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Los Angeles, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014

Los Angeles, California, United States
Established on Jan, 2014
Solo Pop Indie


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The Skin of Why EP 2014



“Brodie makes transcendent pop music that feels clever, aware of - and manipulating - the stereotypical themes found in an oftentimes uninspiring genre. The compositions are beautifully crafted, further embellished by the magnificent production. It's music that warrants a deeper look at the ambiguous lyrical content... but I generally just keep the windows down and sing along at the top of my lungs.”     -- Drew Klein, Performance Curator of the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center


“I’m pretty sure I came out of the womb singing,” says the Albuquerque based 26-year-old cellist and songwriter Brodie Johnson. “My father loves to remind me that when I was a toddler I constantly hummed one of my favorite songs by the band Concrete Blonde. I remember being obsessed with melody and totally captivated by pop music, top 40.”


Ironic, then, that the young siren would go on to immerse himself in the classical study of string instruments. He’s played for 15 years including high-level training at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.


“I started on viola, and honestly I had no idea what a viola was. I think I thought it was a cello, which, in retrospect, was the sound I was looking for. Regardless, I remember the first time I moved the bow across the string. It was some crappy little cigar box of an instrument, but it made me giddy. I was hooked immediately.”


Although Brodie spent his formative years studying and playing classical music, he rarely found himself listening to it.


“In my room I was jamming out to artists like Alanis Morissette, No Doubt, Mariah Carey, and Third Eye Blind… all the pop big hitters of the 90’s. And, it was actually because of the cello’s emergence into pop that I eventually switched from viola. I think it was the song “Glycerin” by Bush that sealed the deal. That one, and the theme song from the TV show Angel.”


Brodie’s deep love of song solidified when he began writing in college. It was also during this time that he was involved in the most demanding experience yet of his classical studies.


“I spent a lot of time worrying about how I was going to bring these two worlds together. I was in an institution that wanted to churn out orchestral musicians, yet I had dreams of being a songwriter. Of course, I want my songs to be gorgeous. I also want my cello to be classically respectable. I love and value the tradition.”


It’s in the bridging of this gap that Brodie has found the central theme of his debut solo EP, ‘The Skin of Why.’


“After being in many bands and projects over the last 6 years, some featuring me as a cellist and some featuring me as a singer and writer, I’ve finally found a balance that I can love, and I’ve found it by myself. Tracks on the EP such as “On the Sofa” and “L.I.T.” are straight up pop, whereas the title track “The Skin of Why” represents a more high-art approach to songwriting with the spare lyrics and the huge cello solo in the second half.”


In order to create the space for this album to occur, Brodie had to make difficult sacrifices.


“I left behind my friends and colleagues, and I moved to Philadelphia to write and record. I was alone there, and I had actually given up on cello at the time. My instrument had been in a shop in Albuquerque waiting to sell for a whole year. As soon as I arrived I began having dreams about it. They only intensified so I called, and the shop sent it back to me in less than 24 hours. Suddenly I was with my cello again, and it ended up becoming a huge part of the album.”


After the release of the EP Brodie plans on touring as much as possible to build a following for his new solo effort. 

Band Members