Spotlight: Toby Brady

Spotlight features interviews with musicians and industry professionals who contribute to our success.

This week we are proud to feature Toby Brady. A constant in the Seattle music scene, Toby started performing with Gigs4U five years ago before joining our team in a behind the scenes capacity. He brings all of his experience to bear in his newest endeavor as a solo artist.

Learn more about Toby Brady: Facebook | Website | Listen

You have a long history in the Seattle music scene and were front and center for some of the city’s biggest moments. How long have you been playing music? Was there someone in your family or friend group who got you started? Was it a particular musician that you heard?

I started playing guitar and singing in 3rd grade. I used to go to the Saturday night barn dances and talk the band into letting me open the show. I only knew 3 songs and would repeat them when I got an encore. Nobody in my family played music, it found me.

I wanted to be like Waylon Jennings and Bob Seger. I learned to play bass listening to Bob Seger Live album. I knew ALL the stage banter, everything.

You’re originally from Wyoming. What motivated you to come to Seattle?

I wanted to be where there was music happening, this was before the 90’s rush.

I figured I could base myself in Seattle and work the west coast. It worked out pretty well for the most part.

Is music a primary source of income for you? Do you have any side hustles?

I’m immersed in the music scene, I’d say performing is about half of my income. I’m also a sound tech and work behind the scenes with Gigs4U as a Project Manager and Production Manager.

Who are some of your biggest influences? Who motivates you to be better every time you hear them?

I like the storytelling aspect of Americana artists like Chris Knight and James McMurtry. Both of those guys inspire me to dig deeper.

Do you get nervous before a show? You are famously habit-driven. Any pre-performance rituals you’d like to share? Extra points if it’s embarrassing. 

I used to get wound up before a gig to the point where I’d throw up prior to each performance. I had to meditate and reprogram my brain to stop that nonsense.

Even now, I can’t sit still and have to keep moving before a show, I like to go for a short walk an hour before hitting the stage, then hang out with the other bands and talk about guitars.

I also like to go “shirt-shopping-for-the-show” but now I have a closet FULL of shirts.

Who is your favorite Gigs4U performer to watch?

Kimo Muraki and Kim Archer.

What’s the biggest difference between playing a show in a club and playing a pop-up concert at the airport?

Well, the first thing is that I know there will be people at the airport!!! I like being able to play long sets and connect with the audience. At a club I have to compete with alcohol and people trying to hook up. It’s also VERY tough to get friends to come support at clubs anymore. I find it better for me to travel a couple hours away and I get a better response than if I play 4 minutes from my house.

Any news you’d like to share?

I’m currently in the process of re-branding myself as a solo artist and just launched a new website. Also I’ve been booking winter gigs around the Washington area. I plan to release an album (vinyl) sometime in 2020. It will be just me, exactly like you see at an acoustic gig, playing suitcase drums with my feet while playing guitar and singing. I want to do it all live with no overdubs so I’ve been recording on my days off to get the perfect take.

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