Young Creators Project spotlight: Brayden Nguyen

Meet Brayden Nguyen, one of KCRW’s featured artists for the Young Creators Project.

Each day this week, we’re spotlighting the homegrown budding talent sourced via KCRW’s Young Creators Project, a community arts mentorship platform celebrating the creative work of SoCal residents under 21. 

Huntington Beach native Brayden Nguyen just turned 17, and he’s still adjusting to stating it as his age. Something that Nguyen needs no adjustment with, however, is his approach to songcraft. Nguyen was still a toddler when he began to feel a deep, spiritual kinship with artists of all stripes. 

“There was this guy who made these little clay things outside of Starbucks when I was around 3,” Nguyen recalls. “One day, he gave me one for free, because we would go and say hi to him every morning before we went to school. It was a little turtle, and that was what sparked me to learn as many instruments as I could put my hands on.”

Nguyen took that jolt of inspiration and never looked back. His journey started with learning piano, and guitar, bass, and drums were added to the repertoire not long after — and, of course, singing. Nguyen says that he “loves singing the most because you don’t need anything to practice it, it’s just there.” 

You’ll find all of these skills on full display in the killer music video for his ferociously funky single “Take Me Away.” 

More: Explore the Young Creators Project Class of 2023


KCRW Program Director of Music: Anne Litt
Interviewers: Novena Carmel and Anthony Valadez
Producers: Liv Surnow and Anna Chang
Recording/Mix Engineer: Katie Gilchrest
Audio Editor: Myke Dodge Weiskopf
Digital Producer: Andrea Domanick