With the way he gushes about specific chords and classical compositions, it’s easy to see that Hamond has more tools at his disposal than many DIY multi-hyphenates. He’s a skilled producer, now a music-video director, and a multi-instrumentalist who admits he doesn’t mind playing on a child-sized guitar he got as a gift when he was 12. 

But no matter how well-versed he is in Erik Satie’s “Gymnopédie No.1” composition or how to make songs that feel just like the his favorite movies (with an instrument intended for a tween, at that), those are only tools. They aren’t the art itself. What actually matters is what he’s going to use those tools to create. 

“They have to take the backseat,” he says. “It just becomes subconscious knowledge that you can pull from. But it should never be the main thing, it’s really about the idea and not the technical [aspect]. You can talk all you want about theory, like, ‘Oh, it works because it’s a major to a minor seventh,’ but it’s all about the feeling at the end of the day. Those are just tools for you to get there.”

Brian Hamond is going to get there. Born in Houston and now making a home for himself in LA, the young artist sees a whole new side to his hometown outside of whatever rules the airwaves. He’s bringing his classical background, which is in his lineage thanks to a grandfather’s time in the Chicago Symphony, to show Houston off as the utopia he’s always seen it as, and welcoming listeners into his analog futurist world on his upcoming full length project, due out in June. It’s a long way from his days of asking high school rappers to hop on his beats, but when we catch up with Hamond over Zoom, before he’s even finished with the project’s final mixes, he’s already learned a lot from his first full-length effort.

“Don’t overthink shit. Let things be what they’re supposed to be,” he says. “You can try to sit and tweak, which I definitely did with this project. You can tweak and tweak, and you don’t make things any better. Let things be what they were meant to be in the moment that you made it. Make it the best version of that and not try to turn it into something else.”

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