Originally from Erie, Pennsylvania. Bronsen took up music as early as the age of 8, when his mom bought him a $63 Bass guitar. Since then, Bronsen has taken a stab at a wide number of instruments and genres.
Truly one of the most unique sounds you’re likely to hear today, Bronsen Vidas’ “Killing Time” is a Jazz/pop/R&B fusion extravaganza that boasts top-notch musicianship paired with catchy and easily digestible lyrical content. The Juicy single doesn’t shy away from presenting all of its many moving parts clearly to the listener, however, the effortless and relaxed sound does not overburden the soundscape with information but rather carries itself gently with its swaying melody and lazy Sunday vibes.
Recently, Bronsen’s skillful songwriting was noticed by HBO Max execs who scooped him up for a spot on their original series “The Hype”. So you better believe we had some questions for him:
Gotta ask this first: Unless it is your real name, Where did the “Bronsen Vidas” come from?
It’s half my real name, half not! My real first name is Bronsen, “Vidas” is an anagram of my middle name Davis, and I pulled it from Saint Vitus of Italy, who’s the patron saint of dancing and entertainment. I know it also means life or lives in Spanish, and I thought that was cool too. Overall I thought it was a great fit to my personality, and also nobody could ever pronounce my actual last name right (Euard), so I wanted something that felt more comfortable and authentic to me.
Before I read your Bio, the Piano in “Killing Time” gave you away as a lounge Pianist. How was that experience for you?
That’s so sick that that registered for you! Truthfully, playing piano in San Francisco was a really beautiful, but difficult experience for me. I really needed the money and I love playing piano, but this gig was very solitary, very….decorative. It was at a super fancy hotel/restaurant and I was there more for the look and ambience and less for the sound. I found myself trying to play songs I knew by ear a lot on the fly, and that really helped me sort of develop my skills. Overall, it was kind of a tragically romantic thing. I remember playing piano alone on Christmas Eve sort of detached from the moment, knowing I loved music and that it got me there, which was definitely not where I wanted to stay. Still the way the keys felt and the piano sounded was always comforting, and I still feel nostalgic when I think about that time in my life.
You play most if not every instrument in your songs, is that right?
Yes, I play every instrument that I record EXCEPT….the drums. I mean I program electronic drums, but even if I wanted real drums I’ve never had any luck with learning them. My feet can’t keep up with my hands and I feel so clumsy, so probably for the foreseeable future I’ll be asking other people to play it for me.
With such a strong focus on more traditional instrumental sound, I wonder if you tend to write music before lyrics, or if it usually happens the other way around.
I think about this a lot and my answer would honestly be a mixture of the two. My most common moments of inspiration are when I think of a melody at the same time while I’m jamming on some chords I made up. I’ll just pursue that theme until a song comes out of it. The catch is usually I have to write it all in one session or else I’ll lose inspiration and might have to start over. Other times I’ll write a poem and leave it for a few months, and then later I’ll have a melody in my head with no lyrics. I’ll start searching through my little poem collection until I find a phrase that feels authentic and perfect, and then I’ll start sculpting the song around the words.
I went back and listened to some of your previous releases like “Chamomile” and “Be mine for a minute”, is this the “Bronsen” sound? will you keep focusing on this jazzy R&B vibe? it’s really something else!
I’m so happy you went back and checked out those songs, I’m really proud of the sound I’ve been shaping. This is definitely the vibe I’m going for, I try to do justice by all my influences that span so many decades. One thing that makes me really happy is that I rarely try to “go” for this sound it just keeps coming out. Producing my own music has helped me define what’s really going on inside my head and I keep falling in love with the textures and feelings I’m able to pull from. So yeah, expect this sound for sure for the foreseeable future. I’m always dancing around the genres I listen to and love!
Tell us a bit about how it felt scoring a song for an HBO Max original series. It must have been exhilarating to receive that proposal in the first place.
It definitely felt like a moment where I was like “yeah I really am a professional I guess!” I think we all need that validation, and I guess I really was craving it. When I got the call that we got picked up (I worked with another producer on the song), I really was speechless for a second because it had been months since we worked on the song and I kind of forgot about it. When it got picked up, it really was a special moment. I’ve been working on music for so many years, I just needed someone “professional” (literally I don’t know what that means anymore haha) to believe in me. So since then I’ve been hungry for more, and I think some doors have been opened up as a result.
I’m sure you’re gaining momentum right now, where do you see yourself next year?
Truthfully I see this kind of sound I’m working on getting more and more popular. I think people really like when organic sounds combine with modern sensibilities. I think computers are allowing us to express ourselves in musical ways that are crazy special and unique, and I want to lead the way in expressing that energy! I see myself having fun, I see myself being grateful, and for playing some bigger and more fun shows. I see myself collaborating with some really innovative hip hop artists, and I see myself becoming a better version of me which I guess has always been the goal anyways.
Lastly, how do you like to kill some time?
If I have some time to kill, I’m gonna go surfing, or I’m going to drink a lot of coffee. If it’s at night, I love myself a good campfire. And I love being super silly and I love…just being in the moment. If it’s really hot (which it has been lately) I’m gonna lay on my floor with some good music playing and watch the shadows in my apartment get longer and longer.
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photos / courtesy of the artist
story / Samuel Aponte