“It was on a car ride home on a brisk North-side Johannesburg summer afternoon where I asked my friend what the likelihood of there being a Brad Pitt movie quote or character arch for whatever one can go through in life. Admittedly, it seemed like an arbitrary enquiry. One which could only be dignified with scathing sarcasm. Rather than that, I was instead dared to expound on what it is I meant exactly.
“Well…” I replied with an indignant sigh, “Suppose you had gone through an extended period of time where your creativity had eluded you and you had devolved into this unrecognisable, depressed spectacle. Suppose the result of that spilled into your personal relationships and you had begun to lose control of all aspects of reality. Suppose you had lost who you thought was the love of your life. Suppose you were responsible for a car crash in a lush mountain range at the dead of night that could have very well killed the both of you. Suppose you had grieved all those personal losses for close to half the year and the only closure came from yourself. Suppose you had temporarily lost your mind. Suppose you had made it back from all of that and you had the grandest story to tell?”
“…geez bro,” he whispered. “Well if i were Stephen of Kent I’d write a f*cking album.” And that’s what I aimed to do. I was gonna write the biggest, raddest album ever. But something about this part of my life didn’t scream ‘album’ to me. It instead shouted “create for your very survival, create a lot.” I then went on to use Brad Pitt in all his iconic roles as a vessel an an alter ego to carry out all the streams of consciousness I couldn’t get out all by myself because I could not find me at the time. It didn’t feel cohesive and cogent. It was sporadic, and the sound led me to surreal diverse sonic possibilities. I knew then that these songs belonged in isolation. Each song is a thought that deserves its own consideration and independent existence.
After much editing and working and chopping and changing a million times. After a myriad of multiple timezone calls around the world I have a handful of songs that bring me peace and I would like to share them with you. I call this era of my creative journey ‘Brad Reputation’ and I hope I don’t get sued. I’m gonna drop a song every third Friday for your enjoyment and it would mean the world to have you, my listeners and family, take this journey with me. This process was cathartic and I’m doing much better now. The sky is blue again and I don’t perceive it as falling anymore. Suffice to say I’ve been fighting off the bad vibes with fervour and rigour only seen in bulls who overcome a matador. I am in my garden at home in Fourways, Johannesburg right now. Far from the emotional turmoil that robbed me of a great deal of peace. Far from the indecision, confusion, heartbreak, and uncertainty.
I’ve often said it’s a big part of my job as an artist to re-imagine and repurpose the undesirable emotional energy that life invariably comes with. It is through this re-imagining from which beautiful and unexplainable pieces of art come from, I’ve often intuited. It’s a part of my job I’ve come to enjoy a great deal. It therefore brings me much peace to finally present to you this next string of songs over the next couple of Fridays. Welcome to Big Brad Fridays. This is Brad Reputation. For the first time anywhere in the world in 2020. Love, Stephen.”