Tell us your real names, country of birth, date of birth and childhood experience.  

Hi I’m Jake Brown, 29 years old and born and raised in UK. My childhood was your standard middle-class white boy in a Northern UK city upbringing. It’s an upbringing that seems to have a soundtrack though – I associate times in my life with different tracks or albums.

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Tell us about your music career, your band name, musical background, experience and skills.

Handbook has been my alias for the best part of eight years and I started making music under this name in early 2010. The focus of my music has always been along the lines of hip-hop and electronic music. It’s sometimes deviated into styles like trap (although only slightly), chillhop, beatstrumentals and other micro-genres. At its core, my music has always contained samples. Sometimes they’re big samples that take centre-stage, sometimes chopped up and turned on its head; other times they’re in the background, providing extra texture and depth.

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Tell us about your genre, concept and idea behind your music video and the song.

‘Let Me Down Easy’ is definitely hip-hop – there’s no doubt about that. Voyager Music got in touch with me and asked if I wanted to release a single through them and I was delighted. I asked whether or not they knew of any vocalists that would dig the beat and they suggested Charonne. It didn’t take long for us to finish a track with a winning vibe and it ranks up there with one the best songs that I’ve been associated with. The concept is pretty straightforward: it’s classic storytelling through the medium of rap and touches upon issues to do with lifestyle, family and getting through life, trying to succeed despite the struggle.

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Tell us everything that we need to know about you as a musician and the ups and downs you have faced in the music business.

I feel that even after eight years, I’m still relatively new to the ‘music business’ and still pretty uninformed about the major side of the music industry. What I do know is that there are many different independent groups that come together to create amazing music – music that should be played in every home and on every station. You look at the immensely popular Chillhop group, who rack up views and sales and have created a sizeable impact upon the internet music community. You look at Soundcloud rappers and the influence they have and the wide following they have. For as long as net neutrality can go on, it’s all about independent groups that can create their own side and move in their own direction.

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Tell us about other members of your band, music producer, crew or music video director, how the song was recorded and how the music video was shot.

 As for Handbook, I’m a one man operation, lucky enough to work with a range of different talented individuals. This has been the first collaboration between Charonne and me, and I hope it’s not the last. I produced the beat and emailed it over. The lyrics were devised and recorded over the next month and I tidied it up and mixed it.

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Tell us how long you have been in the music industry, your experience and your future goal.

As I mentioned before, I’ve had limited experience of the wider music industry in the last few years but I do hope that changes. Ideally I would love to work full-time in it, producing music for the greatest talents that there are in this world, but it must be one of the most competitive industries on the planet. I’ll be happy if people are still listening in 10 years’ time!

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Tell us what inspires you to write, compose and sing.

It’s that creative energy that drives me. I don’t know whether it’s the experience I have in my general life – I certainly know big life events inspire me and help me to process the good and bad that life has to offer. I just know that when I get in from a tough day at work, or wake up at the weekend, there’s the creative impetus that drives me to make something, to express myself and to give my own life meaning.

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Tell us the secret behind making a hit song.

I’m not sure I’ve ever had a ‘hit’ song. Songs that I’ve been involved in that have outperformed others generally have top class production, memorable hooks and if it’s not an instrumental, concise and evocative lyrics.

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Tell us the message you will like to pass to your fans out there.

My message will always be “thank you”.

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Tell the kind of advice you will give to an upcoming artist.

My advice will always be to make music when you feel like it, enjoy making it and don’t make something in a certain style just because everyone else. If you dig that style and want to make something in that vein, then fine, but don’t alienate your friends because you’ve been caught up in the zeitgeist.

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Elaborate on your music careers, albums, songs, tours, recognition or awards you might have obtained.

In the early days of Handbook, I was putting out a new beat every other day and created such a vast catalogue of music. However, it wasn’t focused and there was no sort of self-curation, no quality control. Now I work harder to hone my craft and only release music that I feel will have true longevity. Less singles, less albums, but a more accessible and long-lasting catalogue.

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List Radio or TV Stations that are airing your songs and blogs that have featured you as well and send message to them via this platform.

There are so many radio stations, blogs and playlists that support what I do and the message is ” if you support me: thanks! It really means a lot!”

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Tell us how you write your lyrics, compose, sing and record in the studio.

When I’m making a new beat, I usually start with the sample and work out from there. I put on the drums, the other instrumentation and then work the effects into it. It’s a basic setup in my ‘studio’ – it’s in my bedroom and everything I make is on minimal equipment.

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Name five biggest artists that you like.

My favourites right now are: Four Tet, Bibio, Elderbrook, Madlib and Tom Misch.

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Name the artists you have collaborated with before in your songs or artists you are willing to collaborate with in the future if you have the chance to do so.

Regular collaborators include Supreme Sol, RKZ, J.Hurt, Jetpack Jones, Edamame and Lippi to name a few.

I’d love to work with Kendrick Lamar, Tom Misch, Bonobo, Bibio, Blu and Freddie Gibbs.

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Give us the links to your website and your social network.

SC

https://soundcloud.com/handbook

FB

https://www.facebook.com/Handbookah

Twitter: @HandbookYork

Instagram: @HandbookUK

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Give us the links to your various stores for fans to buy your music.

Bandcamp

https://handbook.bandcamp.com

Spotify

https://open.spotify.com/artist/6OvOdUubb1MOOz2FtGWlHk

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Tell us about your happiest day and saddest day.

So many happy days and a few sad ones too. I couldn’t possibly choose one for either. Just hoping for a lot more happy days to come.

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Tell us how you will spend a million dollars.

I’d buy a house and keep my family right. If it stretched, I’d definitely finance a few projects for my circle and travel to see them too.


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