When Brandon Gomes appeared in the first season of MTV’s Siesta Key, viewers met a beach bum who partied and chased girls. But by the time the second season aired this year, the astute 23-year-old had invited the camera crew into recording studios while he made music and to his performances. While costars battled family issues or infidelity in their romantic lives, the cameras—and millions of Siesta Key viewers—watched Gomes cast models in music videos and prepare for his upcoming music tour. “I’ve been doing music since before the show came my way,” says Gomes. “Once MTV realized people were interested in my music career, the transition was natural.”
Gomes has seen his numbers on social media platforms soar. His most-listened-to track, “Away,” on Soundcloud—an online audio distribution platform—has 140,000 plays, while his Instagram is littered with comments from fans across the world. “[My manager and I] are thinking strategy, the best impact,” says Gomes. “We knew that MTV was going to come film us. You can definitely say that I’ve gained a lot of viewers from the show.” The music video for his single, “Somber,” landed on YouTube at the same time an episode depicting Gomes shooting the video aired. The song has earned more than 112,000 views on YouTube.
MTV announced last month there will be a third season of Siesta Key, but Gomes is going all out with his music. “I hope to drop a project, whether that’s an album or an EP,” he says.
The culture of hip-hop has always been about maintaining respect for your roots. Some of the country’s most popular rappers frequently name-check Brooklyn, Compton, Chicago or Atlanta. Gomes plans to do the same for Sarasota. “Most everything I’ve done musically has come through Sarasota,” he says. “The mentorship and the opportunities have all come from home.” Gomes says he has no interest in moving anytime soon and feels as if he can do it all from here: “I’ve built up a brand where I can do a lot of things that I want to do without having to move to L.A. or New York.”