Cedric Brazle (pronounced Brazil), is an American singer, songwriter. He is an independent artist managed by Emperium Entertainment, LLC. Cedric’s take on R&B draws inspiration from a variety of artists, including Sam Cooke, Donny Hathaway, Michael Jackson, Usher, Brandy and Maxwell. Born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida, Cedric has been singing tunes before he could speak words. From childhood piano lessons to joining a soul/alternative rock band in high school, music has always played a prominent role in his life. After Cedric’s high school graduation, the band split ways for college. At this point, he ventured to South Florida, steering him towards the journey of a solo career. He has opened shows for major acts and has graced the stage at local festivals, such as the City Girls, Ne-Yo, Tank, Jagged Edge, Mario, Pleasure P, Melanie Fiona, K. CAMP, Chante Moore, Dutchess of Black Ink Crew, 2018 People’s Matters Fest, 2019 SXSW, 2019 Black Pepper Food Fest, 2019 Overtown Music Festival and the 2019 Taste of Soul Atlanta Music Festival.
- Can you tell us a bit about how you got started and where you come from?
Cedric Brazle: Although I’ve lived in Miami for the past several years, I was actually born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida and was brought up by my mom and then my grandparents when I turned 4. We lived on the North side of Jacksonville, so life wasn’t always glamorous. I credit my grandparents 100% for distracting me from my environment and getting me involved in piano, plays, choirs, or anything music related in the city. Although I knew where I lived and all that went down, they made sure I wasn’t a part of it. – Music saved me!
- Who were your first and strongest musical influences that you can remember?
Cedric Brazle: My first up-close and personal music influences were my two grandfathers from both sides of my family and my uncle. Both of my grandfathers were in bands and played guitar. My uncle was signed to Columbia Records so his example was set for me. I was able to see the love they carried for music, what it did for them personally and it made me desire to make music for myself. I think it’s the reason I was pushed so hard to study music and I’m glad they did, it’s literally the love of my life. Beyond family, it was artists like Michael Jackson, Usher, John Mayer, and Brandy that really inspired me to want to get on stage, study legends and vocals. I based my dreams on the work and impact they’ve had on the world.
- If I was to turn on your media player right now, which artists/songs would I see on your recently played list?
Cedric Brazle: Right now, I can’t get enough of H.E.R. I think she is one of the most creative musical minds of our generation and what R&B needs right now. I love her writing especially. You can also find a lot of Drake, Roddy Ricch, Snoh Aalegra, and I really love what Lucky Daye and Khalid are doing too as far as pushing the genre forward.
- What do you feel are the key elements in your music that should resonate with listeners?
Cedric Brazle: I think my music contains honesty. I think that’s the best attribute of music that an artist can give to the world – being able to tell your story your way is true freedom. I can’t and won’t sing music that I haven’t experienced because honesty translates and permeates through people and that’s what they leave with … a feeling.
- Could you tell us something about your latest project?
Cedric Brazle: I’ve been writing my upcoming EP for quite some time. Some of the music was written in my college dorm. I really wanted to work with as many producers as possible so that I can find the type of music that I like to make, and I think we got it right. I was able to draw from a lot of the genres of music that have influenced me growing up and I really believe people will get an idea of what I’ve been through in the past and where I see myself going in the future. It’s only the tip of the iceberg but I can’t wait to show what I can do and who I am becoming as an artist & entertainer.
- What inspired your single “Prisoner”? Is there a hidden meaning behind your single and new visuals?
Cedric Brazle: Prisoner was inspired by a situation I was dealing with a few years ago. I was in a space where I didn’t know if I was ready to commit to a relationship. I was completely unsure. As a young guy, I think it’s natural to want to see what the world has to offer. But I found myself questioning myself and it was a really dark place for me, emotionally and spiritually.
- Do you ever write a song with current musical trends, formulas or listener satisfaction in mind, or do you simply write what comes from your heart?
Cedric Brazle: I never go into writing to copy the trends, that how you get lost in the shuffle. My goal is to be 100% me, make music that pushes the boundary, inspires me & makes people feel.
- What is your process when writing, recording and producing your music? Do you collaborate with others or outsource any of these tasks?
Cedric Brazle: I usually start a song in my car or near a body of water, it just helps me find clarity in my thoughts so it can translate in the music. I then share it with my team and we usually vet through it over a few studio sessions. My vocal coach, Ashaala Shanae, might also come in and we produce vocals together. I’m extremely thankful for my team at Emperium Entertainment, they always ensure that I’m putting my best foot forward and let me set the tone for how to tell my story.
- What has been the most difficult thing you’ve had to endure in your career or life so far, and how did you overcome the event?
Cedric Brazle: The biggest thing I’ve had to overcome was the doubters and nay-sayers. People would tell me things like “I can’t make a career in music”, that “I wouldn’t be successful”, or that “no one would listen to my music”. In the beginning, it would really get to me because I didn’t understand why people would place their fears on me. I had to learn that people are only intimidated by people that do things that they wish they could. I’ve learned to let other peoples’ doubt drive me and push me. I think that’s the best part about having my team; they keep me motivated and let me know I can do it. The key to overcoming haters and doubters is to keep people around you that believe in you, without hesitation.
- What would you consider a successful, proud or significant point in your career so far?
Cedric Brazle: My proudest moments have been performing and traveling, especially with my team. It brings me the highest level of joy. We’ve had the opportunity to travel to New York, Texas, Georgia, etc. and every time it reminds me of why I love making music and why I love performing – to touch people and see they’re response to my music.
- When putting together a song, do you usually start with the beat first, or do come up with a narrative first?
Cedric Brazle: Both, Depends on the producer. “Prisoner”, for example, started organically. We brought the producer of the record, David Minus, in and he heard what I had already written, which was like a verse and half of the chorus and started cooking up on the production. We wanted the music to feel slow with a rushed pace while the lyrics were calm and soothing. By the end of the night we had found the direction of the song and I was able to finish out the lyrics.
- How do you handle criticism, haters and/or naysayers in general? Is it something you pay attention to, or simply ignore?
Cedric Brazle: I think criticism is necessary, depending on where it comes from it helps you grow and manifest your art in a conscious light. I generally don’t mind hearing critiques of my music if it comes from the right place. But, if it’s malicious or with ill-intent, I discern what I take in. I won’t say it’s easy to ignore hate and harsh criticism, but I try my best not to internalize and keep it with me – unless I’m putting it in a song.
- Which aspects of being an independent artist excites you most and which aspects discourages you most?
Cedric Brazle: I love the freedom. The freedom to write my story and sing my story is something I never take for granted. I know countless artists who don’t have that simple ability. Being independent isn’t for the faint-hearted though, but it’s worth the journey if you have faith in yourself. The hardest part would be realizing that the support you get as an independent artist will mostly be from people you’ve never met. It’s so easy to get caught up in thinking that the people around you will be the first to support and hold you down.
- What is your relationship with visual media? Do you think videos are important for your music, and do have a specific video clip you would like to recommend that fans watch to find out more about your craft?
Cedric Brazle: Aside from the music, visuals are incredibly important to tell the story. Visuals bring people within reach of your creation and allows them to truly understand our perspective. Music is undoubtedly powerful but there’s something to be said about the artist that can effectively tell their story visually. My brand new music video for my latest record “Prisoner” is an example of that. It allows you to be immersed into my world and to feel the struggle that I’m singing about. If I had to recommend a video, I would say start with “Prisoner” available on YouTube and go down the rabbit hole of my past music videos to get a glimpse of who I am.
- In general, do you consider music and social media platforms as fundamental in building a career in music today, and what is your personal relationship with the new technology at hand?
Cedric Brazle: I definitely think music and social media coincide. Social media allows independent artists to promote themselves and be the captain of their own ship. There’s no reliance on outside sources, the information is readily available for your supporters. I love being able to connect and show the people that support me what we’ve created and why it means so much to me. It helps them better understand who I am as an artist and a human being.
- Who serves as your greatest source of inspiration?
Cedric Brazle: God and my family. God because he gave me the gift to sing at a very young age and I’ve known this is what I’ve wanted to do since I was 3 and it has never ever changed. I know he gave me this gift for a reason. I also say my family because they push me and motivate me to keep going. I always see people who don’t have that support, but I don’t have that experience, thankfully.
- Creative work in studio environment, or interaction with a live audience? Which of these two do you ultimately prefer and why?
Cedric Brazle: Live audience, hands down! I grew up performing all over the city and I never get tired of the feeling of seeing people sing along and feel what you’re singing about. Performing live is the main reason I wanted to do music in the first place – it allows people to escape whatever it is they’re running from at home and just enjoy living in the moment with you and enjoy being understood – true freedom.
- Do you have a personal favorite track in your catalog that has a specific backstory and/or message and meaning very dear to you?
Cedric Brazle: Yes, my favorite song is actually a record on my upcoming project, called “Human”. It really sums up who I am and where I stand right now. It also sheds light on what I’ve been through in the most beautiful way. I can see a lot of people relating to it and finding peace within themselves.
- What do you find most rewarding about what you do?
Cedric Brazle: So far, it’s been people telling me that my music has given them a sense of confidence and has motivated them to not be afraid; to just push the boundaries and go for the things they want out of life. People have also come to me about my latest record, expressing that they’ve had hardships and that this song specifically has helped them carry forward. That’s the ultimate gift to me. When each record can mean something to someone. No amount of money could beat that!
- Do you have a specific vision or goal that you would like to achieve in 2020?
Cedric Brazle: I want to travel, tour, and share my music with the world. I have always dreamed big. It keeps me motivated to keep going every day. I know this was meant for me and I will never stop until I see it through.
Cedric Brazle Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/cedricbrazle/
Cedric Brazle Twitter: https://twitter.com/CedricBrazle
Cedric Brazle Website: https://www.cedricworld.com/
Cedric Brazle Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CedricBrazle/
https://youtu.be/OyVJX3qrsFg (Prisoner) new video
https://youtu.be/9_dBatxZTEs (Body Heat) official video
https://youtu.be/Wc5AohEbDhI (Dangerous) official video
https://youtu.be/D9bOkzE19TE (Till the Mornin) official video