Acclaimed multi Grammy-nominated, Brit winning producer, songwriter and artist Bryan Wilson aka Boom Dice recently talk to ai love music via email about his musical experiences, working with so many artists, and his recent release “Embers” featuring SOLA. Boom Dice picked up his first Grammy nomination for mixing Sofi Tukker’s dance classic ‘Drinkee’ at the 59th annual Grammy Awards followed by another nod at the 61st Grammy Awards for their debut album ‘Treehouse’ in the ‘Best Dance/Electronic Album’ category.
Famed for his work with the likes of Sofi Tukker, Stormzy, Wolf Alice, Disclosure, Lianne La Havas, and Plan B, just to name a few, Boom Dice’s work truly has the ability to transcend all genres. Known within the industry as the ‘Finisher’, he gets the job done at any stage of a project and is behind hundreds of millions of streams, huge sync placements, as well as numerous gold and platinum sales certifications globally.
Continuing to read to find out what was Boom Dice’s biggest takeaway from other artists and people in the music industry. Also, what inspired him to write “Embers” and what was SOLA’s involvement with the song like. Make sure to also check out the song down below and let me know what you think in the comments!
Please introduce yourself to those who don’t know you!
The name is Boom…..Bryan Boom. Actually, that doesn’t work. I’m Boom Dice. AKA Bryan Wilson ‘The FInisher’. A go-to jack of many trades in the music biz and I am thrilled to say multi-Grammy Nominated and Brit Award-winning Producer, Writer, Mixer, Engineer, Artist, and A&R for my label and artist showcase platform ‘Boom Dice Presents’. Canadian born, London based. Fan of those with drive and passion and swerver of those without.
What got you into music? How has your musical journey been since then?
I was always doing something musical from a young age. I was in a church choir in school when I was a kid and also played violin in a school orchestra. My mom always had the radio on so my interest in what was popping on all stations and across genres came from that. When I met marijuana as a teenager, I enrolled at the Ontario College of Percussion in Toronto where I was lucky to have an awesome drum set mentor named Jay Burak who played with Shania Twain from my memory.
I traveled a lot to the Caribbean with my parents too so I got interested in Latin rhythms and different regional world music so I adapted that feel in my drum playing. Then I started making beats in my parent’s basement maybe around the age of 14 or 15 on the early version of FL Studio (then called Fruity Loops). That sparked something in me that sent me on this mission where I thought maybe I wanted to be a DJ so I got myself some turntables but that wasn’t actually it. I wanted to be a Producer.
From there my Latin and jazz drumming, combined with my love for chart pop, dance music, and an obsession with hip hop all went into my passion for figuring out how these records were made so after I finished high school, I went to this college in Toronto called Trebas Institute which just gave me enough of studio life to solidify that I wanted to be a producer. It was there I found out about Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts.
I figured I didn’t want to go to university for a general arts degree or something that wasn’t targeted to my passions so I flew down to Austin Texas for the interview and got accepted into their Sound Technology degree program. I packed up and moved to the UK to finish that.
After that, I went down to London and knocked on every door I could until I got that opportunity. Fast forward through the last decade-plus, I became an in-demand Engineer to work my way up the ranks. I have been racking up some of the best experiences and accolades with some of the best (and worst) people you can come across since then within the production and mixing world. So it has really been a lifelong ride in this abridged version of how I got to where I am now and I feel like the good stuff is only just starting to form.
What musical genres and artists inspire you and your music?
The influences came from all over and for different reasons. I could write a book on how inspired I was by people like Quincy Jones, or how as a 16-year-old, tried to convince people how I thought the Queen of Salsa Cecilia Cruz’s music was as banging as the latest #1. Music of A Tribe Called Quest was around as much as Prince, Guns N Roses, and Daft Punk. It was really all over the place. I found that listening based on my mood served as my inspiration, creativity, and defined how I moved next. In my own work, I often like to find ways to incorporate elements of different styles and blend music together.
Depends if it is for me or for someone else though. It is this mix that allows me to work on a dance track one day and then flip to a trap-influenced R&B song the next. I would say that the early influence of different cultures and the fact that I listened to different styles of music while as a musician, playing others, really contributed to the journey.
You have worked with so many talented artists and garnered so many awards. What was the most important thing you learned in the music industry so far?
There is so much, I’m gonna give what should be an obvious one! Learn the business of music or will you either get taken advantage of or not make it a viable career path to your own detriment. Talent is everywhere so without that knowledge on how to work within and out of the business side is crucial. Then your talent is built on practical foundations, not just hope. It sounds simple but it is amazing how many artists and musicians out there choose to not care about it or approach their goals with a plan they intend on implementing.
Let’s talk about your latest single “Embers”. What is it about?
Embers’ lyrics came from Sola herself and a longtime associate Hamish Barnes who wrote it with her. It was about her frustration at the way the pandemic was handled and actually affected her personally. So it comes from her perspective while watching the world descend into the chaos that was Covid this past year.
What inspired you to write it?
Sola says “I started writing “Embers” while in lockdown here in the UK. I was seriously scared and angry at the US and UK governments’ responses to the pandemic. The first verse came as a freestyle to the track that Boom Dice sent over about how I felt during the lockdown, feeling like I had to basically pretend like things were normal and keep moving forward while the whole world felt like it was falling apart. It all came to a head for me when my grandma caught COVID-19 at the start of 2021 and passed away — another avoidable COVID death.
I was just bursting with grief and anger, and so I decided to use it and channel it into the rest of the song, which I wrote with the super kind and talented Hamish Barnes. It’s like the opposite of a love song to the governments that fail to properly protect their citizens or handle their failures and corruption, especially surrounding the pandemic. I hope anyone who listens to this song has some sort of catharsis and is inspired to use their voice to talk truth to power”
How was producing the song? What is your part of the song?
My productions can vary depending on my mood and day so this one was already a dark and dreary sort of day when I made it. The original version was actually pretty different from what we hear now on the Verses and Pre-Chorus sections. I had it in my mind that a rapper from the UK is who it would end up with. But then I got contacted by Sola’s management and I liked what I heard so I am happy she brought it to life. We haven’t even met yet because of living in different cities but also because of the lockdown situation in the last year.
So once I connected Sola with Hamish to write the concept and come up with what would ultimately be called ‘Embers’, She then sent me recordings of her vocals to fold it into the track remotely. I then switched up the instrumental to work with her vocals better and then mixed it and the track was done.
How was it working with SOLA?
It is always great to work with artists that know how to deliver their performance with conviction and animation. That is really hard to teach but also can come with experience so when you see it from an artist who is more or less just getting started like Sola, I like to nurture that and showcase it. That is exactly what happened with this track. She really brought it to life.
What do you want listeners to listen for in “Embers”?
I like to hear what people think it means to them. The beauty of music is that it resonates with people differently. So while I described what Sola wrote the track about above, listeners will interpret it for themselves. But I really want them to get lost in the sauce. I tried to bring almost “scene” changes to this track with the different sections all holding up on their own for different reasons. So far, the reception has been great and I think that goal is working out. There is a little something for everyone and it is a cross-over song.
Any future plans?
Always! I have about 5 different singles on the go under the Boom Dice name but also my label and artist showcase platform is progressing well. We are going to be expanding to signing young producers across different genres and also have a slate of potential releases lined up with different acts on their own globally.
So the growth strategy is in place and we are figuring out where we find our feet based on my interests and changing goalposts. We have some exciting NFT ideas launching soon too with a huge name in the music business and should prove to be an interesting experiment in the crypto space too.
So if I have it my way, the ‘Boom Dice Presents’ brand will be a powerful force in the business behind the scenes and in front! Stay tuned and thanks for the support!
Make sure to check out Boom Dice at the following sites: