Julien Brown Guest Blog
09 December 2013
Hello Friends, Romans & countrymen. Welcome to my blog spot for the Premier web site.
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Julien Brown and I’ve been playing Premier drums for the past 13 years. For those of you that do know me or have seen me around, you would have seen my name linked to some of the finest artists in the UK and across the globe. Like many musicians today, I cut my teeth on the British Gospel scene and followed the path of music ever since.
Recently I bumped into a mate at Troy Bar and he collared me for some advice, he said “Jules, what was your first big break?” to which I replied “to be honest I’ve never really had a big break”.
I started my career by covering gigs for other drummers on ‘Ground Zero’ and building up a network of MD’s, musicians and singers, tour managers and production managers, record company reps and so forth…I’m a strong believer that one long tour or a ‘big break’ doesn’t make you a full time musician.
As a result of my work on the ground, I’ve been blessed to sustain a career in music for the past 14 years and have played to 30 people in a function band at Dover Street to 150,000 people in a festival with Massive Attack. In between which I have worked with Lady Gaga, Kylie Minogue and Westlife. Most of the X-Factor crew from: 2005 winner Steve Brookstein, Shane Ward, Leon Jackson, Lemar and Olly Murs to name a few.
This year has been another immensely successful year for me. I started out on a trip to Holland with MOBO award winner and platinum selling artist Laura Mvula for her first ever gigs abroad (cheers Troy Miller). Shortly after, I toured America with Alfie Boe for a couple of months and then went into rehearsal for his UK arena tour. I spent most of this summer with another X-factor sensation Little Mix, covering the show for my bro Dexter Hercules. I had a short stint in the theatre on a show called ‘A dream across the ocean’ as well as playing some instrumental and jazz music with Luca Boscagin and Emanuel Waldron.
I’m currently working with ‘Best Russian artist of 2013’, Dan Balan. I’m working on his new record, (potentially for the next five months). We are working four days a week at RAK studios in St. John’s Wood, It’s the closet thing to a 9-5 I’ve ever had…LOL!
Did I mention that in amongst all of that, my wife Rachel gave birth to our son Josiah-David? We also have a daughter called Reya-Nyomi.
I’ve had loads of great experiences at work, but the one that springs to mind is that Lady Gaga story.
A few years ago I was asked to put a band together for some Gaga dates. We were set to perform Poker Face on the Jonathan Ross Show and management sent us a brief to emulate the version she did of American Idol. We rehearsed the one song for three days without her and it was sounding unbelievable. She came in on the last day of rehearsal about an hour before it all finished, wearing see through black lingerie with black tape covering her nipples and sang through the track once. When she finished singing, she looked at me and said “y’all sound amazing…However, I don’t wanna do this version, I wanna do Manson meets Coldplay.” I started playing a groove on the toms and within 15 minutes we had the version that we ended up with on the Jonathan Ross show… #epic! #closeshave! #flyingbytheseatofmypants!
Before I go, there are a couple of questions that team Premier have asked me - what gear I’m playing and what drummers and I listening to.
Gear wise I’m playing a Premier Series, black sparkle fade to silver sparkle kit. I christened it with Little Mix in the summer.
The sizes and wood spec I ordered (with the infallible wisdom of George Fredrick & Courtney Daniel) are:
8" x 6" Birch
10" x 7" Birch
12" x 8" Birch
12" x 9" Gen-X (maple/birch)
14" x 12" Maple
16" x 14" Maple
18 x 16" Maple
20" x 16" Gen-X (maple/birch)
22" x 18" Gen-X (maple/birch)
14" x 8" Maple
In terms of who I’m listening to, I, like most of us have been through the regulars in Chambers, Weckl, Hakim, Colaiuta, etc. Then I was into Chris Dave strongly for a hot minute. I’m a big Teddy Campbell fan, loving Calvin Rogers. Aaron Spears, Jamal Moore and Tony Royster are all in the mix.
Mark Colenburg is dope! Larnell Lewis is a G! Kendrick Scott is fire! The list is as long as you like, not to mention all of the British folk that are just killing right now.
Having said all of that, I’m just into music and most of the time I don’t even know who I’m listening to. If it sounds good I’m on it!
Thanks for taking the time out to read this blog. Hopefully we’ll get a chance to meet in person soon. Maybe at a festival, gig, rehearsal room, church or just about town. If you see me, holler at me…