Interview with H*Wood

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Brandyn Bordeaux is the hip­hop vocalist who brought all of the musical pieces of the band together. DJ Five8 (aka Alton Coward) is the resident noisemaker with the turntables, Yasi Azimi is the singer, Shawn Briardy, the bassist while Scott Walker holds down the six string guitar and Joe Chudyk keeps the rhythm with the drums.

Tell us about your music

Brandyn: My music is Fearless, Real, and Left of Center. I focus on creating an emotion through my lyrics and then using elements of different genres to put together the music that fits the emotion. Lastly, I arrange the lyrics and music to where it can be understood by everyone no matter their age or background. I feel it is my purpose to give every listener hope through my music because I believe if everyone had at least one person who just believed in them the world would be a better place. I try and be that person via my music.

Alton: My music is a combination of different genres and vibes I have been influenced by over the years. Being innovative but still having a current sound is important to my work, and I think it’s going to turn into something very unique once I refine my approach.

Yasi: In my solo career I try to create an environment for listeners, a brisk September evening. The band is Colorado, everything that is passionately loved out here has some kind of characteristic in our music.

Scott: I enjoy writing riff based guitar songs that can supplement a good vocal melody. I have recently explored some instrumental percussive acoustic

compositions that continue to be a work in progress. Overall, I’ve come to appreciate a good balance between complexity and simplicity with anything I create.

Shawn: Passion. I play with passion, and it allows me to become lost inside the music, leading me to exciting places! I particularly appreciate cutting edge, because the definition is none, and it follows no rules. Why follow only standards? I’ve experimented with so many different licks, runs, turnarounds, and slides, that NOW, I have gone back to standards. The emotional feeling I get from them is un­mimmicked and beautiful. But, as the Human species is on the dawn of pure truth, love and evolution. The emotions surfacing are completely new and unexplained, so I get lost…and find music.

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What do you like most about your profession?

Brandyn: I enjoy the “Nothing to Something” process. I love how silence can evolve into sound and sound into song and song into performance. It’s truly the most gratifying experience. In addition I love being responsible for making people happy. I love the smiles and excitement I see in the eyes of our fans. It truly is the gas in my tank for the journey ahead.

Alton: I like the new people that I don’t know coming and telling me that my music changed their perception, even if it’s just for a night. Having that much influence on a persons psyche is a very powerful drug.

Yasi: Music helps me make sense of the world. Every day I wake up, whether it’s through singing or listening, I’m learning something new.

Scott: I enjoy the creativity, the endless amounts of sounds that can be manipulated, and the different dynamic that different people can add to an ensemble. As much I enjoy writing and playing on my own, it is truly the synergy with a group that is the driving fuel for the passion.

Shawn: Rocking out of course! Getting on stage and doing what I LOVE!

Pouring out what I love to do, is the most fun thing I’ve ever found. Writing music kicks ass too!

 

What’s your favorite album from another artist?

Brandyn: “The Love Below” by Andre 3000. “Man on The Moon” by Kid Cudi. “Stankonia” by OutKast “Blue Print 3” by Jay Z “Kush & Orange Juice” by Wiz Khalifa. In that order.

Alton: Even though I’m not the type of person to like entire albums, my favorite album would have to be So Far Gone by Drake.

Yasi: The miseducation of Lauryn Hill, Lauryn Hill­Channel Orange, Frank Ocean­Man on the Moon, I+II­Kidcudi, gogos+heartbreak, MBDTF­Kanye West, All eyes on me­TUPAC

Scott: My favorite album by another artist would be Pink Floyd ­ Dark Side of the Moon or Led Zeppelin II.

Shawn: The Great Misdirect, by Between the Buried and Me. Their time changes, odd signatures, tempo changes, ripping skills of every single member, the intensity of these guys lacerates right through the existing membrane of known form of music. And it feels good.

 

What song of yours are you most proud of?

Brandyn: I have a great appreciation for “Could it be you(Punk Rock Chick)” and what it has done for my career. But probably the song I’m most proud of is “Doubt Kills” because it embodies my life mission: to Kill Doubt.

Alton: I am most proud of “That 303.” It’s a song that actually turned into an entire project, but it was something that I had dreamt about for year’s prior. To see it finally become a reality AND have people that I don’t know really like it was literally a dream come true.

Yasi: #DoubtKills is my favorite! I love singing and performing it.

Scott: “Work.” I think this song embodies who we are as a band as far as sound and message. There is driving progressive rock sound behind powerful contemporary vocal work all while inspiring the listener to “Never Settle.”

Shawn: Work (Never Settle), Because its a template of our style as a band. It Rocks hard, and Dances hard, and HipHops hard. I really had to focus in on the rhythm of the bass, and once I found it, I felt the zing of the song kick in. Love playing it, its a blast.

 

What is the formula for success in the music industry?

Brandyn: Be fearless, stay focused, finish strong, stay humble and stay positive. To me it really is that simple.

Alton: Besides hard work, in my opinion the formula for success in the simplest way to explain is being unique, but innovative. You can make amazing music for the general public and be overlooked because that wave is gone if it’s what’s on the radio or hot at the time. However, you can takes risks and make very distinct music for visionaries and be rewarded by the people bring to you before the wave even arrives. great!!

Yasi: Knowing the market, giving them quality music and being consistently

Scott: Having a unique message, movement, sound, and following seems to be the formula for success. I believe the most important thing is having a unique sound that brings something to people that is felt and experienced. So much music today is manufactured on a computer but I still have a deep respect for what started in the Seattle scene as a raw, live, and improvised experience.

Shawn: Love what you’re doing.

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