Storyteller with an affinity for music.
Hello! I have recently graduated from New York University with a degree in Music Theory and Composition. Currently building my repertoire, but I have experience all over the world of music, from musical theatre writing, to pop production, and even film scoring and experimental electronic music. Let's make some music!
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Interview with Brian Steinberg
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Currently working on putting out my first EP: a collection of instrumental neo-soul, groovy tracks. Watch this space for updates!
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: I love the flexibility granted by working digitally! You can bring your studio virtually anywhere, and don't have to worry about the costs associated with working analog. You can feel a lot more freedom to experiment since everything can be undone in an instant, and don't have to concern yourself with ruining tape. There's an entire unexplored frontier of music to be made digitally, so many crazy things to try!
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I love the ability to touch other people emotionally.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: The question: "How did you do that, that's wild!" My answer: "Oh, uh... it's a long story..."
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That I'm too "unreasonable" or "ambitious" for my own good! I've just got so much music in my head that I can't help but bounce off the walls and play around with new things. I like to shoot for the moon, because as they say, even if you miss you'll land amongst the stars!
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Aside from the basics of what their vision is for the project, I always like to know what's going on in my clients' and collaborators' lives! It's nice to sit back and converse about how things are going on, not only because they can offer unseen inspiration, but because it's hard to create art with barriers between us. It can also be a nice distraction when things are getting hectic on the project, and I love fostering relationships with people! I'm always an open book with my clients, and I hope they feel free enough to express themselves and open up about themselves while they're working with me--this is a no-judgment zone, let's see what we can make!
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: My trumpet, my computer, my MIDI controller. That's all I need! Consider the two empty slots extra room for souvenirs. :)
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I'm fresh out of college with a little bit of stardust still in my eyes! Don't let that fool you, though: I've been playing and working on music for over twelve years! I've been making music for over half my (admittedly short) life. But now I'm ready to see how I can help others achieve their musical goals!
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: In a word: lively! I love having tons of movement in my music, even on slower songs. I love to explore what many people refer to as "ear candy" and adding small details that go beyond the basic melody, harmony, and rhythm constructors of music.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Tough question, but if I could just pick one, it'd probably be Jacob Collier. Man's a beast. And he's a genuinely good person!
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Mostly digital instrumental music, when it comes to working on my own music. But I love collaborating more than anything else! Sometimes I just write lyrics, sometimes just music, and sometimes both. The pop idiom is particularly attractive to me because it combines elements from virtually every other genre, and the sky is the limit when it comes to what you can create!
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I have a strong understanding of music theory and how music "works". This is a valuable asset because a lot of theory can seem daunting to other musicians I have collaborated with in the past, and many of them have genuinely thanked me for helping them feel more comfortable with music theory. But I don't let that get in the way and prevent me from breaking the rules every now and again! :)
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: A lot of people have described my effect as adding just a bit of "wacky charm", and I guess that reflects my personality! My creative voice tends to bring out just a slight tinge of weirdness, which I think ends up elevating the character of the music. If you want your music to sound familiar but fresh, I'm your guy!
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Frankly, it depends too much on the project and what the project seems to need at the time. If there are lyrics involved, sometimes a first draft of lyrics is written and a melody added to it, which then informs the harmony and rhythm section. Sometimes a melody comes first, and words have to be added to it. Sometimes I just stumble across an inspiring progression. Of course, it also depends on what stage in the process I'm brought in to a project, whether it's "just" production, or as a songwriter, or to rewrite a temp track for a film.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: Right now I've got the basics (what more could you need?!): a brand-new Macbook Pro equipped with Ableton Live, a Novation Launchkey 49 MIDI controller, a Focusrite Scarlett i2i interface, and a slue of instruments and microphones!
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I'm endlessly inspired by so many in this profession, but some that I feel bring out my love of music the most include artists like Jacob Collier, Dermot Kennedy, Cory Wong, and the boys at Vulfpeck! I'd be lying if I didn't mention that I also love some of the most "general pop" artists of today, everyone from Lewis Capaldi and Charlie Puth, to Dua Lipa and Sigrid.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: At the moment, I do mostly lyrics and music, but I'm comfortable with production and solely instrumental tracks (for media, events, or simply listening) as well.