Maria’s Local Radar: An Interview With Brad Wilson

Brad Wilson; if you haven’t heard of him, let’s change that. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with the singer-songwriter to chat about his career, new music, recording process, and so much more. I have a feeling Brad is going to be a household name in no time, so why not hop on board the train early? Check this out!

Hello, Brad. Thanks for taking the time to chat with us. For those who may not know you yet, please introduce yourself! Where are you from?

I’m Brad Wilson, and I’m a 20-year-old singer-songwriter from Ocean County, New Jersey.

How long have you been making music?

I have been making music for about four years now, but never released anything until 2014. I would consider that the start of my career. The EP that came out that year was the one that got me on to Pandora, and that was my first big accomplishment. It was at that point that I knew I could be successful in music. I was 18 by then, and hadn’t picked up a guitar until I was almost 17. If you had told 16-year-old me that in two years I would be on Pandora Radio, I wouldn’t have believed you. The songs on that EP were the first I had ever written.

I see you have recently released a new EP, entitled Experiments In Existential Sound. Before one of us reviews it down the line, can you tell us a little bit about the writing and recording process on this one?

I approached this EP as if it were the first group of songs I had ever written. I was in a sense trying to create something which was not only new to the world, but also new to me. This process in itself was rather daunting, because as an artist you often start to settle into what you do and how you approach the music you write. One of the most challenging things to do is forget the habits you have picked up, and the person you once were in order to get to a place creatively you have never been before. From the EP’s very conception it was about reinvention, and discovery. I spent more time studying song form and trying to articulate esoteric concepts into music then I did actually writing and recording.

Is there a leadoff single?

I would say “To Live Another Day” acts as the leadoff single, however, I didn’t approach it as such. There was never a point when I thought that one was any more single worthy than the others. Each song was a microcosm of the EP, in that, from their very conception they were all going to be something new and different, and act as the single. I think that when you approach songs that way, you are limiting yourself for the better by cutting down on creative liberties that often times counter listenability.

How would you say this EP is different than your prior releases?

In terms of instrumentation, I would say this EP is very different from anything I’ve ever done. My first EP was acoustic guitar-driven, and this one only features one track with an acoustic. In terms of lyrical concepts and content, however, I would consider it a continuation of where I left off. But I think lyrics are what set you apart, and the style specific to you never changes. It’s like your signature.

If you had to describe your sound to someone now, could you do that in words?

In terms of genre, I consider my sound to be a mixture of alternative rock, soul, folk, and blues. But I don’t think it really matters how I describe it, I think what matters is the perception of the listener. These ideas of genre are merely the musical ideas and structures which influence how I approach my playing. I am in no position to classify my music, because I think my idea of what the sound is will be expressed in terms of my influences. The listener doesn’t know my influences, so they are approaching it with a clean palate. Ultimately, this person has the deciding vote.

What would you say you prefer more as an artist, the studio or the stage?

To me, these two things create the balance that the artist needs in order to create. In order for there to be a negative, there must be a positive, and it’s the same with art. These are two completely different processes, and I don’t prefer one over the other. One is much more personal and introspective, and the other is almost entirely extroverted and expressive. You learn from each one, and they both influence one another.          It’s this idea of approaching yourself and your art as an entity. There are two sides to every story, and you have to understand both sides before you can really grasp what’s going on.

If fans want to learn more about you, contact you, etc., where can they find you?

They can keep up to date with me on social media (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) or my website, I would say the best way to understand what I am trying to get across is to check out my Instagram. The visual aspect of it really helps me to create a world for the fans.

Any shows coming up?

I am currently back in the studio putting together my next EP, so I won’t really be playing any big shows for a little while. I will, however, be playing some small bar shows in the meantime, which will be announced on my social media accounts. I am a one-man production from start to finish, so when one process starts, the other ends. It’s all in the studio right now until I can get this EP together.