Mark our words. You’re about to hear more about Brendan O’Hara. The Massachusetts native turned Hollywood resident continues to doggedly rock out local gigs and make some noise (the roots-soul-pop kind). Catch O’Hara at the Regent Cocktail Lounge Tuesday night and/or Thursday evening at the Broken Shaker at the Free Hand Hotel. We spoke to the multi-instrumentalist and self proclaimed control freak about his style of music, what inspires him and why he probably will never move.
What can readers expect from one of your performances?
On any given night I play about four instruments, plus I sing. My truest joy in this world is to breathe life into words and rhythms with my voice, our first instrument. I’ve been playing piano most my life. I have a long lasting love affair with the acoustic guitar, a new tryst with the electric guitar and then there’s banging on anything percussive: a beer bottle, a drum kick, a synthesizer/drum machine. I’ll dabble with the bass at home; it’s a very uncomplicated, straightforward instrument — something I’m not.
What or who inspires you?
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Beside my family: Shout-outs to Billy Joel’s bravado and songwriting; Bill Withers’ soul and sensitivity; Bob Marley’s call to action and celebration of the simplest joy in life: love; and the Beastie Boys’ blend of every possible genre and storytelling technique into the irresistible concoction of youth, rebellion, community, girls and an epic house party! I want to be in the company of all those bad a--es.
How does living in South Florida play into your songwriting?
I incorporate my love for beach life; late nights; good, boozy drinks; boating; and the revelry, camaraderie and memories that come with all that. The videos that feature me out on the beach with my family and friends high-fiving fellow bike riders on the boardwalk, well, that’s just me and good people on any given Sunday. Living here is as good as it gets. The support of the hospitality industry — bars, lobby lounges, special events, nightclubs — has been incredible. I consider loyal locals to be the champions of my cause. I’m a big believer in the area’s cultural and compassionate elements. We found our way here because we like similar things: be it the sun, the fun, the freedom, expanse of the ocean and what’s out there, the opportunity or the family ties that are tighter than anywhere I’ve ever been. All that and the lobster.