Though many young people watching “Lord of the Rings” were inspired to go save Middle Earth or go on an epic quest with their friends, 10-year-old Isaac Brandt-Samuelson was impacted in a very different way. It was watching the movies that he first knew that he wanted to score music.
This passion has only grown since coming to Vanguard. As his love for music has increased, so has his responsibility. He now is in charge of scoring the majority student films for communication majors.
With musical influencers such as John Mayer, Jason Mraz, and Mel Torme, Brandt-Samuelson is not only a composer, but a multi-instrumentalist and singer as well. In between this commitment, he finds time to record and perform his own music.
Having just released his first single “Bleeding Heart” on Spotify from his upcoming album, “Someday,” which originated as his senior project. He has also broke into the musical scene with his first performance of his album at the Gypsy Den Cafe in Santa Ana on March 1.
“The gig was my mom’s idea because I was anxious about releasing my music,” Brandt-Samuelson said.
Many Vanguard friends, faculty, and staff showed up at the event to show their support. Senior Justin Reed, another communication major who was helping Isaac with sound, felt Brandt-Samuelson deserved the recognition and was encouraged by the great turnout.
“It made me happy looking out in the crowd from behind the soundboard seeing how many people came. Isaac is really one of those guys that has such a natural talent. He will tell you that he has no idea what he is doing but it really doesn’t matter when you have that good of an ear,” Reed said.
Like many artists, Brandt-Samuelson drew his inspiration for his album from his past experiences, particularly a past relationship.
“Some songs on the album were inspired by a past relationship that ended badly and just general break-up angst. One song in particular that is inspired is called ‘Bleeding Heart,’ featuring Emily Brown,” Brandt-Samuelson said.
However, the other half of the album drew inspiration from transitioning into adulthood after graduation.
“One song in particular is ‘Orange Sky.’ I was walking around campus with some friends and the sunset inspired the song title. It encompasses what happens in college and talks about the future at the end,” Brandt-Samuelson said.
Brandt-Samuelson is very passionate about the music he creates. Despite the personal challenges he may have faced in his past relationship, he has taken those experiences and used them to be the most authentic artist he can be.
With his senior year coming to a close in a few weeks, Brandt-Samuelson is able to reflect on the lessons he has learned in his four years from Vanguard University the most, as well as his plans for the future after graduation.
“One thing I have taken away is clinging onto the Lord in all situations. Being at Vanguard has helped me identify my own faults, skills, talents, and who I am. No matter what I do in my career, I want to be honest in it,” Brandt-Samuelson said.
Although is dream would be to work with composer Sarah Schockner, who scores video games such as “Assassin’s Creed Origins,” according to Brandt-Samuelson, he has a job lined up to be a potential audio engineer in Los Angeles after graduation. He also plans on continuing to score films, writing songs, and playing music with friends.
Brandt-Samuelson is excited and eager to see what path lies ahead of him in the future. For now, be sure to be on the lookout for his upcoming album, “Someday.”