Mr. Support Friend
Hello my name is David Bryant “Mr. Support Friend!”
On this page you’ll have an opportunity to get to know me and my life story and journey up to this point.
The reason why I call myself “Mr. Support Friend” is because over the years I have provided my insights, support and friendship to people of all ages and backgrounds with the intention of making a difference in people’s lives.
Giving and receiving Support & Friendship is something I truly enjoy so
“Mr. Support Friend” is definitely a great way to describe me and my purpose in life in 3 words or less.
I have a very interesting life story that has led me to be the person I am today. I was born in 1960 and faced a lot of discrimination growing up due to the fact that I am biracial (Black & White). This taught me a lot about the human race and human behavior. Because I was discriminated against as a child I developed a strong intuition and learned how to FEEL people’s energy, good and bad.
I also learned how to deal with obstacles and not allow the obstacles to get in the way of me achieving my dreams and goals in life. In addition, my parents were very supportive of me as a child and that helped me develop a strong sense of “Self-Worth and Self-Value.” All of these things helped me to succeed in my personal life and career, as well as overcome obstacles and disappointments I experienced in my adult life.
People often tell me that I am REAL, GENUINE & SINCERE, and since I was a young boy I’ve always had the ability to make people feel comfortable by just being me.
My mother told me I used to settle disputes between kids in the sandbox. I’ve always been a kindhearted person who cares.
In my 20’s I became a very successful songwriter writing songs for
music artists including Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson, Jody Watley,
Eddie Money, Dionne Warwick, Vanessa Williams and Smokey Robinson
to name a few.
In the middle of my successful music career I got very sick and had to stop writing songs. This was a huge disruption in my life and affected my health, my finances and my social life, but I never allowed it to affect my mindset because I always visualized myself getting better.
I learned a lot about life, people and overcoming obstacles from my childhood experiences, the music industry and my health challenge. I also understand the value of surrounding yourself with quality People, Professionals and Resources. It really can lead to wonderful things. This is why I am so passionate about Music, Arts & Entertainment, Support & Friendship, Wellness, Personal Development, Empowerment, DSNM, Entrepreneurship and helping people achieve their Dreams & Goals.
In closing, I’d just like to leave you with this thought.
Each one of us is a Blessed, Valuable and Unique Human Resource and when we support each other we can make a difference in our own lives and in the lives of others.
My Support Friends and I look forward to you joining us on our
“Support, Friendship & Empowerment” journey!
Keep shining and keep being YOU!
David Bryant “Mr. Support Friend!”
SCROLL DOWN TO READ MORE ABOUT MY STORY
AND HOW I BECAME A SUCCESSFUL SONGWRITER
by David Bryant “MrSupport Friend!”
Well let’s see, where should I begin?
Okay how about at the beginning. Yes that’s me with my mother in the picture above.
I was born in New York City in 1960, so yes technically I’m a New Yorker. However, my family moved to California when I was 3 years old, so I was pretty much raised on the west coast.
I don’t have any brothers or sisters, just my parents, who were married for 50 years.
I come from a mixed background. My father who passed away in 2016 was African American and my mother who passed away in 2010 was Canadian.
So I guess that makes me AfricanAmeriCanadian eh? Right on! LOL
Actually I’m just me, David, a positive person who was raised to do the right thing and treat others with respect. I certainly would not be who I am today without my parents love and support.
My mother told me that even as a child I was always very giving and helpful to others. I guess it’s just my nature.
From ages 3 to 12 I grew up in Sacramento, CA where my grandparents lived. We stayed there until they passed away then moved to Los Angeles.
It was quite interesting growing up in Sacramento in the 60’s and 70’s, in a more integrated and open society.
Of course due to my background, I had to deal with discrimination growing up. It really taught me a lot about people and the world we live in. Fortunately my parents empowered me with a great sense of self and the ability to overcome the obstacles that were put in my path.
As a kid I was really into sports, primarily Pop Warner football and YMCA basketball. Didn’t like baseball that much. Too slow to watch and too many curve balls coming at my head. LOL
I was also an excellent bowler and could have been a member of the JAT (Junior Amateur Tour), but chose not to go that direction.
Instead I focused on school and really loved music.
As for my parents, my mother was an amazing person. I have so much love and respect for her and admired her strength and positive attitude about life.
She was a giving person and a total optimist! I was blessed to have the mother I had while she was alive and we will always be connected in spirit forever.
That brings me to my dad Ardie Bryant. He has taught me so much about life and is a major part of the reason I have achieved many of the successes I have in my life.
My father was an entertainer. One of the few “master jazz tap percussionists” in the world. He had a unique gift of inspiring people of all ages with his talents and his spirit. He passed away at the age of 87 and was still active as a public speaker, teacher and mentor. I hope I am as active as he was when I reach 87. He was also a very popular dance professor at Cal State LA.
Although I did not get a chance to see my father perform in his prime, I have met some of the people he worked with like Count Basie and Quincy Jones. Both had great things to say about my dad. It really does amaze me when I think about the legends my dad knew and worked with including Nat King Cole, Duke Ellington, Sarah Vaughn, Charlie Parker, Dizzie Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, the list goes on and on.
As a matter of fact, my godfather was the great jazz pianist Erroll Garner and to this day when I listen to his records I get goosebumps. His most famous composition was the song “Misty”, but it was his piano playing that was one of a kind. He was a true original and I feel extremely privileged to be able to say that he was my godfather. Before going to the next chapter of my story check out the video clip of Erroll Garner below. What an amazing talent!
Moving To Hollywood
When we moved to Hollywood in the 70’s, I attended Bancroft Junior High and Hollywood High School.
That’s right Hollywood High School. “Land of the Sheiks” for any of you Fairfax Lions or North Hollywood Huskies out there! (Fairfax and North Hollywood were our rivals in sports… LOL)
The thing I loved about Hollywood High was the cultural and class diversity.
We had over 60 different nationalities in our school, as well as rich kids from the Hollywood Hills and poor kids from low income areas. We all got along great, unlike many of the other schools in our area.
In high school I was a “1st Team All League JV Basketball Player” and focused mostly on sports and hanging out with my friends. I was still kind of shy with the girls and didn’t even have a girlfriend until I was 17. I was the “best friend” who girls came crying to when the jerks used to treat them badly.
More on this subject later! LOL
At 16 I got a job working for Safeway Supermarket as a “Courtesy Clerk”, just a fancy name for a “Box Boy”, and eventually went on to become a “Journeyman Grocery Clerk!” Yes, the retail clerks union Local 770 was very good to me!
In my senior year of high school, I had to take a fine arts class as part of my graduation requirements. The 3 choices were Art, Music & Bachelor Living. Of course I wanted to take Bachelor Living because it was the class all the jocks were in and the girls would hang around outside after class.
But my mom would not let me do it. She said “I’ve already taught you how to fry an egg, write a check and do your own laundry, so pick something else.” LOL
Well being that I could not draw a stick figure if my life depended on it, I chose music, which turned out to be one of the best decisions I made in my life.
At first it was hard and I was failing the class. It was a classical music harmony class and I did not have a clue what was going on. I was mixed in with a lot of music students, so I was slightly out of place. However, there was one positive about the situation and that was my music teacher Mr. Grant.
He always made the classes fun and hip and was one of the best teachers I ever had.
He was also a contemporary jazz musician and tv/film composer, who wrote music on the side for his own projects and for popular tv shows such as Starsky & Hutch and the Rockford Files.
Slowly but surely I started catching on in class and eventually ended up taking private lessons on the side from Mr. Grant. It was at this point that I decided to pursue a “music career” as a professional songwriter instead of going to college.
Growing up, I taught myself how to play the piano by ear and took a few piano lessons from my friend David Achon’s mom. I had also written a few songs as a child, one of which my father recorded for one of his projects when I was about 13.
But it was not until the summer after high school that I decided to try to make a career out of it. My plan was to give myself 2 years to see if I could make it, and if I couldn’t, then I would go to college.
How I Became A Successful Songwriter
Being an only child, one of the things I used to do to entertain myself in my room, was listen to records and the radio.
Some of my musical favorites growing up were The Jackson Five, James Taylor, Marvin Gaye, The Beatles, Earth Wind & Fire, Herbie Hancock, Leonard Bernstein & Stephen Sondheim’s West Side Story Soundtrack and of course my all time favorite STEVIE WONDER!
My favorite song of all time is “You’ve Got A Friend” written by Carole King and performed by James Taylor, and my all time favorite record producer is Mutt Lange, who co-wrote and produced the classic “Everything I Do I Do It For You” by Bryan Adams.
But it was not until I graduated from high school that I decided to pursue a career in music as a professional songwriter.
I was fortunate enough to achieve success as a songwriter over the years. As I said before I was not the most talented songwriter in the world. However, I was good at attracting the right creative and business people into my life which led to good things for me. People wanted to work with me and enjoyed being around me. Yes I had talent, but more importantly I developed the right relationships and friendships with other talented people.
Some of my favorite songs that I’ve co-written include:
- “After Hours” – Chico Debarge
- “Am I Too Much?” – Vanessa Williams
- “Back On Holiday” – Robbie Nevil
- “Dancing on the Jagged Edge” – Sister Sledge
- “Day Dreamin'” – Fran Lucci
- “Diamond Real” – Michael Wycoff
- “Don’t You Want Me” – Jody Watley
- “Emotional” – Jeffrey Osborne
- “I Believe In…” – Jennifer Love Hewitt
- “If It Takes All Night” – Janet Jackson
- “I’ve Got My Heart Set On You” – Patti Austin
- “My Life” – The Pointer Sisters
- “Moment Of Truth” – Whitney Houston
- “One Less Lonely Heart” – Deniece Williams
- “Remember Your Heart” – Dionne Warwick
- “Right Before My Eyes” – The Jets
- “Romantic Voyage” – Vanity
- “Sayonara” – A Taste Of Honey
- “Shake Me Down” – Sister Sledge
- “The Love In Your Eyes” – Eddie Money
- “Wishful Thinking” – Smokey Robinson
- “Work Me Down” – Laura Hunter
- “Your Place Or Mine” – Melissa Manchester
Over my career I have also had the privilege of meeting, working with and/or having my songs produced, co-written and/or performed by the following music industry talents:
- Adele Bertei
- Adrian Gurvitz
- Al McKay
- Alan Gorrie
- Alby Galuten
- Allee Willis
- Andre Cymone
- Antonina Armato
- Arif Mardin
- Bernard Edwards
- Bootsy Collins
- Clive Davis
- Dan Navarro
- Daryl Ross
- David Bianco
- David Foster
- Dennis Herring
- Diane Warren
- Diedre O’Hara
- Donna Summer
- Eric Bazilian
- Franne Golde
- Gardner Cole
- George Duke
- Gerry Goffin
- Giorgio Moroder
- Greg Phillinganes
- Guy Roche
- Humberto Gatica
- Jamie Cohen
- Jan Buckingham
- Jay Gruska
- Jeff Lorber
- Jellybean Benitez
- Jim Halsey
- Judy Stakee
- Lamont Dozier
- Larry Carlton
- Linda Blum
- Lorelei McBroom
- Mars Lasar
- Mark Stevens
- Micheal Bolton
- Narada Michael Walden
- Nile Rogers
- Paul Fox
- Paul Gurvitz
- Paulino Da Costa
- Quicy Jones
- Reggie Lucas
- Richard Page
- Richard Perry
- Richie Zito
- Robbie Buchanan
- Ron Fair
- Sandra Bernhard
- Sherman Halsey
- Siedah Garrett
- Sister Sledge
- Skip Drinkwater
- Steve Dubin
- Steve Lukather
- Steve Lunt
- Stevie Salas
- The Spinners
- Tom Sturges
- Tommy Faragher
- Tony Haynes
My biggest hit song was “Don’t You Want Me” by Jody Watley. It reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was a #1 Dance Record as well. Below is an extended clip of it.
I also co-wrote the song “The Love in Your Eyes” with Adrian Gurvitz and
Steve Dubin for Eddie Money. The single reached #24 on the Billboard Hot 100
and #1 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.
One of my favorite songwriting experiences was co-writing “Back On Holiday” with Robbie Nevil and Steve Dubin. I started doing my Stevie Wonder impression and that inspired melodies Robbie and I wrote for the song. Robbie loved the band “War” so he thought about them when arranging the saxophones. Steve had the groove and Robbie and I wrote the lyrics. It was such a fun experience! Below is an extended version of the song that I love.
Another fun experience for me was working in the studio with record producer Richard Perry recording a song I co-wrote with Adele Bertei and Sandra Bernhard called “My Life” for the Pointer Sisters. I did the drum programming and played moog bass and keyboards, Bill Botrell engineered and Paul Fox played keyboards as well. Below is a clip of the song. It’s one of my favorite songs I co-wrote. Love Adele’s lyrics!!!
“Diamond Real” by Michael Wycoff is also another favorite of mine that I co-wrote with Al McKay of Earth, Wind & Fires and Janice Marie Johnson of “A Taste of Honey.” Michael does a great job singing the song. His gospel R&B influenced vocals shine!
Take a listen to the extended version below.
The Early Years
In my early teens my family had formed an independent music publishing company.
I knew it would be tough for me to make it in the music business, but I always remembered what my father told me when I decided to go for it.
He said “If you want to be a professional songwriter, you need to think and act like a professional songwriter. From this day on you are now competing with the best songwriters in the world and there are not many slots available. So you need to take it seriously.”
Boy was he right and I always used what he said as motivation when I was writing and creating my songs. I knew I was competing with the best in the world, so I used to visualize successful artists singing my songs during the writing process.
I would also do the “Flip-Flop” test with my songs after I completed them.
The “Flip-Flop Test” was simply this. I would listen to a few songs on an album, or a radio station, then I would flip the switch on my stereo system and play one of my songs like it was on that album or radio station.
If I felt my song was good enough to fit on the album, or be played on the radio, I knew I was at least in the ball park. If I didn’t, I would rework the song until it felt right to me.
I always base my decisions on my feelings and instincts. Either it feels right or it doesn’t.
No matter how talented you are, there is another side to being successful in the music business and that is getting your foot in the door with the right people and being prepared when it happens.
In my case, I feel there were 4 keys to my success as a professional songwriter:
- Believing in myself.
- My parents support and encouragement.
- The high school I went to.
- Working at the supermarket.
When I attended Hollywood High School one of my classmates was Kate McKay, sister of legendary rhythm guitar player Al McKay of Earth, Wind & Fire.
Another one of my classmates was Mark Stevens, brother of R&B legend Chaka Khan.
Mark and I became friends and ended up hanging out alot after we graduated high school. He was a talented bass player and singer, and like his sisters Chaka & Taka was involved in the music industry.
One day Mark got a call for an audition. Al McKay had just left Earth, Wind & Fire and was holding auditions for a new band he was putting together.
By fate, Mark needed a ride to the audition and asked me if I could give him a ride. This would turn out to be my first big break into the music industry.
When we got to the audition, Al greeted us and Mark introduced me to him.
Al said “Wait a minute, David Bryant. Your name sounds familiar to me.”
I said “Well I go to Hollywood High and I am friends with your sister Kate.”
Al said, “That’s it, my sister told me about you.”
I had no idea Kate had mentioned me to Al, but I was sure happy she did.
He said “You’re the songwriter right?”
I said “Yes that would be me and I am also a huge Earth, Wind & Fire fan and it’s hard to believe I am standing here right now talking to you.”
Then Al told me that he wanted to hear a tape of my songs and if he liked them, maybe we could write some songs together along with some new writers he had signed to his music publishing company.
You have to understand, I used to spend hours alone in my room as a kid listening to Earth, Wind & Fire records and now here I was face to face with one of my musical heroes and he was interested in possibly working with me.
So was I excited? That would be an understatement!
Well to make a long story short, Al ended up liking my stuff and asked me if I wanted to write some songs with him and another up and coming songwriter at the time Tony Haynes.
The collaboration led to my 1st song that was recorded by a major artist. The song was called “Send A Little Love”, the group that recorded it was “The Spinners”, and it was produced by Mtume & Lucas, whose credits included the hit song “The Closer I Get To You.”
Al, Tony and I ended up writing more songs together and worked on several projects together including A Taste of Honey, Finis Henderson and others.
I learned a lot from Al McKay and I am thankful that he recognized my talent and gave me my 1st break in the music industry.
Below are a few of songs I co-wrote with Al McKay. “Sayonara” and “Never Go Wrong” by A Taste of Honey, and “Lovers” and “You Owe It All To Love” by Finis Henderson.
Another key contact I made through Mark Stevens was the legendary music producer and arranger Arif Mardin.
Arif has worked with and produced some of the biggest and best artists in the music industry including: Chaka Khan, Aretha Franklin, Average White Band, The Bee Gees, Phil Collins, George Benson, Bette Midler (Arif produced “Wind Beneath My Wings”) and most recently Norah Jones, which won him the 2003 Grammy Award for Producer of the Year.
Not to take anything away from all the talented and successful people I met and worked with in the music industry over the years, but I would have to say that I have the most respect and admiration for Arif.
In a world of sharks and greedy people who are out for themselves, and will step on you to get where they need to go, Arif always treated me with respect, asked me for my opinions and never once asked me for any percentage of my song royalties in order for him to record one of my songs on a project he was working on.
His talent is enormous and his character is impeccable!
Arif ended up recording a song I wrote the music for called “Your Place Or Mine” with Melissa Manchester who he was producing at the time.
Melissa & Allee Willis wrote the lyrics and it ended up being the main title theme for a film called “A Little Sex” starring Tim Matheson & Kate Capshaw.
The time I spent around Arif watching him work was incredible. He used to invite Mark and I down to recording sessions and over to his hotel room when he was in town to watch him work and hang out.
2 events that I feel fortunate to have experienced in person with Arif, were watching him work in the studio with keyboard player and arranger Greg Phillinganes on Chaka Khan’s version of “We Can Work It Out”, and watching Arif figure out how to modulate his arrangement of Chaka’s version of “A Night In Tunsia” so he could fit a sample of Charlie Parker’s solo break into the track.
These were magical moments to me that I will never forget.
Arif also gave me 4 valuable words of wisdom that I try to pass on to anyone interested in pursuing a music career.
- Believe in yourself!
- Be prepared by having your craft and talent in order.
- Stay away from the negative temptations such as drugs, alcohol, partying, negative people, etc…
- And 4 and most importantly, if you can not accept disappointment and rejection, you need to find another career, because it’s going to happen no matter what level of success you achieve!
He said if I could learn to master these 4 things, then I had a chance to be successful.
Arif passed away in 2006, but his musical productions, arrangements, achievements and spirit will live forever.
Below are 2 video clips related to Arif. The first is a clip about the making of his last album and life story and the second is a clip of “Your Place or Mine” a song I wrote the music for that Arif produced.
One day while working my day job at Safeway Supermarket in Hollywood, a girl came through my checkstand who would end up becoming a good friend and another important musical contact for me.
I noticed she was wearing some musical note earrings which prompted me to ask her if she was a singer.
She said “No I am a songwriter.” I said “Cool, so am I.”
The girl that came through my line that day was Diane Warren, who many consider to be the most prolific songwriter of this generation.
At the time we met she was just starting out and had a song on the radio she co-wrote for Laura Branigan called “Solitaire.”
Since then Diane has gone on to write hundreds of songs for artists of all genres including such classics as “Un-Break My Heart”, “How Do I Live”, “Because You Loved Me”, “Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” and “Rhythm Of The Night”, which I actually helped her record the demo of.
Diane and I chatted a bit while I was ringing up her order and ended up exchanging phone numbers.
Eventually we ended up writing a few songs together, 4 of which were recorded by Patti Austin, Jeffrey Osborne, Deniece Williams and Laura Hunter.
What I like about Diane the most is that even though she has become very rich and very successful, she is still basically the same person today that she was when I met her.
She loves music and she loves writing songs. It is her passion and she is one of the best to ever do it.
I feel privileged to have collaborated with her, and that she respected my opinion and felt comfortable enough to share some of her songs with me, and ask me for my honest opinion while she was in the process of writing them.
There was nothing better than having her call me and say “You got a minute? I want to play you something. Tell me what you think of this chorus?”
Then she would proceed to sing me a chorus of a new song she was working on that would eventually go on to be a #1 record worldwide.
Diane’s song ideas are fantastic and she really knows how to express feelings that people have through her lyrics.
2 of my personal favorites of hers are “Love Will Lead You Back” by Taylor Dayne and “When I See You Smile” by Bad English.
Below are a couple of songs Diane and I wrote together. The first is “Emotional” by Jeffrey Osborne and the second is “Work Me Down” by Laura Hunter which I also produced for the “Disorderlies” movie soundtrack..
Thanks to my relationship with Diane, I ended up meeting many important music industry contacts including music publisher Tom Sturges, who introduced me to record executive Jamie Cohen, who ended up introducing me to many music industry contacts during his years as an A&R executive at EMI, Arista & Columbia Records.
One person Jamie introduced me to was legendary record executive Clive Davis, which resulted in Whitney Houston recording a song I co-wrote with Jan Buckingham called “Moment Of Truth.”
Although “Moment Of Truth” was orginally supposed to be recorded as a duet, it ended up being the B-Side to the smash single “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”, and later on was included on a 5 song extended CD for the “Waiting To Exhale” project.
I’ll never forget the day I had a meeting with Clive at his bungalo at the Beverly Hills Hotel to play him a new song I had written with one of Tom Sturges’ writers at the time Dan Navarro. Dan co-wrote the song “We Belong” for Pat Benatar and we had written a new song called “Remember Your Heart” that Tom and I wanted to play for Clive. We played him the song and he absolutely loved it! He said he wanted to have Dionne Warwick record it for her new album and have Alby Galuten produce it. Alby produced many hits over the years for the Bee Gees.
Then Clive pulled the ultimate rabbit out of his hat and told us he wanted to play us the song that would be the lead single from the album.
He then proceeded to play us “That’s What Friends Are For.”
Well after hearing Dionne, Stevie, Elton & Gladys sing the song, and with the goosebumps still tingling all over my body, I said of course you can have the song for Dionne.
I must tell you I feel blessed to have my song on her “Friends” album along side my all time favorite musical artist Stevie Wonder and my all time favorite songwriter Burt Bacharach who co-wrote and produced “That’s What Friends Are For.”
If there is one thing that I learned from Clive Davis, it’s how to listen to a song and not be influenced by it’s demo production. A good song can be reproduced in many ways to fit the style and needs of an artist. This I believe is one of Clive’s greatest gifts, and part of the reason why he has been so successful, for such a long period of time in the music business.
Below is a video clip of “Moment of Truth” the song that I co-wrote for Whitney that Clive picked to record while he was the CEO at Arista Records.
MY PURPOSE & INTENTION IS TO
SUPPORT & EMPOWER MYSELF & OTHERS
I am a person of GOOD INTENTION! Everyone knows this about me and I know this about myself. I have helped many people along the way even when I was overcoming my own health challenges.
One of the reasons I created this website was to share my story and support like minded people who are honest, motivated, successful, genuine and sincere.
I enjoyed writing songs in my 20’s because I love music, but writing songs is not my main career anymore. I will write for projects and artists that resonate with me, or that I am passionate about, but having worked with some of the best artists in the world I feel that I have already achieve many of my musical dreams and goals. So if I can help someone achieve their dreams and goals by supporting, empowering, coaching and/or mentoring them, or by guiding them to the right people and/or resources, I’m all for it.
I am currently working on a wonderful purpose driven multimedia project that I am very excited about. I also enjoy supporting and empowering myself and others with the tools, resources and support systems inside the MySupportFriends.com community.
Thank you for reading my story up to this point!
I encourage you to join MySupportFriends.com community and purchase one of My Support Packs!
Keep shining and have a wonderful day!