In these tough times sometimes it can be tough to crack a smile. My next guest has been able to capture that feeling perfectly in his video for the single, “Goin’ Down.” Please welcome my next guest coming straight out of British Columbia, Canada, Pennan Brae. Pennan has been very busy promoting his album, ‘Amber Glow’ but he was cool enough to chop it up with Skope and talk about his new album, the meaning behind “Goin’ Down,” success in music, and so much more!
Stoli: Where are we speaking from today and what have you going on today?
Pennan Brae: I’m currently in Kauai, Hawaii. I’m preparing a video shoot & have been meeting with some great talent on the Island. I feel lucky to be here.
Stoli: How has it been going promoting your new album, ‘Amber Glow’?
Pennan Brae: Fantastic. I’m working with a great company in LA called M:M Music. I’m also doing a lot of promotion with ‘A Taste of Triple A’, also based in California. I’m focusing on AAA & Americana Radio; 2 genres I like very much.
Stoli: What is the music scene like in Vancouver, British Columbia and what are some cool music venues?
Pennan Brae: Vancouver’s a great music town with a great history for pop & rock music. Bryan Adams & Loverboy came out of here in the 80s to great success. More recently, Nickelback is a big name which came out of the city. Some nice venues are The Commodore & Vogue Theater.
Stoli: You have a great portfolio of music sites that you are on like Myspace, Facebook, Sonicbids. How important is that to a musician in this digital age?
Pennan Brae: Thanks. It’s the way things are flowing, so you go with it. But most important of all is songwriting & performing.
Stoli: Did you focus more on physical or digital distribution for ‘Amber Glow’ and where can readers grab a copy?
Pennan Brae: I focused more on digital, though I also did physical. You can find me on Itunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, Napster; all the big online distributors. I did create some beautiful CDs with Indie Pool in Toronto. They’re available via order at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stoli: Does it bother you that some music consumers only download songs off an album that they like as opposed to the whole album?
Pennan Brae: No, I believe freedom of choice is great. At the same time, some songs take longer to grow on you & in the long run, they can be the most satisfying to listen to. It’s like they have surprises which reveal themselves as time goes on.
Stoli: I love the dark video for “Goin Down.” Was that song based on real life and who is the hot young woman in the video?
Pennan Brae: Thanks, there’s no doubt she is hot & a very talented actress as well. Her name is Raquel Riskin & she has also appeared in Supernatural & Stargate Universe. The song is based on when one feels down but then gets back up. Sure, it’s based on personal experience. I like the dark aspect of it & how it’s based in the blues, yet is not traditional blues. I think the director, Thomas Smith of Spool Productions, did a brilliant job with it.
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Stoli: How have you grown as a songwriter from your first album and what have you learned about the music business?
Pennan Brae: It’s just about doing it again & discovering new things. That’s the great thing about songwriting; there’s always surprises. With the music business, I’ve learned about the incredible number of acts out there & how challenging it is to get some precious airtime. For there’s only 24 hours in a day & a Music Director would literally need 1000 hours in a day to play everyone who wants to be heard. So you have to work hard, enjoy what you’re doing, do the best you can at it & enjoy whatever comes your way; like this interview!
Stoli: What do you like to do for some R&R when you have time?
Pennan Brae: I like to hit the beach. A good massage can’t hurt.
Stoli: What aspects of your life inspire you to sit down and write & play music?
Pennan Brae: I didn’t write when I was in high school. But after that, I moved from the East to the West Coast. I was feeling a little down at the time & one evening I sat down at the piano & something came out. It was a song & it felt fantastic. From there, I couldn’t wait to explore more.
Stoli: Do you feel that music success is changing where you do not have to be as big as Eminem or The Beatles to have a career performing and putting out music?
Pennan Brae: I just want to be happy with my own life & enjoy playing music I write. I hope it might provide enjoyment to some others. That’s success to me. If I play for 10 people or a 1000, I’m content all the same. Of course, one wants their music to be heard by as many people as possible; that’s natural ambition. At the same time, you just do the best you can & enjoy the day.
Stoli: Offer Skope readers one thing about you that they should take with them?
Pennan Brae: First of all, I really thank them for their time in reading our interview. I would simply say, do what you love. Have goals on paper that motivate you & make you jump out of bed when you wake up in the morning. When you achieve those goals, enjoy the satisfaction & then go to the next level!
Stoli: What is coming up for Pennan Brae and where can readers follow you?
Pennan Brae: We’re playing a lot this summer in the Vancouver area, so we’re looking forward to that. Our new video will be released in June which will feature beautiful Kauai & our single, ‘Have You Ever Been’. I hope everyone enjoys it & thanks for the opportunity to discuss my music. Cheers!