We had the opportunity to chat with up and coming musician Bruno Major. We talked about musical influences, when he started making music his upcoming tour and a ton more. You can also watch Bruno Major’s late-night TV debut on The Late Late Show With James Corden next Thursday, 2/22.
Beyond the Stage: Introduce yourself to our readers and describe your music.
Bruno Major: My name is Bruno Major, I am a musician from North London. I write classic songs with influences from the classic American songbook with modern production.
BTS: When did you start making music?
BM: When I was 7 years old, I started playing the guitar. My dad plays guitar so there were always gigantic guitars lying around, I would try to pick them up but I could never reach the strings. So, I just tried to make sounds come out and then my dad bought me a tiny guitar that I could play and that was that. It evolved from that.
BTS: Take us through the creative process from when you write a song and decide it’s a song you want to record and/or produce.
BM: Most of the time, if I don’t think a song is good enough I just stop making it. Which is really bad, but I’ll get three chords of the way through and just think I don’t like this and I just end it. So normally if I finish a song, I’ll record it. Maybe I should finish more songs. Imagine if you were painting a picture of a horse and you draw half of it and it just doesn’t look like a horse at all. If you spend two hours doing it, you’re probably not going to spend another two hours trying to finish the rubbish horse, you’re just going to try and start again. Normally the [songs] that are really good, they tend to come really easily. Sometimes they come just like emails, they just appear in your brain and all you have to do write them down.
BTS: Who are some of your musical inspirations when it does come to song writing?
BM: The big one for me is Randy Newman, a lot of people know him as the guy who wrote “You’ve Got A Friend in Me” from Toy Story. He does a lot of Pixar and Disney tracks and stuff like that. He has also written some of the world’s greatest songs. I just think he is the best songwriter in the world. So he is probably my number one. I am also a huge fan of like Billy Joel, Paul Simon and all the other guys who wrote songs like “Fly Me to the Moon” and “My Funny Valentine” you know those kind of songs, that’s where I get my ideas. My song influences are quite old in a way and then the production of things, the way I produce the music, I am much more inspired by music now. I am a big fan of James Blake, Kendrick Lamar and I love Radiohead. The way that those songs sound in your ears is the kind of style of songwriting that has kind of disappeared a bit from modern music. I am trying to marry it with the sound of music that I like now.
BTS: What is something you want to convey through your music?
BM: Honesty and warmth. I have this thing where I just treat everybody I meet like they’re my best friend and I realized that once you do that, life becomes a lot more enjoyable. It doesn’t matter if you’re in like a coffee shop buying a coffee. If you treat that person like they’re your best friend and you’ve known them for ages, you might get a free coffee and also it just makes you feel like you’re at a party the whole time and you know I am a really happy person. I want people to be happy when they listen to my music. I feel like a lot of music that you hear on the radio is trying to be like dark and tense and melancholy and brooding. And I don’t think that anything has to be like that. I think it can just be honest. I am not many of those things, Im not melancholy or dark so if I made music that was like that I would be dishonest.
BTS: Tell us about how you released a song every month for a year and your reasoning behind that?
BM: I started in August 2016 and I went through August 2017. My reasoning behind that was because I kind of like had written a bunch of songs and I always struggled with how like I was going to present them. You know what I mean? Like I struggled to find the sound the first time I worked with Farro, who is my friend and produced for me. We made “Wouldn’t Mean a Thing.” The first track on the album and I just knew that, that was the sound. I was just so excited I wanted to put it up on the internet, I couldn’t just wait around for like another six months for the album. I wanted to put it out when it was still fresh and I was still excited about it. Then I watched this documentary about South Park (the TV show) and they basically go in on Monday morning, write the whole episode, and produce it and animate the whole thing and then it goes out on Saturday, they take Sunday off and start the whole thing again Monday morning. They make an episode in a week, which is why when you watch South Park it is so cutting edge and to the point and relevant. I thought if they can do that why can’t I do that with my songs. I thought doing one a week would be way too much so I decided to do one a month.
BTS: Did your fanbase react well to those songs and like that you did it that way?
BM: Well I didn’t have a fan base, I didn’t have anything when I released the first song. I just thought my mum would listen to it and then you know a few people caught on and I released another one and a few more people caught on and by the time I got six months into the project there was a fanbase and there were people waiting for the next one which was an amazing thing.
BTS: You’re on the lineup for Bonnaroo, what was your reaction when you saw that?
BM: I can’t wait. It is going to be my first festival in the US and obviously it is like an extremely celebrated famous festival and I can’t wait to go and check it out. I’ve never been to Tennessee so its going to be an amazing time.
BTS: What are you looking forward to most during your live performances?
BM: I feel like making the music in the studio is like I enjoy it but it’s the hard bit and playing the stuff live is like we’re celebrating it. So yeah just getting to hangout with my friends and hearing the band and playing songs, and traveling around. I think that is pretty special.
BTS: What is your one tour essential?
BM: My cameras. I recently have gotten into shooting film. So I have these vintage cameras and I carry those around and take pictures of things I find interesting. I think that everyone will be taking photos at the shows but I like to be my own photographer.
BTS: What are you most excited about for tour?
BM: What am I most excited about? Well I am playing on James Corden which is going to be pretty mad and my first tv show and it’s a pretty big one. I’m excited about that. The whole tour is pretty much sold out. I haven’t been to many of these places and the concept of going to those places, to play sold out shows is something I can’t really get my head around.It doesn’t feel real. Going to a place and finding a room of people that have social security numbers and dogs and had breakfast, and all that stuff. They’re real people and they’re coming to see your music and share a moment in real life with you and breath the same air as you. You know that is a real thing and you know it feels real. I had no idea that, that was going to be a thing. We put this tour together and I was just hoping that I would be playing to empty rooms so to have the whole thing sell out and to be playing on James Corden, it’s all just very overwhelming and amazing. I am very grateful for the moment I am experiencing right now.
Bruno Major is going to be making massive moves in 2018 while on his sold out North American Tour. We loved getting to chat with him, and get a deeper look into his blossoming career. Be sure to watch him on James Corden, Thursday February 22nd.
Follow Bruno on social media to stay up to date with new music releases.