By his late forties, California singer-songwriter, Brady Wade had all but given up on love. He was living in a little 100 square-foot room in Agoura Hills where he was tending his battle scars from a recent divorce, when once again he turned to his healer – music.
“This has been where music and songwriting has been so instrumental not only in my emotional survival during life’s most difficult times, but also as a source of hope – a way to process pain, to heal and to face the music, so to speak.”
He went through a period of writing angry break-up songs and although it may have helped him vent his anger and frustration, it did nothing to help fill that empty void in his heart. He knew in order to get away from the dark, vexed music he’d been writing, he had to change his focus, so he started spending time out in nature. He was fortunate to be surrounded by beautiful countryside – hiking trails, babbling creeks and dandelion fields – and that’s where he’d go to meditate, write music and soothe his soul.
“I would see dandelions, their little spears blowing away with a strong breeze. It just seemed rather magical to me. I knew that dandelions symbolize hope, longing, faith, anticipation, prayer, release.”
It was in that nearby dandelion field, a song was born. He wanted to love again – to be loved again. He wanted to be rid of his doubts. Brady knew that if he put himself out there again, he would be setting himself up for possible hurt, but he also knew if he didn’t try he might go through his entire life never knowing real love and commitment. Brady says that the song became more of a prayer for him. “You get to a point where it’s like, God I need some help with this, I can’t seem to get it right. So, for me I was sending out my heartfelt cry for a little assistance from above. From wherever I could get it – God, the Universe, a higher power, Cupid!” he says. “Yes, I even blew some silver leaves into the blue horizon believing there was true love for me and really feeling it emotionally,”
Brady had written most of the lyrics and had found the perfect melody and chord structure, but struggled to finish the song and ended up tucking it away, where it remained dormant for years. Until one sunny afternoon that found Brady sitting on the patio of a quaint little place on the Riviera, Santa Barbara with his new wife Erin. Yes, you read that correctly – Brady Wade had finally found the love he’d been looking for. He was 51 when he met and fell in love with Erin – and on his knees, on Butterfly Beach in Monticello, Brady asked for Erin’s heart and hand in marriage. So, on this particular sunny afternoon, Erin and Brady were hanging out, admiring their panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean while Brady strummed on his guitar. He began singing the part of “Dandelion” he’d written years ago and Erin’s ears immediately perked up. She was deeply moved by the touching lyrics and tender melody and it was at Erin’s insistence that Brady began work on finishing the song.
“I would get up early, watch the sunrise over the Riviera and over the ocean and write the finishing touches. It’s all about timing. Being with Erin was the only time it felt right breaking out “Dandelion”. It had to be real. The song meant too much. I couldn’t even finish it until Erin came into my life.”
The song he had struggled to finish, now flowed out of him. “Erin is the answer to my dandelion prayer, so many years ago. I had to go through a few other relationships until the love I believed for came through. You know it when you know it,” Brady says.
Finally, the song was complete and was ready to be recorded. Brady reached out to an extraordinary singer living in the Los Angeles area, Joy Oladokun, whom he’d met through his friend and engineer/producer, Nic Capelle. Joy graciously agreed and in March of 2017, she sat down with Brady’s Custom Taylor Grand Auditorium acoustic guitar at Rockton Road Studios and delivered a profoundly poignant version of “Dandelion”.
“We feel so grateful and blessed that Joy agreed to sing “Dandelion”. She truly captured the very emotion and essence of the song and delivered a sincere and passionate performance that has touched the hearts of listeners more than any other song I’ve written,” Brady says. “There wasn’t a dry eye in the studio as we listened back. When Joy hit and sang that last note, Nic and I looked silently at each other and gestured a big ‘Wow’ – we knew something very special had just been recorded.”
Not only is “Dandelion” a beautifully crafted song, by both writer and songstress, it is an anthem for those of us who question whether real love and devoted commitment still exist. You only need to listen once to know the answer – you should never, ever give up on love and always, always believe in the power of music.