Pure Bliss Vocals: Interview with Ad Brown on debut album "Something For The Pain"

A leading light on the British dance music scene, Ad Brown has rightfully garnered the attention and support from some of the industry’s biggest names. Flawlessly rolling out his signature, high-calibre productions with ease and aplomb, it’s no surprise that his praises are sung unanimously by industry heavyweights like Armin van Buuren, Ferry Corsten, Above & Beyond and Gareth Emery. 
 His flawless debut artist album, “Something For The Pain”, (30 months in the making and condensed from over 100 demos) surpassed all expectation by delivering an ensemble of killer tracks and ethereal collaborations with the likes of Hannah Ray, Kerry Leva and Antonia Lucas. 
 More than just a DJ or a producer, Ad Brown is an artist truly in the moment, whose work promises to make you take a step back and wonder how one man can make you re- think the entire genre.

Hey Ad, awesome to be chatting with you today. Huge congratulations on the completion of your debut album “Something For The Pain”. How does it feel to have your very first album released and what have been the responses from listeners so far?


I am very proud of this album and feel it's a huge achievement - I honestly feel that listeners will be able to enjoy these tracks for a long time and can really take something from the CD.

In terms of the response I would say it as been very positive. We have only released one single so far "Ready and Waiting" with Hannah Ray which reached 17# in the beatport charts which I think is a solid start. Ferry Corsten signed 3 tracks to his "Once Upon A Time" comp which will really help promote the album.

Who would you say has been your biggest influence musically and helped shaped the signature sound of Ad Brown?


I think growing up, my biggest musical influence was Tiesto.  Certainly I feel his early mix albums were packed full of a great selection of music that flowed seamlessly and was emotionally evocative, which is something I try to capture in my productions in terms of content and depth.

“Something or The Pain” includes 14 stunning tracks, it’s bound to serve any EDM listeners appetite. Ranging from House, Trance and a vast amount of vocals. Could you tell us about the process of the album production and how long did it take until completion? 


The album is a culmination of two year's work, condensed down from almost 100 ideas and concepts, so to finally release the finished product brings a huge amount of satisfaction and I am very proud of the outcome. I even managed to incorporate some sounds I recorded while touring and travelling. In the track "Sorry" there is some thunder and rain recorded from a botanical garden in Bali!

What’s the meaning behind the album title?


"Something For The Pain" is arguably one of my most successful tracks so it felt appropriate that I should name the album after it.  Plus, I feel that music is a great way of stirring emotions and I really want this album to be a remedy and escape for those who need it.

As well as Original Instrumental tracks your album also includes some gorgeous vocals from the likes of Hannah Ray, Kerry Leva, Antonia Lucas & Arielle Maren. When it comes to choosing a vocal what do you look for and what’s it like working alongside talented musicians as a collaboration?


 I'm really lucky that I've been able to work with some hugely talented vocalists - not only that, but they have all bee very easy to work with and as such, the collaboration process was made simple.   But, with all vocal tracks that I collaborate on, the key is to find that hook or melody which has a meaning and gives the track its identity.

“Ready and Waiting” with Hannah Ray is the first single taken from the album. What made you choose this as the first single over the other tracks? 


When I got the vocals back from Hannah this track simply jumped out at me as an obvious choice for the first single and the first track on the album.  The track has an immediate impact and Hannah's lyrics are utterly sublime.

The sublime and beautiful vocals of Hannah Ray and Kerry Leva have also joined us for a quick chat. 


Your productions with both Hannah and Kerry’s vocals seem to blend together perfectly. What was it like working alongside Hannah & Kerry again? and Hannah & Kerry what’s it like working with Ad Brown?

Your productions with both Hannah and Kerry’s vocals seem to blend together perfectly. What was it like working alongside Hannah & Kerry again? and Hannah & Kerry what’s it like working with Ad Brown?


Hannah Ray: I have worked with Ad a lot in the last few years and it's always such an easy, fun process.  We always love each others work and things flow very quickly from an instrumental, to a first draft of vocal, to recording final vocals, to Ad putting the two parts together and making everything sound larger than life.  It's always a pleasure doing tracks with Ad as he's genuinely and nice guy who always keeps me in the loop and really believes in the music.


Kerry Leva: It's great; I feel like Ad has a lot of respect for me as a musician, so we've always been able to toss ideas back and forth and communicate about what's working and what can be better. My good friend, Steve Kaetzel, worked on 'One More Night' with us; he's also a really great musician and good with adding his perspective as well. So this was a pretty painless process, haha! 


Hannah, your track “Ready and Waiting” is the first single taken from the album. Congrat’s. Could you share with us a little about the recording process and what’s the meaning behind the lyric?


Hannah: I wrote this song as a kind of homage to mine and Ad's career choice in music and the build up to a song release. I knew Ad was planning to write an album and had that in the forefront of my mind I think when writing this.  I was mainly thinking of Ad talking to the people who love and wait for his work, reassuring them that it's coming and that he is ready and just waiting for the perfect moment to let it all out.  The dedication to a passion that feels bigger than yourself can result in everything else in life being somewhat put on hold and the people that wait and take the journey of ups and downs with you are so important.

The melody for Ready in Waiting just popped out of nowhere and for the chorus it was actually the first one that came to mind.  I've found that this is usually a good sign when writing music, that my voice, lyrics and melody are matching naturally and instinctively with the music, making what both Ad and I are very happy with in this case and hold close to our hearts for the meaning.


Kerry, after previously working with Ad on tracks like the huge “Memorial (You Were Loved)” your back on the album with tracks “Up All Night” and previously released “Tonight”. Could you share with us your recording process and what’s the meaning behind the lyric?

Kerry: Ah, my writing process is so haphazard it's embarrassing - but I get most of my ideas in the shower haha! Usually I get an idea for a line or two, or I'll get a melody in my head and sort of see where I can go with it. I sort of just spill it - I write about my life, something I'm feeling, an experience I've had - hopefully it ends up being something others can relate to as well.
I do everything myself, from tracking my own vocals to all the editing, comping, tuning, and time-correction. I use ProTools for all of it, and when I track I go through the whole song a couple of times to get warmed up, then I go section by section (usually verses first, then choruses, then harmonies, ad libs etc). I am a huge fan of the ability to loop record into new playlists - it makes the editing process a heck of a lot easier!


Back to Ad Brown:


Do you have a favourite track from the album or one your most proud of? 


It's impossible for me to choose a favourite, given that the final tracks were condensed down from almost 100 downloads and concepts.  However, I'm particularly fond of "Ready And Waiting", "More" and "Tonight".

Also which track do you feel will be the fan favourite?


I think "Tonight" .

With 2013 at a close and the album released. What’s your plans for 2014? Anymore musical adventures? Remixes from the album in the works?


I'm closing out 2013 with a couple of shows in India which I'm really looking forward to.  Production wise, we have only released one single from the album so far, we still have 3 singles to come with incredible remixes from Zoo Brazil, Pedro Del Mar, Ali Wilson, Terry Da Libra and LTN. 

Well best of luck with the album Ad, it’s a true gem. Many listens and repeats to come from my end. Before you go is there anything you would like to say to your listeners or the readers of Pure Bliss Vocals?


Thanks very much for your support and I hope you enjoy listening to the album as much as I enjoyed creating it.  Please let me know your favourite track!

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Tags: Ad Brown, Interview, Release, Something For The Pain


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