BREIS has just released his new EP Arise & Shine. The project, led by the recently released ‘Wahala’ featuring neo-soul star Nneka, is being released with a special edition blue vinyl and a behind-the-scenes book about the making of the EP titled Diary Of A Creative Mind.
AC: Let’s talk about your new EP Arise & Shine. What does this body of work mean to you?
BREIS – This project means so much to me. It marks a new chapter in my life, sort of like a new beginning and a new approach. It’s my message of encouragement to myself. The title says it all, it’s time for me to arise from the shadows and put myself out there more. I’ve treated it as if it was a full-length album. A lot went into the different elements of it, from the cover artwork to videos shot in Switzerland and South Africa.
AC: In the studio, do you have a fear you’d like to conquer?
BREIS – No fears in the studio, I just want to improve with whatever I do whether that’s new flows, exploring different pockets and challenging my vocal delivery.
AC: What about outside of the studio?
BREIS – I’d like to conquer the fear of being loud and proud. This industry requires you to make noise about yourself, I’m learning to do that more and more.
AC: Where does the creation of a song begin for you?
BREIS – The creation of a song can begin with many things. It could be a dope line, a topic close to my heart. Titles are another beginning point for me. I once had a title called “The chemistry of cocoa butter, cupcakes and camomile tea.” Immediately it sparks your interest. Sometimes I have a story or message I want to share like I did with The Right Person. Then I might have a concept in mind like “Stay Diligent” off the new EP where I created a whole new flow.
AC: Who do you feel inspired by in the music industry?
BREIS – Blak Twang, Ty (Rest in peace) and Sway are some artists that inspired me. Biggie, Nas, Kendrick, too many to mention. I’m probably inspired more by life and human behaviour. It informs my art.
AC: As a music artist, what are you still trying to learn?
BREIS – Funnily enough, I’m still learning the business of music. It’s forever changing and I’m trying to keep up. I’d like to get back into production again and learn some new instruments.
AC: How important is social media to you right now?
BREIS – I’m pretty social with media. Social media is basically the main way I get my music out there. It’s scary how dependent on it we are. I find I have to take breaks every now and then but right now I’m on it everyday posting about the EP and carrying out various campaigns.
AC: Ahead of a gig, do you have any pre-show rituals?
BREIS – Not really any rituals but I rehearse, try on outfits and get comfortable with the set. I like to check out the stage during soundchecks and visualise how I’ll move around. I take a few moments to centre myself before hitting the stage and then it’s go time.
AC: What’s the biggest realization you’ve had this past year?
BREIS – Not to focus on future outcomes that you have no control over, instead focus on the here and now. Be present, check your surroundings, make your environment conducive enough for you to thrive. Check-in on your people. Know your worth. Those are three that stand out to me.
AC: What makes you feel nostalgic?
BREIS – 80s pop music and TV shows mainly.
AC: What do you want the world to look like in 10 years?
BREIS – After the year we’ve had, the year I’ve had, I’m not sure it matters what I want. Will governments truly care for their people? Will racism die? Will the elite stop trying to screw over the masses? Will children and women be protected from abusers? Will pharmaceutical companies and healthcare systems stop keeping us barely alive so we have to keep coming back for more drugs? Will police brutality stop? I have to deal with the reality of now and do my part to improve it. I’ll keep on building the world I’d like to see, where we as humans are more compassionate, my people are healthy, family is wealthy, women are cared for, children are happy and my creativity makes an impact.
AC: If you had the chance to put something on billboards worldwide next week, what would it be? Or what would it say?
BREIS – It’s time to Arise & Shine with a picture of my EP cover.
INTERVIEW: ADAM CROOKES