By: Sam Fatula | A&E Editor
It didn’t take long for Brennan Peirson to find himself in the company of artists like Mac Miller and Young Thug.
Not even two years since graduating from Duquesne’s music therapy program, Peirson has directed music videos for up-and-coming hip-hop acts, photographed every major festival and concert this past year and is also placing the finishing touches on his solo debut, Forget Brennan. The Duke sat down with Peirson to uncover his recent success stories, what he plans to do in the near future and see just how he manages to do it all in stride.
Q: You’ve been doing a lot of work for some relevant, up-and-coming musicians from around the area. Specifically, what projects are you working on now?
A: Right now one of the main artists that I’m associated with is Choo Jackson. He is actually signed under Mac Miller’s label (Most Dope) and I’m from the same hometown as Choo. The whole thing with Mac happened a couple years back and I just kind of went along for the ride just because I was already shooting for him. His album is coming out on Feb. 11 and we’re currently working on videos for that album right now.
Besides that, I’m working on my own album titled Forget Brennan and that’s kind of a different sound. I’ve been doing music for a lot longer than I’ve been doing photography and videography so that takes up a big part too.
Q: What do you think listeners can expect from Forget Brennan? Are you going for a specific genre or is it more like a collection of songs that you’re putting together in one package?
A: It’s definitely going to have more of a multi-genre feel. Some of the stuff will have just like a bass and snare, kind of reminiscent to trap/hip-hop rather than having a normal synth line over it or live guitar. And I don’t necessarily rap, I would never call myself a rapper, but I also do some singing and there’s some folk stuff too. It’s a lot of different things right now.
Q: What made you get involved in photography and video when you were studying music therapy at Duquesne?
A: I think [film and video] always went hand-in-hand, just because the realm that I was in with music has a performance aspect to it that requires visuals. Especially nowadays, if you’re gonna be a performer you need visual stuff there. And ever since I’ve had a camera I’ve tried to take a picture of something every day of my life, so I think my ‘eye’ was already developed.
I have to mention my friend Bradley Gillespie, which acted like an 18 credit college course for me. I would come back from shooting … and I’m still learning stuff from him, but he’s just been a big help.
Q: What’s was something you’ve learned from being at Duquesne that you will value for the rest of your life?
A: Just being in Pittsburgh and being at Duquesne I’ve realized how important it is to keep positive relationships with people and to network. Every hand you shake is a potential networking opportunity and you always have to represent yourself the way you want to be represented no matter where you are. Duquesne kinda helped me with that with the music school and I’ve ended up doing some work for one of my professors, so always keep making sure that you have contact with everyone and keep it at a professional level.
Q: Would that be advice that you would give to aspiring musicians, photographers or videographers?
A: Make sure that you’re always trying to do things that other people aren’t doing. It’s good to watch what other people are doing, but always keep an ear and eye out for different facets of music or facets of videography. I always watch directors work and listen to different types of music to look out for cool things. I forget who said it but it’s all about letting someone influence you but you have to make it your own.
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