Think back to when you were young…what were your childhood dreams? Most of our dreams growing up probably involved a career path of some sort – an astronaut, a doctor, a professional athlete, a lawyer, a famous actor/actress, a singer, etc. How have these childhood dreams worked out for you? Maybe they failed you, maybe they have evolved into something else, or maybe you are doing exactly what you wanted to do since day one. Well no matter what your dreams are, it’s important to remember that you can achieve them. If you really want something…you can make it happen; you just have to be resilient and persevere through the difficult times. Just ask 22-year-old Braden (Brady) Wiggins, aka Fractal.
Growing up in Catonsville, Maryland, a suburb to the west of Baltimore, Brady was ambitious and had a lot of big, unique dreams. For instance, he wanted to become a zookeeper, 3d animator, graffiti artist, pro hockey player, and a pro skater. He loved music, but becoming a professional musician had never really crossed his mind until one night after visiting his uncle in St. Croix, an island in the Caribbean Sea. His uncle had been playing the guitar since before Brady was born and would always play for him before he moved to St. Croix. But on this one night, Brady took action – he asked his uncle to teach him a few guitar chords and from then on he began practicing every day. He started a band with some friends soon after and then went onto eventually become a producer and touring DJ under the name Fractal.
It hasn’t been an easy ride, however. For several years, Brady encountered a lot of frustration in his productions and didn’t think that his music would ever be seen as “professional”. He found himself comparing his musical journey to artists that inspired him and to the music he heard on the radio. He read, watched tutorials, and researched to no avail; he was at wit’s end. When he met Au5, who has become one of his best friends, his perspective changed. He learned to listen to music as an engineer…paying attention to the quality of mixing, mastering, sound design…instead of just being a passive consumer. Sometimes we have to realize that we can’t do everything on our own and that it’s okay to ask for help. Brady says, “I like to urge people to reach out to others for guidance and support, especially people they look up to. I understand many people don’t like receiving help, but a great teacher is invaluable in life, and as humans we rely on each other in more ways than one – that’s okay.” Au5 has played a pivotal role in Fractal’s success and the two have collaborated on a lot of originals, remixes, and even released an EP together called “Secret Weapon” in 2013. It’s important to remember that we don’t know everything, we can always learn something from one another. Surround yourself with people who will support you because you will become a product of your environment.
Not only does he derive inspiration from his good friend Au5, but also from his uncle. He taught Brady how to play guitar, yes, but the inspiration goes even further than that. His uncle was diagnosed with cancer two years ago and in the last few months of his life he moved back in with Brady’s family (before moving to St. Croix he lived in Brady’s basement). Brady saw him at his absolute worst, but his uncle had so much strength in his final days and never gave up. He said, “Being able to fully carry on my Uncle’s legacy as a creative, progressive, free thinking member of my family is an honor and a privilege to me. I love and miss him dearly, but his essence lives through me today.” When you listen to Fractal’s music, you will hopefully realize how beautiful it is and how each individual song is full of different emotions. This is because he is inspired by literally everything. He’s had countless people tell him that his music has helped them through a deadly heroin addiction and depression, and that without it they wouldn’t have survived. This is the same affect that music has had on Brady – it has been his lifeboat, his healer, and a best friend he can always count on. He hopes to create the same inspiration for others and give you all a sense of peace.
With this unconditional support and inspiration, Brady has experienced a monstrous career in the last few years. Oh, and did I mention that he is self-managed? He did an official remix for Enrique Iglesias’ “Finally Found You” and has been touring with him for the last few years as well. In 2013 he became a part of the Monstercat family (an independent label that releases music for free) with his first release on the label and has been a loyal and vital addition to their roster ever since. In addition, he has collaborated on multiple songs with world-renowned producer/composer, BT and has been signed to his label “Binary Acoustics”, an imprint under Armada. Brady will continue to work hard and persevere, make sacrifices, produce what he loves, and strive to be the absolute best artist that he can be because music is what makes him whole.
Watch Aspire to Inspire Live featuring Fractal here: