We caught up with Boom Dice & Charlotte Hannah following the release of their superb single collaboration ‘Confidence’. Read now!
Who or what got you into music?
Charlotte: Growing up, I was incredibly shy. I had no confidence at all. I’ve always loved music and singing, and have been singing for as long as I can remember. I joined a local theatre group at age seven but was too nervous to stand centre stage, so my parents suggested starting singing lessons to gain confidence, and from there began songwriting and learning to play the piano.
It’s songwriting that really gave me the ‘music bug’ – when I write regardless of what is going on in the world and in my life – I take the time to connect with myself and express how I feel.
Bryan: It went from Church choir, to Kids Orchestra playing the violin as I grew up. Then I met marijuana as a teenager, and I switched to drums, got myself some turntables, and started making beats! This progression, and just obsessing about music all the time lead to me wanting to pursue a career in music and deepen my experience at all levels. I was lucky because I knew at a very young age.
I travelled to the Caribbean a lot as a kid too, so Latin music and salsa became a big part of my interests in world music which expanded the way I make music. In terms of the music, I make today is often a mash of different styles and abilities. I can jump from a dance track to a rap track, and then do an indie band. That is how I stay excited and always moving forward.
Who influenced your latest release ‘Confidence’?
Charlotte: I hadn’t written a song like ‘Confidence’ to date, and really wanted to have a song that not only represented and included everyone, but celebrated every person of all genders, sexualities, skin colour, race, body size, height and so on. This time I wanted to unleash a that said ‘I want you to be confident’ because being you, as you are – is enough. Not only is it enough, but it’s something to be proud of.
‘Confidence’ to me is a song that celebrates everyone. If you are listening to this song, it is for you. And I want you to thrive with it. A few of my influential artists that inspired confidence are: Madonna, Britney Spears and Sofi Tukker.
Bryan: My influences for the music I make these days are projects like Jonas Blue, Diplo, DJ Khaled and those other producers out there who are building focus on themselves and the artists they choose to work with.
My label and platform idea ‘Boom Dice Presents’ came from this. Confidence, in particular, was just a dark club vibe I thought would never turn out to be this empowering and true banger lyrically speaking. Enter Charlotte and our other partners who made it come to life, and I couldn’t imagine it being anything else!
What sparked the collaboration between you both?
Charlotte: A friend of Bryan’s put us both in touch. He sent me a message on Instagram explaining all about Bryans project ‘Boom Dice Presents’. I was intrigued and excited, straight away and got in touch with Bryan. As soon as I heard the music, I knew this was a project I wanted to be involved in and here we are today!
Bryan: Charlotte was an artist I had followed for a while before we actually spoke. I loved her vibe, visuals, voice, and overall artist project. I could tell she was motivated, serious about what she was doing, and in it for the long haul. After the introduction, I sent her a few options of things we could do (different styles), and we landed on what is now Confidence.
My aims behind the Boom Dice Presents project is to shine a light on up and coming talent that displays the qualities that Charlotte does, and I put my time, experience, and love into it with those artists. Confidence is the ideal pairing here for the project.
You worked remotely on the track, what was that process like?
Charlotte: ZOOM…. Haha. The first step in creating ‘CONFIDENCE’ was choosing the beat. Bryan had a collection of his Instrumental tracks at the ready, all in need of vocals. Bryan sent over to me a bunch of beats to see if any tickled my fancy… and one particular track did.
When I heard the instrumental to what is now ‘Confidence’ I heard Vogue, London Music Scene, City Nights, something new and revolutionary. It gripped me. What followed this is Zoom songwriting sessions over Lockdown with Bryan, and my Songwriting team Parisa Shamir, Harriet Murdoch and Producer Tom Barker from Steelworks Studios in Sheffield.
Bryan: It was better than I ever thought it could be done! In fact, I am now encouraging my artists to do it this way without pressures of being in the same room when you don’t need to be. We had some other great writers on board to work with Charlotte in coming up with the concept, and I would dip in and out at various video meetings to help guide what would ultimately become the final vocal production and song. It was democratic, easy, and most importantly, fun!
Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Charlotte: Oh my gosh many people. To name a few: Ariana Grande, Jon Bellion, Flume, Lewis Capaldi, Sofi Tukker (who Bryan has worked with previously and how incredible)… and many more. The list could go on, if any of these collaborations came to light, it would be a dream come true.
Other than music, what are you passionate about?
Charlotte: All the other creative fields you could list: Dance, Art, Photography, Music Videos. I’ve actually directed and edited my last two music videos and am now working on the 3rd, which will be ‘Confidence’. I also love fitness and to run. I started running simply to increase my fitness, but since then fell in love with it and running helps clear my mind, inspires me and makes me super duper happy.
Bryan: Traveling! It has been ripped away from us all at the moment for obvious reasons, but I try to do one trip every few months. It is the best use of money, and also the best way to learn about the world. That is my favourite other thing to do when I am not in the studio!
What changes would you like to see in the music business?
Charlotte: I’d like to see more women in the Music Industry. More producers, songwriters, managers etc.It’d like to see more opportunities for unsigned artists and the chance to showcase to labels. I want to see transparency in the workplace.
The music business is a world of ‘who you know’, and that sometimes opens doors… but more so leaves many doors shut that you never knew existed. I’d love to be in the position one day to further someone’s career. That is why I respect Bryans project ‘Boom Dice Presents’ so much. “Bryan created the Boom Dice Presents Artist Showcase Platform to address problems within the modern music industry.” I’m so happy to be on board with this project.
Bryan: Charlotte summarized it perfectly! I created the Boom Dice Presents plan to help out acts/teams that I believe can achieve at a high level. I put my time and resources into making this happen. There are far too many people in the industry who promise too much and don’t deliver. I have seen it over a decade wearing my many different hats working with top labels A&R departments, all the way to artist managers and marketing companies. People operate in a way where if they were in any other business, they would be fired, or not in business at all.
So, I am building a circle of people that understand this concept, and want to start working in a way that is clear, transparent, and beneficial to ALL parties. The main issues I see are lack of communication, overvalued projects and people, and an unwillingness to educate yourself on how to do things properly. Let alone the pandering to egos without understanding a basic way of communicating. Fortunately, I have a million ways to deal with people like that once I see it, so it is easy to swerve but also doesn’t mean it is right!
How do you feel about how the internet plays a role in the music business today?
Charlotte: Two-sided really. On the one hand, it’s totally great – the entire world can be your audience. The community I have built online and that supports my music is incredible, and I appreciate them so much. Shout out to my ‘Charlotteers’.
A slightly negative side to the internet today is how saturated it is, and how many brilliant Artists are still unheard of simply because of lack of recognition.
Bryan: It is huge! Internet stars are a reality which, in a way, makes it more difficult for the many many great artists out there to be heard. You now have to be your own, manager, label, graphic designer, etc…in addition to making music! The ones that figure this out, are the ones who penetrate the market. Like everything, there are pros and cons. It has made the competition more fierce, has changed the way dinosaur companies have to operate to find and develop talent (also has made it easier), but on the flip side, it has decimated the concept of experience and putting in work.
Now everyone and their mother is either a DJ or artist and think they can do it, so that is a negative too because not everyone is good of course! I think the way the business has changed is also positive, but it is still rooted in old practices and in reality, a total mess. So for things like crediting, royalties, tracking, we are still not in an ideal situation, but there are many groups working to change this. As an industry, it just needlessly slow, likely because of the types of people I describe above.
If you could choose one thing for fans to take away from your music, what would it be?
Charlotte: To Feel good. When I think confidence, I think of the line in the track: “Every time you feel less confident I want you to think of me”. Meaning I am here to tell you – you’re the stuff. You’re enough. You’re a boss. Now get up and walk that catwalk we all call life and own it.
Bryan: Agreed with Charlotte. My main aim when I make music is for the audience to feel. Whatever mood that is, I want it to be an experience, and that is the way I work music too. I use a concept called “nuggets” which whoever works with me will know I say it a lot! It is the creation of special moments throughout the song that sticks with you. That could be as simple as a small vocal hook theme or a big bridge section, for example.
Have you started working on your next release?
Charlotte: Yes, my next two releases lined up, ready to go. We’re now planning the ones that we will release after that. Everything is recorded; it’s simply the task of choosing what next. The next song I release will be out early 2021.
Bryan: Oh yes! I always have something on the go! For the Boom Dice Presents releases, I have a few singles under development globally. An artist from Denmark/Switzerland who I have paired with a writer currently in the UK and Mexico, and then another US artist based in the UK doing some exciting things, and also even a Serbian based American artist. These are all in development and will showcase a range of styles including more Ariana Grande style RnB trap type vibes, to a big room dance banger! I don’t want to let “lockdown” stop my movement, and people are learning that they shouldn’t either! Aside from that, I am always producing and mixing behind the scenes for a range of clients.
FV Music Blog November 2020
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