Capturing, and harnessing, the raw power that comes from real emotion meeting a true lyrical style, Brandon Stoehr offers us his truly inspired album “As Far As It Goes”. We had the chance to talk with Brandon about all things music and inspiration.
Ryan: What made you choose “Noon To Six” as your lead single?
Brandon: To be honest I had a tough time deciding which single to choose because I feel that I have about 3 or 4 “single ready” songs on the mixtape. I couldn’t really make up my mind on which songs to do a video for. About a week after I dropped the tape, I was at my job and one of my best friends hit me up out of the blue and told me that “Noon To Six” was his favorite song on the project. He gave me a whole analysis of the song and reasons for why it was his favorite, and once he said that I knew I had to do a video for it. The cool thing is that this dude is the opposite of a yes man, and he keeps it real with me. If I put out something wack, hell let me know. So when he said that “Noon To Six” was his favorite, that’s when I knew it needed a video.
Ryan: Where do you gather your inspiration from?
Brandon: Emotions. I write my best content when I have a spurt of emotions, whether that be happiness, sadness, anger, etc. I have a hard time just forcing myself to write for no reason. Usually I write after something happens to me (good or bad). I’m a pretty positive guy, so the majority of my music is feel good music or hype music. But I’m also human too and we all have bad days, and that’s when my emotional side comes. I try to keep my music as organic and raw as possible, so that whatever I drop is literally how I feel at the time. That goes for everything from the beat, to the lyrics, it has to portray the emotion that I am feeling at the time.
Ryan: what does your song writing process look like?
Brandon: It just depends, sometimes I’ll write a song in two hours, other times it will be over a period of a month. There are certain times where I just feel absolutely inspired to make a song, and when that happens I know that I have to drop everything else I’m doing and write because I may lose that inspiration two hours later and never get it back. I go in with the mindset that every song I write has to be better than anything I’ve written before, so I push myself whenever I am writing to be more clever and lyrical than the last song that I made. As I long I continue to do that, I will constantly be progressing. If my stuff sounds good now, imagine how it will sound five years from now if I am constantly progressing! That’s my mindset.
Ryan: How long have you been rapping for?
Brandon: I don’t know what it was but for some reason I was always naturally writing music. I mean even before I knew what I wanted to do in life I was constantly creating. I remember going on a family trip to Idaho in second grade and I had just bought the GRITS CD “Art Of Translation” (great album by the way) to take along with me. One of the beats got stuck in my head, so I wrote a whole verse to that beat. Obviously it was terrible considering I was in second grade, but I always did stuff like that growing up and I always had something in me that wanted to write music. So I guess you could say I have been writing for 12 years, but I didn’t really start actually recording vocals on a microphone until about 7 years ago. That’s why on the hook for Noon To Six I say “Been on the grind for seven years and I ain’t new to this”. So yeah, I’ve technically been rapping for about 7 years.
Ryan: You have multiple producers on the album, yet the album has a very streamline feel, was that difficult to pull off?
Brandon: For sure. I probably recorded about 50 songs during this entire process. That means I threw away at least 30. So I was very picky with how I wanted this project to sound. I’m also super picky when it comes to picking beats. The beats have to be perfect. I found a lot of good beats but only 14 made the cut. So there was definitely a lot of process of elimination going on during the creation of this tape.
Ryan: Are you currently playing live shows? How does that compare to studio work for you?
Brandon: I have done a few local events in Tacoma, and I would honestly do one every night if I had the opportunity. Live shows are so important, especially once your product is right which I believe mine finally is. I’m always looking for opportunities to get my name out there. Compared to studio work, I definitely spend more time in the studio but I believe each are very important in their own way. Its a two-way street, you can’t do one and ignore the other, and vice-versa. Both live shows and studio work have to work in conjunction in order to start building a fan-base.
Ryan: What advice do you have for new musicians looking to make their own album?
Brandon: Number one, your music has to be believable. You have to sell it. It doesn’t even have to be authentic as long as you sell it as authentic. Perfect example is Rick Ross. The dude talks about drug money non stop but yet he was a corrections officer before he came in the game. But since his music is believable, nobody really he cares about that. Personally I like to keep my music true to myself, but every artist is different and you have to find a niche that separates you from the over-saturated music market. Number two, music is constantly changing, and less people are buying music. Consider giving away your album for free. I believe ten years from now albums will be a thing of the past and everybody will be dropping free music. Number three, chase your dreams. If you love it and work hard enough, eventually it will happen to you. We have the internet now so anything is possible for anybody.
Ryan: How long did your new album “As Far As It Goes” take to make?
Brandon: It was about a 13-month process. It was very organic, and I also had a lot of personal things going on during the time which is why it took so long to create. But I’m happy with how it came out.
Ryan: Given the chance, who would you like to collaborate with on a future project?
Brandon: Hopsin. That dude is the definition of conscious rap. I watch his interviews and I swear he sees the world the same way I do. I think we could make a dope track about topic that gets people to think and better themselves, so hopefully I’ll get the opportunity to do that sometime soon. Other than that, I don’t really care about collabs too much, I will just continue to keep making music for me and my fans.
Ryan: Lastly, and thank you for your time. Do you have any news that you would like to share with your fans?
Brandon: I appreciate it Ryan. Thank you for having me on. Right now I’m working with a low budget, but I’m doing everything I possibly can to get my name out there. My main focus right now is to promote the best songs from “As Far As It Goes”. That means a few more music videos. I think music videos are the best way to get my name out there. So I will continue doing that.