EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — 19-year-old Brandon Bailey Johnson holds many musical talents that have been recognized on top tier levels, within and beyond El Paso limits.
At 4-years-old, Johnson said he was quite experienced at the keyboard. Four years later, he went to a summer music camp where he then gravitated his interest to learn the guitar. One of his biggest music influences was the band Linkin Park, he shared.
From that point on, his parents sparked their support by encouraging him to pursue his talents and create music of his very own, “I was twelve years old and my parents had a joke like ‘Oh you should record an album, write some songs’. I said ‘Okay well why not?” Johnson said.
Instead of buying studio time, Johnson and his parents created a makeshift studio at his home with the basic necessities needed to record music. During the course of that year, Johnson taught himself how to produce music, how to play the drums, and venture in new skills.
“We built a little home studio in our old garage, I recorded my first album and released it later that year. I was the first and youngest person to ever write, record, produce and compose an album by themselves,” Johnson shared.
In 2015, Johnson’s parents quickly realized that what he had accomplished at his age hadn’t been done before. So, they submitted an application to Guinness World Records, “Later that year when the album was released, I was awarded the title “Youngest Professional Music Producer” by the Guinness World Records. Ever since then, I kept on producing, releasing a couple of more albums, and really fall in love with producing, composing and bringing music to life.
An El Paso native leveled up to a Guinness World Record award winning music producer at just 13-years-old. A few years later, his success elevated to getting hired as an Executive Producer at Moon Sound Studios.
“In 2018, I was hired to work at Moon Sound Studios, which was founded by Chris Moon who discovered Prince. He’s got 22 million records sold to date, and it’s been a really great honor to work there.”
During the coronavirus pandemic, all sorts of extracurricular activities were shut down at public schools across the country. The founder of Moon Sound Studios received a request to Zoom and help lift the spirits of students in a choir program at Ridge View High School (Holstein, Iowa), but he decided to take that opportunity to develop something more meaningful.
“Chris went the extra step and instead of thinking ‘Oh we’ll do a zoom meeting, why don’t we build a song and do a collaboration with the students’. So he and I met and we were throwing back different ideas and he was like ‘alright let’s record and write an original song. Let’s compose it, produce it, and bring the students in with the choir part and let them sing it.’ So I started with some lyrics that he gave me and I started writing up ideas and started on the keyboards writing a vocal melody,” Johnson explained.
Johnson wrote and arranged a four-part choir for the students and worked one-on-one with them,” They recorded their parts and it came together which was a lot of fun to work with the students and take part in a choir-orchestra like situation in the middle of a pandemic all virtually. That was something that I missed not being able to work with the El Paso symphony so it really meant a lot. It resonated deeply with me.”
A limited edition CD of the song ‘Change the World’ was released for the families of the students and is currently streaming on every major platform.
With the opportunity to travel and go on tours around the country, the question of where Johnson is from always arises. He said the answer is not always what people expect.
“Everyone always asks me ‘Where are you from?’ When I say ‘Oh I’m from Texas,’ they think Dallas, Austin, and not a lot of people think about El Paso,” Johnson said, “But I love it here. Home is great. There’s a lot of hidden gems here, a lot of things to do and I don’t think I’ll be able to do most of anything that I’ve been able to accomplish without support from the city, support from the community, and the people here have really helped me. Just the people that I meet really have encouraged me and motivated me when I was a 12-year-old musician playing open mics.”
That motivation and encouragement continues to inspire Johnson as he keeps growing as an artist, “I think as a producer, and to be a good producer, you want to try to be able to dip your feet into multiple different genres because as a producer you never know what you’ll be hired for or what kind of project might be brought towards you.”
Being born and raised in El Paso, he said there’s always an outcome for those aspiring artists from home who thrive to reach their goals, “No matter what your circumstances are, always try to push for something. Push for what you want to do and push for your goals. They may not end up how you wanted them but something else unique and equally great with come out if you just pursue.”
You can check out Johnson’s music on Spotify and Apple Music. For more of his content, visit his Facebook page or follow him on Instagram @brandonbaileyjohnsonmusic.
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