Photography and interview by Christopher Brown
Styling done by Stephanie Recto
We sat down with Los Angeles born artist Brandon Lucas to talk about his new label, visions and his hopes for the direction of the music industry in 2021.
How would you describe a Brandon Lucas fan?
If you’re into House and Eletronic music, but also love some good RnB-Soul, you’re probably a fan even if you don’t know it yet.
Can you walk me through your trajectory? Did you always know you wanted to make music and what’s that journey been like for you so far?
Music has always been a part of me for as long as I can remember – from making up dances to mixtape cassettes I used to put together of the latest Hip-hop and R&B songs of the day and singing in gospel choirs as a kid, to developing, producing and coaching artists as an adult. I was even signed to an R&B group after high school and eventually graduated from the Thornton School of Music at USC. So for me, music is life.
Congrats on the creation of your new imprint, Purple Label Sound – how do you hope for people to receive it and what’s your vision for its future?
There are many labels out there. Pushing records will be key of course, but also supporting artists in general as a collective and creating a brand strong enough to make a cultural impact both in the dance community and also in young minority communities as an alternative outlet outside of Hip-hop.
“I hope 2021 will revive the touring industry to make it okay and safe for people to come together for the love of music and the livelihood of those who work in it.”
Your first single on the label ‘Got That Hope’ is a heater! Working alongside Dr Cornel West is quite a privilege, how did your relationship with the professor come to be and how do you vibe off each other musically?
Dr. West is a “blues man in the life of the mind,” who is known for his love of funk, soul and just great music. He speaks on it regularly. I’ve been working with Dr. West for 12+ years, helping him with his social media platforms. He has inevitably become a dear friend and mentor.
Given the tumultuous year we’ve had, the message behind ‘Got That Hope’ is aptly timed – can you delve into the track’s meaning for us?
Just saying “got that hope” to me is basically affirming that you’ll stand strong and press on any way in spite of what may look like bleak circumstances. There wasn’t too much time between creating the record and putting it out – honestly there were many reasons for me to not put it out or to wait even, but with where we are as a nation (and in the world) I felt called to amplify my voice and push hope in this way musically.
“My inspiration? The love and connectivity inherent in the dance community”
What are three things that you would credit as your influences or inspirations?
In no particular order:
Gospel Music and Neo-soul
The love and connectivity inherent in the dance community
What are your hopes for the direction of the music industry in 2021?
I hope the industry figures out the following:
– How to revive the touring industry to make it okay and safe for people to come together for the love of music and the livelihood of those who work in it.
– How to properly compensate artists for music streaming. I don’t have the answers but the current model isn’t it.
– I hope the industry actually practices what it has been preaching in 2020 while in a pandemic, and while the industry is contracted, when it comes to focusing on more minority representation both on the executive and artist levels, especially in the dance/electronic genre.
3 studio must-haves?
UA Apollo Twin X