Exclusive: Bruno Major on ‘Columbo' Album and 2023 Asia Tour

Bruno Major on New ‘Columbo' Album, Songwriting, and His 2023 Asia Tour

Headed to Southeast Asia next week, British singer Bruno Major is joining a long list of international acts embarking on a series of global tours for a long-awaited, post-pandemic reunion with fans. Bruno’s global tour goes in tandem with the release of “Columbo,” his freshly dropped album that reflects the artist’s journey in the past two and half years, packaged in 12 tracks capturing his rawest emotions. The Beat Asia had the chance to chat with Bruno to discuss his songwriting process, his favorite tracks from his newest album, and how he feels about his upcoming concerts in the region. See our interview below!

Hi, Bruno! We are all looking forward to your upcoming concert in Manila. How excited are you to be doing the Asia tour?

I'm looking forward to playing these songs to people. Because I feel like when you write a song or you make a piece of music, it doesn't really feel like you've finished it until you've played it on stage. It’s part of the creative process for me. So, I'm looking forward to completing not only my new album, but my second album, because I never got to play that one live because of COVID. I also can't wait to come and meet all my fans from all these different countries, even now it's still mind-blowing to me that I get to come to places on the other side of the world and there are people who want to hear my music.

Bruno Major Asia Tour 2023
Photo by Bruno Major

Let's talk about your latest album, ‘Columbo.’ This is technically your third album, but you mentioned in another interview that making ‘Columbo’ made you feel like ‘getting another chance to make your first album.’ Why so?

I mostly feel relief to be honest. It's been so long. I've been working on this thing for two and a half years. And it's just going to be such a wonderful feeling to have it out there finally being listened to. It's a weird feeling when you make music because it belongs to you. It's like your own thing is having a child, it lives at home, and you look after it. And then when you release it, it's like the child leaves home and goes into the wild. And suddenly, it's not yours anymore. All these songs for the last two and a half years, they've just belonged to me, they've been my private feelings, and they've been the only things I hear. And now the whole world will hear them and it's amazing. It's such a crazy feeling. It's almost like people are looking inside your brain. So yeah, I'm just so happy because I'm really, really proud of this stuff. Really proud of this album. And I’m just glad that people can enjoy it.

What are your favorite tracks from this album?

For me, I wrote around 25-30 songs, and I reduced it down to 12. So, I think that every song on the album is important, and I love each and every one of them. But if I had to choose, I would say either “A Strange Kind Of Beautiful” or “18.”

Bruno Major Asia Tour 2023
Photo by Bruno Major

What is your song writing process? Where do you get your inspiration?

I don't have a songwriting process honestly. Generally speaking, I have a concept before I start writing. I do this thing where I write the title first—I have a list on my phone of just song titles. Like, for example, “We Were Never Really Friends” off the new album. That was a title in my iPhone notes for years, and I never got around to writing it. I kind of base everything on the concept. Once you're in the world, you have the idea of what the concept is, then you build around it. Most of the time the lyrics come before the music, but sometimes the music comes first. Sometimes it takes 20 minutes to write a song, and sometimes it takes three years. So, I wish there was like a very set structure, but there just isn't.

I get my inspiration from everywhere. Which is a very facetious answer, isn't it? But it can be a book I'm reading, it can be a film I'm watching, it can be an advert I see when I'm on the tube. I will say, a lot of the time I get my inspiration from my friends. I have a lot of amazing friends and they're very intelligent, very artistic, very wild and crazy and witty and funny. And you know, a lot of times it's just something that one of my friends will say to me and I'll write it down because it's really beautiful.

Who are the musicians you look up to or inspire you?

As a songwriter, Billy Joel, Carol King, etc. I can go on all day there is a lot. As a singer, Chet Baker, Nick Drake, etc. I have too many influences to name.

Do you think having a writer's block is also applicable to you? If so, how do you deal with it?

That’s a good question. Sometimes I think that being an artist is like being a sponge, so you put the sponge in water, and then you squeeze the water out. When you finish an album, it’s like you’ve squeezed the sponge ‘till all the waters come out. So, you can’t just go and make another one straight away because the sponge is empty, so you’ve gotta go out and live your life, have experiences and just be a normal person. Then the sponge will slowly start to be able to receive again. So, I don’t necessarily believe in writer's block. I think it’s more about absorbing things and having experiences to write about.

Thank you, Bruno!

Thank you!

Bruno Major’s “Tour of Planet Earth” is heading to Southeast Asia next week, with stops in Bangkok, Manila, Singapore, Jakarta, and Kuala Lumpur. To see the full schedule and how to buy tickets, check out Bruno Major’s website.

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