Interview: Love Music With Brandon Hines, There's No Falling Out
Typically, when a person decides to create a music project, he does it with the intention of pursuing a career in the music industry and with dreams of screaming fans, abundant dollar signs, and prominent accolades dancing around his head. In the case of twenty-four year old Brandon Hines, though, that wasn't exactly his initial aim. The R&B crooner, who recently signed with Epic Records through Revel Music Group and So So Def, admitted to us last week during an interview at Epic's headquarters that his debut project "Love Music...Falling In, Falling Out" was "preliminary, just a little independent project." With 2006's "Love Music", Brandon says he didn't realize his desire to become an artist until after the release of the nineteen-track album, pulling inspiration from his time on campus at Howard University that year. He added that he wanted to "become a [mainstream] artist and see what fame is like."
Now that he has a home in L.A. Reid's Epic Records, Brandon is finding his first experience as a signed artist to be pleasant thus far. "Throughout the years it's just gotten more challenging, it's just more hard work. It's more demanding of me as an artist, creatively and it's super exciting." He continues on to praise his new team on the warm welcome he's received: "Epic has been great since I've been here, not knowing what it'll be like to be at a major label, it's totally a great experience so far and the hard work is just starting, you know. I'm keeping up with everything and I'm looking forward to being that great artist that my fans expect me to be."
To celebrate the milestone in his budding career, Brandon and Epic threw a special showcase in conjunction with Singersroom's The Rhythm Effect earlier this month at New York City's Drom. He says that during his live show, fans can expect to get a "powerful, passionate and entertaining experience", and Brandon did not disappoint. Recalling the successful night, he says, "It was a great experience, it was a great feeling to see all my fans there to support [me] especially [with] coming back and [I] haven't performed in over a year. I was real excited to hit the stage. I just wanted to give a great show and make sure everybody had a good time. I certainly did."
In 2010, renowned producer and founder of So So Def Records Jermaine Dupri stumbled upon Brandon and eventually took him under his wing. Brandon was especially appreciative of the guidance Dupri and 2012 SESAC Inspiration Award recipient Bryan-Michael Cox has given him since they've joined up together: "You know, Jermaine is definitely one of the great producers, legendary producers of our time, and so is Bryan-Michael Cox. They've [had] amazing accomplishments before I got involved and was able to work with them, so it's definitely always fun working with Jermaine Dupri [and Bryan]. They'll always challenge you as an artist to really create a melody, a song that fits you and that's gonna appeal to people and touch people, so it's challenging at the same time." He also mentioned that he thought it was "brilliant" that SESAC honored Cox.
Brandon's willingness to put in work towards building a lasting R&B legacy is evident in the material he's put out over the last six years, working with industry heavyweights like Dupri, Cox, and Songbook Entertainment's Troy Taylor. With him getting a taste of industry life so far, Brandon hasn't found any downsides just yet: "I'm a new artist just getting my foot in the door. There's not much I would change about the industry at this moment. I would encourage people to support good music." What does that really mean, Mr. Hines? "In other words, get my album when it drops." Oh, Brandon.
Finding inspiration in "love, life and the great artists and geniuses throughout history", Brandon is set to make his mark on the industry with more music: he's told us that a follow-up single to his current hit "Yes You Are" is on the way and that we can expect his first major label release by early fall. When describing the project, Brandon says, "It's gonna be exciting, it's gonna be something on there for each mood. I can't wait to share this body of work; I've been working a long time (laughs)."
Whether it's finding solace in a studio, putting on a heartfelt performance in front of his devoted fans or popping bottles at Greenhouse alongside JD (and us - it was wild!) with the likes of T.I., DJ Drama, Leah Labelle, and DJ Clue, Brandon Hines is ready for his moment and is prepared for whatever should come his way. From falling in love with music as a young child to becoming an artist, Brandon doesn't seem to be falling out of love with his art anytime soon.
Just for fun, we asked Brandon to fill in the blanks on these questions for us!
- Without music, I would be (still in school).
- Music is (organized sounds, melodies, and lyrics that are aesthetically pleasing and are usually inspired by some sort of muse).
- My music makes me feel (everything).
- I write the songs because (I like to write).
- Support music because (you love it).