We had a little chat with rising pop star, Mo Brandis about his latest track, “Red Lights,” the amazing feedback to his debut solo single, and what’s next for the star.
We usually just jump straight into the interview, but we can’t without talking about his latest stomper, “Red Lights.”
It takes the funk elements that drew us to him on “Undercover” and turns the dial full (and nearly breaks it off) – when the chorus hits, it’s like an explosion of pop-soul-funk amazingness.
It’s a must-listen, your life will be lacking if you don’t!
Hi there! Thanks for chatting to us!
Thank you for having me!
You’ve just released your new track, ‘Red Lights’, how would you describe the track?
‘Red Lights’ is an upbeat, feel-good tune. I had written a lot of ballads at the time and wanted to write a really uplifting song that I could blast in the morning on my way to the studio! It’s about breaking out of your mind, pursuing your dreams and not letting anything or anyone stop you. I’m always really inspired by stories of people going against all odds – because they had their own vision and just kept going.
This is your second solo track, how does it feel to be out by yourself?
It feels awesome! After all the touring and writing I’ve done for others it’s really been a long time coming… I’ve had lots of ups and downs as an artist behind the scenes, and also had my share of disappointments with artists I wrote for, who either had huge potential or already were successful. In the end, it was often their work ethic or attitude that got in the way. With my own material, I am the driving force and I know no one will be as dedicated to the project as I am myself. I like the control this brings, which I feel I didn’t have on other projects. But I also needed my time and know that I am 100% ready to go out on my own now.
‘Red Lights’ turns the dial from restrained and silky vibes of ‘Undercover’ all the way to full on dance-funk party – was it a conscious decision to come back with a track that shows your versatility?
It wasn’t at first. We actually wrote it before we did ‘Undercover’, and I immediately knew I wanted ‘Red Lights’ to be a single. When we decided on the four tracks for the EP, we felt like doing ‘Undercover’ first and we also already had an idea for the video. But yes, it then felt good to follow it up with a different, more uptempo vibe to show another side of me.
Talking of “Undercover,” what was it like to gain such praise from your very first song?
It was an awesome start and I was really happy about it! Thanks again for the great review by the way! For me this is only the beginning and I know I still have a long way to go, but it’s amazing to receive so many positive comments and reviews for my first release.
The Justin Timberlake comparisons must have been a huge compliment?
Absolutely, that’s a huge compliment of course! JT has always been great at mixing different styles without losing the pop-appeal, which is something I always strive to do as well, both as a songwriter and as an artist.
Both tracks have funk elements weaved in, is the funk era a time that influences you a lot?
Yeah definitely! What I love about funk is that it’s all about the groove. The space between the notes. I’m a huge Prince fan for example, not least because he knew how to make people dance and had killer sing-along hooks. Anything that’s funky needs tasteful musicianship that serves the song and the groove, without overplaying. That’s also the type of musicians I always find myself gravitating towards, the ones that communicate through music and make everyone else feel good.
You have your debut EP, Undercover, coming out soon, what can we expect to hear on there – are there any surprises?
I’ll let you be the judge, but yes, there’s a ballad on there called ‘Some Things Never Change’, which is a different vibe, more melancholy and emotional. It’s about having lost someone and finding yourself without that person, realising that it’s part of life that everything and everyone goes on like nothing has changed, although for you nothing’s the same anymore. The other track is probably the funkiest track on the EP, called ‘Like You Love Me’. It’s a tongue-in-cheek reminder to sometimes imagine you’re just at the beginning of a relationship when you didn’t already know that person inside out. I also shot a video for it in Ibiza with a friend of mine, which will be released along with the EP in November. Just don’t expect the usual Ibiza boat-party-beach-and-club-video, it’s a little bit different…
What’s next for Mo Brandis after this EP, is there an album in the pipeline, or a tour?
We’re already in the middle of working on my next EP for early next year. I also have more songs that are either finished or in the pipeline, but I’m focusing on singles and a few EPs for now, before releasing an album. There’s no tour planned yet, but I I really can’t wait to hit the road with my own band.
Good luck with “Red Lights” and thanks again for chatting with us!
Thank you and thanks for the interview!
Check out “Red Lights” below and let us know what you think in the comments!