Photo courtesy of Brandon Harper
“Ultimately as people, we just want to be happy.”
Though a simple quote, it seamlessly exposes the reason of our actions as humans. I had the pleasure of interviewing the talented singer, songwriter and producer Brandon Harper who professionally goes by Beau Golden. Harper explains how creating music gives him a special sense of fulfillment and “happiness.” Harper said that as long as he makes music that truly means something to him, it will effectively translate to the masses.
Harper, an Oregon native, grew up listening to hip hop groups like the Beastie Boys and was gifted his first drum set at age 8. After sticking with drums for about four years, Harper explains that he found himself wanting to do more musically. As he became more immersed in hip hop, Harper began to casually write raps.
He soon discovered it was possible to record himself so he invested in recording gear, accumulating proper equipment like microphones and interfaces, and he learned beginner digital audio workstations like Audacity. Harper even went to the extent of soundproofing the room under his basement stairs and explains that he “dove headfirst into music.”
Harper developed the stage name Beau Golden, which stemmed from what he was almost named and his love for sunshine and the outdoors.
“I didn’t sound good.”
Harper said that recording was never easy and that he went through a period of growth to find his voice. He recalls that he “didn’t sound good,” and in order to improve, he would constantly do retakes until he got it right.
Though Harper’s passion for music was increasing, he came to Pepperdine as a pre-med biology student. Halfway through his first semester, he realized that he wasn’t willing to be miserable and put effort into something his heart wasn’t into.
Harper then transitioned into the Media Production major where he said his path collided with music, as he was given the opportunity through the major to work on film scores. A professor who works in the film industry asked him to help create a ’90s style beat.
“I love old school hip hop.”
Harper is a self-described “groovy person,” so he is naturally drawn to smooth sounds. As a producer, he likes to experiment with sampled hip hop and states that he loves the “old school” vibes.
Additionally, he said his past experience with the drums has aided him with his awareness of vital production knowledge like the adjustment of pitch. His creative process begins with a melody. With regard to songwriting, it then develops into a concept.
His lyrics often have a twist: they can mean something on the surface but have a deeper meaning. On the other hand, Harper said sometimes he likes to make music that doesn’t necessarily mean anything but just expresses his emotions.
“I was able to look up to Mac [Miller] and know it was possible.”
Harper said he identifies Mac Miller as one of his biggest influences and explained how inspired he was by Miller’s ability to be open and vulnerable in his music, never shying away from letting his emotions speak through the music. Harper described how, as a white rapper, Miller served as someone he could look up to.
He also said he admires how Miller didn’t set out to be the best “white rapper” but the “best musician.” Harper said he believes that as a society we are becoming more accepting in music to the point where it is less about race and more about how you treat people, noting that he is inspired by Miller’s genuine and kind-hearted nature.
“They were the first songs that sounded good enough to put out.”
Today, Harper has Soundcloud and Spotify accounts to share his music. I can hear Miller’s influence in Harper’s music, specifically in tracks like “Sunday” and “Sun Child” off of his EP titled “Love Songs” that feature raw lyrics matched with gritty, happy-go-lucky tone inflection and steady melodies that serve to be both relatable and authentic.
“Love Songs” is Harper’s first released EP and he recalls feeling proud because they were the first songs he deemed “good enough” to release. The six-track project isn’t the end for Harper, as he has produced hundreds of unreleased tracks.
Harper has also found himself reaching out and collaborating more with other artists, explaining that group collaboration is key in his process. This past June he recorded an album with his friends and sister called “Beautiful God” that is expected to drop this summer.
This project is especially close to Harper because his unique sound has developed even more from his “Love Songs” era. In addition to the new album, Harper is also working on producing a series of instrumentals to pay homage to the late Mac Miller.
“I’m trying to keep the flame lit by serving God by serving others.”
Harper said his overall goal with music is to help execute the music that other artists have in their head and translate it into sound. Moreover, Harper wants to serve God by using the talents He gave him to serve others, as he believes that God calls everyone to be creative. Lastly, Harper strives to create music that is not only enjoyable but also timeless.
It was fascinating learning more about Harper’s artistry and musical goals, and I believe in his music.
To keep up with his budding music career, follow his socials:
PASS IT ON
Pass It On is the last part of my artist profiles in which I ask the artist I am interviewing to suggest who I should interview next. Stay tuned to the next edition of bands, fans and bandwagon fans to find out who I end up interviewing!
Until next time & thank God for music!
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