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Humans of Oxford: Brody Flinders: Creating meaning through music

Music has been a part of Brody Flinders' life for as long as he can remember. His mother, grandfather and uncle exposed him to a variety of artists and genres from a young age and he's taken an interest in almost everything over the years.

"I grew up listening to some of the greats, like Bob Dylan and Stevie Ray Vaughn," Brody said. "I've always been somewhat involved in music, whether it be singing or playing drums or playing guitar or ukulele or whatever, and I just brought it with me to Miami."

Out of all his musical talents Brody prefers his ukulele over all the rest.

"It's super simple. It's easy for me to just bang out whatever I want," he said. "I call it a gateway instrument, because if you can learn that you can learn anything."

But for Brody, music is more than just a childhood hobby. It's an escape from the monotony of day-to-day school life, and something that he's truly passionate about pursuing.

"It's a creative outlet, so if I come home from class and something's been on my mind I'll just free-write for like an hour, and just pick out the best parts and try to put that into a song," he said. "If I'm not working on homework or not currently in a class, I'm almost always working on something."

Brody will sit in the lobby of his dorm for hours with a pen and a notebook and his guitar, completely focused on creating something meaningful. He'll write about anything that happens to him throughout the day -- some good, some bad. But he deals with a lot of deeper concepts as well.

"I had a friend of mine who recently committed suicide," Brody said. "And so just to [deal with] those ideas that were in my head, that I didn't quite know how to grapple with on my own, I put it onto a page."

For Brody, sitting down at his desk every day, figuring out what sounds good on his guitar and just writing songs about the things he's not able to talk about is his purest form of release.

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