Rising Australian talent Elliot Brown describes himself as a singer-songwriter, and while the description is technically true, it’s also one that brings to mind visions of an acoustic troubador armed with nothing but a guitar and a bunch of folk tunes – a long way from the polished dance-pop found on Brown’s debut album Empyrean.
Brown released the album to iTunes, Spotify and Amazon on October 31, having spent more than a year crafting it.
“My heart is definitely in pop music. I worked really hard to find the right producer who’d be able to understand what I wanted to do – pop music, and a hint of dance music as well. I play the piano and the keyboards, and that’s how I write all my music, but I knew I needed to find the right producer to take my music down that pop/dance avenue,” Brown told the Star Observer.
“I get a lot of inspiration from other songs I love – art is recreated from art.”
He’s not wrong – the album’s lead single, As I Go, is injected with the same Chic-esque funk that characterized two of the year’s biggest global hits, Daft Punk’s Get Lucky and Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines.
“[Get Lucky] was one of the key songs we were thinking of when we made that song. I love how they revisited that whole 70’s sound, and we wanted to do our own take on it – it came out really well, I think.”
The Brisbane-born, Sydney-based 28-year-old admitted his own musical influences went a little further back, listing Michael Jackson, Billy Joel, Elton John and Carole King as some of his all-time favourite artists.
“Anyone who wrote their own songs on the piano is a huge influence on me,” he said.
Darren Hayes fans should also note Empyrean sounds more than a little like some of Hayes’ poppier solo work – Brown acknowledged the Savage Garden star as another artistic influence.
“And he’s a Queensland boy too…there must be something in the water up there!”
Brown’s music is already on heavy rotation at Melbourne’s gay and lesbian radio station, Joy 94.9. He said he had no hesitation about launching himself as an openly gay artist from day one.
“I didn’t even try to hide it. I’m putting my heart out there with this record, so I thought I may as well be myself. I’m proud of who I am and I have nothing to hide, so I’m happy to stand up for gay rights. I’ve been working with the organisation Community Brave, and I’d love to be a role model for the community.”
Bouyed by the positive response to the album so far, Brown said he planned to enlist DJs to remix some of the album’s key tracks – and is also working launch shows so that listeners can hear Empyrean’s highlights in a live setting.