Torbjørn Brandrud, also known as Torby Brand, is a musician who has had a presence in the Metroid community since 2011 when he was a News Reporter, Podcast Host and Editor for the Metroid fan website Metroid Headquarters. He was the Assistant Director for Harmony of a Hunter: 101% Run and composer for the popular Metroid fan game AM2R. Torby has a YouTube channel where he uploads piano covers of popular video game and anime music, and provides sheet music so other people can learn them.
My passion for music comes from video games. I’ve always been a big fan of video game soundtracks, and as a child I often wondered, “what would it be like to create something like that?”.
Music has been a part of my life for a long time, but I first started getting serious about the piano after I finished school, back in 2014. An agile instrument that I could use to channel my passion for video games! However, before I started YouTube I was lucky enough to be given several opportunities, specifically inside the Metroid community.
As a staff member of Metroid Headquarters, I got into contact with Darren Kerwin who was kind enough to let me work as an assistant director on Shinesparkers’ second tribute album, “Harmony of a Hunter 101% run”, a project that furthered my interest for video game music and music production a great deal.
Following that, my biggest opportunity in the Metroid community came from Milton Guasti. He let me work as a composer on AM2R, and in the end, the soundtrack released with three tracks that had my name on them. That was the first time I felt proud about any music that I had created, and I still do. Some people compare it to Kenji Yamamoto’s original Metroid soundtracks, which is surreal to me. So while I may not have left my mark on video game history like the child in me wanted, I have managed to leave a mark in the hearts of the players.
As of now, my main focus is on my YouTube channel that I launched in 2016, where I arrange and cover video game and anime soundtracks on the piano. I don’t consider myself to be a particularly skillful pianist, and I already have a job, so I don’t do it for the views or the patreon like most YouTubers. Rather, I just focus on my passion for playing. Seeing aspiring musicians using and learning from my work, that’s when I feel I’ve achieved something with my music.
None of this could’ve happened without the people who helped me along the way, and my modest fan base. I am extremely grateful to both!
Ultimately it’s up to me to keep that momentum, so going into 2018 I will to continue to produce great content, and continue to improve as a musician!
I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with Torbjørn for several years, and I am incredibly proud of the man he has turned out to be. He throws himself head first into everything he does, whether it be creating music, supporting musicians as my Assistant Director on Harmony of a Hunter: 101% Run, or simply keeping healthy and focusing on his personal well being. His dedication is inspirational, and because of how hard working he is, I know he will continue to perfect his craft and grow further as a musician in the years ahead. Best of luck Torby, thank you for the years of friendship! I look forward to seeing you flourish in the future.