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AV: Where did your love of music come from? Did you have a lot of music surrounding you as you grew up?
CB: My love of music comes from so many different areas of my life. However, I really began to develop a love of music during the time my father passed away. I was only 14 years old at the time. Music played such a huge part in helping to ease so much of the grief that I was feeling at the time. I would lose myself in artist like Marvin Gaye, Sade, and Luther Vandross for hours at a time.
AV: When did you discover that not only did you love to listen to music but that you wanted to create music yourself?
CB: I learned to play the piano at an early age so as I grew older; I began to put together my own compositions. I think I wrote my first complete song when I was about twelve years old.
AV: Not everyone runs across new age or ambient music but some of us do and we love it. Tell me about when it was that you first heard music that could be classified as new age and how you felt about what you were hearing.
CB: When I was in high school, I listened to all kinds of instrumental music. I would listen to it when I had to study and I would also listen to it to relax.
AV: Did you make an immediate connection that this new age music was something that you wanted to create and perform yourself or did it take a bit to sink in?
CB: To me, music is not only therapeutic, but spiritual as well. So when I’m writing, I feel a connection right away. If I can help ease someone’s day then I feel I’m doing my job correctly.
AV: Tell me about how you took the leap from being a listener and enjoyer of music to being a composer and creator of music.
CB: I really feel that God placed me in the right place at the right time. When I was eighteen years old, I had the opportunity to meet two music producers named Adam Leach and James Macon. It was through my connection with them that I began to write and produce for R&B artist like Men At large and other successful acts.
AV: Was there a moment you can remember when you thought to yourself “I’d really like to record my own compositions and put out an album”?
CB: There sure was and I will never forget it. I was sitting at LAX in Los Angeles two years ago on my way home from an awards show. I remember thinking to myself that when I got home, I was going to start working on an instrumental album that can help people relax and unwind. That album turned out to be Echoes of Bliss.
AV: How did you and Real Music connect and how did that end up being your first release Echoes of Bliss on their label?
CB: I’m so honored to be a part of the Real Music family. They really support their artist and the artists show support for each other. I signed with Real Music in early 2016 after I sent them Echoes of Bliss.
AV: Breathe, which came out earlier this year (2017) was your second release for Real Music. How was Breathe different for you as a composer than your first album?
CB: With Breathe, I really strived to reach the person that may have issues dealing with grief, anxiety, and depression. I named the album Breathe because I feel that we all need to take a step back at times, breathe, and understand that our situation may not be as bad as it seems. With Echoes of Bliss, I concentrated more on relaxation
and meditation. I wanted to take the listener on a relaxing journey.
AV: Did you feel more confident in what was going to happen during the creation of Breathe as opposed to Echoes of Bliss since you had been through the process once before?
CB: I definitely felt more confidence going through the creation process with Breathe as opposed to Echoes of Bliss. With Breathe, I wrote the album as a way to take the listener from a state of confusion, grief, and anxiety to a place of peace and acceptance.
AV: Were you happy with the music that you released out into the world on both Echoes and Breathe?
CB: I’m truly happy with both albums and the reception that they both have received. Both albums made me not only look at my life differently, but music differently as well.
AV: From your first to your second album what were some of the things you learned about composing music as you went through the process of writing and producing the songs for Breathe?
CB: I think the one thing I learned the most, is that no matter how hard you try, you cannot rush the process. It’s also important to look at the message you’re trying to convey with each piece of music. I want to make sure the people feel the same way listening to the song as I did when I was writing it.
AV: How much importance do you place on listener feedback and what kind of feedback have you gotten on Breathe since its release?
CB: I’ve gotten such great feedback and support for Breathe from critics and fans alike. I always enjoy hearing how people feel about my music.
AV: In your bio I noticed that you are also a producer, audio engineer and you hold a degree in Sound and Music Technology. How important was your work with others to better understanding how to capture your own music when it came time to record?
CB: I definitely think that the years I’ve spent producing, mixing, and mastering albums for other artist has prepared me for my own career as an artist. I’ve learned to see music from both the creative side as well as the technical side.
AV: Any final thoughts you’d like to share about your music as we close out this interview?
CB: I just want to say thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to speak with you Michael. I’m really looking forward to sharing more music with everyone in the coming year.
AV: I appreciate your taking the time out to talk to me and I do wish you success on your future releases.