Brijean is the collaboration of Brijean Murphy and Doug Stuart. Murphy, an accomplished DJ, session and live player in Oakland’s diverse music scene has emerged as one of indie’s most in-demand percussionists (Poolside, Toro Y Moi, U.S. Girls). In 2018, she began recording songs with multi-instrumentalist and producer Stuart, who shares a background in jazz and pop in bands such as Bells Atlas, Meernaa, and Luke Temple.
Brijean’s new LP /Feelings/ will be out on 26th of February on Ghostly International.
1: Doug makes great homemade pizza using a recipe he learned from Brijean’s cousin.
2: Brijean’s father was a percussionist and taught Brijean her first rhythms on congas.
3: Doug and Brijean have a dog named Shuggie.
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
Kind of a tricky question because anything can come to the surface when making music. If we had to pick one though, it would be groove.
2. How and when did you get into making music?
We both got into making music as teenagers. I really stepped into musicianship when I joined my first band in college, but I grew up in a musical household. My dad was a percussionist and recording engineer / producer so I learned a lot from him and my honorary musical aunts and uncles. Doug grew up in Chicago going to jazz clubs and festivals from a young age, and nurtured that interest in school. He studied Jazz and Contemplative studies at the University of Michigan.
3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
Miles Davis – In a Silent Way
J Dilla – Donuts
Chilly Gonzales – Solo piano II
Alice Coltrane – Journey in Satchidanda
Billie Holiday – Lady Sings The Blues
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
A grumpy sound person, cool art, and a really really fun late night dance hall, a dive bar with a cool singing bartender…
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
Starline Social Club – Oakland, CA.
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
Make visual art and or work with plants.
7. What was the last record/music you bought?
Anthony Ferraro – Gestures.
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Rick Rubin or Brian Eno.
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
Hollywood Bowl playing percussion with Toro y Moi. I grew up in LA and always remember a story from my dad about playing there. It was the only gig his father ever made to see him play. It felt special and enlivening.
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
Pretty important. We usually write songs while recording in Logic. I wouldn’t say it’s the focal point of our process or sound, but it enables to capture moments while we are improvising.
11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
Brijean: I have four sisters. They all love music and are super supportive. One in particular. I remember when she first heard me sing she gave me a sweet present and told me how important it was that I was stepping into my own expression (and not just backing up another band).
Doug: I have one older brother. He’s always been supportive of me and my art, and especially of this project with Brijean.
Photo © Jack Bool