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Shine Some Light On: Durand Bernarr

Written by Ben

Durand Bernarr is a singer-songwriter from Cleveland, Ohio, who has gained relative popularity on youtube over the past 4 years or so. His vocals sometimes almost have an autotuned texture to them because his harmonies are so precise, but I can assure you his music is auto-tune free.

I can’t remember exactly when I found him, but it was between late 2008, and mid 2009. What pulled me in was his control, and ridiculous precision during (sometimes strangely and unexpectedly placed) runs. His range is lightyears beyond what most of us are exposed to today, and not only that, but he really makes use of it during recording both his own material, and covers. Most singers find what area their strength is in, and stick to it quite closely, but he goes up and down the scale with ease, with no real audible loss in strength (at least to me, a non-singer). On youtube, he takes songs, sometimes songs sang by great singers in the first place, and often makes them better, technically, stylistically, and in the vibe of them, too. If he doesn’t, he at least matches them.

Here is an example of a cover he has done:

It’s Orange Moon, by Erykah Badu. Talking of Erykah Badu, he has toured, and performed at Coachella with her. He is a huge fan of her, but it was actually her that made the moves to get to him. She found her way about his releases, and went out of her way to get in contact with him herself. Apparently, she considers his cover of Window Seat:

to be better than her original.

As for those aforementioned runs, because they aren’t apparent in those covers, click here to for an example of it.

Every now and then, he does videos telling stories of life events, such as when he thought he was going to be shot and killed, and the bittersweet story of the build up to, and eventual meeting with Erykah Badu.

You can listen to his original music on bandcamp here, find his youtube here, follow him on twitter here, and find his facebook music page here.