For the Love of Music: A Designer’s Passion

Giselle Loor Sugerman, the G in B+G Design sat down with her husband and design partner, Brett Sugerman to chat about his passion project. 

“I am a big believer that outside of your career or chosen path, you should be open to embracing your personal passions, whatever those may be.  I have my hobbies and passion outside of B+G and as a couple and working partners, it is important to have separate interests. For your own personal growth and for the health of a marriage as well.” – Giselle Loor Sugerman

Get to know a little bit about Brett’s love of music and his designer passion.

Brett, tell us about your journey into music. When did it start?

I’ve been playing guitar since I was about 14, but I fell in love with music, especially rock music, at about 12. I remember my dad buying my first album, the Beatle’s Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, around that time. Listening to that album (over and over!) launched my imagination into new directions and provoked my hunger for more musical journeys. I LOVED browsing in record stores (Vibrations in North Miami and Peached in Fort Lauderdale) looking for fresh inspiration and was fortunate to be guided from an early age by some of the record store salespeople I got to know and by some family friends who were musicians. Although routed in classic rock, my taste expanded to almost anything cutting-edge, whether it be early electronic, experimental jazz, hip-hop, punk or R&B.

When I moved to Boston for college in the early ‘80s, I immersed myself in the local music scene and mustered the courage to start playing in my first bands. However, after moving back to Miami in 1988, I put the guitar down for almost 30 years!

Music became a passion project for you and during the beginning of the pandemic, it became an important creative outlet. Did you find yourself writing more during this time?

I have to credit Giselle for encouraging me to pick up the guitar again a few years ago. I started taking lessons to further develop my skills, and I began to write music again. By the time the pandemic hit, I had about 30 new song ideas and was itching to find someone to collaborate with to bring them to life, but found that to be a challenge. So I taught myself how to record digitally through my computer using Apple Garage Band and cobbled together some basic demos. Hearing those songs come to life, with drums, bass and some “scratch” vocals reignited my passion to take this as far as I could! While searching the internet, I stumbled upon Soundbetter, a website that connects professional musicians of all kinds around the world. It’s kind of like a dating site, where artists post photos and samples of their work, looking for clients to hire them to sing, or play instruments, or produce tracks for a relatively reasonable fee. During the pandemic, when most of these pros were out of work, this helped many survive.

I was lucky enough to connect with two very talented guys, one in London and one in Nashville, whom I hired to do vocals, production, instrumentation and sometimes help me develop the structure of the songs. They are like mentors to me. When I got the first finished songs back from each of them, I was blown away—to hear my “ babies” expertly-produced and “radio-ready” literally brought tears to my eyes! It also super-charged my creative process and, coupled with the extra down-time the pandemic brought most of us, inspired me to write more new songs than ever before. Since then, I haven’t stopped.

How has your music evolved over the years? My 45+ years of music appreciation and passion have encompassed may genres, all of which I draw from now when writing new stuff. I like to think that all of my life experiences since my youth have contributed texture, nuance and mostly importantly soul to the music and lyrics I write—characteristics that I just hadn’t fully-developed earlier in life. But the energy is still pretty much the same—big guitars, throbbing bass, pounding drums, gritty vocals. It’s modern rock with a message.

What are you currently working on that we can share with our readers? To date, I have seven songs “in the can” and am working on more with my collaborators in order to finish my first album. Two of the songs are already on Spotify and Apple Music ( Right Now and Last Night on Earth by Shattered to Atoms), among other sites, but I’ve held off on releasing anything else until the album is finished. I’m also producing videos for two of the songs, which will be released on YouTube concurrently with the album later this year.

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