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NewTracks New Artist: Glencoe

NewTracks New Artist: Glencoe

Featured on the April compilation of NZOA Music’s NewTracks, we’d like to introduce Melbourne-based Cantabrian Brogan Tautiri-Kerrison who creates music under the name Glencoe. Strictly speaking we could also refer to him as Lord Brogan Kerrison of Glencoe – he tells the story behind that title, and about saying “no” to a conventional career in this interview. 

What other projects might we know you from?

Glencoe is the very first project that has actually managed to see the light of day! So it’s a pretty new experience to be releasing your own creations for the world to listen and judge. Before that, I had only ever written soppy, sub-par, high school acoustic love songs in my bedroom… and they can stay there.

What’s the background of how Glencoe came to be, and is anyone else involved?

Glencoe was created as somewhat of a ‘musical hub’ for myself at university. I have a broad taste in music, from The Beatles to Skrillex, Fat Freddys Drop to Ray Charles, so when I decided I was going to start releasing my own music, I wanted to create an alias that was an extension of my own musical interests / likes and ideas, no matter what style, genre or feel they may fit into.

For example, my latest tracks have been heavily electronic, but that doesn’t mean I won’t release acoustic or big band-type tracks in the future. I just wanted a place where I could put all my own personal creations, no matter the outcome, which became Glencoe.

Technically the Glencoe team consists of just me, but I have been lucky enough to work with a heap of talented people along the way, from vocalists, other producers and much more musically talented friends, who have taught me an incredible amount. I have also been working closely with Chris Chetland from Kog Studios who helped with everything sound and overall industry knowledge, which has had a major role to play in the development of Glencoe.

How did you come up with the name?

Glencoe is actually a beautiful place! Back in 2015 I got given a present from a friend, it was a conservation project set up in Scotland that allows you to buy a square foot of land and have a tree planted on the plot. The coolest catch was that purchasing the land officially makes you a Lord or Lady of that land. Lord Brogan Kerrison of Glencoe. Sounds like something from Game of Thrones (which I’m addicted to) so I loved it and wanted to keep it! If you don’t believe me, I don’t blame you, but check out Highland Titles!

What makes Is This Home stand out for you as a single?

Is This Home is special to me for a number of reasons, mainly because it was written with two of my best childhood mates, both from Christchurch, about Christchurch.

I grew up with Jayden Bowley (guitarist/producer), as our parents have been friends for over 30 years, and Rory McKenna was one of my best friends at high school. Rory and I used to bunk classes (sorry Mum!) and go to the music room to jam/make music. We always said that one day, when we were older, we would make music together. Now to be, 8 years on, and finally / actually making that dream come true feels somewhat surreal, but pretty cool in itself.

What is the lyrical story behind Is This Home?

Is This Home plays on the idea of small mentalities, something that Rory and I encountered a fair bit during our education. Throughout our whole schooling, one of the main pictures painted is that we can be and do ANYTHING that we choose to. That we create our own futures and anything is possible.

Yet when it came to my last year of school, I still remember the day when I was called in to see our course advisor, she said to me, “Brogan, we have come up with a list of career options we think would suit you perfectly.”

She went on to show me options in building, being a plumber or electrician, all careers that I had never expressed interest or talent in. She told me that university was not an option for someone in my position and that, “… although it’s great to dream, becoming a musician is only a fantasy. It’s time to be realistic.” Which is directly the opposite message we had been led to believe previously. So when it came to executing those dreams, they were made out to seem impossible.

Now I talk to a magnitude of my closest friends and family working in careers that they never dreamt of doing, never wanted to do and isn’t their true passion and, although they seem happy, a lot feel unfulfilled, sad, or even angry that they didn’t pursue their dreams or passion further. Which can hurt a little to see, especially knowing how much potential and raw talent a lot of these people have.

Is This Home encompasses all of our perspectives, feelings and frustrations towards that matter.

What’s your favourite moment of the single?

For me my favourite, or most important message of the song, is at the second part of the first verse. “We’ve gotta take some time to find, what makes us feel alive.”

To me that is the crux of the issue. We tend to jump at the first, easiest or safest option due to its security, or sense of. But I think that for some people it might take some time of exploring, till they find their true passion, and it’s okay if it does. 

Who did you produce the single with and where? Got a fun story about the making-of?

So I had just moved over to Melbourne the day before and was staying in Rory’s spare room. Rory had a gig to go to that day, so I decided I would make something while he was away. By the time he came back I had the track done, with the help of Jayden, another of my mates, on the guitar. When Rory got back from his gig we wrote the lyrics and recorded it entirely that night.

The best thing about this song was that we both felt exactly the same way, which meant it basically wrote itself.

Describe in one sentence what you want listeners to take away from this song.

As cliché as it sounds, to truly believe in yourself and back your decisions, no matter what people may think and tell you. Don’t look back in 10 years and think to yourself, ‘If I had only done…’

In general, how do you work out what song would make a good single?

If I truly like it. I think you just have to be brutally honest and ask yourself, ‘If this wasn’t my song, would I still like it?’ And if I’m able to say yes, then that’s a good enough reason for me to release it.

Are there any other musical endeavours you’re working on that we should keep an eye out for, with this band or others?

There are a couple of different projects coming up in a little while, which I don’t want to give away anything on… But I will say that Glencoe has a lot more music to come this year that may surprise.

Can you name three other local tunes that should be on a playlist alongside your song?

That’s hard! So much amazing music coming out of NZ at the moment! But I’d have to say…

  1. Strangely Arousing Kupenga
  2. Brendon Thomas and the VibesFlowers
  3. Thomas OliverTenderly

How many of your previous applications didn’t get funding or didn’t get included on NewTracks? 

In total honesty, I have never got funding and I’ve applied 3-4 times. Each time I would get pretty gutted actually, I used to think that maybe my music wasn’t good enough… But then I realised that it didn’t really matter.

I make music because I love doing it, and would be creating and releasing regardless of whether I was getting funding for it or not. So I just fund my own things, or try and get creative with music videos etc. to keep things cheap. When I first started applying I struggled to hit quite a few of the NZ On Air criteria, so really the only thing I could do was to just keep releasing music. I think things just slowly progress from there, hopefully!

Any last words?

Thanks for having me! 

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