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Friday, June 1, 2018

INTERVIEWS: NICK BRANDEN 2018

ACM: We featured you in an article in February 2015; why don’t you let our followers know about you and the beginnings of your career before that interview?


NB:What's up, my name is Nick Branden. I'm an artist and record producer living in Atlanta, GA. My primary genre is R&B/Soul, but I flirt with Pop, Hip-Hop, Funk & Smooth Jazz sounds. I've been on the road with music since 2010, taking a "break" from 2012 - 2016 to get my Bachelors Degree in Audio Production from the Art Institute of Atlanta.

ACM: You really made a name for yourself with your music and performances as an independent artist; tell us how you make it look so easy? Or is it really?

NB: It's never easy. The things that smooth out the process for me a bit is I'm a musician and engineer. When it comes to performances, I know my show track down to each second, which helps with my movements, vocals, knowing when to breathe, etc. Details are important. I command my stage every show because I know exactly where everything is going sonically, all of my special effects and everything.

I produce them! Also, I love traveling and meeting new people. That allowed me to break out of local status and branch out to new regions. I feel like that's always a major mountain that most aspiring artists never get past. We're promoting the brand to new people everyday.

ACM: We’d like to be honest with you by offering full disclosure that we interviewed the highly respected Derrick Chatman last year and couldn’t help but ask about the shock to the industry that the two of you weren’t working together anymore. Mr. Chatman simply said “the two of you weren’t working together but you were still ok”.  It seemed like the two of you were like Batman and Robin on the independent music scene. It was a big surprise to so many of us that you stopped working together; what is your side of the story?

NB: DC is my guy man. My right hand. Life has a crazy way of being what it is. I've parted ways from DC several times on my own dime. A lot of it was my own reasoning, but I did have other serious things going on that I keep disclosed for peace. DC understands. I didn't say he likes it, but as a wise man he understands. I started in this industry at 19. In the middle of dropping out of college. I went through a lot of things even as a juvenile, that caused some instability for me as far as life, my purpose, and music. I didn't understand why things were moving so fast for me. I tried to learn things on my own. I encourage any artist and business professional to create your own path, but don't do it the way I did. I left my right hand to try to work with only my left hand. The grass isn't always greener on the other side. I can only thank DC for not allowing my selfish actions to destroy our partnership. Now that I've gone through life's growing pains as a youngster, my music is mature. My image is mature. My sound is high quality. Everything made me better. Me & DC are better than ever. Nothing is his fault. DC is true and his word is his bond. all the separation, that was all me. I know better now. I'm in good hands.



ACM: As you know; we keep up with the fashion and music industry so we’ve noticed the two of you are now working together again. It appears that the super duo is back and on another level. What makes it different this time?

NB: Like I said, everything is mature for me. DC has been on this level as a working professional, but for me, I feel mature. I spent a lot of years "learning"...finding myself, switching styles, interning for people. I still have a lot to learn, but I feel so grown now. I'm 27. Everything he says, I really listen now. I try my best to embrace his ideas even if I don't agree at first. I take the time to process his wisdom. It helps me so much, because now I'm not always putting myself first. I don't take the situation for granted. I want to be a smart artist, so I want to make the best moves for the company as a whole, not just me. In the end, what happens is I make better and meaningful music, not just something for the kids to turn up at the club with. I have real messages that working people can relate to. We've all gone through our own individual trails and tribulations in life. My music can help people heal and move though their situations now. DC is truly a gift to me and I appreciate his efforts so much. I've become a man through his teachings. DC 101 should I say!

ACM: Now that we’ve dealt with the obvious; tell us about the new music you recently released. The single is called “Special” right? It is very funky and a dance track; somewhat different than your old music. Why?

NB: I want to reach a new level. I don't wan't to be the same as every other artist. We love to get lit, but one thing I do hear is that music is dying. Well I can help keep it alive. I am a musician. I understand not just music, but music theory as a whole. Growing up, my dad played so much Funk & Disco music from the 70's & 80's. DC took it a step further and educated me on the music I was listening too. He also put me on even more music. I remember performing in Savannah, GA one year and the people didn't move like I wanted. I knew then I had to change my message. "Special" has a message. I want the listeners to know that they are special. They mean something to somebody. My generation is crazy. We kill each other. I want to go against the grain and spread love. That's what they did in the old school. That's what we're missing today. I want people to have a good time and just party. Forget about your issues for a minute. I want to break into crossover, Top 40 music. I know there's a place for me there. I want to work with artists of all backgrounds and ethnicities. If I want to do that, I need to make music that the masses can relate to. Then, with such a large platform, I can be more effective with my positive message. 



ACM: Your team continues to produce great promotional visuals including flyers, pictures, and videos to support your music. 

NB: What advise would you give to other independent artists concerning promotional tools for their brand? Create promo that people won't steer away from. Anybody can create promo. The thing I look at is, are they actually interested? If I create a 1 minute promo, do I just put it in front of them by sharing, or do these people actually look at the whole thing without turning it off? If they interested, then I am doing the right thing. Don't use stale or boring promo. Use colors, engage your audiences, make them talk. Not just to you, but to each other as well. Keep it coming everyday. Don't over saturate yourself. You don't want people to get tired of you. Keep it spicy, keep it interesting, make people want to find out who you are. I keep something coming everyday. Even if I have to go out and just make something, I will do that. I will find a way to correlate it with my brand. Use your talents, your creativity to the fullest. That's what the industry wants. Any business at that. Not someone that they have to constantly give instruction to. Someone who is innovative and create their own production. Think about it; if you want a deal, nowadays you have to already have your own numbers. Same thing with promo. Go out and make your own! Be innovative. That's what I do. If I have idle time, I go create. That's why I have so much promo material. I ain't waiting on nobody.



ACM: Who are your music influences? Personal influences?  Your styles appear to be different and change often. What are your fashion influences?  

NB: My musical influences are Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson, Berry Gordy, The Whispers, Anita Baker, Keith Sweat, Ambrosia, Al Green, Alicia Keys, John Legend, Scott Storch, Babyface, L.A. Reid, R. Kelly, Bobby Brown, Boyz II Men, Chris Brown, Usher, Bruno Mars, Calvin Harris, Pharrell, Justin Timberlake, The SOS Band, Maroon 5, Ne-Yo, Sade, T-Pain, Stevie Wonder and so many more artists. Personal, my dad, my mom, my sister. They all inspire me in different ways. Fashion, I don't really have any influences. I don't know much about the fashion world. I just put things together and wear what I feel depending on my mood. I want to learn more about fashion, but as of right now it's all just a feeling thing for me.

ACM: You’ve got this track about cruising in some of your recent promo videos. We didn’t find it in your music catalogue. Is that simply for your videos? 

NB: A new song that I've worked on, "Cruise (Down For Whatever)". It's not out yet, as far as this interview date is concerned. It'll be out very soon. The videos you've seen are strictly promos. I was on vacation and saw a cruise opportunity. So I captured some footage and made it work for song teasers until I get it out. That's what I mean about innovation. DC didn't have to tell me to do that. I just did it. Now people are wondering what is this song, even you. "Cruise" will also be on the album. I've got some really good music I can't wait to share.

ACM: What’s next for Nick Branden? 

NB: On the immediate side, the album. Every song will be produced by me. New music, new visuals. We're dropping the music video for "Cruise" too. New wardrobes, new shows. New areas for me as well. I'm also producing music for a mystery artist too. You'll find out more that artist soon enough.

ACM: How can our followers reach out to you? 



NB: Follow me on Instagram and Snapchat at @iamnickbranden. I follow back! Request me on Facebook at Nick Branden. Look me up on YouTube. All of my music is on iTunes, Spotify, Tidal, Google Play, all the music streaming platforms. I'll be on Pandora after the album drops. If you want to book me for your concert, party, event, conference, weddings (I am a professional pianist), then contact DC @ (404) 993-0575 or email at nickbrandenmusic@gmail.com. 

ACM: Thanks Nick for letting us into your world for a few moments. We wish you the best of prosperity in your music career and we’ll be keeping up with you. 



NB: Thank you once again for talking to me and letting me share with you. Thank you and I wish you much success too!

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