For years, Brandon Jenner has been releasing music and hoping that people would take his work seriously — but the singer knows that some audiences have preconceived notions about who he is.
“You don’t fill out a form before you were born where you request your family,” Jenner, 37, tells PEOPLE. “And I happened to be born into a family that was really well-known. And on some level, it’s been something I’ve had to overcome for people to give me a chance.”
“The fact that I have a recognizable last name — especially for what it’s become recognizable for — has become a headwind that I’ve had to overcome,” continues Jenner, whose dad is Caitlyn Jenner and mother is Linda Thompson. “People think I’m a novelty. They think, ‘Oh here goes another celebrity trying to have a music career.’ So I’ve always hoped that my talent and my music will cut through the noise that is the family that I was born into.”
Jenner is releasing a new single, “Death of Me,” this week. The song will appear on his upcoming solo EP, Plan of Feelings, to be released on June 14. Jenner wrote and produced the project at his home studio.
The EP is a marked departure from Jenner’s earlier work — and he tells PEOPLE that last year’s split with ex-wife Leah is a factor in his latest music.
“Everything that happens in my life influences my choices in music,” he says. “I now have the ability to be able to say everything that I want to say without worrying about what people will think. So, it’s almost like an emotional coming out party. Within the confines of any relationship, I don’t think I would’ve been able to even write some of the stuff that I’ve written lately. I want to be honest and vulnerable.”
“The chains are off so that I can express myself,” he continues. “It’s about being authentic and vulnerable.”
“I’ve worked very hard to learn how to be vulnerable and how to express myself. In the past, I wrote music from a place of, ‘I love you. I love the world. I love people.’ For this record, I wrote it more from a place of ‘f— you.’ I know what it’s like to feel angry and hurt and frustrated. It’s okay to show that my patience has worn thin.”
There is one person who Jenner says he cares about her feedback: daughter Eva James, 3. “I want her to listen to my music someday and know that I was authentic and vulnerable, and that I was writing from my truth.”
Jenner tells PEOPLE that he hopes that audiences will be inspired by his work. “I have no idea that any song that I write will make an impact on the entire world as a whole, but I do know that my music has helped some people get through the night,” he says. “That’s why I make music.”
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