Amongst the most recent graduating class at the University of Georgia, one of the more distinguished has chosen an unconventional route – and in large thanks to his experiences in the SigEp Georgia Delta Chapter.
Upon graduation, Brendan Abernathy is beginning his journey as a singer-songwriter performing artist, setting out across the United States in a van to play shows across the country. He describes his music as “windows-down singer-songwriter pop, like a mix of Ed Sheeran and the Fray.”
The decision to pursue music full time was not an easy one, however, Brendan recalls. “Coming from a background with a dad who works in finance, a mother in education, and a sister in med school, I definitely wrestled with what path I should pursue for a long, long time.”
In the end, it was takeaways from his Phi Challenge and encouragement from his Brothers in SigEp that spurred Brendan to take the leap of faith into music. “As Phi Coordinator I was sitting here encouraging guys to do things they loved, telling them it was possible, that anything was possible. Yet I was interviewing for jobs that didn’t fire me up, going through the motions.”
This disconnect prompted Brendan to reach out to one of his mentors, an older brother in the chapter, who helped him think through the decision. “At the end of the day, [the mentor] helped me realize that for every opportunity I considered, I based my liking on how much time I could devote to music, so I was like, ‘Boom. Let’s do it.’”
Since committing to the troubadour lifestyle, support from SigEp has been instrumental in Brendan’s budding success as a rising star. “It’s such a resource to have people in your corner. These guys share my songs, stream them in the car, tell their friends about what I’m doing. It’s really amazing.”
It’s their support in other ways that Brendan says really makes the difference, however. “To have a community of men devoted to excellence pushing you to be fully who you are created to be… it’s irreplaceable. Watching my friends in SigEp run for SGA President, start prison ministries, run for State Office, do amazing things at such a young age, it taught me how to overcome fear – that if I have a dream I need to chase it. And mine is to be a music artist.”
Over the next year, Brendan will be travelling around the US, heading to big cities and college towns alike, and hopes the support from SigEp will not stop in Athens. “I mean, I’m banking on the Red Door for a couple of couches and shows, no doubt!” he jokes (kind of).
When asked one way to support his journey, Brendan stated confidently, “Roll your windows down and shuffle your playlist. The songs will do the talking.”
His first two singles, Story I Can’t Write and the Rat Race, were released to all digital music platforms in April and May, respectively, and he will be releasing a single each month over the next year. Follow Brendan’s journey on Spotify, Instagram, Facebook, and his website with the links below.