An Interview With Brodie Dawson
A fresh single release from Brodie Dawson delivers a heartfelt and touching ballad that bleeds Americana as contemporary pop lurks just under the surface complete with lap steel, piano, and guitars that give the song a lush and full feeling.
"Skip A Beat" is absolutely gorgeous with passionately performed vocals that tell a love story and paint such a wonderfully vivid picture with both words and music.
The track comes through cinematic and incredibly warming with a crisp honesty and all without really holding anythin gback in the creative process.
The song beckons the leap of faith that is love and falling in love.
This aspect of the song is all over it and with impactful piano that lace the song along side acoustic guitar that gives it that extra character, it all has quite an impact.
Especially if you've been through it or even goign through it now. This song says things you mau just be afraid to say and maybe that's exactly whey it eists.
Perhaps this is the way Dawson herself is able to proclaim her willingness to take that leap.
"Skip A Beat" is uplifting and boasts courage.
This track has such a beautifully woven set of textures that display in such a way that you can visualize the music itself.
A youthful want, hunger and energy to go along with a mature and experienced songwriting style, Brodie Dawson pulls the heartstrings enough to make a mark.
With such a great new release, we wanted to have a talk with the artist about where this came from and where it all may be headed.
TSWS: Okay so let's start with "Skip A Beat". This track is a beautifully performed and personal
song with plenty of Americana undertones. Where did this track come from?
Thank you so much! This song came to me in the summer of 2019, inspired by a friend of mine
who had been putting it out there to find ‘the one’ to create a future with. She ended up meeting
the most incredible guy, but he was quite a bit younger than she was. They decided to hang out
and have fun for awhile anyways, and although she wanted to fall head over heels for him, she
couldn't really open up fully because they both knew they were in different places in life. She
was telling me how amazing things were going and how he was basically perfect for her in every
way and wanted to just freefall into love, but reality and reason just kept stopping her. I want to
say things worked out for them in the end, but heartbreakingly they made the painful choice to
go their separate ways.
TSWS: I'm hearing some great Country and contemporary styles here. How did all of this start
for you? Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
Oh wow, that is a long list, it's so hard to choose! First of all, my dad was my biggest influence.
He played music throughout my entire childhood and was well-known in the music scene in
Hamilton Ontario for his enormous and soulful voice that captured any audience, and just made
them ‘feel’, you know? He would embody his passion and love for the music, for people and for
life in general, and deliver it through his voice. He was really into blues, rock and roll, soul,
which helped inform my love for that genre of music. They used to have band rehearsals in our
basement, and I remember many nights of not wanting to go to bed and so I would lay on my
bedroom floor two levels up, smiling with my ear to the ground because they would occasionally
sing me a bedtime song, and then I would just stay there listening to them play on until I fell
asleep, lulled by the sound of drums, bass, guitars, tambourine, harmonica and rockin’ vocals.
My cousin Carolyn Renouf taught me how to harmonize to old-school country tunes when I was
14 years old, and for that I am forever grateful! She also has the most pure and powerful voice
and we used to sing a lot of rich and sweet songs from singers like Kitty Wells, Loretta Lynn,
Becky Hobbs and Pasty Cline. My mom loved country music and would play it for our 20 hour
car rides to the east coast every summer – we kids had no choice but to listen, learn and love it!
Some of her favourites were John Conlee, Randy Travis, Conway Twitty, Merle Haggard and of
course George Jones (I mean come on, the Ladies Choice album? Epic. Classic. Still one of
my faves for sure!)
I had a record player in my bedroom at 10 years old, and my earliest influences were Olivia
Newton John, Juice Newton, Neil Young, The Eagles. My dad had hundreds and hundreds of
records (all organized alphabetically of course), so I had a library of music at my fingertips from
a very young age! I used to just kick it in my bedroom cranking my tunes singing and
harmonizing along at the top of my lungs. I discovered Bonnie Raitt in my teens and she
became a huge influence for me. And then there was the strange and wonderful combo of
Madonna, Keith Whitley, Prince, k.d. lang, The Pointer Sisters, Supertramp, Randy Travis,
Stevie ray Vaughn, The Judds, George Michael, Lee Aaron, Whitney Houston and I could go on
and on, but as you can see, so many different and varied influences for me. Hence the genre
confusion I've had for most of my career! When asked what type of music I play, I tell them it’s a
a mix of soulful bluesy folk with a gospel funk, a twist of pop and a twang of old-school country.
TSWS: What do you think is next for you as an artist?
Honestly I don't know? Especially after this past year… When COVID hit, I questioned my path
as so many others in the music industry did. I wasn't sure if I wanted to continue being an artist.
I couldn't even imagine what it was like to tour anymore or what it would be like, or even look
like?! I definitely thought at one point, that this part of my career was over. Whew! Those were
some dark times! I'm really happy that we had the technology that we did because I managed to
stay in touch with many songwriters, did some zoom co-writes and some really beautiful songs
emerged from that darkness. I decided to learn all I could about the music industry in all its
facets in the meantime and met some beautiful people along the way!
I'm learning to just keep doing what I love which is writing songs, singing, recording, and
connecting with people including other songwriters and musicians and really anybody in the
industry - these are my people! I was so happy to have come across the Blair Hit Songwriting
Series class out of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, hosted by an incredible songwriter and
simply fabulous human Deanna Walker! I was lucky enough to be able to take it long distance
when things went online, which I’m so grateful for. She is one of the incredible people I've
connected with over the past year. Another woman who is becoming somewhat of a mentor to
me is LeAnn Phelan, who shared a quote from singer songwriter Kye Fleming that said “Follow
the path that lights up before you.” and that just resonated so deeply with me. I just keep
stepping.. I do see the value in goal setting but I also know that I simply need to keep following
my passion, put the time in & work hard, and keep trusting that I'm going to be exactly where I
need to be.
Let’s see where this next album wants to go!
TSWS: The instrumentation is outstanding on this single! Did you collaborate with players? Are
you performing more than vocals?
Ahhh! Thank you! Yes, I am so blessed to have been able to have some of the most incredible
players on this album! The track features Tim Lauer as the band leader on keys, Bryan Sutton
on acoustic guitar, Fred Eltringham on drums, Tony Ludico on bass, Justin Schipper on steel
guitar, Kris Donegan on electric guitar, and Kristen Rogers on background vocals. It was
recorded at OmniSound Studios in Nashville, produced by Patrick Davis, engineered by Lee
Unfried and Rory Rositas, mixed by Lee Unfried, with additional editing by Joanna Finley and
Trent Woodman, and was mastered by Eric Conn at Independent Mastering in Nashville.
TSWS: What are you doing when you're NOT working on music?
Haha these days I feel like I’m never not working on music! I am constantly listening to
podcasts, watching webinars, taking classes or meeting with people in the business online,
when I’m not meeting with other songwriters for cowrites, recording demos, or working on new
songs. But what fills me up the most is to be out in nature. I live 5 minutes away from the beach,
and 10 minutes the other way from endless trails in the forest. One of my favourite things to do
is to sit quietly at the ocean’s edge, gaze out into the water, watch the birds, listen to the waves,
and just ‘be’. It gives my mind a break and I find it super nourishing for my soul. And I love
walking my dog!
TSWS: What kind of things inspire you to write?
I get inspiration from all things. Sometimes it's something I hear that triggers an idea, sometimes
it's a cloud in the sky that sends me on a tangent of daydreaming, and a lot of times it's people
watching, which I have to say I've really missed a lot this past year! One thing I've realized
though is that I need a lot of time to myself and a lot of space in order to let the ideas come out.
And mindless moving helps – like walking, or cleaning the house and just letting my thoughts
TSWS: How do you actually write your songs? Is it lyrics first or guitar chords?
It’s always different! I feel like the songs find me and they write themselves, so sometimes they
come in the form of a melody in my head, sometimes it's just an idea that turns into some lyrics
which I then pair up with a melody, and sometimes it's actually a melody with lyrics that are
already there together. And then in co-writes we kind of come up with it together or there's
someone who is more specific to the melody aspect. There have been co-writes where I’ve
heard a melody and that evoked emotion which in turn allowed the lyrics to emerge. I really love
the organic approach to it all…
TSWS: Who are you listening to right now?
Again soooo many different artists! Lately I've been listening to Maggie Rose, Lainey Wilson,
Rival Sons, Jessi Alexander, JUNO, Brandi Carlile, Dean Fields, Delta Goodrem, Daphne Willis,
Katie Pruitt, Lake Street Dive to name only a few!
TSWS: Can we expect any music videos coming from you this year?
Yes actually! There will also be an official video for Skip a Beat! I knew I wanted a video for this
song, though I didn't have the budget to hire a videographer etc so I decided to just go ahead
and film it myself - even though I didn’t have any pro gear. I thought I’d simply try and make it
look authentic, which isn’t hard to do when you’re using a cell phone! The hardest part was
learning the editing program and trying to make it work with my business laptop. But despite
having the high tech gear I'm so proud and delighted with how it turned out! And what made it
extra special was that my friend Launda (who was the predominant inspiration for the song) said
yes to starring in the video along with her horses! It was a real full circle moment.
It’s premiering on my Youtube Channel a week after the single gets released on Friday, October
TSWS: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music?
Endless THANK YOU’s!! I am wholeheartedly grateful for all of your love and support always,
and I so appreciate the the symbiotic relationship that we have. Just knowing that my music and
voice can touch your hearts and have a beautiful ripple effect in your life, really does keep me
inspired to do what I do. Thank you for being the inhale to my exhale! So much love to you all…