Meet Lee Brown. The British solo artist currently based out of Los Angeles, officially began his music career in 2015 as a member of the international boyband Phase Five. Returning with his new single, ahead of the release his highly anticipated solo project, Lee spoke to IndustryMe about his journey so far and plans for the future.
Where did your musical journey first begin?
Growing up, I listened to a very broad spectrum of music styles. My mum was punk rock fan and my dad was a huge fan of Motown music, but I think it was musical theatre that made me realize that I wanted to do music as more than just a hobby. In middle school, due to an injury in my knee, I was forced to quit my football (Soccer) team and I had to find something else to occupy my time. I started taking dance classes since my sister was a dancer and quite honestly I had a crush on one of her dance teachers. It was around this point in my life when in love with performing and entertaining people.
You then spent some time studying at Sir Paul McCartney’s Performing Arts school, what made you apply?
When it was time to go to college, I had to make a decision between studying performing arts and graphic design. It was an easy one for me but in my town back home, it was pretty unusual for a guy to go off to a performing arts college. I went for an open day at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA) and I pretty much made up my mind before I even ha da chance to audition, I loved everything about it. There was an amazing sense of community, everybody has similar passions and of course it had every single facility you could imagine. The course I ended up in covered music, acting and dancing, at this point I wasn’t sure which lane I was going to fall into so I thought it would be better to keep all options open. Looking back, I was extremely lucky to be selected to go to LIPA, there was a very low acceptance rate as there was very a high demand to attend such a prestigious school.
How did you transition from being the kid studying his craft in a classroom to touring with phase 5?
Throughout my 3 years in college, used to upload videos to youtube to showcase some of my work online. Long story short, in December 2014, during my final year, I received an email from a management company in Los Angeles telling me that a member of a boyband had seen my work online and they just so happened to be looking for a new member, would I be interested?. I had about 5 days to make a decision since they were about to record an album and head on tour.
After consulting with my friends, teachers and family I decided to pack my bags, and no more than 2 weeks later, I was in the studio in LA recording my first song.
What’s your favourite memory from being on tour?
I think taking my band to my hometown in the UK was the most fun. As the majority of my band was from America, I made sure to show them all of the things I used to do growing up. It was definitely a culture shock for them but also very refreshing as I got an opportunity to see my friends and family and show them what I have been up to.
If you were giving advice to anyone going on our tour what would be your top three tips?
- Soak it ALL in, don’t take it for granted.
- Take some time to experience each place
- Make friends. You will meet so many new people on tour, in cities that you may never visit again. Take the opportunity to go out and create some quality relationships with people.
How does the music scene in Hollywood compare to London?
LA is a whole other beast, I haven’t had too much involvement in the music scene in London, but during our tour, I noticed the whole music community was a lot smaller and intimate. Los Angeles is such a huge place with people from all over the world coming to chase their dreams. There is a lot of up and coming artists out here. I love it.
What’s it like being solo after spending so much of your career being in a band?
I have a lot more control now, which is great. I can create a vision of my own and see it come to life but it is definitely more lonely. I am a huge people person and I love being around people and laughing and joking. I miss that aspect of it for sure. That being said, I am thoroughly enjoying my solo project so far and I cant see what is in store for me next.
What’s the most challenging aspect of life as an independent solo artist?
In a band, on those rainy days where you just want to lie in bed but you really should be working, you have 4 other guys to scream at you to wake you up and get ready for rehearsal. Now, it’s all on me, I have to find my own motivation. Thankfully I am a very self motivated and driven person but I can definitely see this being a challenge at some point.
Turning our attention to your new single ‘Not Gonna Buy Your Love’ what was the inspiration behind the track?
You know that famous saying “Money cant buy you happiness”. Well it shouldn’t be able to buy you love either. I believe that the things in a relationship that don’t cost any money are the things that hold the most value. Be appreciative of every moment, don’t get lost in a superficial world.
Will there be a video for the single?
We are working on a few things, that may or may not be a video for the single. But we definitely have more visual content coming out soon.
What’s next for Lee brown?
Live shows and more music. Keep an eye out on my social media for information on that. I plan on releasing more amazing music over there summer and also a more live shows. I also want to set up a US tour pretty soon. However, my long term goal is to motivate people from small towns around the world who feel like they cant get out of their bubble to get up and follow their dreams. Life is too short to be doing something that you don’t enjoy
Any final shoutouts or plugs?
Huge shout out to the team that I have been working with on this project, Ryan Mack, Luke Shrestha and Simon Jay who are some of the most talented songwriters and producers I have ever met.
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