One of the greatest treasures I've discovered so far with UPstar. Music is the ability to sit down and have conversations with strangers and share a bond over not just music, but life as well. Brian and I had a lengthy conversation and I had the opportunity to learn about how he found his passion for music, some advice he'd give his younger self and what Country Music means to him.
Get To Know Brian
"I grew up down in Springfield, Georgia, which is about 45 minutes outside of Savannah. I grew up in a musical family; my mom sings, my little sister sings, my uncle plays the drums. My uncle was in a metal band growing up. He had a shed in his backyard with all of their gear set up and I would go out there and listen to them jam. I had a guitar when I was really young and would play it and run around screaming at the top of my lungs. I think I really got into music when I was 7 years old. I took piano lessons and learned how to play which was cool. I was influenced a lot by 90s rock bands like Green Day, Guns 'N Roses (which I know wasn't in the 90s) and Slash. I thought he was the coolest dude ever. I got into playing guitar when I was about 10. When I was younger I really wanted to be a session guitar player. I didn't really know what songwriting was and I didn't sing at the time. At 14, I started singing a little bit and played my first show when I was 14 as well. It was a little music festival in my town. From that point I just fell in love with being on stage and performing. About age 16, I started dabbling in writing songs. I always wanted to have a job in music, but when I started songwriting I really fell in love with the other side of the business and pursued being a singer-songwriter. My grandparents are the most supportive people in the world. If I wanted a guitar or an amp they would go buy it for me. My journey has always been supported. My family has never told me to do anything else, because they knew how much I love music."
Simple But Relatable
For a song to be an absolute smash, it doesn't always have to be written by Hardy or Sam Hunt, with a super clever hook and ideas embedded throughout the entire song. Sometimes all you need is a damn good voice, some good melodies and relatable lyrics that everyone can relate to. The man Brian Fuller delivers with his single "Talk of This Town". A jam sandwich that makes you get up and want to shake what your momma gave ya and sing every word. Have I ever been the talk of my town? No. One, because I'm from a town of like 100,000 people and two, I’m not that exciting. This song has been going absolutely bananas on Spotify with over 172,000 streams.
Inspiration Behind "Talk of This Town"
Written By: Brian Fuller & Mason Thornley
Produced By: Tyler Thompson & Brad Wagner
"I remember that day pretty well. I wrote "Talk of This Town" with Mason Thornle who writes over at Deluge Music. I got over there and we tossed around a few ideas, chased a few different titles and nothing was really hitting. We did that for about an hour or two when Mason said he had a chorus written to this idea "Talk of This Town". To our knowledge, it hadn't been written. It's more of a simple idea, nothing off the wall. We agreed and went for it. We wrote the song. At the time, I wasn't necessarily where I wanted to be as an artist. We talked about this song being perfect for Dustin Lynch or someone like that. I wasn't big on cutting it; the demo was sweet, but wasn't my thing. Over the course of a year, I kept going back to this song and thought it was so cool. 6 or 7 months ago I gained more confidence in cutting it. This was before I even pitched it to some guys coming up from Alabama who had a couple holds on it, but nothing came of it. After that, I decided to cut it myself and kind of went and told them "thanks, but I think I'm going to cut it". This song doesn't have a crazy hook or anything, like I said it's very down the middle. I've had so many people reach out to me and say how relatable it was to something they went through."
Q & A With Brian Fuller
Q: What was that "light bulb" moment you knew you wanted to pursue music?
A: "Like I said previously, probably that first show that I played. It was me, my mom and uncle playing drums. I played three songs that day. They were the only three songs that I knew from start to finish and was comfortable playing live. I remember telling my mom I wanted to play them again and she told me I couldn't do that. At that point I knew I needed to learn more and dig into learning other songs so I could put together a set list. That's exactly what I did. I sat in my room everyday after school and on the weekends and I played and learned new songs. I started to play at this bar down the street called Island Grill. They would have me in every other Friday and all my buddies from high school would come and jam with me and hangout. And at the time I thought to myself like "man this is cool. I'm making money, I'm doing something I love to do and am still able to hangout with my friends". My friends showing up was so cool because they all played sports and had other things to do, but still made time to come watch me play. In high school, by no means was I the "cool kid". I was very reserved and in my own little bubble. Music was a way to get out of that and show people that music is what I enjoy and something I love to do. Everyone supported that."
Q: If you could go back 5 years and give advice to your younger self what would it be?
A: "I would probably tell myself to be patient. There were so many times that people would come to me and blow smoke up my ass and give me these "opportunities" and tell me I was going to be a superstar. At 18 that gave me the mentality I was going to blow up quickly and be a big Country Music star. In reality, it wasn't going to happen. Because of that, when things didn't work out, I would get discouraged and start second guessing myself. I think over the years, looking back, I was definitely not ready to be what I want to be. I was young and didn't have the experience I needed. Another thing I would tell myself is to take “no” as a learning experience and to not beat myself up over not getting an opportunity."
Q: Who are some artists and songwriters who influence your music and why?
A: "I'm all over the board. Being in the Country Music industry, I could sit here and tell you all these big names from the genre, but I really listened to everything. I was a big Elvis fan growing up and some of the songwriters I look up to are honestly my friends. Those are the guys that are in my position - growing. To hear what they come up with and the songs they write is amazing. These writers are relatable to me and so many people. I listen to a band from Europe called Nothing But Thieves. There are guys in town like Kameron Marlowe - I love all of his stuff. Jameson Rodgers is one of my favorites. To really answer the question, I would say HARDY, Kameron Marlowe, The Band Camino and guys like that."
Q: What makes Country Music special to you?
A: "I think Country Music is the outlook I took, because it's what I know. I grew up in a really small town and lived that lifestyle. I grew up on dirt roads, drinking beer with all my buddies and hunting and fishing. Country Music is something I can talk about and be genuine when I talk. At the same time, I try to take the things I know and what I've experienced and turn it into my musical inspiration. When I write a song, I always try to think outside the box and make it different. At the same time, I want it relatable to others and to come from my experiences. I have to give credit to the Country Music industry, in the sense that it has become very welcoming for artists to explore different sounds. It doesn't have to just be fiddle and steel guitar, you can make it your own sound. There's definitely people that don't know how broad the genre has become. There have been so many doors opened for new talent that may not have been welcome before."