“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that but the really great make you feel that you, too, can be great.” - Mark TwainI've had many people and artists who've inspired me throughout my life. But my biggest inspiration has to be my father, Allen Brayer. My father is a Holocaust survivor who lost his entire family, in the blink of an eye, at the tender age of 14. He survived in a forest for two years, came to this country with no family and no money and built his life from scratch. And through it all, he still has a positive outlook on life and a great sense of humor. You just can’t get more inspiring than that! I devote an entire section of my MOTIV8 program to his story and the kids are always very moved by it (so are the adults).
Being raised in a multi-cultural home (I’m first generation American) has had a big impact on me and is one of the leading reasons that I do this work. It's so important that people understand that although we come from different countries, speak different languages and have different customs, that we are all human beings who deserve respect and the opportunity to live our best lives. We only go around once on this planet -- we might as well make it a great ride! Let's be there to lift each other up and not tear each other down (ok, everyone, time to whip out the harmonica and sing "Kumbaya"!).
As far as music goes, I have hundreds if not thousands of musical inspirations, including Mozart, Tchaikosvky, The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, Elton John, Billy Joel, Jim Croce, Alanis Morrisette, Garth Brooks, Beyonce, Lady Gaga and the list goes on! I love that music can literally change my body chemistry and move me to tears or to dance (hopefully not like Elaine from "Seinfeld").
Every time I think I've identified my all-time favorite song, I think of another 10 songs that just rock my world and I simply marvel at the miracle that music is in my life. Writing songs is truly my gift to the world; it is my legacy. And the greatest part is, I can see that musical gene in my kids and it brings me joy and peace.