BRONSON make an exclusive mix for Notion and discuss their creative collaboration with the artist and illustrator, Gian Galang.
BRONSON is the brand new project from the Grammy-nominated duo, ODESZA, and acclaimed Australian producer, Golden Features. The trio has joined forces to release the collaborative eponymous album on 7th August.
They’ve already dropped four tracks to give a taste of the album – “KEEP MOVING”, “HEART ATTACK (feat. lau.ra)”, “VAULTS” and “DAWN (feat. Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs)”. The deep, dark electronic songs have already racked up millions of streams. The new sonic direction is quite a pivot for ODESZA, who made their name with light, shimmering electronic melodies.
BRONSON have created an exclusive mix for Notion that pulls together a number of influences for their forthcoming record, giving a taste of what the record will be about.
For their album artwork, BRONSON collaborated with the artist and illustrator Gian Galang. Based in New York City, he previously worked as an art director in advertising but left it behind to pursue personal artistic projects.
Whilst listening to the exclusive mix BRONSON created for Notion, Gian made a vibrant piece of artwork titled ‘The Fighter’. In an exclusive video featured here, he records the creation process for the artwork, which features bright colours and hardened textures.
We got BRONSON’s Harrison and Gian Galang in conversation to learn more about the mix, the inspiration for ‘The Fighter’ and album artwork, as well as creativity in lockdown.
Harrison – what made you choose the songs in your mix for Notion?
Harrison: [It was] kind of a choice of all the artists that have influenced the record as well as components of what the record is about. I know it’s not meant to represent it, but it touches on a lot of the same themes.
Gian – could you talk a bit about the artwork you’ve created while listening to the music in the mix?
Gian: The tone of the BRONSON album made me think of a character; a character on the road to redemption, maybe. It was a really cool mix, some that were a little bit melancholy or introspective. I wanted to show a character – show the struggle -mentally and physically – in one art piece. So, I created an image of a fighter struggling inside their own head.
How would you describe the mix?
Harrison: I guess the album itself is thematically about perseverance – someone pushing through – the mental space you have to get to in order to get through pain and difficulty. I think Gian really hit the nail on the head when he was describing what he took away from it. His piece is phenomenal. Obviously, I’m a huge fan of his work.
Harrison – could you tell me the story behind the whole BRONSON project?
Harrison: It kinda happened over a long period of time. We met Golden Features whilst on tour in Australia – it was probably our first ever show there – and we just ended up getting along really well. At the time, I wasn’t really a fan of that type of music – house orientated, darker stuff – but I just wasn’t really exposed to it. As we started playing more shows in Australia, every time we were back out there for festivals, we ended up seeing each other and hanging out more and more. Eventually, it became such a close friendship that we were FaceTiming each other and showing each other music. Over a period of about three years, we started collaborating. We didn’t really take it too seriously – I think that was kinda what led to us taking such a turn in what people thought we would make together.
Gian – you’ve also created the wider album campaign artwork. What were your inspirations behind that?
Gian: It was a really cool opportunity for me. Right from the get-go, my art style lined up with Harrison’s vision for the sound of BRONSON. A little bit darker, a little bit grittier. We were on the same page from the beginning. I think we both gravitated towards the image of a fighter to represent the sound of the album. There were so many emotions to draw from – anger… defeat, internal and external conflict like Harrison mentioned. We just felt there was a lot of rich material to draw on visually.
How have you both been staying creative in isolation in your respective fields?
Gian: Well for me, being an artist and illustrator, working in isolation is kinda my deal. I have my headphones in and just work by myself all day, but it was a little bit of an adjustment moving my whole studio into my living room. I actually had to strap five six-foot canvases to the top of my in-law’s car and drive it home.
Harrison: It’s been up and down, but at the beginning, it was a real change of pace for me ‘cos I’m used to being on tour or having to fly around the world to work with different people on different shows in different parts of the world… a lot of travel involved. This is the longest amount of time I’ve been home in years. A real change of pace. At first, it was great but there’s been a lot of ups and downs. I’ve been reading a lot more and just trying to focus on myself, my family and the people around me.
Do you have any tips for getting into the creative zone when you’re feeling uninspired?
Harrison: Oh man, I wish I knew the secret to that one! I think just trying to keep an open mind and just be always looking for new things and not getting stifled and getting too comfortable. Even with Gian, I feel like he’s always pushing his boundaries on stuff, from he made for this mix to what he made before. He’s always trying to change things up.
Gian: I’ve been both a fine artist and a commercial artist, so there are streaks where I’ll be slammed with commercial projects and times when I’ll be working on my own stuff but sometimes I can’t because I’ll have back to back projects. So, when I do get alone, I just have a list of personal projects I can go back to.
Do you think you’ll collab again in the future?
Harrison: I hope so!
- 'The Fighter'