NEXT UP: Cedric Brazle
We got to interview the R&B singer/songwriter, Cedric Brazle! We're obsessed with his vocals and he gives us a taste in our interview. If you want to hear a bit, check out a snippet of the interview on our IGTV / Youtube (above). Read all about him below and don't forget to listen to his new single (links below)!
Let's start off by introducing yourself. What do you do? Who you are?
My name is Cedric Brazle, I'm an R&B artist, first and foremost, and I'm a singer. I'm making music, recording artists, and perform. I like to entertain. It's what I've always loved to do, been doing it since I was little. I have a project coming out soon, my first EP, and I'm gearing up for that, finishing up everything. So just an artist out here, not a starving artist, a hungry artist because I don't like the saying "starving" like I'm getting fit.
When did you start making music?
It's hard. I've always been writing my own music, but I started really making music in high school. I was part of a rock alternative band in high school, but it opened me up to a vast variety of genres of music so that I could find out what I like, what sounds I'm interested in. So that was my first taste of music, but it wasn't until a few years ago I did some music mixtapes and I recorded my own music just to get a feel of what I wanted to sound like. So that was my first taste. But this is my first real go-round with music that I'm proud of and that I've put time behind.
So how did you end up getting into the genre that you're doing now?
I think because I grew up around a lot of gospel music so that was a form of the basis of my learning and my family made music. I have two grandfathers who were in blues bands and an uncle who did Calypso music so music was always around for me. I gravitated to R&B, specifically, but also other forms of music, like alternative music and rock music. I love those genres because it's not really about the job for me. It's mostly about what people receive from the message of the music, so R&B came to me through those channels. And I think when people hear my music, they're gonna hear the other influences as well because it's not just R&B music. The music they're going to hear it has pieces of all the things I'm influenced by, that people might not even know about.
I love that. Also, I was gonna ask you about "Prisoner" on the video specifically. I thought that video was really phenomenal specifically because you were like in a prison somehow?
Yeah, it was an abandoned prison, shout out to the director and my team Imperium and Dave Jeff who for helping me. We scouted this location, an old women's like penitentiary, that we found. And it's abandoned and before this, we're like 'no, no was there'? And that's exactly what we wanted. We wanted to bring another dimension to it and give meaning to the song beyond.
What happened in the creative process creating "Prisoner"?
I originally was supposed to be from our project with multiple songs about three singles. They were songs that were on a different iteration of the project initially because my first EP is taking many iterations over the last couple of years. "Prisoner" was originally written literally about six years ago. This was before I got in to even thinking of a project but I just wrote a song initially, and then I came back to it two years ago, and I had a few people help me. I got with a producer named Minus, and we got in the studio and he was like, 'Okay, so what do you want to write about?'. I was like, 'I just want to do something that's falsetto and it's something that feels fast, but it's slow and it's talking about decisions'. It's all included just talking about relationship and feeling as though you don't know whether you want to move forward so I got with him and then my vocal coach/producer, she came in with me, my manager, and everybody came and we just created the whole vibe and we wanted it to be something that felt like maybe Maxwell would do or something in that realm of falsetto and storytelling, so it's one of my favorite songs I think we've done so I'm really proud of that song.
So, you're essentially in prison trying to connect it with the fact that you're trying to settle down and not settle down.
Yeah, exactly. I feel like something we were talking about and we were saying (in the making) is every guy can relate it to at some point in their life. Any young guy can relate to knowing you're dating someone to taking it seriously. Knowing the different stages of a relationship, and that's really what that song is about is knowing that, 'okay, this is a relationship I want to commit and take to the next level', or there's something I want to bypass and move forward with. And I think every guy can relate to that at some point in his life where he's like, 'Okay, I'm ready to be with the one', and that was that moment in time for me in that situation, like do I really want this? Is this what I want?
I love it when artists spill their emotions, it's a different experience. And I think it's really important and we need that, especially right now.
Exactly. I always tell people that. I think as a singer, every singer's job is to be able to emote an emotion. That's your job, to be able to tell the human experience. That's literally your job. To Convey the human experience.
Right. I also noticed you opened up for the City Girls. How was that?
City Girls, that was like 2018. I think it was November. This was before their first album had dropped. This was the same night. I don't know but I remember the little stuff like this. It's the same night the first thing "Twerk" dropped. And shout out to my guy Jazzy Jeff. He and a few other promoters put the show together. Shout out to my guy, Fabian, he put me on to actually have an opportunity to do it. And it was really a dope opportunity. I was the only R&B artist on the show, right before she came up. And I got to perform on stage with her. And that was one of my first opening acts where I got to be at a show that was actually "a show", you know? So, I really enjoyed it. It was one of my favorite experiences. It was a nice taste and dip into the water. So I'm appreciative of it.
We kind of already spoken a little bit about the importance of the message, but I wanted to know is there something specific that you always aim to convey in a song?
I think I could speak on this more now. I think when I'm making music it has to resonate with me. That's the first thing. I have to be something that I truly can say that I've experienced and not convey. Also, I always tell people in the studio 'every song needs to feel like a rollercoaster ride like the whole way through from beginning to end'. You need to feel like there was some kind of journey you went on from start to end. I don't know I feel like music misses that. My favorite era of music is the 90s and I feel like from start to finish the music, it took you on a journey. Everyone remembers the first verse, remembers the portion of the second version, you know you remember every part of the song because it allowed that for you. And that's what I want to convey in my music, I want it to be something that people can instill themselves in when they listen to it. They're in that song at that moment with me, see what I'm saying, and understanding what I'm saying. Being a good storyteller really means a lot to me and lately, sorry not to be long-winded, what's triggering me is to make music that I'm okay with leaving behind because that's one reason why I'm happy to be an artist. I know that this will be something that'd be different. It'll be beyond me when I'm gone so even no matter how big or small I am, it's still an entity of me and my family and everybody. People still have something that has me so I make sure that I'm clear and concise with the messages I'm putting out into the world especially intentional with those messages. All of those things are things I've been thinking about because this is important to me to make sure.
With inspiration from the 90s and I was gonna ask what are your inspirations? Any specific artists?
I'm musically beyond the 90s because mindfulness is a range. But my direct influences are people like Sam Cooke, I just dropped a video of a single Sam Cooke song but he's literally one of my favorite artists. Sam Cooke, Michael Jackson, of course. Usher is definitely one of my all-time favorites. Maxwell, Brandy is another one. John Mayer and Michael Bublé. I got to put those out there because I feel like those are unexpected but I love those artists. Those people growing up showed me that's what kind of music I want to make and the kind of artist I want to be and how I want to make people feel.
Anyone right now that you're listening to?
I listen to a lot of Usher. That's definitely someone I reference back to especially when it comes to like emoting emotion and music and being relatable. I love all his albums. Right now, I love Summer Walker. I love her storytelling abilities. I love how great of a recording artist she is because I'm being a singer and being an entertainer and being a recording artist is completely different. Some singers aren't recording artists so that's what it is. She's a phenomenal recording artist. I love HER. She's literally my favorite R&B artist of today. I think she's just phenomenal. I've seen her live and met her before and got to just meet parts of her team and I think they're dope. Everybody over there though. Lucky Daye, I think he's phenomenal. Anderson Paak. I really like Anderson Paak. I like artists that sing. That's important to me as far as R&B goes because I feel like right now we live in a time where things that aren't R&B are being called R&B And people aren't getting R&B they deserve and that's really one of my biggest goals give people the R&B they deserve. And especially in my category, there's not a lot of people that look like me singing the genre. That's kind of funny to me, but it's not a lot of guys like me actually committing to the genre, real music, real singing, all of that. That's important to me.
So, what's next for you? What are you currently working on that you're able to discuss?
Lately, I've been working on my project and a lot of music beyond the project. I have a lot more music I want to release and a lot more music I've been working on and singing more. I'm making sure I release more content that people can see me perform because it's my favorite avenue. And I have a few of the things that I'm working on that I'm really excited about but those are little things and they're gonna lead up to my project and I think people are gonna really enjoy what we have coming because when I release my project, the music gets even better. Right now, I've been spending the time to make sure I perfect and execute everything that I have so that people can see the imagery and what I'm trying to give to people because I think this is gonna be great music. I'm really hard on myself when it comes to it. I've nitpicked and I'm still nitpicking so it's gonna be a phenomenal introduction. And it's only going to get higher and better because the music I'm currently making I'm very inspired by and I think people are gonna do the same when they tune in, and that's what's most important for me.
Don't forget to check out Cedric Brazle on Instagram!