Bringing elements of old-school power-pop to contemporary indie-rock, UK-based singer-songwriter Nigel Brown revels in eclecticism and obscure music. We speak with Nigel Brown about his new album Something Good Will Come, positive personality traits and much more.
OSR: What drew you to music?
Brown: There were a lot of record players in our house! Certainly hearing ‘I Am The Walrus’ cranked up was a draw. I was surrounded by music, I grew up with it.
OSR: Do you have a musical background?
Brown: As a kid, I played piano (badly), trumpet (also badly). Fortunately, my dad let me sell the trumpet and buy an electric guitar. That was a turning point. From then on playing music was not a chore, I didn’t want to stop.
OSR: What inspires you to create music?
Brown: To me, it kind of feels like making something from nothing. When you stumble on a couple of nice chords, mutter a melody, add another guitar, suddenly it can turn into something much greater.
OSR: What can you tell us about your album Something Good Will Come?
Brown: It’s a Rickenbacker-driven, eleven-song set swinging from rock to folk to blues and back, with storytelling lyrics and Laurel Canyon inspired vocals. I’m a long time Tom Petty and Byrds fan, and on this album I wanted that to show.
OSR: Which do you find more difficult: melody or lyrics?
Brown: When I started songwriting, I used to find the lyrics were the hard part. As I’ve got older this process has become much more enjoyable to the point I’d say now it’s 50/50 really. Years ago when I was playing pub gigs, I’d have 12 songs with no words and just make stuff up on the night. I wouldn’t dare do that now!
OSR: What do you hope people take from your music?
Brown: I hope they listen to my words! The greatest gift to me really would be that someone could take comfort from my songs. I think that’s what the best music can do.
OSR: If you could change something about Something Good Will Come, what would it be and why?
Brown: Maybe to have added other backing vocals, female ones would have been nice. Just to add a different layer of sound.
OSR: How has the Covid-19 pandemic affected you as a musician?
Brown: In a weird way, it made it easier to lock myself away and write songs with less distractions. On the downside, it has been a disaster for live performance which is only just coming back, so it’s cost a couple of years which is a long time.
OSR: What is your best personality characteristic?
Brown: I am forever the optimist!
OSR: What future plans do you have as a musician?
Brown: Mainly to keep writing and recording more songs, probably alongside recording more production music. Songwriting has always been my passion in life, and if I can keep doing that then I’ll be a happy man.