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Interview: 2019 Must-Know - Bruno Major

Interview: 2019 Must-Know - Bruno Major

Writing, recording, and releasing a song every month for twelve months straight is no easy feat, but from late 2016 to September 2017, Bruno Major did just that - each song providing a different glimpse into his songwriting talents.

Now working on music outside of those constraints, Major is set to follow up ‘A Song For Every Moon’ with a new collection of songs, the first of which, ‘Old Fashioned’, has just been released.

Having worked with past CDM 2018 Must-Know Finneas on music, we can’t wait to hear what’s next from the burgeoning British artist.

MUST-LISTEN: ‘There’s Little Left’, ‘The First Thing You See’, ‘Old Fashioned’, ‘On Our Own’.
YOU WILL LIKE, IF YOU LIKE: James Blake, Finneas, Daniel Caesar, Gallant, John Mayer, Tobias Jesso Jr.... and a late night picnic under a full moon.

COUP DE MAIN: The concept behind ‘A Song For Every Moon’ is so cool - what’s it been like working on music since finishing that project, and no longer having such a strict deadline for recording/releasing music?
BRUNO MAJOR: Thank you. It was an amazing thing, to work to a deadline for a year. It forced me to create freely, not dwell on the minutia, and as a result the music has an imperfect rawness that I really like. HOWEVER for the album it has been wonderful to start making music the traditional way - with as much time as you need. I am a perfectionist at heart and I'm going to make this album as perfect I can.

CDM: Do you think you’d set yourself a challenge like that again in the future?
BRUNO: Yes. I plan to. I'm not telling you what is it is though. I was always the kid who did his holiday homework the night before you had to go back to school. I think the pressure suits me.

CDM: Is striving for perfection something you still struggle with when working on music?
BRUNO: It can be debilitating. Someone wise once told me, make the music first and analyse it afterwards. It's so important to follow inspiration and allow the music to flow. Otherwise you can end up spending 5 hours on a hi-hat sound and the reality is, nobody cares about your hi-hat sound that much. I constantly remind myself to paint with broad strokes.

CDM: How do you know when a song is complete?
BRUNO: You just know. Normally it's the first time you sing it through, and you get the tingles. But they can develop for a long time afterwards... Especially with my debut album... 'Just The Same' was written and recorded in the space of three days... I now sing it completely differently, but it's nice to have captured the original moment.

CDM: What can you tell us about the songs you’ve worked on with Finneas O’Connell?
BRUNO: HAHA. Hi Finneas. Man that guy is a genius, and I don't use the word lightly. He's one of the best songwriters I've ever worked with. An old soul. We will hopefully be releasing a bunch together. Big fan.

CDM: Do you have a tentative release date for Bruno Major album #2?
BRUNO: If I told you that I’d have to kill you.

CDM: How does your songwriting process work?
BRUNO: Differently every time. But the best ones always start with a concept. Maybe it's a movie title, or a line in a book, or something someone says to you at a party. It starts a spiral of thought, and then the music follows. I prefer the lyrics to take priority over everything else.

CDM: Do you write your lyrics specifically for the songs, or do you write poems or prose and then evolve them into song-form?
BRUNO: Sometimes I write poems. But it can be hard to shoe-horn a poem into a song... Poetry has a lot more rhythmic and syllabic freedom... My style of songwriting requires concise word play, so if I do turn a poem into a song it has to go through major surgery.

CDM: Lyrically, what's your favourite song that you’ve written?
BRUNO: Maybe ‘Just The Same’? Or ‘On Our Own’… There's a couple on the new album that I'm really proud of too. I like songs that aren't about love.

CDM: What do you hope for people to take away from listening to your music?
BRUNO: I hope my music comes across as honest. That's really all I care about in music - honesty. It's what connects all my favourite music from D'Angelo to Randy Newman to Radiohead to Chet Baker. There's no pretence or bluster.

CDM: If B.R.U.N.O. was an acronym, what would each letter stand for?
BRUNO: Be Rare, Unusual, Never Ordinary.

CDM: You’re one of our 'must-know’ artist picks for 2019… who are yours?
BRUNO: YAY! Thank you. I'm going to say... Eloise. She has been touring with me for a year, and she is exceptional. Finneas, because there are few people in the world who can write a song like he can - and then have the chops and vision to turn it into a beautiful record. Also check out Phairo... He ain’t never gonna stop - he's the best in the UK.

CDM: If you could steal one thing without consequence what would it be?
BRUNO: Something cool from Buckingham Palace. Maybe the gold piano that was behind the Queen when she gave her Christmas speech this year.

CDM: If you were a country, what would be your national anthem?
BRUNO: HAHA. My country would be Planet Earth, and the national anthem would be everyone screaming for three minutes.

Listen to ‘Old Fashioned’ below…

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