by Jim Asker
ith most artists, the listener is asked to engage in that particular artist’s work, and the listener’s experience is that particular effort of the artist. Many times it ends up being personal and yes, even self serving—and that may not be a bad thing—it just is what it is!
With Ansel Brown, the difference is that he’s on a musical expedition- through his experiences and the music allows the listener to take that journey with him. So you may not have been able to get to Cape Canaveral for the final Space Shuttle Landing, but listen to Ansel’s moving anthem, “When You Fly,” and it will take you there. Ansel says it simply, “I create experiences with my music.”
nsel Brown’s story begins in Greenville, South Carolina—born into a military family, dad was in the Navy, meant some traveling, and moving to Hawaii when he was just 10 years old. That’s where the music bug kicked in, and the realization that there was God given talent to grow. Along with his sister, he ended up participating in the esteemed Hawaiian Children’s Choir. This choir has even been featured on the soundtrack for a Disney movie, “Lilo & Stitch.” Ansel learned to love music during his time with the choir and get a dose of fame, as there were videos, appearances at major Hawaiian events and big crowds.
Ultimately, military families always move, and Ansel’s family re-located back to the States to Annandale, VA. Stuff like that is tough on a kid, and Ansel eventually dropped out of high school—and though it was probably building a foundation for writing some great Country songs later on- he took it hard. “It was the worst decision of my life,” remembers Ansel.
Ansel made good. He achieved the high school diploma and attended college in Charleston, SC for Business and Accounting—he also got the Country bug as people like Garth Brooks (one of his favorites), and others were literally exploding on the scene. It was the Country boom period and Ansel knew that he was going to be a part of that. However, there were also bills to pay and life to take care of.
Ansel Brown established himself as a well respected advertising and marketing executive and still runs a bustling ad agency in his town-- Charlotte, North Carolina. That kind of work lends itself well to branding his music. And talking to Ansel, you realize quickly and clearly—it’s all about music and experiences. He’s on a journey and lucky for us, there’s room in the rocket for everyone.
Great artists normally take detours and side roads before they end up on their path of destiny. For Ansel it was no different. He started a record label, went to Nashville to be a star, and after recognizing it for what much of it is—there was a hiatus, and he re-grouped.
“I visit hospitals all the time,” said Ansel. “I want to meet kids, play them some music, and even if it’s just for a little while, take their mind off their sickness. Well, some people don’t think that’s a good use of time when according to them, I should be making money.”
nsel clearly goes against the grain and will gladly tell you just that. A turning point for the artist was meeting his wife Lisa, who is undoubtedly his partner in all ways and an inspiration. The two met several years ago when Ansel was playing a show in Champagne, IL. Lisa was teaching a line dancing class at the time. But the thing is—she was moving to Arkansas for the FAA—Ansel was in Charlotte. Ansel has his ad-agency, and Lisa was establishing herself as an air traffic controller in Ft. Smith.
But if you believe in love, you also believe that everything happens for a reason. So, the two did the long distance relationship thing for a couple of years. Ansel made the drive to Arkansas every two weeks, and started writing again. “After I met my wife, there was a clear-cut turning point,’ says Ansel. “I began to look inward and I started writing songs again.”
During those road-trips, Ansel did a lot of songwriting, but also, a good amount of reflecting. He decided that he wanted to be back as an artist—but different this time. This time it would be about experiences, and if radio success happens and songs become hits, as they very well may, it won’t be because this artist became part of some star-making machine. “I am handling my music and career, as I should have been doing all along,” said Ansel. “I’d love for millions of people to hear my music—for radio programmers to love the songs—but this time I’ll be doing it my way.”
Ansel and Lisa now live in Charlotte. He still has the ad-agency. She’s an air-traffic controller there. And in between, Ansel is involved with so many experiences! It’s best to see the depth of the experiences
here on his website, where you’ll see (if you don’t know already), that this guy goes from NASA
to women’s aviation
to dirt racing
, and in every case there’s great music! For example, “A World of Outlaws,” is the theme song
for the largest Dirt Racing series in the U.S. and was featured on Outcast Kustoms
, an original series on the Discovery VELOCITY Channel
. The song, “When You Fly,” co-written by his wife Lisa, salutes aviation, and was also used as a tribute for the final space shuttle launch, landing and farewell ceremony
“I’m calling this season, the “3 Song Summer,” said Ansel. The three songs are “Our Country,” a powerful Patriotic song of praise for the country we live in—“Flying,” a song co-written by an inspiring teen with Cerebral Palsy for NASA
and “A World of Outlaws.”
Ansel Brown’s mission is to create experiences through his music and the great thing is that you’re invited.
“What sets me apart from other artists is the experience,” proclaims Ansel. “The song is actually the icing on the cake!”