Mainstream audiences might not entirely be familiar with Brando, but you’ve definitely heard his vocals. He inarguably delivered the most distinctive aspect of Loud Luxury’s 2018 breakout hit “Body” that dominated both pop and dance music radio for nearly a year and was in regular rotation throughout EDM producers’ sets.
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Yet, Brando – recommended to the duo before they recorded what would become a multiplatinum-selling track – has carved out his own path. He’s been doing the dance music collab thing: Beyond “Body,” he’s worked with DJ Mag Top 10 DJ Don Diablo on track “Congratulations” and recently released a track with Matoma. Titled “The Bender,” this collab takes inspiration from and offers its own unique dance floor-ready spin on Earth, Wind & Fire’s “September.”
The Los Angeles-based singer, however, strives to bridge the chasm between R&B, pop, and dance and has been doing so with his own music, including the recently dropped “Millennial Rhapsody,” his upcoming song “Don’t Call Me,” out on Armada Music, and “Look Into My Eyes,” released earlier in 2020.
As his career picks up speed, we had a chance to speak with Brando about his recent and upcoming
“Body” received a ton of EDM and pop radio play two years ago. How did its popularity help your career?
“Body” was actually the first dance song I had ever made, as I originally was making pop/RnB, so it really catapulted me into the dance world from the minute it was released. It definitely opened up doors for me in terms of working with more collaborators and producers, and all of the ones I work with now were in some way a byproduct of the success of “Body”.
How did you end up working with Loud Luxury?
I was in a pop/RnB band several years back and they had come to a show at a local French bar we were opening up for in LA. Our show itself was a mess but Loud Luxury loved my voice and wanted to work with me. A couple weeks later we met up at their apartment in Hollywood and the rest was history.
You’ve collaborated on a couple of dance music singles, including your recent effort with Matoma. What draws you to working with dance music producers?
I think I really enjoy the mixing of pop/RnB with dance as a whole, so I’m always drawn to working with incredibly talented dance producers in general. In fact, Avedon, the main producer for most of my solo releases, used to be a DJ but now makes hip hop records for Russ, Trippie Redd, and more. So I really just love that mixing of genres.
Since “Body” dropped, you’ve also released a few of your own solo singles. What’s different about your solo efforts compared to dance music collaborations?
I’d say I try to stay more in a pop/RnB lane than most of my dance collaborations. At the end of the day, I collab with DJs so the songs have to be dance focused, but with my own artist project I get to focus more on other things. My song “Look Into My Eyes” is a great example of this kind of mashup of genres, and I’m incredibly excited over it’s success in Australia right now, as it just went #1 on the radio there!
How would you describe your own sound?
I would say I make pop music with elements of RnB and dance. I don’t want to confine my sound too much though, because ultimately I love to try new things and I think my fans would like to hear something different from time to time.
Who are your musical influences?
I love The 1975, Drake, Calvin Harris … honestly there are so many influences that it’s hard to name just a few.
Your new single “Don’t Call Me” comes out at the end of June. What was your process for creating this track?
“Don’t Call Me” was originally written about a year ago in a studio session with my friends Jesse Mason and Ben Samama, then later on I brought my frequent collaborator Avedon on board to help produce the track and bring everything together. The song is about going through a break up and knowing your ex’s new lover is a tool and she’ll try and come back to you because of it.
What are you planning as a follow up?
I have a collab called “London Girls” with the DJ duo BRKLYN coming out soon after the release, then after that I have lots of songs and collabs in the pipeline.
Have you thought about putting together a full-length album?
Definitely! I think as an artist you always aspire to making a full-length album. Right now my approach is to keep releasing singles, then eventually release a couple EPs, then an album.
Long-term, where would you like to see your career go?
I would love to be in the position of Khalid or Rihanna, featuring on big records while also having my own thing going on. Also I would love to start playing some shows and festivals once we are out of quarantine and everything is better.