a kid I was introduced to all kinds of music, and I quickly fell in love. When I was in high school, before I became a Christian, I made the decision that I was going to make music as my career, sing for a living. I actually remember telling my best friend at the time, and he laughed and said, "Uhhh bro, you gotta be like really good to do that." I would just like to take this moment to say, "Hi Anthony." Haha!

But seriously, God has been so gracious throughout my life. Jesus saved me at 17, just before my senior year of high school. So everything changed for me at a pivotal moment in my life. Shortly after that I had a profound experience in a worship service where I believe God told me I would make music for him the rest of my life. So I began leading worship, and I still lead worship to this day (it's a huge passion of mine). I wrote and recorded my own songs, and traveled all throughout college, primarily leading worship. After college, I began to explore making pop music, because I realized it's really where my musical influences and tendencies flow most naturally. So that journey has been challenging and fun. I like all kinds of music. It's hard for me to decide what to write sometimes haha because I love it all. But whatever I do, I want to please God and connect people to Jesus.

Q: I love your song writing, you have a way of tackling sensitive issues in your songs with punchy lyrics, who or what influenced you as a songwriter?

A. I appreciate that. It's not easy to do. I feel like I've been influenced by a lot of songwriters who tell it like it is. That's who I am drawn to the most when it comes to lyrics. Jon Bellion is a major influence for me as a writer and an artist. There's plenty of others. When I first started writing songs, no one influenced me more than Brad Paisley. The way he tells stories, his lyrics are so memorable. I wanted to be like that. A lot of hip hop artists influence me too, because of the rawness prevalent in that style. I think that's one reason why people love it so much. And I think as a Christ follower, not to be cliché, but the Bible is probably the biggest influence for me. The Bible tackles way more sensitive issues, is more honest and more raw than I am. I hope I am a good mouthpiece for how God wants to speak to the world.

Q: Talk to us the inspiration behind your radio hit "This World is Not My Home."

A. Over the last two years or so, I have been waking up to a lot of things that were unhealthy in my life, things that kept me from being focused on Jesus and who he has saved me to be. I've said many times that it's just so easy to get stuck living in this world - we just go along with the ways of the world, and it's hard to be in it, but not of it, as people say. This is really a song of confession, a plea for God to help me remember what's true and real and good in life. I need him to get me un-stuck. In the midst of that season for me, the pandemic hit. And now there's a new, very relevant lens to view these things through. The more 2020 went on, the more hardship and pain, the more challenges we all faced, the more I realized how powerful it is that this song is not just a confession now, it's a proclamation. It's a flag planted in the ground that I will not (and I hope everyone who listens will not along with me) settle for things here. We were made for another world, the one we all long for, whether we realize it or not, where Jesus is Lord and where he makes all things new.

Q: In your press release, you made a quote that "bored people are the most dangerous people." What do you mean by that? 

A. I think it's just a nod to the human condition, human depravity. Our default when we are bored is usually to do something unhealthy. This is true in the physical and in the spiritual. I think many times when we find ourselves in sin or in a destructive lifestyle, if we trace back to how it all started, we could conclude that we weren't crazy, we were just bored. And so we started to explore, because our souls were not captivated, at peace, satisfied. Boredom is dangerous for sinners (which we all are). Our hearts are constantly searching for and offering up affections, and we need to know that Jesus is the only person, the only true affection that can push out all the ones we search for in our boredom. So, it's not that our affections are too big, it's that they're not big enough. Following Jesus, being satisfied in Jesus, is what cures soul boredom.

Q:  Tell us a little about the story behind your new song "Bored."

A. Bored is a song about sin. It's a metaphor likening boredom in adolescence that produces dangerous, destructive decision making to how sin grows from our souls being underwhelmed and cyclically unsatisfied with the world's pleasures. We need something to awaken us from our soul "boredom" - the glory, the beauty, the exhilaration, the power, the peace, the purpose, the satisfaction, the irresistible, eternal pleasure that comes from knowing Jesus. If we are not awakened to what our hearts and lives were made for (knowing God and living in the joy of obedience to him), we will perpetually live a "bored," confusing, incomplete, miserable, and ultimately destructive life as it relates to the pleasures and cravings we all have inside our hearts.

As far as where the inspiration comes from, I grew up in a small town, so the "high school in a small town" line is real for me ha! As with all small towns, there's not a lot to do. When I think back on my experiences and observations, I know there were a lot of people who got into some dangerous, destructive things simply because there wasn't much else to do. And things didn't start out with destruction. They were just bored, and that boredom led to one thing, which led to another thing, and that led them to a place in life they didn't want to be in. One day the Lord showed me that's exactly how sin is. So, the lyrics and the story of bored are just me painting a metaphorical picture of how sin works in us. It's not autobiographical in terms of anything specific, but the context is one I know well and one I hope we can all relate to at some level.

Q: Are you currently working on your new EP or album, if you are, what can we be looking forward to? And when will it be released?

A. Yes, one of those is going to come out this year haha! I'm just writing a lot and preparing to release a lot of music. There's a lot in my heart right now. I expect it will all come together in some sort of project or album, but I'm just focused on making music and getting it to people.

Q: How do you wish your songs would impact the lives of your listeners?

A. I hope my music helps people. I hope every artist would say that. But I think for me, I want to make as many connections with people, Christians and non-Christians, as possible. I want to meet people where they are. Whether it's pop music, worship music, whatever God moves in me, I want to be obedient. And I hope my music helps people see that being a Christian who makes art can mean a lot of different things, and even all at one time. God is big and his kingdom is big. And his desire is for ALL people to know him (1 Timothy 2:4). That's my desire too. For all people to know him, that's going to look like a lot of different things. But in everything, I hope people see my heart - most importantly, I hope they see the heart of Jesus, and that I only want to reflect him, how worthy he is, and to be faithful to his gospel. Music is such a gift, and I feel privileged for it to be a part of my life on this earth. God be praised.

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