A Jamaican artist making reggae music? Well, it can only be good. No, not only good actually, but great, warm and positive. Bryan Art, a multi-talented artist (songwriter, producer, guitarist...) has been making music since childhood and never really stopped spreading love and positivity trough his art. Check out the album he posted on Jamendo and enjoy!
First of all, can you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about your story and your relationship with music?
My name is Bryan Grant, professionally known as Bryan Art. I am an international singer/musician…born, raised and based in Jamaica.
I practiced music (singing and playing) as a young kid then went on to be a guitar major at college, during which I doubled as a member of the great “Fire House Crew” - this was the band responsible for the music behind Luciano and Sizzla etc. I subsequently moved on as a founding party to the Grass Roots Band who toured and recorded with “Bush Man” et al. While I held on to that gig, I established a link with “Fiwi Music” for whose artistes I helped with writing, arranging and producing until gradually I got into the practice of recording myself as a solo singer for the said label. My 1st single was entitled “Soon Come Back” but now I am better known for subsequent singles such as: “Rock and Come In” and “Get It”.
How did you start making music? Is it something you've always wanted to so, or was there a trigger moment in your life?
I learned functional guitar pretty early but I didn’t know a lot of songs. At the time I also found it easier to make my own music than to learn others, so it was from then that I started to compose and dream of becoming a star. I wanted to learn music the formal way so that I wouldn’t miss much but for a while I encountered a lot of set-backs. However when I finally made the step, it was really an abrupt one towards making my college application. My first experience with multi track recording was at the college studio during my sophomore year.
Which artists do you listen to? If you could chose one artist to collaborate with, who would it be?
I listen to many different artistes and musicians and of various genres because each has a different lesson and a different vibe. However, growing up I was stuck on the music of Dennis Brown, Beres Hammond, Delroy Wilson, Al Green, Stevie Wonder, and Michael Jackson.
There are numerous artistes that I would be more than happy to work with but I can imagine a duet involving Stevie Wonder on piano Bryan Art on guitar.
You’re a singer, a musician, a producer and also a songwriter. So you're taking part of every aspect of the creative process of a song. What would be your best advice on how to create a song?
A song can be a simple melody sung by a bird or even a complex arrangement shared and played together by an orchestra. It can be arranged to carry a rhythm, melodies, harmonies, verses, choruses, bridges etc. each of which is optional. Hence, there is a myriad of ways to approach the creation of a song. Typically these days a producer records the musical arrangement in multi-track format then the singer superimposes words and melodies. I like to experiment but I often write a song to guitar chords then create a unique instrumental accompaniment. If you are within your calling to be a music maker, over time you will find what works for you. Always though, be yourself and listen to your heartbeat.
Your voice, as well as your music, is warm and sunny. Are there any message you would like to convey through your songs/your lyrics?
I’m happy to know that it is working…warmth is one of the things I have hoped would be conveyed through my music. …along with love and I am good.
Is this your first album? If yes, can you tell us more about the experience of crafting it? Did it take you a long time, did you collaborate with many people...?
My most current release is actually an EP consisting of four tracks. It follows my debut album which was repackaged and rereleased on a new label. When I along with my admin team decided to release an EP, it was half way ready since “Fresh Start” which was to become the title track was actually recorded years ago and “Knowledge Is The Power” was on the work table. “Murder Dem A Play” was previously released on the album as a duet featuring Queen Ifrica but we were all much exited about reworking it to include the awesome vocals of Sizzla Kolonji which was archived but still very fresh and crisp. “Dance Haffi Nice” was a current single that I had just done for Machette Records. It easily made the EP through popular request and relevance.
You make reggae music, but do you listen to other genres? What is your favorite tune at the moment?
I listen very widely across genres even if it is just passively.
My favorite song is never usually the most popular but there’s really something happening with Pharrell’s “Happy”.
Have you already taken this material on the road, performed it live? How would you describe the live experience you've had so far?
I have performed some of the new tracks live and the reception is consistently phenomenal. That I could partially attribute to the interactive nature of “Fresh Start”, the intriguing Lyrics of “Knowledge Is The Power” and “Murder Dem A Play” – The latter of which Is sometimes Performed to an acoustic or simulated Piano alone. I have found that this pulls in the audience and attach them to the very essence of the song which is so profound. “Dance Haffi Nice” is just a wicked tune that gets an early “forward” every time.
Let's say you have the chance to pick any venue in the whole world to give your biggest concert ever... where would it be?
This cannot be written in stone but I would definitely give 1st consideration to the National Stadium in Kingston Jamaica.
What's next for you on the musical plan?
The main focus at the moment is on promotions for the new EP and showcase for the new look and sound incorporating my band - “File13”. Our next major stage is scheduled to be at the “Epicurean Escape” May 25th, St Ann Jamaica.