10 Questions with ... Brian Hutson
November 9, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Facebook: https://facebook.com/BriHutson Twitter: https://twitter.com/BriHutson Instagram: https://instagram.com/BriHutson Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/brihutson YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8v0ofH5vtaOT1ntEuW2dUg
1) What was it that got you interested in music?
Growing up, I enjoyed the feeling music gave me whenever I was around it. Listening to live performances, the radio, cassette tapes, and eventually CDs, I couldn't get enough of it.
Both my parents played the guitar, so occasionally they would pull out their guitars and play, sometimes alone, sometimes together, as a means of self expression (which is something I love about music and the arts in general). Whenever I would hear one of them clicking open their guitar case, I would immediately run into the room and listen.
Eventually I was brave enough to sing along, and I haven't stopped since.
2) Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
This list could get long, since I tend to take away certain qualities or attributes from the artists I listen to and watch. Here goes: Frank Sinatra, Johnny Mathis, Elvis Presley, Cab Calloway, Michael Buble, Jamie Cullum, and Ed Sheeran.
3) Please tell us about your new Christmas single?
I'd describe it as an upbeat, fresh, bluesy take on the popular holiday song, "Blue Christmas", made famous by the one and only Elvis Presley. I think it still has a classic sound -- which I wanted to preserve in my version -- but I put my own stamp on it.
4) By day, you work as a Wall Street investment banker. How do you balance this hectic job with your singing career?
I don't sleep. But seriously, I don't sleep much. I'm always going going going! I've been forcing myself to create moments to decompress and breathe. As things have been ramping up with my music, it's definitely been getting harder to keep that balance, but I'm persevering!
For example, I make it a point to take a couple quick walks throughout the work day to get some exercise and free my mind. And I find that during those walks, I'll have moments of creative inspiration or minor revelations. Those moments are critical!
5) How did it feel to see your single "Let It Ride" go Top 5 on the AC Top 200 Chart?
Truly indescribable! I don't think things were truly sinking in until I hit #10. Then it all hit me like a brick wall! I was at work when I found out, and I literally had to shut myself in an empty conference room with the lights out and just sit and have a moment to process. I sat there for 15 minutes, and in that time, I experienced an outpouring of so many emotions ... it was like a wave washing over me. But then I quickly pulled myself together, opened the door, and went back to my desk like nothing had happened. I'm so relieved no one walked in on me!
6) Please tell us the story about how you met up with AP Music President/Producer Joe Vulpis?
I met Joe at my office's holiday party. There's a small stage with a keyboard and mic at our party every year. Usually, a musician plays light music while we wine and dine. This time, our CEO announced that a good friend of his (Joe) who was at the party was a great pianist and convinced him play a couple songs for us. So on a complete whim, while he was at the piano between songs, I decided to go up and ask if he could accompany me on a song, Michael Buble's "Everything". Afterwards, he approached me and handed me his business card. He said he was a producer and loved my sound, and wanted to see if I would be interested in working with him. I felt like I was in a movie (and still do in fact). I still carry his card in my pocket today. It's my good luck token.
7) How are you using social networks to market your music and keep your fans involved?
I'm frequently posting pictures and updates to social media. It's a 100% homegrown learning experiment and it's truly been a process. But it's been really fun, and surprisingly liberating actually. There's something cleansing about just putting yourself completely out there on display. I'm enjoying the rush, as well as connecting with people from all over, through the common bond of my music.
8) What is your approach to songwriting? How do you capture the inspiration when it comes?
I find that most inspiration comes during moments of downtime, which allow your mind to wander and work its magic. I find that those moments are when most lyrics, song ideas, and creative expression in general comes to me. One of the great things about modern technology is that there is always my cell phone or my tablet's Note Pad or voice memo recorder nearby. So I can't even tell you how many notes and voice memos I have saved right now on my various devices! Even when I sleep, I make sure to keep a device next to my bed, because on numerous occasions, I'll be either just about to fall asleep, or jolt wake out of sleep, with a new lyric or song verse in my head, begging to be recorded.
9) What are some of the artists we might find on some of your playlists now?
I recently created my "Feelin' Good" playlist on my phone. It's a somewhat eclectic mix, but that's how I operate. Here it is: Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, Foy Vance, Mat Kearney, Eric Hutchinson, Vance Joy, and Tori Kelly.
10) What other songs on your new album are you excited to share with your fans?
"She's My Woman" is another original song that Joe and I worked on and we released with "Let It Ride" earlier this year. It definitely has a different feel than "Let It Ride". It's a mid-tempo ballad with a bit of a gospel vibe to it. It's very heartfelt and was very cathartic to record, given what was going on in my personal life at the time. I'm so happy to have it! It's a meaningful way to preserve a little piece of my personal history. That's the power of music!