Branan Murphy Hopes to Convey Two Truths "Life is Hard. God is Good" with New Album

Branan Murphy

Singer, songwriter, pop artist, worship leader, rapper, and producer Branan Murphy defines creative diversity. Known for his passion and honest lyricism, Branan utilizes a wide range of musical styles and performances to connect with people from all walks of life. Life is about people. Branan seeks to make music for all people.

On March 1st, Branan will be releasing his sophomore album on DREAM Records. Life Is Hard. God Is Good features 14 tracks, including his recent top 10 Billboard Hot AC / CHR single "I Will Wait" and his latest singles "God of My Tomorrows" and "Thankful."  Listen to "God of My Tomorrow" HERE.  

We are honored to catch up with Branan for this exclusive interview.

Q: Branan, thanks for doing this interview with us. Congratulations on the upcoming release of your new album. How and when was this album first conceived?

To be honest, I feel like this album really began taking shape back in 2019. In the spring of that year I hit a very low point in my life, in my marriage, and in my career. I was depressed, I was making selfish, immature decisions, and in a lot of ways it felt like I wasn't being true to who I am in Christ. I started on a journey of healing, repentance, and recovery. Shortly after, the world was faced with a pandemic that changed our lives forever, and my family and I faced some very real suffering in addition to that. It was so much to process from all that was happening in me internally along with all that was happening all around me externally. These songs in many ways wrote themselves. I've said a few times this album was the easiest to write, but the most difficult to live. I'm thankful to share my journey in hopes of connecting with people who are on theirs.

Q: If I am not wrong, you have worked with four producers (David Spencer, Jordan Sapp, Kyle Williams, and Coby James). Why did you decide to work with these producers? What do they bring to the sound of the record that you appreciate?

I think the world of all four of those guys. All of them have believed in me from the beginning, and that's really important when it comes to communicating your art to the world. We have a lot of trust together, and it felt like they were on the journey with me, not just musically, but in the real life stuff I was walking through. I'm really grateful for how they met me where I was and helped these songs become reality. I will always cherish and respect each of these men for that.

As far as what they bring to the sound of the record, they're each pretty different in their strengths and ears for things, and I think the record reflects that. There are all kinds of different songs and styles on the album - something for everyone - and that sonic diversity is important to me. An album titled "Life is Hard. God is Good." is such a broad and important topic with so many inroads for the listener, and I think at the very least, thanks to my producers and I, we have put together a respectable sound to engage such important subject matter from a lot of different angles.

Q: Many of the songs don't shy about from the challenges of life. Can you share with us one or two challenges you have been facing?

I mentioned above a little bit about depression and also the countless things we all went through in 2020, but I'll share a couple of other challenges that are very specific to me that I deal with in the songs on this album. One thing I struggle with a lot is the fear of failure. Music is a very tough calling. If you're consumed with the fear of failure in this industry, it can do some crazy things to your heart. I once wrote a lyric (actually not on this album...but maybe it should have been) that said "I dreamed to make music, but what if it's making me? Something I don't ever want to be?"

But even beyond music, I struggle with the fear of failure in life. I'm very hard on myself when I mess up or I feel like I don't add up, which is often. The Lord is working to help me actually believe his grace for me and not just preach about it to everybody else.

Another very real challenge that inspired a lot of this record was my mother-in-law's battle with cancer. She was diagnosed in 2021, and it was her third cancer journey. God healed her miraculously, again! He answered our prayers! He is so good. But it was an extremely hard time. We thought we were staring death in the face. We continue to pray that God will heal and protect her.

Q: How does God remind you about his goodness in such times?

The first thing I would say is that the word of God is everything. Without the Scriptures we don't know who God is, and if we don't know who God is, then we don't know that he is good, no matter what we face in life. Our faith has to be anchored to the unchanging character of God to be sure of his goodness, and without the Bible we have no anchor of understanding, no anchor of truth.

With that in mind, one thing I've come to experience through everything is that the essence of God's goodness is his presence. In other words, knowing and experiencing the presence of God is the ultimate and true experience of the goodness of God. It's not about anything God does or doesn't do for us. It's just him. It's like Psalm 23 says, "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me..." His goodness is not that he always steps in and changes things the way we want him to, because he doesn't always do that. His goodness is proving to us that him being with us is enough.

Q: One of my favorite tracks on the album is "Palaces." For our listeners who may not have the track yet, can you briefly tell us what the song is about? Can you share with us how the song came about?

Palaces is my favorite song on the record, at least in terms of creativity. I remember being in my house, looking out of one of our big, downstairs windows late one night in the middle of the lockdown period of the pandemic. I was wrestling with a lot, as I said, both internally from all I was already dealing with, plus what seemed like an impossible situation the world was in. And the chorus just came to me. I sang it over and over, no music, just those words and that melody. It was like God was saying, "I know it seems like things are in shambles, but hold on. I'm building something beautiful. I always am."

It was probably another 6 months until I wrote the first verse - it just hit me in my garage one day. And the rap came probably another 8-10 months after that, so it was definitely a song that came in sections. Some songs are like that.

The whole point of the song is understanding who you are, who you were made to be. Your ultimate purpose in life is to know God through Jesus Christ, and to enjoy him forever as he dwells in you by his Spirit. Kings live in palaces. Jesus is King, and he wants to live in you. So, you're not a mess, you're a palace in the making. What if you saw yourself like a house, and what if you saw life as a journey of God tearing down whatever walls - walls of pain, sin, shame, disappointment, brokenness, injustice, and even any fragile foundation you've built for yourself - that need to be torn down so that he can make you into a place fit for royalty? When life is hard, and the house of your life feels like it's crumbling, it's not over. Surrender to God. He just wants to renovate.

Q: How do you hope these new songs will impact the lives of your listeners?

"Life is hard. God is Good." is the collision of two ancient, inescapable truths. As you probably know, being real with people has always been supremely important to me in my music. So, I hope that people find themselves in the honesty of this album. I hope they see that as long as you're breathing, life is not over, no matter how hard it is. God so passionately wants to prove to you his goodness in the middle of it. The truth is, life is harder and more raw than these songs can capture. But only when things are the hardest can the treasure of all of life be found: Jesus is enough.

Connect with Branan Murphy:

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