His voice is just as mesmerizing when he speaks as is the sweet sound of his melodic tunes we all love to listen to. Seventeen albums later, well respected Reggae sensation Mr. Lloyd Brown maintains persistence with his music career as he prepares to release his second album this year, Rootical, on October 8, 2013. Brown’s rare and vibrant rhythmic influence moves fans in a way that one cannot listen to him speak without playing one of his hit songs in their head, such as “Bless Me.” The gentle soul is the epitome of timeless musical artistry and remains authentic and precise. Before we revel in his live performance at the WE ARE ALL ONE concert on October 13th, Brown kindly shares his personal thoughts with us as we achieve a better understanding of his role as an artist.
TWID: Do you write your own music? What is the process like of writing and producing your songs?
BROWN: Yes I write my own music, I write my own songs as well. Sometimes I get rhythms from other producers, which I made great use of in the past. I’ve recorded music on some of the biggest rhythms on the planet and I decided to take a direction in producing my own rhythms and working on original rhythms. How it works is I work on a drum pattern, I put a baseline to it, work on the song and melody, and then I just write to it. I mean it’s not really one way for all tracks. Sometimes I have a lyric, sometimes I have a melody, sometimes I just have a rhythm in my head. It goes straight to the studio, I record it in the studio, and just work from there. There’s not particularly one way I have in writing a track, there’s different kinds of ways.
TWID: What inspires you to write and produce your music?
BROWN: Well simply the recession. The recession was basically the incentive. In 2007 I decided to form my own studio and my own film company. It was a case of getting those two things together and just work in constant, but the recession hit, and hit real hard. As oppose to getting session musicians to come in and work and engineers to come in and work, I had to literally learn the craft of producing myself and I was very fortunate to have worked on 2 albums with one of the best producers on the planet, Bitty McLean, and I learned so much in terms of producing from him.
TWID: What expectations do you place on yourself and what do others expect of you?
BROWN: It gets to the point where people just assume rather than expect. They just assume that whatever I put out is going to be interesting and different. With myself I’m very methodical and systematical in what I do. When I’m getting ready to record an album, within a week I’ll have one day to write, I’ll have one day to build a rhythm, I’ll have one day to voice the rhythm, I’ll have one day to utilize a collaborator, I’ll mix it, and lastly I would listen to any inconsistencies and fix up the loose ends and clean up the track and finalize it; and once I’m happy with that then that is it. Each track would take me a week, so if I’m recording 14 tracks it would take me 14 weeks. I set myself up a time table. My expectations relates to the time I set myself to record each track a week.
TWID: What is your goal in regards to your music?
BROWN: I think I’ve already achieved my goal in terms of actually having a legacy of work. I think 17 albums is a great amount of music. If I had a choice of doing shows or writing music and releasing music, I would go for writing and releasing music. Shows and tours will come and go, but it’s the material that will last forever. For me, my thing just having a legacy of music so that I can give to another generation of music lovers, and musicians, and vocalists in the same way that my predecessors gave me, so that’s what I see music as. I just see music as a baton for me to pave, to roll and ride with, to run with and pass it on to another generation to keep it moving forward.
TWID: What has been challenging?
BROWN: Lack of faith sometimes. The meaning of that is simply because I’ve been in the industry for so long, and my career has lasted so long, I’ve seen many ups and downs and what have you. With entertainers in the music industry, it’s a very rocky road and it’s a career that involves a whole lot of sacrifice as well. Now with the advancement of technology, it can be a very superficial business where people are judged by how they look, they’re not really judged upon the rudiment of the music they’re putting out. The internet has opened up the playing field to everyone that’s interested in music.
It can be a bit frustrating, but a simple fact that you can get one simple message on your Facebook, a simple text, or a simple email of “thank you for you music,” or “I respect you as an artist,” even if it comes from just one person; that serves the purpose for me to carry on what I’m doing. I’m getting so much interest, even in the latter stages of my career, it gives them a purpose to actually go to my back catalog and research what I’ve been doing before. It’s nice for me to see them be pleasantly surprised from my work being put out and for them getting to know that, even from my first release in 1995. It just shows that music is timeless. Music to me is art, and it’s not for me to get into the spoils, the awards, the material side of it, or the show business side of it. For me it’s all about the music, inspiring people with the music and uplifting people with the music, just as much as my fore fathers inspired me with the music.
TWID: What has been fulfilling for you in your music career?
BROWN: It’s been fulfilling with every album release. I’m very fortunate to have a support network of people and to have that love come from all aspects of the industry. My peers love what I do and having my name associated with quality material, for example Maxi Priest, and other artists that I’ve known for a long time. They are very appreciative, supportive, and respectful of my work and vise versa. So for me I’m fulfilled that I’m getting respect, admiration, and acknowledgement from my fellow peers as much as I’m getting it from my fans. I couldn’t really ask for anything more than that, that’s just the fuel for me to carry on what I do. Although, compared to my other peers, I release music pretty more regular than others do. That’s not to say my music is better than theirs, but that’s the speed that I’m just comfortable working at. If I don’t release an album I just feel like I haven’t done anything and I’m no use to nobody.
TWID: How has your fan base responded to your music over the past years?
BROWN: Well I’ve had a lot of loyal fans checking out my career from the early days of me evolving from a lovers rock artist to just an artist. There’s been times when I thought maybe if I record certain songs the fans might not appreciate it, but with the direction that I take it still holds my grass imprint. Being honest, true, and soulful within my work has carried through all my 17 albums and all the different types of influences that I had that presents itself with each album.
TWID: What is your fondest musical memory?
BROWN: There’s so many, one of them was actually hearing my song on the radio for the first time. It’s to let people know that you’re accepted within the industry by having your song played on the radio, that they like it enough to play it on the radio. It’s a good thing.
TWID: What are you looking forward to at the WE ARE ALL ONE Concert?
BROWN: I hope that I turn up! It’s a part of my career that brings me closer to my fans, and closer to people who might not even know about my work, or have limited knowledge of me or my work. I think that within itself is an opportunity for me to fulfill, and I just hope that what I do would be held with like and respect of my work. The great thing I like about this show is what it’s called, WE ARE ALL ONE, and it puts us on the same level. I’ve heard a lot of people really liking the line up of the show and saying it’s a really good line up and what have you. So from the public’s perspective it’s a mark of a really good show being put together and the fact that I’m apart of the unit makes me feel really good about doing the show to begin with. I just hope I turn up, and everything else will fall into place and I can show what I do to the best of my ability as I’ve been doing. I hope to see all the WhatItDo fans, the WhatItDo listeners and readers at the event!
We are thrilled and eager to see Mr. Brown give us the musical experience we have yet to cherish. His incredible skill to bring Reggae music to life resonates with many and their personal growth. The humble musician is a noble and distinguished figure amongst his fellow peers alongside his devoted fans, whom we are touched by and can celebrate a gift that has been given to us endlessly. Lloyd Brown we acknowledge your historic and continued efforts to express your dedication to music and the originality of your craft. Thank you for creating beautiful songs and for always setting the bar high for the next wave of aspiring artists, it’s What. He. Do.
*Be sure to watch Lloyd Brown perform live at the WE ARE ALL ONE concert hosted by Joyce Productions on October 13, 2013 at the Hollywood Park Casino, Inglewood, CA. For more information on the show, call (414) 745-5780.
Article Written By: Sina Uipi