We recently caught up with Brian Burrows, a long-time friend of the FirstCom Music team and a writer with nearly 250 tracks in our repertoire. Part of a three-man team, Brian is a founder of our new production music label Energy Music. Energy Music sets out to create the perfect narrative for every aspect of the human condition.
We quizzed Brian on the creation of the label, the goal of telling human stories through music, and what makes Energy Music the perfect place to find music to tell your next story.
How did Energy Music get started?
Energy Music is the creation of 3 composer/producers all from very different beginnings:
Brian Burrows, Singer/Songwriter.
Barry Whittaker-Gilbey, Dance/DJ producer.
Phil Gregory, Neo-Classical/Orchestral composer.
We are all from the creative North of England: Liverpool, Sheffield and Manchester respectively, and were all aware of each other’s work and had a healthy respect for each other’s compositions. We had spoken on the phone a few times but had never actually met in person until we realized that we were all going to be in Las Vegas at the same time for NAB 2018 and arranged to meet outside the fountains at the Bellagio. We sat in the bar at the Bellagio until the wee hours and talked over everything to do with production music which we’d all had a lot of experience and success at as composers with many labels, major and independent. It dawned on us that we each shared the same desire to start our own human emotion centered label; one that sounded real with loads of fire and ENERGY, a strong narrative and a broad reach of human emotions, moods and feelings. It was really important to us from the outset that all the tracks would feel like they had a real story built into the arrangements. We gave ourselves 12 months to build the initial catalog with strong media ready music and a unique brand. After working non-stop it was complete in 9 months. We decided our natural home was with FirstCom Music and UPPM, as we have had a strong, professional relationship with SVP Head of Global Production, Ken Nelson for many years. He has been such a great person to work with. He was on board with the label from the outset and has been pivotal in getting us to this point.
Can you tell us a little about the albums available at launch?
We very specifically decided to give our albums a one- or two-word title which best fitted the mood, feeling and emotion of the music. Each title is followed by a short descriptor which gives more detail as to the content. We also made a conscious decision to always have a human face or form on every album cover.
We also wanted to distill the essence of Energy Music for the launch. TRIUMPH, LOVE & HATE, JOY, RISE, EUPHORIA and FROZEN seemed to us to showcase our skills at framing a mixed palette of emotions and feelings in a beautifully succinct and editor friendly, usable way.
Lyrical and song content is really important to us too as well as lending from the rich, fresh, and new musical genres emanating from the creative hubs of the UK. With this in mind we decided to launch with TRUE GRIME, BROKEN, JOY and EUPHORIA to showcase our song/lyrical side.
How & Why did you select these themes?
JOY, TRIUMPH and EUPHORIA were obvious themes for us to release first as they have such a wide appeal and many uses in promos, sports and anything motivational and inspirational.
For more drama and cinematic uses it seemed important to release FROZEN, RISE and LOVE & HATE first, as we wanted to reinforce the timeless feel of our more emotional albums.
What other themes do you have lined up for the rest of 2020?
Wow, we have an amazing 2020 release schedule lined up. On top of the initial 8 albums already released we have 22 more albums slated for 2020. Look out for music for documentary, politics, horror, fashion, sports and more.
What sets you apart from your competition?
- Our desire to not just clone what is already out there but to create an exciting take that is fresh, new and unique sounding. We take our influences from established, contemporary and interesting upcoming genres and hybridize them into media usable music with ENERGY.
- Our very extensive raft of edit/media friendly edits, underscores, alts, stings and stripped back versions of all of these.
- A sense of passion, emotion, attention to detail and above all a story locked into every piece of music.
- Our interesting collaborations with a select family of trusted composers who understand production music.
- We aim to create albums with a flow like a commercially released artists’ album.
Finally, tell us about your favorite album!
We seem to fall in love with every new album we work on like it’s our firstborn child. TRUE GRIME – Sound Of The Streets is a fantastic story based album, also BROKEN – Fractured Synthesis which breaks the rules but has a unique place in the world. Though we each have our personal favorites, I suppose we really enjoyed making and listening back to FROZEN – Scandi Neo Classical the most. It has a lot of emotions in there and as lovers of gritty melancholic Scandi drama’s we felt like we’d captured the essence of loss, redemption and futility which often underscores these kinds of dramas.