Although he's a relative newcomer to the music industry, Brandon “Blue” Hamilton has already accomplished a lot in his career. Hailing from the Midwest metropolis of St. Louis, the rising melodic mastermind is an experienced musician. He has known how to play multiple instruments from a very young age, and he's parlayed this ability into crafting hit songs for the likes of Ne-Yo and Justin Bieber. Blue's production on Bieber’s “Born to Be Somebody" (written by Diane Warren and co-produced by Jan Smith) garnered him a 2012 Grammy nomination, adding to his growing list of career achievements. I sat down with Blue to chat about his Grammy nod, his upcoming projects and his favorite song of all time. Read on for the details, plus a look at him at work in the studio!
Congratulations! You co-produced Justin Bieber’s “Born to Be Somebody” track, which received a Grammy nomination this year. How has this accomplishment changed your life?
I get more phone calls for work and for sessions, which is nice. More people ask me for Justin Bieber autographs. It’s been cool for Jan [Smith] and myself to finally get the momentum that we were looking for for our production company, which is called Plumbline Music Group.
You’ve worked closely with Bieber on a few other projects. Overall, how was your experience working with him?
He moves quick. He bounces off the walls. But he gets a lot of work done; he’s really talented. A lot of the artists that I meet are just singers, rather than being actual artists. So it’s inspiring to see someone who is talented, has a vision, and is so young with all of those gifts and using them the way that he does.
What are you working on for 2012?
My primary focus for this year is the music and the sound design for Plumbline Music Group’s artists. I’m looking forward to seeing those careers start. We’ve been working for a long time with these artists, so it’s been cool watching them develop as visionaries and writers.
I read that you are also a multi-instrumentalist. Which instruments do you play?
Consistently, I play the bass, the guitar and the piano. I also know how to play the drums, trombone and the euphonium.
How are your writing and production styles different from those of other songwriters and producers today?
I would say the main difference is my life experiences versus everyone else’s. We all have the same tools available to us. We all use the same computers and the same programs, but I think the main difference is where we come from. We all come from different places. To keep my music as unique as I would like for it to be, and as pure, I focus on more organic concepts.
What inspires you to create music?
I think music is just a part of me. When I first picked up an instrument and I started creating, I knew what I was doing. What inspired me to first start creating music was the fact that it was a way for me to escape into my own world, to create whatever I wanted.
Fill in the blank: ______ is the greatest song of all time.
There are so many good parts about certain songs. My answer today is “Working Day and Night” by Michael Jackson. The percussion was amazing, the band was killing the game, and Michael was in another world. Listening to that song is like an experience.
If you could work with only one artist for the remainder of your career, deceased or living, who would you want to work with?
Leonardo Da Vinci, because that’s someone who I can forever learn from.
When you are not working, what are you doing?
Reading. A lot of reading.
Where is your #1 vacation destination?
Mountains, in general. I don’t really care where they are. If I go anywhere and I see anything that’s bigger than me, it’s amazing.
Brandon "Blue" Hamilton's website: www.bassieblue.com
Follow Blue on Twitter @bassieblue