Brice Sedgwick follows 2017’s gem Pacifico with Venice; a smart, idiosyncratic and thoughtful look at modern heartbreak and endless love. We sit down with Sedgwick to talk everything from dream venues, songwriting evolution to being bold enough to just do it all yourself.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Victoria Australia. My grandfather was a well known musician in the 50s and 60s, and I grew up with a piano, and I think having the influence of being around when my grandfather was playing gigs, and having a piano at home, really gave me that spark to create something of my own that would stand on its own feet, instead of interpreting someone else’s songs.
What is your musical background?
I grew up playing piano, and then I picked up a guitar when I was a teenager. I studied music at University, and sang with many different philharmonics, and chorals. I then performed with a few significant music theatre companies in Australia and the United Kingdom, all the while I was writing and shaping my own music.
Musically, what are your biggest influences and who are your favorite musicians?
It really depends on the project, or the song i’m working on, or how i’m feeling, but it definitely ranges all the way from The Beach Boys to Rachmaninov to Frank Ocean. Marit Larsen has always had a special place in my heart, her stories are painted in such a way where the emotion and the sonics bleed and blend and are so malleable that by the end of a pretty damn catchy pop song, you think to yourself, “what did I just experience?” Poison Passion, for example, is an incredible song that i’ve tried to match in experience. Who knows if I will ever get there, but I do think it’s important to want to achieve a feeling and experience that other songs have given you.
How would you describe your own style?
I’d like to think that there’s a level of complexity that might not be understood by the listener at first listen, but unpacks itself a little more each time you listen to it. I want it to be easy to listen to, but I want it to be layered. I’ve often found myself listening to music over and over again, and each time there is something else to think about, a different perspective to discover, and a spark of emotion that may not have been there previously. But with Venice, i’d describe it as Coastal Noir pop.
In what ways has your newest music changed from when you first started?
With my first record, I wanted to play with so many different styles and experiment with various ways to build songs, but as i’ve grown as a songwriter, and with each new project, i’ve been very particular about creating sonically cohesive sounds; a theme and sound to wind through each song on a record.
What would be your dream venue in which to perform?
I have performed with the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic as a soloist at Hamer Hall, which was an incredible experience. I’ve definitely got my eyes on returning there someday very soon. Opera Bastille in Paris would be ridiculously amazing on so many different levels. Maybe out of sync with my current record, but it would be fun.
Which famous musicians do you admire? Why?
I have so many, and so many artists influence me in small and unexpected ways. These can range from Beach Boys to Kanye West, to Rachmaninov (are you out there!?). Rachmaninov, to me, has that huge flare of dramatics in his composition, and I definitely try to capture that essence in some way. In a completely different way, surf culture, and the marina culture really influenced the way I shaped the songs on Venice. I wanted to thread a sonic cohesion throughout all of the songs by using surf guitar and tremolo guitar to tie things together. There’s something really special about high profile musicians who still place importance on the art, and the process of creation, rather than a lifestyle.
Which famous musicians have you learned from?
Marit Larsen; if you want to make music, and tell your story as it is, do it yourself. Just do it yourself.
Have you been in competitions? Fleadh’s? Any prizes?
I was recently named a finalist for the American Track Music Awards as Best International Artist. It’s always nice to be acknowledged, especially for a project that i’m not only extremely proud of, but that is very special to me.
Do you perform in public? Describe those occasions? Concerts, radio, TV?
I recently finished a tour of my last album, Pacifico. You know, there’s something really odd about performing a song that you’ve written, that has existed as a studio recording for some time. It’s almost like it isn’t your song anymore. Once someone has it on their stereo, their iPhone, their gym playlist, it no longer is my song, but theirs. And so playing these songs live was a really special experience. Playing a song that may have become a soundtrack to someone else life, that I wrote. That’s a feeling that you don’t get everyday. And it’s pretty damn cool.
Venice is available for pre-order now, and available worldwide on iTunes from March 11th.