In a dynamic music scene where audiences are more open to new music and different sounds, Brett Gleason might just be the ideal artist for our times. The out singer-songwriter – who defines his music as a fusion of electronica and rock – has released his debut album ?The Dissonance? winning much praise and acclaim by critics and fans.
Brett is a very accomplished musician who creates emotional and fascinating music. He is the real deal as he writes, sings and produces all of his own material. His unique music, talent and sexy stage presence are remarkable. There?s no doubt that Brett Gleason is set to take the music world by storm. His fan base continues to grow across the world everyday!
Get to know Brett, an exciting up and coming artist in this exclusive Queer Me Up interview. The singer answers fans? questions and talks about coming out, the philosophy of his life and his perspective on nudity in art.
Your music is very unique, how do you describe it?
Thank you. Easy answer: dark pop. Full answer: Fusion of electronica and rock, combining piano based songwriting with harsh, electronic production. Honest answer: I?m not entirely sure how to describe my work and hope it keeps changing.
Which of your musical influences do you draw from most?
If I was to consciously dissect my music and say, ?I took this from him, and that from her? I think it would have a stifling effect on my creativity. I?m trying to make something new that doesn?t directly relate to anyone and hope that I do more building upon my influences than drawing from them.
What inspired you to make music?
It?s either having larger than life emotions that couldn?t be expressed any other way or simply an inability to express regular human emotions through more standard, immediate forms of communication, not sure which.
What has been your biggest challenge as an artist? How were you able to overcome that challenge?
At this state the challenge is reaching an audience, there?s so many artists competing for attention. Money has also been an issue, as is time. Material things aside, keeping up optimism is tough too: I?ve just begun and am trying to keep my head up, work hard and promote proudly as I hunker down for the long haul.
You had the opportunity to study philosophy in college; what?s your philosophy in life?
It?s always changing but for now it?s about survival and longevity and in order to achieve that I need balance so I?ve become much more pragmatic: Part realist/part neutralist, most importantly I aim to be elastic and resilient.
You are a one-man band, you play many instruments; which instruments do you play? Which one is your favorite?
If you hear it in my music, I play it. I do my writing on the piano because it?s the greatest instrument ever and I believe my most skilled but I also play the guitar and bass and do all of the programing for the drums, the engineering, editing as well as mixing.
Can you tell us more about you debut album ?The Dissonance??
The title refers to both harmonic dissonance and emotional dissonance, feeling two conflicting things at once and seeking resolution. These songs are civil wars in which I personify the sides and dramatize the conflict in condensed, four-minute battles.
You wrote and produced all the songs on the album. Can you describe your creative process?
Deliberative, drawn out and conscious: I don?t wait for inspiration to strike. I start with a word; a melody or chord and build around it, writing down every note along the way. I like to record as I write which is one of the benefits to being your own engineer and having a home studio.
The latest single of the album is ?’Futile and Fooled’. Tell us about the song?
?F&F? is such an anti-single, definitely one of the more challenging songs, never lets the listener rest but also never lets an idea drop – every little riff, sound or melody comes back somewhere to reward the attentive audience.
How was the experience of shooting the music video for ??Futile and Fooled’?
The first shoot in the abandoned power plant was fun, spontaneous and stress free. The second shoot with the dancers took much longer than expected. Not easy to coordinate a group of girls: make their outfits and secure a proper location. You may notice my hair having grown a bit between shoots?
You appear naked in your video ?I Am Not? which has become a You Tube sensation. Are you planning on doing any other nude projects?
Ha, not specifically but sure, why not? I view nudity in art as a baring of oneself, in ?I Am Not? it represented an alter ego that was more primal, animalistic and ultimately, violent but I see using it for my next project in a softer light, as a way of unveiling oneself, taking down barriers and revealing vulnerabilities.
Which songs do you perform most frequently? Do you have a set play list?
I perform all my songs at every show, time permitting. I even tend to go in the same order. ?The Dissonance? is only 6 songs and my EP next year ?The Thawing? is 5 so that?s about an hour of music.
What are your immediate music career goals?
Exposing myself to more people, continuing to build a fan base, the obvious ones. I hope to release another single and video for my next EP by the end of the year. Things like labels and tours I?m not considering for another year or two.
Do you have any upcoming shows?
I actually have my very first show at a gay venue next month and am psyched. I booked the night with some friends of mine and will be showcasing out artists at the queer rock bar, ?Phoenix? in the East Village of NYC on Thursday, July 21st.
Here are a few questions sent by Brett’s fans via Twitter.
@janafisher Jana Fisher:?Where?do you?get?your endless supply of energy to fuel?your fight as an indie musician?
A combination of pure, desperate ambition, a desire to define oneself, a fear of death and a consistent yet carefully calculated slight under-medication.
@matheggem Mathew Heggem:?What’s the primary responsibility of today’s queer artists?
That?s something for each artist to decide on his/her own. In my opinion any artist, regardless of gender identity or sexual propensity has a primary responsibility to their art, making it as honest, moving and relevant as possible. If an artist, after having the honor of being noted publicly for the quality of their work, chooses to identify with a specific group or cause, be that the queer movement or anti-war environmentalism etc., it is their prerogative to pick and choose which parts of the platform to support and speak out for just as it is a politicians choice as to how to use the capital they gain after an election. For me, my goal is to simply represent the multiplicities of the queer scene as I see them naturally embodied in myself.
@wildGlambert Jenny V: ?How did you come out and to whom?
First I came out to an older friend who seemed to already know. She gave me the best advice on how to tell my parents ?Do it while you?re driving, so you don?t have to make eye contact?. The next weekend, on the way to the mall for back to school clothes I told her about my ?best friend?. The rest of the afternoon we walked around the mall staring straight ahead, focusing on sizes and cuts as random questions popped up like, ?When did you know?? and ?What about that girl?? and all the standard questions. It was decided that we?d wait to tell my father though I?m fairly sure she went ahead and did so for me so I could swoop in when the smoke cleared. I didn?t lose any friends or family in the process, probably even strengthened some relationships with the admission, not bad.
@RickArtz50 RickArtz50: Are you dating?
Watch Brett Gleason ?Futile and Fooled? Music video
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