A Conversation with Songwriter & Producer Colin Brittain

Colin Brittain
Songwriter and producer Colin Brittain visited ‘Jake’s Take’ for “A Conversation.” (Photo courtesy of Effective Immediately PR)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

It is a pleasure to welcome songwriter and producer Colin Brittain to Jake’s Take.

The Knoxville, Tennessee native recently signed with Warner/Chappell Music. Over his career, Colin recorded with a plethora of recording artists including All Time Low, Dashboard Confessional, 5 Seconds of Summer, Steve Aoki, and the late Avicii.  Colin’s work also caught the attention of Alternative Press, Cryptic Rock, and The Huffington Post.

In this edition of A Conversation, Colin Brittain opened up about the lessons that he learned some of the music industry’s top recording artists, who influenced his decision to sign with Warner/Chappell Music, and which iconic rock frontperson would he like to work with in the future.

Jacob Elyachar: When did you get interested in music? How did that passion evolve into the desire to pursue a career in the music industry?

Colin Brittain: I was involved in music from maybe 3 or 4 years old.  My dad was in bands when I was growing up-my brothers and sisters all play instruments and sing.   Music just seemed to resonate through my house all the time.    When I got a little older and found other musicians to play with the floodgates opened up and I became obsessed with rock and roll and hip hop.   Every day before and after school I would practice drums and guitar. Eventually my dad bought me a 16 track digital recorder and I figured out how to multitrack myself, so i could be my own band.  Those were super fun years and created a foundation for me to pursue recording other projects.

Jacob Elyachar: You had the opportunity to work with a plethora of acts such as the late Avicii, Dashboard Confessional, 5 Seconds of Summer, and Steve Aoki. What were some of the lessons that you learned from them that helped you grow as a producer and a songwriter?

Colin Brittain: I have been so lucky to work with so many great artists.   It’s been a long five years for me,  but it’s also gone by very quickly.   I suppose you always keep learning;  each project really opens you up to different expectations and personalities.  I would say the over-arching theme that I have learned throughout my relatively short career is that music is way more about communication than anything else.  It’s a universal language-  regardless of its origin. The biggest lesson on that tip for me was working with One Ok Rock from Japan.   When we first started working together five years ago, Taka, who is the band’s singer, did not speak much English.  We had to have a translator-  but we still made it work and the music resonated with millions of people.   Today,  we are still great friends and still keep making music together, albeit he speaks fluent English now! 

Jacob Elyachar: What were some of the challenges that you faced throughout your career? How did you overcome those obstacles?

Colin Brittain: So many, but the biggest challenge was my own confidence in myself.  It is easy to let other people’s expectations take a nasty toll on you, so if anything, I have earned to quiet the voices around me and listen to myself ( cue cheesy background music).  Eventually, I stopped to take a breath, realized that all I can do is the best I can do. I am completely obsessed with music and creation, so that’s the most important thing through and through.  If you keep your eye on what’s most important to you, all of the anxiety and other bad stuff just fades away.   

Jacob Elyachar: Recently, you had the opportunity to sign with Warner/Chappell Music. There are a lot of publishers in the industry, why did you decide to sign with Warner/Chappell Music?

Colin Brittain: Actually, my sister is signed to Warner/Chappell Nashville, and she LOVES it.  That was what got me interested in the first place, but then I met Greg Sowders and David Goldsen.  They really seemed to get my vision as a songwriter and a producer,  and I felt like they could help me with my goals of branching out and reaching other genres of music at a high level that might otherwise be tough for a rock producer to get to.

Jacob Elyachar: Who are your dream collaborators (singers, bands, and producers)? How would they bring your songs to life?

Colin Brittain: Rick Rubin is my hero. I would love to work on a project with him or really just be in the room with him.  There are so many other bands that I would be stoked to work with, but to be honest I’ve found recently that I most like working with my friends. My buddies Nick Long,  Tommy English, Zackk Cervini, Nick Furlong, Michele Buzz, Alex Gaskarth, and Simon Wilcox- all of these are rad talented people so I would like to just keep working with them.  I would really love to get in the studio with Chris Martin too.

Jacob Elyachar: If you had the opportunity to meet with singer-songwriters who want to work in the recording industry, what advice would you share with them?

Colin Brittain: Stay obsessed!! As I mentioned before, do not let the small shit slow you down. It’s a competitive industry but it does not have to be scary.  If you are talented and believe in yourself then don’t let other people’s insecurities slow you down.   

You can connect with Colin on social media. Visit his Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter channels.

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