Being a triple threat in any industry is impressive, however when you work and help mold the success of legends like Steve Winwood and Eric Clapton, it means you not only must be doing something right, but something absolutely spectacular as well. That can easily be said about music producer, mixer & musician Jimmy Bralower, whose career spans several decades with some major accolades under his belt, including 30 top ten singles and over 80 gold and platinum albums, and he’s not quite done just yet.
Jimmy, who now resides outside of Manhattan in Long Island, is busy at work developing new talent with his A&R management skills that has helped the careers of many others in the process.
He sat down with Manhattan Digest to discuss his illustrious career, why artist development for musicians has dwindled over the years, his favorites in terms of artist, song and album he’s worked with or on, and much more. Take a look.
You have amassed quite an impressive resume of sales over the years. What do you attribute your success to?
Always try to be better, never quit, luck and perseverance. I learned from great people that being your best is the only way to succeed. Also in a business that keeps changing, reinventing yourself periodically is a good thing.
Do you have a favorite song, album or artist you have worked with, and why?
I don’t really have one favorite. I’ve been fortunate to be a part of many great projects. Working with so many talented people in different types of music makes each project unique. The first recording session I ever did with my band in high school will always stand out to me. The first hit I played drums on, The Breaks by Kurtis Blow is special to me simply because I found out on that record the difference between something being good & what it feels like when magic is happening.
What do you think is the primary cause as to why artist development has become so minimal in today’s industry?
The business grew with small companies that found raw talent and developed them over the course of several albums. Those companies got really successful and were ultimately bought by bigger corporations who were mostly interesting in purchasing catalogs and assets and were not staffed with people who were skilled at developing talent. Today with all of our technology, we look to the numbers on YouTube and Facebook which puts it on the artist to have to build up a larger following before they get picked up by the record companies.
Do you think there is a chance of some redemption happening in that area of it as time goes by?
Yes, there are always opportunities. As the big labels stop developing talent from the ground up it gives the opportunity to the independent labels to do the job. This is how the business grew in the first place, so in many ways we could potentially look at this moment as a correction.
What is your biggest piece of advice for an artist who wants to make it big in music today?
It’s really the same answer as your first question. Find something you’re really good at, work hard, always aspire to be better, don’t quit. Learn your craft and hang out with people who are better than you.
In conclusion, what has been your happiest memory while working in music?
The idea that I’ve been able to pull off the trick of having a career doing what I love to do makes me happy. Memory-wise, probably getting to create and record with some of my favorite artists like Steve Winwood, Eric Clapton, George Harrison & Jeff Beck and working on hits with incredible producers like Russ Titelman, Phil Ramone & Nile Rodgers and collaborating with the greatest musicians, none of whom I really expected to ever get to work with, let alone be part of their legacies.
For more information on Jimmy Bralower, please check out his official website.