Bruno Major is not, by nature, a planner.
“What’s the opposite of a planner? I am that,” he says. “I write my plans in sand.”
And yet the British singer-songwriter created and released one song a month, on every full moon, for a year. The collection of those tracks, “A Song For Every Moon,” acts as his debut.
“I had one song, which was ‘Wouldn’t Mean a Thing,’ and I thought I’d just put it on the internet and then I’ll just make more songs, one each month, and then I’ll end up with a collection of songs without having to plan it at all,” he says. “It will just happen.”
amNewYork caught up with Major before his show at Elsewhere — his first gig in America — to talk about moons, songwriting and major label woes.
Why full moons as markers for new songs?
A month is not an arbitrary amount of time. It’s the amount of time it takes the moon to orbit around the Earth. So I thought it would be a nice way to bring meaning to the process of releasing something every four weeks. I’m also really into astronomy, and I do believe that everything in the universe works in a certain way, whether it’s electrons orbiting around neutrons or moons around planets or planets around suns. It all works in a nice way, and it’s nice to be in sync with that.
You had a rough spell on a major label, but it seems like you made it.
I signed a record deal, and all it did was restrict and disable my creative output. They literally stopped me from doing what I wanted to do, they wouldn’t allow me to release an album I had made, and it was just such a waste of time. I recorded [an] album, it was done, this whole high-budget thing, and after I had left the label I didn’t have any money or any way of recording an album in the same way I had done. So I used what little I had left of my record advance and bought a laptop and Logic, the music program, and I learned to make records myself. It was a slow process of watching a lot of YouTube videos and making really terrible music. But now it’s such a blessing. I genuinely feel like making music on my computer and being able to make records from start to finish is the most rewarding thing.
What’s the best month for songwriting?
I’m not sure there’s a particular month that lends itself to creative flow. … I go through peaks and troughs. I go through periods where I’m writing madly, and I’ve got three songs on the go and writing two songs at once in my head, and there are times when I can sit at the piano for four days in a row and nothing comes out. You’ve just got to be ready when it happens and chase it.
If you go: Bruno Major performs at Elsewhere on Nov. 1 at 8:30 p.m., 599 Johnson Ave., Bushwick, elsewherebrooklyn.com, sold out.