Brought together by OVERTONES–a workshop program created in an effort to increase the accessibility of electronic music production, and provide music industry education to up-and-coming artists—brz, mrsebs, and Umbra Abra release Broken Phone, a testament to the city kid experience, and alongside, a ‘90s-esque camcorder music video, leaving the viewer yearning for the time that once was. The artists reflected on the making of the labor-of-love project, and the experience of working alongside one another.
Brz says of the new release, “Broken Phone was the result of the first collaborative exercise we did while in Overtones. Umbra had played some Playboi (Carti) that was inspiring and we kind of just took it from there. It was rather democratic despite never working together before. We cut the demo for the instrumental in the session, Sebs and Umbra gave me the blessing to add my vocals. My phone stays shattered (it’s literally broken right now) + I had just got a new grill, so that became the song. As far as the video, I met Su (director) rather recently and our aesthetic languages and energy matched perfectly. The shoot was quite guerrilla, one day, and took a lot of help from friends and strangers alike! OVERTONES was critical for me at a low moment when I was in dire need of direction. I’m forever grateful for the people it’s brought into my world and the insights it’s given me on how to navigate this music thing. Overtones can be invisible, but always present. Always felt.”
mrsebs shares, “To sit in a room with two geniuses like BRZ and Umbra, was one of the many highlights of my Overtones experience. Seeing their approach to production, and getting a taste of what sparks their ideas was truly refreshing. Overall, Overtones brought a new sense of direction, trust and wonder in my creative journey. It felt like a pivotal point for everyone involved. I'm forever grateful for the opportunity, for Ben, Nereya, Nico and The Rising Artists Foundation.”
Umbra Abra recalls, “Broken Phone to me was a beautiful return, I had started producing as someone primarily interested in experimental hip hop, and spent about 3 years really focused on that form of expression. The way brz approaches production and his vocals is so refreshing too - he’s got a bountiful positivity and curiosity that bleeds into everything he does. Feeding off that energy was incredibly natural. Overtones was something that really caught me at a point of instability and provided a bit of direction - validating a pursuit that up until then I had always been a little unsure of. Being surrounded by a diversity of truly incredible artists, all differently insightful, was so enriching and has enabled me to find the groove of living so much easier.”
OVERTONES is a grant program created in partnership between NYC-based record label, Other People, and The Rising Artist Foundation. The workshop program aims to foster an environment in which rising artists are free to learn, create, and collaborate with one another. Following Broken Phone is Portals—a collection of 19 tracks birthed by OVERTONES participants, featuring solo compositions, collaborative singles, and a full group track—due early this year.
Take a look at the new music video here!