Behind the Strings: DBRMusic

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Photo by Juliante Cervantes
“Believe in yourself, someone else, and the promise of tomorrow’s potential.” -Daniel Bernard Roumain

 

Born in Skokie, Illinois, this composer and founder of DBRmusic.com, became a member of his elementary school’s orchestra program, playing the violin at just 5 years old. “It was just something I wanted to do…I was fortunate enough to have a family that was very supportive, specifically of playing the violin. My mother and father came to every concert I did as a young child,” expressed Daniel. His career later took off as a an undergraduate at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music where he studied music. As well as, completing his masters and doctoral work at the University of Michigan under the guidance of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer William Bolcom. FBE spoke with Daniel Bernard Roumain about his successful career, making history in music, and DBRMusic.com.

FBE: In what genre would you classify your music? Or would you say you’ve musically created a lane for others to emulate?
DBR:
A friend of mine who once worked at Sony Records called my music New Classical Soul. I’m not sure if I agree, but I appreciated the sentiment. Somethings and some musics are so complex that as soon as you try to define them, they change. I want to keep changing. The world may not ever need another composer, but it will always need change.

 FBE: How does your Haitian roots impact you as an individual and your music?
DBR:
I’m not sure that the intersection of melody and rhythm, an important and ever-evolving aspect of music, has its roots in Haiti and my parent’s record collection.

FBE: Explain to me some of the things that encourage you to follow your career goals
DBR:
I recently got married and my wife and I are expecting our first child. It’s a blessing to be able to work for your family in the confident hopes of feeding, clothing, and making them proud.

FBE: I’ve heard that you did some work with LadyGaga. Who else have you collaborated with?
DBR:
I’ve collaborated with several orchestras, ensembles, and symphonies. As for well-known artists, I’ve worked with Ryuichi Sakamoto, Philip Glass, Savion Glover, Bill T. Jones as Music Director of Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, 2 Live Crew, Cassandra Wilson, Vernon Reid, and DJ Spooky.

FBE: Now I’m sure you’ve been featured on a national level in the media, can you name a few of the forums and/or publications?
DBR:
I’ve been featured in several…ranging from Esquire Magazine, ESSENCE, and XXL Magazines to the Financial Times. Regarding TV, I was featured as “America’s Assignment” on CBS Evening News, to highlight one. This past June 24th, PBS aired a story about my work with the Young Composers Development Program.

FBE: Who/What influenced the launch of DBRMusic.com?
DBR:
My business partner and marketing genius, Rika lino, of Sozo Media. She’s responsible for the genesis of my website as well as a hefty part of my career.

FBE: What would you say has been DBR’s biggest accomplishment?
DBR:
I am convinced that the most important work of any living composer may be the contributions of time, service, and education towards the development of new audiences. Indeed, the converses, freely, with his or her own community.

FBE: What future events do you have coming up that you want viewers to know about?
DBR:
I was recently awarded a commission for a full orchestral work by the Sphinx Commissioning Consortium. So in 2010, you’ll hear my premiere being performed by several American orchestras (Cincinnati, Detroit, Nashville, New Jersey, New World, Philadelphia Richmond, Rochester, and Virgina).

*38 year old Daniel is currently residing in Lexington, MA and encourages viewers to checkout www.youtube.com/user/dbrmusic

DBR can be contacted via his website www.dbrmusic.com and/or  myspace (www.myspace.com/dbrmusic) where you can join his mailing list!

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