Stephen Brook has been a pianist for a long time, but is now hitting out with new music as PENT UP. His debut EP Reprise consists of four-tracks that capture a sense of peace in the madness that is the world we live in. We sat down with Stephen Brook to talk about PENT UP, the EP, his future plans, music and much more!
OSR: When did you first start playing the piano?
Brook: My parents set me up with piano lessons from around the age of 7. The musical theory/sight-reading side of learning the piano never really grabbed me. I just wanted to play pop music and stuff in the charts. I stopped lessons at 14 and began learning songs by ear from the radio or CDs lying around the house and I’ve pretty much been doing that ever since.
OSR: What was the driving force behind the creation of PENT UP?
Brook: I ignited the idea of PENT UP 3 months ago, sitting at my piano in my living room. It was a passion project with a simple aim of making the music in my head tactile. I guess it was a way to find a bit piece in the recent madness and to create something real and true to myself.
OSR: Is there a backstory or theme to your EP Reprise?
Brook: I chose the name Reprise as it signifies taking back my role of a pianist. Over recent years I’ve neglected the piano, opting for bass guitar playing and totally ignoring my hidden interest in classical and orchestral music. Reprise is also about not having to fit into any ‘box’ or genre. If I thought something sounded good enough to release, it’s was going in the EP. Whether it was classical, funk, dance – whatever. It was incredibly freeing to have complete control and no barriers holding me back when writing.
OSR: Which of the tracks on Reprise was the hardest to create and which was the easiest?
Brook: ‘Emerging from Quiescence’ was the hardest track to finish. At one point I went way overboard with the production and it completely lost its feel. I had to strip off a lot of dead weight, which is easier said than done!
I wrote ‘Dream State’ over a weekend. I actually had to force myself to leave it alone after that. There was something quite cool about capturing that sound in a weekend and just letting it be – like a little blip in time. The mix/master took a lot longer of course.
OSR: What was your creative process for the EP? Did you start with a concept or a melody?
Brook: The general ethos was to make a piano-based EP that was a true reflection of myself. I didn’t want to use random vocal samples or to have a theme or image to work towards. I just wanted a no barriers “who cares” approach which I think resulted in my first set of songs that have any real substance.
OSR: On a scale of 7 to 8639, how much of you shines through on the EP?
Brook: Reprise is the most honest I can be at this point, but I’m only just tapping into who I am as an artist. I’m excited to see where the next EP will go!
OSR: What else can we expect from you in the future?
Brook: I’m already writing my next EP but I’m making sure to take my time and only put out stuff that I’ll be proud of in 30 years time.