But despite his talents and accomplishments, Fenkart is, after all, only human. And that's what the songs on his new album, "Imperfect Man" are mostly about. Fenkart and his band were in town last week, performing some of their melodic pop at the Goldhawk.
"It's an admission of being human, a confession of flaws," is how Fenkart, 28, describes his album, which is available now on CDbaby.com. The CD is full of melodic musings on people, on love and on relationships. His music is raw and honest overflowing with carefully crafted words and harmonies.
The album's twelve tracks are a testament to the precision that Fenkart puts toward his music. "I'm meticulous about the lyrics," Fenkart said. I do more than throw together a poem and chords." The title track, "Imperfect Man" is a reflection of the care he uses. Vivid imagery tells the story of his shortcomings in relationships and his hope for the possibility of second chances.
He sings: "I've given up the air I used to breathe. There's a heart-shaped bloodstain on my sleeve. Could you tell me where has it gone? I'm struggling to forget. These memories I still regret. And I won't know till the day I'm gone, if God will leave the light on, for an imperfect man."
Original, instrumental and spacious
Fenkart studied acting at Rutgers' Mason Gross School of the Arts. After graduation he transitioned into music, drawing on the strong connection he felt to music from his upbringing. His father played the guitar and his grandfather played the piano. Fenkart taught himself to play both.
"Music is something I always felt a strong connection to," Fenkart said. "It's the next natural step to playing out."
Fenkart classifies his music as having "an accessible, intimate sound."
It's an accurate description of songs that incorporate catchy rhythms that can appeal to the masses, and that repeat the theme of self-discovery that almost everyone can really relate to.
"The lyrics and stylistic mixes make it different without trying to be some weird, nouveau thing," Fenkart said. "A lot of bands are trying to break new ground. When you try too hard you end up alienating a lot of people." Fenkart lists a lot of mainstream acts, such as Billy Joel, Jon Meyer, Coldplay and U2 as influences. But he does not sound exactly like any one of the above.
"I try to make the pop a little less pop-y. I try to keep it as original as possible, as instrumental as possible, and as spacious as possible."
New York light
And what better place to play original, instrumental, spacious music, than the Goldhawk's back room? Fenkart and his band performed there on a recent Wednesday, to a crowd that included the Director of Hoboken's Department of Human Services, Carmelo Garcia.
"They're an excellent, original band," said Garcia, who was at the Goldhawk to catch the band with his wife. Both have seen the band perform a number of times, often crossing the river for gigs in the city. "They're melodic and rock and roll at the same time," Garcia added.
Though they mostly play in New York City, Bryan and the rest of the band (with the exception of vocalist Parry Adams, who is from Pittsburgh) are all New Jersey natives.
Drummer Brian - "spelled the right way," he clarifies - Prokop is from Ringwood. Both Lucibello and bassist Jeremy Lewis live in Hawthorne.
As a band, they have all played The Mile Square City a handful of times. Hoboken is an especially familiar scene for Fenkart, who used to spend time here with his brother before moving to Astoria, Queens. "Hoboken is like New York light," he said. "We would always come here and hang out."
As Fenkart, Adams, Lucibello, Lewis and Prokop set up for last week's performance, they discussed the state's music scene. "Cover bands have choked the original music scene here," said Lewis. Lucibello agreed. "In the city people are more open to seeing original bands and new music."
"Playing in Jersey, a lot of people would ask, 'what covers are you playing?'" Lewis added.
But Prokop, who actually spent time playing in Thunder Road, a Springsteen cover band, explained the appeal of cover bands, "When twelve high school girls go out on a Friday night, what do you think they want to hear?"
Fenkart half-joked that the same could also apply to eight frat boys. But on a serious note, he had a better explanation. "Maybe it's because a lot of the music that comes out of New Jersey is so coverable."
And though it may not get twelve teenage girls into a party mood or amp up eight frat guys out for fun, Adams and Fenkart's harmonies, coupled with the rhythms produced by Lucibello, Lewis and Prokop, prove that their music could fall into that category, because it is just as appealing.
Bryan and his band will be playing Atlantic City's House of Blues on April 14. For more on Bryan Fenkart's music, visit www.bryanfenkart.com or his myspace.com page. Comments on this piece can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org