2012 was in my opinion a very significant year for the genre of Rhythm & Blues. Artists such as Emeli Sande, Miguel, BJ The Chicago Kid and Frank Ocean left a great impression on their fans with exceptional projects leading to an optimistic view of what’s next to come from the future stars. Just a few of the younger artists next to blow include Luke James, Jarell Perry and Elijah Blake, among others. While these artists are making the world take notice by using their sweet vocal skills and songwriting, there is one artist in particular who to me stands out as the complete package. That artist amongst this well of talent is New England native Phil Beaudreau.
I found myself easily intrigued by Beaudreau for many reasons. The talented alumni of the esteemed Berklee College Of Music is not only an amazing singer, songwriter and producer, but also a skilled multi instrumentalist with the ability to play the piano, bass, trumpet, violin and guitar. With this accreditation along with his talents already setting a strong foundation for a limitless career, he is also the flagship artist of High Renaissance, Inc. which was created by 3 time Grammy Award winning Aftermath Records producer Dawaun Parker. He also produces and records with Parker under the alias, AoE (All or Everything/Ambassadors of Earth).
With guest appearances and contributions under his belt to projects by Dr. Dre, Travis Barker, The Game, Dawaun Parker and Casey Veggies plus releasing several songs set to appear on his debut EP “Ether”, Beaudreau is set to show the world what he’s capable of as he gears to perform at the revered music festival SXSW on 3/13/13. Before hitting Austin, TX to give the performance of a lifetime, I caught up with Beaudreau to give myself and my readers a little more insight into the man destined to make great music for many years to come.
Everything Or Nothing: Exclusive Interview With Phil Beaudreau
My hometown influenced me in the way that I wanted badly to escape from it. Music was the door I found, and I was grateful to have some people there who encouraged me to use it.
My high school jazz band went to the Essentially Ellington festival where I received a soloist award (on trumpet) from Wynton Marsalis. At that point I had already wanted to pursue music, but that moment pretty much set it in stone.
The R&B scene is actually really new for me, so I haven’t formed many thoughts on it yet. I do think that R&B offers room for creative growth because it naturally embraces soulfulness and exploration. Stevie Wonder, D’Angelo, Erykah Badu, Marvin Gaye, so many of our legendary artists have contributed to where the music is today. Artists like Frank Ocean are continuing to expand the music.
It usually starts with chords or a sample, drums, anything that gives me a visual. If I get something strong enough, I can start fleshing it out. Most times I get the lyrics last when it actually sounds like something. Sometimes the lyrics come first though… I honestly never know where the creativity will come from. It’s kind of like figuring out how to play pretend.
I use whatever I have access to. For now that means my voice, trumpet, violin, guitar, bass, and a library of drum samples and synths. I spend a good amount of time messing around with effects to get the sounds I want. If I had access to an orchestra, I would most definitely abuse that to the best of my ability.
Music has become my means of income and that has made me want to quit at times. Being an artist and being a musician have nothing to do with each other. If you’re a musician, that means you’ve acquired a skill set. This can translate to getting a job if you work hard enough at it. Being an artist is a vocation, so it’s a 100% commitment to keeping your imagination hungry. Thoughts of money can be very unsexy when trying to be creative, so my advice is take care of your money so you can buy yourself time to create. That’s the hustle, so be hungry. Also, be sexy.