Rebel Bran is a serbian-canadian artist and musician living in Vancouver, BC.
Imagine Leonard Cohen as the ringleader for Cirque De Soleil and you have an idea of Rebel Bran’s sound. Here we have an artist who has been scarred by hunger and war, and saved by the potential to create moments of beauty and meaning with his music.
Bran Vrbaski a.k.a Rebel Bran, was born in 1963 in Jagodina, Yugoslavia. His family lived in extreme poverty and even though times were incredibly bleak, there was always singing, dancing and laugher, in his home that kept them all going. Bran marveled at the power and clarity of his mother’s voice. When he was 9 years old, a man by the name of Srecko (which translates to Lucky in English) befriended the family. Srecko had an incredible voice also so Bran decided he would do anything to try to sing like Lucky and his mum someday.
In high school, Bran started to get serious about music. It took him a few years to save enough money to buy a cheap, rough Russian acoustic guitar. At the same time, he became fascinated with architecture. When Bran’s band Dina was just getting some recognition, the war broke out in Bosnia. The struggle eventually got to be too much to cope with. In 1995, he made the heart-breaking decision to leave his country and move to Vancouver. He recalls: “There was more than enough food and opportunity for everyone here. It was a magical place.” But the magic would soon fade overtaken by the cultural shock. Of this very dark period, he says, “At times it was agonizing. The only thing that was calming me down and always there for me was my music, and my art.”