Brasstracks: The Indigo Zone

Things just keep getting better for New York musician and producer Ivan Jackson. Working under the musical moniker of Brasstracks, over the last few years, he’s accumulated endless accolades and has had the pleasure of working alongside some of the biggest names in music. You may recognise him for his appearances on Saturday Night Live, where he performed with Miley Cyrus, Harry Styles and Mark Ronson, or perhaps you saw him on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. But one thing is for sure, you’ve certainly heard some of his work on Chance the Rapper’s seminal “No Problems” and Harry Styles’ “Watermelon Sugar”. 

Recently, Brasstracks has been focusing on his own solo project, having unveiled his new album, Indigo. His first album since 2021, the 12-track release sees him collaborating with more notable artists, as he explores personal and vulnerable themes, allowing listeners a deeper look into his life and who the artist is. 

We spoke with Brasstracks touching on the new album, his incredible experiences to date and where he hopes to go next. 

Congratulations on the release of your new album, Indigo! This is your first album since 2021! How does it feel to finally have this new 12-track release out? 

It feels so so good. Cathartic. *Necessary*. For me to move on with my life. Sometimes music can be like that.

The album’s theme touches on some personal topics including self-loathing, heartache and jealousy. Was it cathartic to release this album and how did you navigate being so vulnerable with your fans?

Yeah you nailed it. Like I said before, very cathartic. I wanted to close this chapter for a long time and I think I needed to write these songs with my friends to do it. I’m really proud of that. I didn’t really think too much about navigating the vulnerable part – the music is still very fun and light on its feet. For those that wanted to relate, they would be able to with the lyrics, and for those looking for bops and not really trying to think too deep, it works that way sonically. 

Despite narrating some difficult themes, the album is sonically bright, joyous and dance-worthy, staying true to your loved, signature sound. Would you say this release differs from past albums and if so, how?

Wow this feels like every time I answer a question you’re already thinking what I’m thinking ha! The biggest difference with Indigo is it’s a concept album. It’s a *pretty loose* concept album, but I’ve never done anything even close to that with any other project. 

You collaborated with some incredible artists for Indigo, including Mandy Lee, Rothstein and Adelaide James to name a few. How did these collaborations come about and are there any funny, or memorable moments from working with them?

The process of creating this entire album was filled with so many memorable moments for me. That’s what you get when you work with friends. Notable ones were recording the hook to Indigo at a third of the speed and then speeding it back up, only to find out we’d made the coolest sounding hook ever; making the original beat for Nobody’s Fool in my basement in 15 minutes with my close friend and collaborator Dominic Missana (at the time the beat was called Go Puff Slump because we had just ordered a million snacks off of GoPuff and we were SLUMPED); recording the gang vocals for Dance Machine with J Hoard and a bunch of our friends at Flux Studios… the list goes on. 

Do you have a favourite track off the album and if so, why?

It changes a couple times a month, but I think right now my favourite is ‘I’m Only Me‘ with Jackson Lundy and Julius Rodriguez. It takes so many odd turns and I love that. It’s the least straightforward record on the album. 

Based in New York, do you think the city has influenced your sound or style at all?

1 billion percent. But even more so than sound or style, I think it’s just kept me in the game. It’s really hard to stay still for me and I think that’s a by-product of growing up in NYC. It translates over to the amount of music I’ve released – I don’t think I’ve gone a year without releasing some sort of project for the past 7 years. 

What’s next for Brasstracks?

I thought that I was going to take a little artist break, and then I changed my mind. New music is coming sooner than I thought it would. Hopefully a couple more records before the year is up. 

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Words: Alexander Williams
Photography: Shawn Jordan