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INTERVIEW: Don Brownrigg

Hi Don, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Thanks for having me! I’ve been well! How have you been? I’m glad to finally have this collection of songs out into the world. They have been sitting and waiting for over a year.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Strum and Rhyme”?

Strum and Rhyme is a sad song (of course) about feeling sorry for causing such an impact in someone’s life…kind of like a folky, adult alternative version of “Oops, I did it again!” I think? (haha). I don’t mean to make things sad and I didn’t mean to cause such upset, but I must go.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

A situation where I had to instigate removing someone from my life. It was sad, we were both sad about it.

How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

It’s filmed all down the east coast – starting in Nova Scotia and ending in Florida. The song is written from the point of view of being a memory and I tried to make the visuals being flashbacks but also a solo journey through the world.

The single comes off your new album Fireworks – what’s the story behind the title?

A majority of the writing comes from two broken down relationships – each that started with a explosion of excitement and plans for the future, only to fizzle out before one of us was ready.

How was the recording and writing process?

I record with Daniel Ledwell at his studio Echo Lake in Lake Echo, Nova Scotia. On top of being one of the most talented producers anywhere, he is also one of my best friends. I intentionally left some of the songs unwritten because I wanted the spontaneous organic nature of recording to harbour some of the writing too. Daniel was very patient with this. I know he is very quick with ideas and creativity in the studio so it plays into his skills well. I would leave a portion of a chorus or a bridge out and go home and write it that night. It was a fun challenge.

What role does Canada play in your music?

While I was fostering my songwriting, all my favourite writers and performers seemed to be Canadian. I was soaking up all the local shows I could and delving into the writing styles of people like Amelia Curran, the performance chops of Erin Costelo, and the vocal whimsey of Jenn Grant.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

I tried for years to avoid writing about relationships because it seemed so cliche but as I’ve aged and have been involved in more relationships, I found that (for this album in particular) I couldn’t avoid writing about my relationships. Melodies just pop into my head fairly easily but I really have to work on lyrics. I edit them a lot and I’m never really confident in them. I think it’s what I most look for in a song so it’s perhaps what I’m most hard on within myself.

I’ll always want to be a better writer, singer, and performer. Still workin’ on it.

Any plans to hit the road?

Yes! My album launch tour starts at the end of March and goes coast to coast in Canada. Hopefully I’ll hit the USA and Europe and as many places as possible. I’m always a little bit uncomfortable in life except when I’m at a microphone. Something about it eases me. I hope to play as much as possible but I’m pretty sensitive to it being an appreciative and attentive crowd! ha

What else is happening next in Don Brownrigg’s world?

I’m currently in Lebanon, NH and about to head to Toronto. After my Canadian tour, I’m headed to Singapore and Vietnam in May. I really hope to tour again throughout the summer and fall – we’ll see if I can!

Watch here

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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