Bringing the Light
Everyone dreams of where God will take them in their future. Some question those dreams, some pursue them fervently. The later is the case for Dan Bremnes. As a child, Bremnes was convinced that a future as a musician was his path. Dan pursued music with fervor, focusing initially on drums, at the age of only ten, then expanding his repertoire to playing guitar. It didn’t take long until he discovered a passion for songwriting. As the young writer experimented with chords and melodies and fumbled with early attempts at lyrics, full-fledged songs began to emerge.
Even though Dan was making incredible strides at a young age, it was still difficult for Dan to make sense of doing music for a living. His small hometown of Salmon Arm, British Columbia wasn’t exactly the place to kick start a music career—especially if you planned to sing about your faith. Unlike the United States, the Christian music scene was virtually non-existent in Canada, so pursuing something in that vein seemed nothing short of impossible.
During a six-month missions trip in Australia with Youth With a Mission (YWAM) Dan’s intentions for a musical career became clear, “While I was there, God started working on my heart. I started to go a lot deeper in my faith,” Dan shares. “I started thinking about making music that was really intentional about reaching people on a spiritual level. I wanted to come right out and speak about God and my relationship with Him.” With his mission solidified and a million ideas swirling around in his head, Dan devoted his time to fleshing out material.
His writing journey took him down a difficult path that Dan never saw coming. While out of the country attending a friend’s wedding, he received the worst possible news – his mother had been killed in a car accident. Dan didn’t know what to do. “For about a year I was almost completely emotionally paralyzed,” Dan recalls. “My whole world shattered in front of me, and I was completely helpless to fix any of it.” From having his future plans laid out before him, Dan now questioned how he could move forward. But, instead of remaining in a state of immobilization, he used his grief as inspiration for the lyrics. He shares, “I had a good upbringing. I didn’t really have to face too many difficult things. When I lost my mom, for the first time I felt like I was really facing darkness. For the first time I realized I needed Jesus. I reached out from the darkness and He pulled me into the light, and I discovered His faithfulness.” Dan says, “Through tragedy, through difficult things, God really does use it to deepen our walk with Him and also show us that He’s there for us when we need Him.”
In 2009, Dan lost his job as a carpenter due to the economic recession, causing him to wonder what was next. “I felt like God started whispering in my ear and reminding me of what I really wanted to do with my life.” Dan asked himself what God had really called him to do, and realized he had been given the perfect opportunity to step out and pursue music. “In my heart, I said, ‘God, I’m open. I have to be open to what You want to do.’ That started a five-year journey that brought me where I am now,” says Dan. “I don’t have a steady paycheck, but I have so much purpose and it’s been so cool to see God walk with my family and me on that journey. He’s been so faithful,” Dan continues.
Like the majority of artists, Dan’s journey began humbly—playing local churches for the cost of his gas. But as he shared his songs with anyone who’d listen and continued to hone his songwriting craft, it wasn’t long before people took notice. Soon, Dan found himself moving his wife and son to Nashville, TN. Though transition is difficult and the unknown lurks around every corner, Dan stands on a firm faith believing in a sovereign God. “I couldn’t be happier just to know that I serve such a great God, and that I can trust that He’ll be there every step of the way,” Dan says. “For me, it’s reminding myself that no matter what’s happening, God is sovereign and is in control of my life and He walks with me, even when I don’t feel it.”
With the release of his debut album, Where the Light Is, Dan desires for it to be a collection of songs that people can relate to and make their own. “My hope and my prayer is that these songs will reach people. I don’t want to just make music for the sake of making music or making a living. I want to make music because I believe God uses music to reach His people’s hearts. I hope that these songs can speak to people and be a part of their journey and be a blessing in people’s lives.”
For more information, please visit www.danbremnes.com.
Courtesy of Capitol CMG – June 9, 2015