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Conversations with Brent Paschke

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brent Paschke.

Brent, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I started playing music very early. It was something that resonated with me from the beginning of my memory. Around 13 years old my parents bought me a guitar and I was hooked. After high school, I moved to Minneapolis where I went to school for music. At this time, I co-founded a band called Spymob. We eventually ended up with multiple record deals but in all of that, we were introduced to the production team The Neptunes (Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo). This started my long working relationship with Pharrell, Chad and N.E.R.D. Spymob signed to Pharrell and Chad’s record label Star Trak.

Spymob eventually disbanded and I moved to LA. In LA, I pursued more musical avenues like engineering & production. My primary source of work was still guitar sessions. I worked with other producers too and over my time in LA played on some really cool records and landed a couple of grammy’s working with Pharrell.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I wouldn’t say it’s been smooth. But I also wouldn’t put that blame on anything other then myself and self-work that needed to be done. I found over all this time my biggest obstacle was me and understanding my strengths and weaknesses. I’ve honestly found some of the best musical lessons in the search to find my truest self. I truly feel the greatest art is the art of living. When that is in order, everything in life is a reflection of one’s art.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I’d say I’m most known for my work as the guitarist with The Neptunes (Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo). What I’m most proud of is my work as a rhythm guitarist with Pharrell and Chad. I love being a part of the foundation of a song. Getting a part recorded just right. I believe that’s what sets me apart. I really love the details and love finding that perfect pocket and part for the singer to sit in.

Recently I decided to release some music on my own. Something I’ve never done. Over lockdown, I think a lot of us artists started to lose some passion, focus and direction. I was one of them. So I decided to put everything else away and focus on making music to make music. To put out something I love just because I want to. This has helped me find that passion again.

What sort of changes are you expecting over the next 5-10 years?
I think we are starting to see it now. I feel like we will start seeing more independent artists going outside of the norm. I have a feeling that NFTs and Web3 is going to be a big help. Everyone having access to the whole world will help artists narrow in on their super fans. This will give artists the ability to make a living by having a smaller amount of super fans.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
The first photos 3 included without a guitar were taken by Casey Vera. The 4th photo (the black and white photo of me on stage with a mask) was taken by @shotbyphox. The last color photo of me on stage in front of a big audience was taken by Jason Larson.

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