David Arthur Brown

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David Arthur Brown, 2010

David Arthur Brown is an American musician and the lead vocalist and principal songwriter for the US band Brazzaville.

Life and career[edit]

David Arthur Brown was born in Los Angeles, California, on June 19, 1967.[1] He was a runaway who later became obsessed with low budget travel and poetry. He traveled through Asia, South America and Europe for many years. Along the way he learned to play the saxophone. He played sax with Beck from 1997 through 2000. During that time he learned how to play the guitar and began writing songs and singing.[2]

He lives in the Eixample neighborhood of Barcelona, with his wife and two young children.

He is best described as a "self-taught human being." [3]

Early years[edit]

Brown formed Brazzaville in Los Angeles, in late 1997. One day he was reading a story in the L.A. Times about the civil war in Congo. The dateline of the story read BRAZZAVILLE Reuters. The word jumped out at him and he knew he had found the name for the new band. It was only later that he discovered what an amazing man, Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza, the man the city had been named after, had been.[4]

Brazzaville’s early years (1997–2003) were spent largely in Los Angeles. They recorded and released 3 full length albums during that time and played countless shows in L.A. With the exception of two East Coast Tours in 2002, they did little touring due to Brown being on the road with Beck. Brown and Beck were friends from the East Hollywood coffeehouse scene of the late 80s/early 90s.

Brazzaville[edit]

Brazzaville’s first 2 albums, 2002 and Somnambulista, were produced by Michael Rozon at the S.S. Clove Factory in North Hollywood. They featured musicians such as Smokey Hormel (Beck, Johnny Cash, Tom Waits, Smokey and Miho), Danny Frankel (Lou Reed, Fiona Apple, K.D. Lang), David Ralicke (Dengue Fever, Beck), Kenny Lyon (David Baerwald, Lemonheads), Joel Virgel-Vierset (Nina Hagen), Joe Zimmerman and many others. Their third album, Rouge On Pockmarked Cheeks featured production work by Nigel Godrich (Radiohead, Beck, Travis, Sir Paul M.) and Tony Hoffer (Air, Beck, Belle and Sebastian, Supergrass, Grandaddy) as well as Michael Rozon.

In 2003 Brown moved to Barcelona, where he formed his European version of the band. Brazzaville’s fourth studio album, Hastings Street (2004), was recorded in both Los Angeles and Barcelona and was mixed in Los Angeles. It featured musicians like Victor Indrizzo (Willie Nelson, Queens of the Stone Age, Dave Gahan), Greg Kirstin (Beck, Action Figure Party), Erica Garcia, Joe Zimmerman, Mike Bolger, Kenny Lyon, David Ralicke and many others.

November 2003 marked the first time Brazzaville was invited to play in Russia. They played 2 shows, the first in Moscow at B2 and the second in St. Petersburg at Red Club. Brazzaville was invited by the great critic and writer, Artemy Troitsky. Artemy had found a used Brazzaville CD at Rough Trade Records in London in the year 2000. He began to play it on his radio show in Moscow and wrote several reviews about the band, essentially creating the beginnings of what would become Brazzaville's largest fan base.

In 2005 Brazzaville was invited to play the esteemed Istanbul Jazz Festival. This was largely due to the efforts of James Hakan Dedeoglu and Aylin Gungor. They were the editors of a culture magazine in Istanbul called Bant. Brazzaville ended up playing 4 shows in one week in Istanbul and one in Izmir. Turkey has become one of Brazzaville's most visited countries with ever increasing number of fans.

In 2006, Brazzaville released their first CD recorded entirely in Barcelona. It was entitled East L.A. Breeze and featured members of Brazzaville’s European line up. The record reached the top of the charts in Russia due to its version of Star Called Sun, by the legendary Russian rock band, KINO. In 2008, East L.A. Breeze was released in Europe by V2 Records.

In late 2007, Brazzaville finished their 7th studio album, 21st Century Girl. It was released in Russia in Feb. 2008 and in the US and Canada in August 2008. The song, The Clouds in Camarillo co-written with Brown’s close friend Misha Korneev is a duet in English and Russian. It is a tale of Brown’s mother’s time in the state mental hospital in Camarillo, California. The song became a hit all over the Russian speaking world and spent more time in the top 10 than any other song that year. It helped to make Brazzaville popular in Russia and most countries of the former Soviet Union.

In 2009, Brown went to Istanbul to record an album with Turkish producer/musician Deniz Culyan (Portecho, Norrda). The result was Brazzaville In Istanbul. Released in Turkey and Europe by the Doublemoon label the album quickly shot into the top 20 of the European World Music chart.

Also, in 2009 Brown recorded and released his first solo album under the name David Arthur Brown entitled Teenage Summer Days. In 2010, Brazzaville toured extensively. In addition to many shows in Russia, Turkey and Ukraine, Brown and Kenny Lyon played a 25 date house concert tour for the United States. Also, in August 2010, Brazzaville was invited by the US Embassies in Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Armenia to play a 5 week tour there as cultural ambassadors of the USA.

In 2011, Brazzaville released a new album entitled Jetlag Poetry which featured 9 new Brazzaville songs as well as cover versions of David Bowie's Moonage Daydream and Arthur Russell's Your Motion Says.

In May/June 2011, Brown and Kenny were invited by Pocket Records of Beijing to play a 12 city tour of China. In addition to playing many club shows with the band Brown, often accompanied by Kenny began playing more and more kvartirniki (house concerts).

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Brazzaville in 2012. Plans[edit]

2012 will be the 15th anniversary of the founding of Brazzaville. Brown has a new manager, Sergei Andreev and his company Magic Box,[6] based in Odessa, Ukraine. Magic Box is arranging a concert with a 48 piece symphony orchestra as well as the shooting of several new videos for Jetlag Poetry and even the release of an autobiography of Brown which will be released in US, Russia and CIS countries, Turkey and China. In addition, Brazzaville will be releasing a new Greatest hits CD and vinyl LP - Welcome to Brazzaville 2. An extensive, 15th anniversary concert tour is also planned for 2012. For years, Brown has had a great dream of converting an old cargo ship into a traveling music festival. He is continuing to pursue this and hopes that with the help of his new management team, it will soon become a reality.

References[edit]

External links[edit]