We had the good fortune of connecting with Dave Brandwein and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Dave, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
There are two things that made me decide to start my own business many years ago. Regarding the first one, I was correct: I don’t do well working for other people. As far as the second reason -I was a little bit off: I thought I had totally unique ideas, a perfect plan, and more than enough knowledge to succeed right away. That turns out to be a lifelong quest for many people, including myself. But man… am I glad I didn’t succeed right away. That probably would have been a disaster.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
As mentioned earlier about my reasons for starting a business, I thought I had a lot figured out when I really was just learning a lot of the basics. I think this is common. If you have ambition, you need a certain amount of inflated ego and confidence to make you actually go through with things and take those chances. I started out trying to do too much. I always wanted to write and perform music, so that was a given. But in college, I decided that in addition to that I wanted to have a “Digital Record Label.” This thought began around 2006 or 2007 before I graduated in ’08. At that time, this actually seemed like a very exciting and unique idea to many people, so I got very amped up about it. 

In order to launch my own ditital record label, I needed to be able to produce the music for this label so we’d have a catalogue. And, in order to produce the music, I needed to assemble a makeshift recording studio. Then of course, I’d have to have a website, promote the music, tours, and so on, and so on, and so on. You see where this is going. I was biting off way too much. Maybe someone else could have come out guns blazing and blasted their way right into success with all of those things. But it didn’t go that way for me.

I moved down from Boston to New York and continued to try to make all of these things happen. Over time however, I slowly would start to learn to pause some of these loftier ambitions. First, I learned quickly that it was messy dealing with friends and trying to sign them to the label, and it was a huge amount of legal work and responsibility to try and enter that world. Oh – and I almost forgot. I knew how to play and record music and absolutely nothing about running a label. So that one got crossed off the list within a year or so. Then I learned that building another makeshift studio and trying to produce artists for free to get my name out there was gonna cost me time and money, which I could instead invest into on my own music. So my goal became to mainly pursue the band I had just started with my co-founder Taylor called Turkuaz.

As luck would have it, soon after that decision, I was asked to run a studio and produce bands for another startup label, and actually get paid to do it! Funny how those things work out. Turkuaz started to make a name for itself around New York City, and I was also taking more time to hone the craft of producing music that I wasn’t truly ready for at the outset. Over the next several years, I worked my way back up to the original dream of doing all the things I set out to do. But I had to deconstruct it all and rebuild it from the ground up with real experience under my belt.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
After this pandemic (not that it’s over unfortunately) I barely remember what it’s like to do that. Honestly, it’s been a really tough year, not only because the live music industry is shut down, but because all of those things that make life fun and worth living have been stripped away. Right now, I’m trying to look inward and meditate so I can be happy on my own. What a bummer answer, right? Yes and no I suppose. But – let’s try that again. If I drank (which I’m quitting again), I’d probably wanna take them to a bar and get really drunk and then go eat pizza somewhere and be really loud and obnoxious and laugh a lot. But now, I’d wanna go on a long walk or a hike with the person visiting, maybe smoke some pot and then hopefully still be loud and laugh a lot. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Well, I of course appreciate the support and encouragement I’ve always received from my family. That’s where it starts, and it helps you get through the hard times and celebrate the good times. But I’m also in a touring band full of people who have worked their asses off for many years in pursuit of a dream we all share. I have different musical endeavors, but my bandmates in Turkuaz have poured their life into this project with endless patience and passion -and for that I am extremely grateful. I need to also give recognition to the fans who make us what we are. Without them none of it would happen. Period.

Website: turkuazband.com

Instagram: @turkuazband

Twitter: @Turkuaz

Facebook: Facebook.com/TurkuazNation

Youtube: youtube.com/turkuazband

Image Credits
Dani Brandwein

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