If you haven’t heard of the up-and-coming Brasko, we’re here to try and educate you on the eclectic artist. Hailing from Akron, Ohio, the songwriter/producer who combines classic pop sensibility with a modern electronic edge.
Ultimately, Brasko looks to win you over — and once he does, he wants his music to be serve as the background music to your next night out dancing, or falling for someone special.
Recently, Substream got the chance to chance to talk with Brasko himself, about his upcoming projects and life during quarantine.
Find our interview below.
Brooke: Your newest single comes out today called “The Standard for Kids in the USA”, what was the inspiration behind it?
Jordan: So during the beginning of quarantine, I was cooped up in my house with my friends. We were all pretty anxious, and every time we turned on the news, it was just bad news. Our friend had just been broken up with and he said this girl from LA took all his money, and we all joked about that being the standard for LA. We were downplaying it and it became a common saying in the household. I started taking the phrase into consideration. A lot of people were saying that I didn’t open up in my music, so I wanted this song to be an honest song about myself. I used to deal with a lot of body dysmorphia and used to be bulimic, which is something that is difficult for me to talk about, especially with the stigma about it with men. I started talking about all of my insecurities and worries like, will I be shot? Mostly anything surrounding violence, and all that. I kept saying that to myself like ah! It’s the standard! Originally, we were thinking of calling the song The Standard for Kids in LA, and we realized it’s the standard everywhere! It’s the standard for LA, It’s the standard for NYC, It’s the standard for Nashville! It’s the standard for kids in the USA, all the adults are acting like kids, myself included. So, I put all of my secrets into a three-minute song, and I’m hoping that people can latch onto that.
B: How did you keep yourself creative during the pandemic?
J: There’s a lot of pressure to be creative. The first month I didn’t, I fell into a bit of depression, but then I started scheduling. I tried to write something every day because the name of the game for songwriting is just doing it. It’s like every craft, you got to do it every day. I started writing so much. I have a side project called Princesss, so I was writing for that two days a week, writing for Brasko the rest. I felt like I was wearing different hats. My way was making songwriting like a job, I had to do. Another thing I did since the pandemic left me with a lot of free time was watching classic films. I was really inspired by the 1940s classical monster movies because they were campy and did not have the effects movies now have. Every emotion is just really stretched, and I started watching them on mute while writing and using them as creative visuals.
B: So, you mentioned your project Princesss, what inspired you to create it?
J: I was writing too many songs. So, I met this guy named Jackson and we decided to write together because we thought each other were cool at a bar one time. We were like Oh? You like the Beatles too? Let’s try to rip them off together! So, we got together and realized ohhh … we have a great dynamic. He’s really sweet and has a soft voice & pretty face. I’m very aggressive and have a nasal voice. So, we thought what if we treat this like a boyband, like what the Beatles did. We made each other switch roles, and it was a fun thing, and a creative outlet. Then we met our friend Adrian, who releases music under the name Blackpaw who is really good at taking things classic, like oh I love Steven Linsey’s guitar but I love Tame Impala’s production and putting them together. He is really good at making us not just sound like a rip-off band and take it into new territory, that is exciting. That’s kinda where that project sat. I wanted to find where Brakso is on the rock scene, and it’s really easy to be corny as a rock artist. There’s such a thin line, and I’m not sure where we stand yet. Or if I have cracked that code yet. So I wanted to sit down for a minute and decided to create some Princesss songs and figure out where everything sat. I wanted to actively compete against my heros instead of rip them off and I found the perfect sound for that.
B: What has been your biggest milestone so far? In terms of accomplishments? Like best show/ release etc…
J: I think my biggest thing was creating a record. When I was first starting out in my early 20s, I was meeting with labels and they didn’t know what to do with me. They told me to pull back on Brasko, and I was pulling back my entire life. They were meeting with me because they liked my music, so I was like screw it, I’m not turning 30 and not having a complete record. So, I buckled down and made a record, and obviously putting out the record and had a big crying moment. I think showing up to serval cities and headlining was the moment. People coming out to these shows and dressing up like me and knowing the words only days after the songs were released. I knew I had an audience to find. Alright, this thing can work, I can keep going.
B: So, you talked about how you dressed, who are your biggest fashion icons?
J: A lot of people just assume Bowie, and well that is kind of true, I grew up in the 90s loving Brian Molko from Placebo. He’s one of the first people I saw that was really pushing it as far as, I know when he walks into a store, he doesn’t look at labels, it’s all wearable to him. Also, Marc Bolan from T. Rex. Who I’ve mentioned before and even covered his song w Mr. Gabriel, “20th Century Boy.” Also, I am inspired by Broadway, which is why everything is so over the top.
B: When you first started out as a musician, would you have predicted yourself to go this route, or was it a struggle over time?
J: No, it’s weird. When I was way younger, I had an idea of what making it was. For example, when you are played on the radio, you are making it. Well, I was played on the radio, but living in my car at twenty-one, so that wasn’t really making it. When major magazines started writing me up, well I had over four write me up, but then in 2014 I decided to scrap the whole project, so I had to keep reinventing what making it was. I also had to wear my fears of what it’s like to be a man in front of at least 200 people a night. I would have never thought that I would be wearing heels on stage my first tour.
B: What is one stage trick you want to do, but have not done yet?
J: On man, something I have not done yet. You are talking to a guy who does guitar solos with ball gags in his mouth.
B: yes, well I figured that was the case haha
J: Well, I have only played guitar on stage, and I play a few extra instruments. I bet playing piano or drums live on stage would be cool. At least for the next tour whenever that maybe. I feel more comfortable with my music, and want it to be less about the theacterics and more about the songs. So playing more instruments would work.
B: What is your dream venue to play?
J: Can I say Wembley
B: Why do you say can I say?
J: I am definitely curious about how far I can take this thing. I always mention Todd Rundgern. He just plays clubs around and some shows, but I would love to experience something that big. He has it all figured out. I would love to be a fly on the wall and hear what my music sounds like to 30,000 people.
B: If you could do karaoke with anyone, who would it be?
J: I was actually thinking about this the other day. It would be one of my friends, Kelsy Karter because I think our voices would go together so great. We probably should make this happen already. She has a really raspy voice and well you know my voice.
B: What other projects do you have on the way?
J: I’m finishing both a Princesss & Brasko record. We are creating visuals to go with the Brakso Record and cool lyric sheets. I’ve been creating more songs than I can even count. I’ve written hundreds of songs at this point, so I’m trying to trim the fat a little because not all of them are winners.