I am so excited to bring you backstage with Sean Bradford. I was introduced to Sean a long time ago through my sister-in-law. When we met he was a star in The Lion King on Broadway. We recently connected dancing at my sister-in-law's wedding. Sean and I realized we had a lot to catch up on and made a date to do that here at the BOY MEETS GIRLⓇ headquarters. I was in awe of Sean back when we originally met and even more in awe of him seeing how he completely flipped over his career from the Broadway stage to the European stage. He is the true definition of an artist and entrepreneur. Together with frequent collaborator and photographer Sophie Elgort we got to head backstage before Sean's recent NYC performance to capture him. If you do not know Sean now is your time to learn more. Check out my interview and Sophie's imagery of Sean below. Thank you, Sean, for giving us access to you right before you went on the stage.
Can underground dance music and pop coexist? Sean Bradford tackles this with a sound that is equal parts Moby and Nina Simone. The Broadway actor turned Europe based singer/songwriter/dj crafts emotional music that burns the dance floor while breaking down the boundaries of genre - a bridge between emotion and the beat.
Where was the last time you performed before this performance? "I did an acoustic set at Sofar Sounds the night before in their New York City headquarters - and before that was the album release show in Stockholm." Have you ever been backstage with an artist before?
"I’m really into dance music and have gotten to be backstage at quite a few festivals, one of my favorites was standing onstage and watching Sven Väth play vinyl at Movement Torino. I’ve also been backstage with living legend Ariana Grande. She’s one of my favorite people - kind, genuine, and hardworking. She’s a real one."
What is the feeling that comes over you before you walk onto the stage? "Leading up to a show there’s a lot to organize and so right before I take a moment to meditate and center myself. Then I check in with any artists that are playing with me to make sure we’re all connected. Lastly, I check my voice so I can just let it all go and leave everything on the stage."
Favorite spot to be creative?
"It varies. City wise Lisbon is super inspiring. But I’m the most productive on trains. They’re so much more relaxing than flights - and you get to see nature, which is rare since I spend a lot of time in big urban areas."
Causes you advocate for? "I’m really passionate about arts education, especially for youth. A few years ago I started a not for profit with a group of friends called Broadway in South Africa and our focus was empowering disadvantaged youth with life skills. Some of our students have gone on to become powerful voices in their communities and I’m still in contact with many of them. I just helped with tuition costs for one of our very first students who is finally getting to study and pursue his own dreams. His drive has re-inspired me to keep focused on my goals."
"I stand for LGBTQ+ rights around the world. We need to be focused on the environment- not on who people love or how they identify themselves!"
"And another cause I really believe in is mental health awareness. This is something that can seriously affect a person and the people around them - and it’s often seen as a sign of weakness. Growing up in an environment where bipolar disorder was present on a daily basis gave me a lot of anxiety and unfounded depression that I had to work through. We need to be more open, understand this is a disease, and that it can be treated or at least confronted. It’s time to erase the stigma."
Favorite quote/song/album? Favorite quote:
"This one right now - 'If you wish to be a warrior prepare to get broken, if you wish to be an explorer prepare to get lost and if you wish to be a lover prepare to be both.' - Daniel Saint." And a favorite poem has always been 'On The Pulse if Morning' by Maya Angelou." Favorite Song:
"That’s impossible to answer. I love so much music and my favorite song in a certain moment really depends on the mood, location, time of day - how many people are in the room/ car/at the party haha. I’m like a walking playlist. But if I have to answer right now - something for vibe '2' by H.E.R. (MNEK is a sick producer and the vocals are melt in your mouth) or DI MI NOMBRE by Rosalía (the tightrope of tradition and seduction is next level) -and something timeless for the dancefloor - 'Let Me Tell You' by Jimmy Edgar." Favorite Album:
"I don’t think I can even pick one. But I guess a true put on repeat album for me is 'Kid A' or 'Hail to the Thief' by Radiohead. Radiohead is the G.O.A.T - and it is what it is."