Jim Brickman

Dateline: September 15, 2000

Learn more about Jim Brickman by visiting his official Web site.

Paula: You collaborate quite often with other musicians. How do you decide which artists with whom to collaborate?

Jim: I try to break down some barriers of genre and style to send a message that it's really just music. I'm not necessarily defined in one category, and whether Martina McBride, or Michelle Wright, or somebody singing my songs who is primarily known as a country singer can be on the same album as a pop icon like Olivia Newton-John or Carly Simon or a jazz musician like Herb Alpert, that's because basically the core is all music, that those things all belong together.

Paula: What inspires you musically?

Jim: I think most of that comes from within. What makes an artist unique is having their own point of view and you have to really let that come from inside and not be too influenced by being like somebody else or following someone else. I listen to a lot of different music that I think subtly influences me but Id try not to imitate, I try my best to be unique. I try to do what I feel comes naturally to me from inside.

Paula: What is the biggest challenge of writing an instrumental piece in order to convey a certain mood or message, and being able to get that message to the listener, when there are no lyrics?

Jim: The challenge is to create enough of a melodic hook that it connects to something; so that to people, when they hear it, it sounds familiar and comfortable and yet it's original. I believe good, strong melody is the key to that and I strive to have my strength in melody because I think that that's what people grab on to.

Paula: What are your future plans, musically speaking?

Jim: I am going to start performing some of my music with symphony orchestras. I think on an international basis, it's a wonderful way to have my music be introduced in different cultures and environments. Because I'm an instrumentalist, performing with symphonies is a really ideal way to connect my music, so if I am not familiar to that audience, then if I play with a symphony from that area it is a great way to have my music grow, for me to become a better performer and to introduce my music on that level. But also I'm continuing to become always a better songwriter, to really find songs that touch people's hearts and really be smart about the way that I write and what purpose it serves.

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