Brookfield (a.k.a Duncan Brookfield) is a London-based singer/songwriter that released his debut EP ‘Cloud Nine‘ in 2015. With a modern, structured take on songwriting, his music shows likeness to both London Grammar and Ben Howard.
We catch up with Duncan to discuss his plans for 2016.
Your new track ‘Kaleidoscope’ (released 18th March) follows an excellent debut EP ‘Cloud 9’, released last May. What have you been up to in the time between?
Writing, writing and writing! Haha. After I released the EP we had a great run of shows at places like The Social and the Sebright Arms, and some shows with Sofar Sounds too. I’ve since managed to get my own private studio space so have been locking myself in to write new material and experiment with all kinds of production. It’s been a really steep learning curve but it’s allowed me to develop a lot and hopefully you can hear that in the new music.
There seems to be plenty of influences at play in your latest track; we can certainly see a little London Grammar and Tom Odell in the mix. Who would you cite as your biggest influences?
Thank you! It’s so nice to be compared to music I love. I’ve always been a big fan of Ben Howard and James Blake, as well as bands like Amber Run and Daughter- their new album is totally mesmerising. I was first introduced to production styles like this from Massive Attack and Portishead and they’re both huge influences on me. I’m always finding new music (new to me at least!) and anything I hear could inspire a new song.
Your sound is both arena-ready and delicately intimate. Was this your aim when you first started to make music, or did this characteristic develop itself?
You are too kind! Thank you so much. I started by writing rock music when I was a kid in different bands so the whole arena vibe probably stems from my Blink-182 and Muse days (not to say I don’t still love them, haha!). I have always enjoyed pushing the music to the max and contrasting that with the ‘sensitive bits’ and I guess it started naturally, but I think now I definitely aim to have both in most songs. I think it’s grown since I produce my own material and a lot of it is just experimenting and praying I don’t blow my speakers… The writing often lends itself to different levels of intimacy too and I try and compliment that with the production.
Have you always been a solo artist?
Damn, kinda gave this one away in the last question! I started by playing in rock bands, jazz bands, anything. When I joined my high school I met the best drummer I’ve ever seen and is still one of my closest friends and best musicians to this day (he knows who he is) so we managed to gain some momentum even though we were young. We also wrote together and we both learned a lot about live music and composition, and ourselves. When my musical tastes ‘matured’ and I left high school I started to perform on my own material and went through a different set up each gig until I settled on BROOKFIELD. It’s been a roller coaster! Haha.
Following ‘Kaleidoscope’ can we expect a lot more new material this year?
Yes! Kaleidoscope is being released as a double single and you’ll be able to preorder both on the 18th on iTunes etc. and get Kaleidoscope that day. My hard drive is filling up with new material and I’ll be heading in to the studio to record it all as soon as I can. I’ll be playing new material every gig so definitely worth coming down to a show to check out!
Where can we come see you for your next performance?
At the moment we’re looking at a few options- there’s no other feeling like playing live so I take every opportunity I can. I’ve got a (not so) secret intimate show at the end of March which I’ll be able to give away some tickets to, and all of that plus other show announcements can be found on my Facebook page- www.facebook.com/brookfieldmusicuk is the place to be…!