Local Mic: Brandt Orange
BY BLENDED STAFF
LOCAL MIC IS A BLENDED SERIES DEDICATED TO HIGHLIGHTING BUDDING ARTISTS IN THE LOCAL MUSIC SCENE.
Brandt Orange, 21, is an emerging singer-songwriter based in Los Angeles, California. His slow, rhythmic music infused with hints of R&B has captured everyone's attention as fans find themselves lost in the sound and the source of it. We got the chance to interview Orange to get some insight on his creative process, inspirations, and latest single "Damn Mountains": the second single off his upcoming, self-produced EP that is set to release early 2019.
Are you a Los Angeles native? If not, what exactly made you decide to come to LA and when did you decide to move?
I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, so coming out to LA was a pretty big decision for me. I visited LA a few times, and I just felt way more creative energy there. It kinda felt like everyone was on a treasure hunt to find themselves creatively, and I really wanted to be a part of it.
What's your favorite part of creating music? When is the moment when you think "that's it, that's a hit"?
Hmm, that's a good question. It definitely changes over time. I love this question because it addresses the process of making music, which is 100% my favorite part of pursuing a career as an artist. If I would have to give an answer now, I'd have to say when I finally get the groove between the production and vocal performance feeling really good. That's when a song comes to life for me.
What's your creative process like when making music?
It's a lot of trial and error to be honest. I usually start with a harmony of some sort, whether it's on guitar or keyboard, and I will just start improvising melodies and lyrics over that until I get a first line that I like. Usually, my first line will give me direction to where the rest of the song will go lyrically. Then, I'll start swapping out sounds, adding sounds, mixing, etc. That's just usually though, it's always different.
How did you come up with your first project, "Chaser?" Do you see any changes in yourself between your first project and your latest project, "Damn Mountains?"
"Chaser" was a real labor of love haha. I hadn't started self-producing yet, so I had some help from a couple friends to get the project off the ground. Both "Chaser" and "Hands" were songs that I had written on the guitar and had a skeleton of an idea in my head as to what the production would sound like. Naturally, when collaborating with other producers, that vision slightly changed, but it always ended up being something that we were all proud of. It just took a long time because it's hard to ask people for their time when you're this young. Everyone believes in their own projects more than others, which is a good thing at this age.
"Damn Mountains" was really the first song I've ever produced. Literally the first project in my Ableton file. I had always been "producing" with my friends and stuff, but I was never behind the computer. It took a minute to get the workflow and engineering down, but eventually I got to a comfortable place with it. I don't want to produce my own stuff forever, it's just the easiest and most efficient way to do it now. When you do everything yourself, you lose the true opinion of another great musician in the room, and there are some decisions along the way that could have been better with at least another person as a sounding board. That being said, "Damn Mountains" still means a lot to me, and I put so much time and effort into it.
Who are your biggest inspirations in music? Who would you like to collaborate with in the future?
Frank Ocean, Prince, The Beatles, Chaka Khan, Marvin Gaye. I'd love to work with Jack Garratt sometime in the future, I think his production chops are insane.
What do you hope to achieve with your music –– both for yourself and when your audience listens to it?
I think I'm always searching for the most honest version of my music, and I hope that it could inspire others or at the very least make them feel something in that moment.
What or who is your constant inspiration to make your music and keep pushing forward?
I have things to say right now and I have the desire to put it out there. That won't always be the case.
We heard about your recent show that was sold out, how was that? Do you enjoy performing?
Haha it was just a show that I did. I love performing. Making music in the studio is kind of like investing money into a stock that you can't even see. You have to send it and hope that you were right haha. Performing is different because you can see how your music is affecting the audience in real time. I love performing...it's what made me fell in love with music in the first place.
Do you plan to put a tour together anytime soon? What do you have planned next and what can we expect from you?
I would love to do a tour if I can get the logistics figured out. It's not my first priority at the moment, though. Expect a lot more music coming really fast.
Lead Image Credit: Brandt Orange / Press Release