“Brandon is a kid from Michigan who fell in love with hip-hop and loves diversity.”
Brandon Clahassey, better known as Beacon Light, released a new EP, Influential, this month. “The concept is realizing that everyone has influence, no matter how big or small.” He notes that some of the most influential people to many people are not famous, but often a family member, mentor, or coach.
The EP began with a few songs rather than a thought-out concept. “I listen to beats and listen to different stuff and then write songs that I want to.” After preparing some songs, he listened to them as a whole and found a theme within them. “Influential happened to be, in my opinion, one of the most high-energy songs on the record, so I [decided] that’s where we’re going.”
Influential’s cover art has a mix of inspirations. “We liked the idea of the clouds and the sky of being influenced by God’s art.” The image includes Beacon Light sitting in an art gallery with a piece behind him, showing a photo of him as a baby with a collage of prominent hip-hop artists.
“All of these people have influenced me, but now I’m also here making an impact within the genre.”
Beacon Light worked with Reflection Music Group’s Derek Minor on the song, “Basic,” describing it’s message as one which encourages listeners, especially hip-hop artists, to not always take the easy way out of situations they may face.
“Everybody wants to rap, but why are you doing it? Why are you putting your pen down?”
Along with Derek Minor, Beacon Light addresses the negative messages in hip-hop, saying to artists, “You were made for better than what you’re writing down. What you’re doing is not reflecting the glory that God has given you by making you in His image.”
Influential continues with the song “James Brown.” James Brown is widely considered to be one of the best Soul artists of all time and is known as the “Grandfather of Soul.” Beacon Light is not only a hip-hop fan; he also admires Brown. “I appreciate his energy and what he brought to Soul.” When writing the song, he was thinking about how he is always on the move, traveling for concerts and school tours. James Brown was known for his lively dancing on stage, and “I just imagined him dancing like crazy. It was a really fun track to make because I was like, ‘I’m just going to pretend to be James Brown in the background and do these crazy ad-libs.'”
The final song on Influential is “Get By.” In the past year-and-a-half, Beacon Light has learned how to play the piano and wrote the song to a piece he had composed. “I had created this whole song with four different chord progressions. I used to sing it, and it was just a piano melody.” He recorded the composition in his home studio and began to play it with a synth. After starting a beat and writing lyrics, he sent his progress to the song’s co-producer, loveaintdoneyet.
“Life is sometimes overwhelming, and there are people that treat you bad, there are people that talk behind your back.”
He encourages listeners to talk about their challenges, noting the culture of “just getting by” when people don’t look for support from God or other people. The song is a cry out to God, saying, “I need a savior. Save me from the way that I’ve been trying to get by. I’ve been using this other crap to try to bandage myself up, but I need God, or else I’m done.”
Outside of music, Beacon Light enjoys spending time with his family and playing basketball.
“All I do is influential. This conversation we’re having right now can impact you.”
Buy or stream Influential here.