Getting to Know’s Aniko Forgo meets with Brian “Illuminated” Howard

Getting to Know’s Aniko Forgo meets with Brian “Illuminated” Howard

Getting to know: Brian Howard

Getting to Know presents a Q&A with Brian Howard, aka Illuminated, an up-and-coming singer/songwriter based in Vernon.

Aniko Forgo

Special to The Morning Star

Brian Howard, aka Illuminated, is a singer/songwriter from Vernon. He has toured with electronic music producer MDK and has just released his new self-titled album called Brian Howard-Illuminated.

Q: Can you tell us a bit about your new album?

A: “This is my first album I have ever released, and as I have written all lyrics and music myself, I am very excited to get my songs out there. Most of these songs are drenched in years of different life experiences, trials, and ups and downs, while others are get-your-heart-rate-going rocky songs”.

Q: What made you decide to add “Illuminated” into your stage name?

A: “This is one of the most interesting stories of my music career because the name Illuminated actually came to me in a dream, as did the song Pickin’ up the Pieces.

I dreamt most of this song and as the song was playing in my dream, I called myself Illuminated. When I woke up I quickly wrote it down and recorded what I remembered of the song. I found that Illuminated was very suiting to me as a musician as I tend to put hidden messages and meanings into my songs to, in a way, illuminate different things I have learned throughout my life.”

Q: Who or what sparked your musical interest?

A: “As a child I was always humming, singing and stomping my feet to music. It took me until I was 22 to really realize that I needed to pursue this passion, learn guitar, how to write music and learn instruments. Looking back I do wish I started at an earlier age.”

Q:  Do you think it’s possible to achieve world peace? Why or why not?

A: “Well I think we all would like to believe in total peace, but it would depend on what we defined peace as. There will always be differences in opinions, perspectives, and cultures, so maybe the real cure is to accept everyone for whom they are, and even harder sometimes, to accept ourselves for whom we are.”

Q: What was it like touring with MDK? What did you do on the tour?

A: “Touring with MDK was a great experience for me and was a great spark for me to pursue my own musician dreams. I was usually an announcer to welcome MDK to the stage as well as a backup vocalist and rap artist. It also was a good opportunity to show off some of my dance skills as I was one of the main hip hop dancers for him.”

Q: What’s your earliest memory?

A: “My earliest memory is playing mini hockey with a bouncy ball against a wall at my mom’s old house (laughs). I then went on to play hockey for over 10 years, but I remember she was watching me from the kitchen as I played in the sunlight and I felt completely satisfied.”

Q: Has there ever been a time when you wanted to give up on something or someone?

A: “Oh yes, many times. I guess I’d have to say that I’ve learned there is a time to let things go when they’re not working, and a time to dig in deeper when things get hard. Knowing the difference is the real trick but as a man of faith, I look to doors that are opening and keep on walking when a door shuts.”

Q: Are there any Vernon venues that you regularly perform at?

A: “I play at Los Huesos downtown Vernon every Friday night from 6 to 9 p.m. If you have never been there, they have great authentic Mexican food with a very classy and friendly atmosphere. This, plus live music, makes it a great night out.”

Q: What would be your dream vacation?

A: “I would love to go on an all exclusive trip to Hawaii with some of my best friends. We have talked about it but never followed through.”

– Getting to Know, a special feature that appears in The Morning Star on an ongoing basis, is conducted by Kalamalka Secondary School graduate Aniko Forgo.