Bruno Major Talks “Columbo” and The Thrill of Touring Again

Bruno Major Talks “Columbo” and The Thrill of Touring Again

“During those six months of recklessness, I wrote more songs than I’ve ever written in my entire life”  —Bruno Major


The last time Wonder spoke to Bruno Major was a few months after the release of his sophomore album, To Let a Good Thing Die. By then, everyone had shuttered inside their homes to avoid the virus. Musicians took to virtual performances to bridge the gap between them and their listeners, in lieu of singing for them onstage. And while he had thrown in some tentative ideas for his next project, we all know that things don’t always go the way we plan. Hence the birth of Columbo, Bruno Major’s third album and a product of his time away from the spotlight.


Named after the vintage white 1978 Mercedes 380SL he bought during his six-month excursion to Los Angeles after the pandemic, Columbo witnesses Major pivoting inward. Here, he extends the comfort of validation to many others, where they can also find solace in the stories he tells. Major narrates his thoughts of self-reflection through his lyrics wrapped in his signature soulful and grounded instrumentals. From the passionate and nostalgic We Were Never Really Friends to the melancholic A Strange Kind of Beautiful, the songs showcase the steady growth he has experienced since 2020. 



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“During COVID, I didn’t write for a long time,” shares Bruno Major in an exclusive interview with Wonder. “I’m not sure if it’s just because of COVID or because I [had] just released my second album.” However, Major thinks that continuously creating things just doesn’t make sense—you have to live your life. “The way I see it is like a sponge. You put the sponge in the water, it soaks up the water and you squeeze it all out,” he explains. “But once you’ve squeezed it, that’s that.”


The singer needed to go through such motions again after his second album, but we all know that back then, it wasn’t an option. So the moment lockdown ended on Major’s side of the world, he hopped on a plane, headed to Los Angeles, bought Columbo and became a Yes Man. “I just said Yes to everything,” he recalls. “I was desperate for life. I was desperate for experiences: I wanted to party, fall in love, get my heart broken and be chaotic, reckless and stupid. During those six months of recklessness, I wrote more songs than I’ve ever written in my entire life.”


Fast forward to January this year, when he posted a screenshot of Columbo’s final masters. A commemoration of finally completing a body of work that narrates a tumultuous time. When the thought finally sunk in, Bruno recalls feeling relieved. “It's been so long, like I've been working on this thing for two and a half years. And it's just going to be such a wonderful feeling to have it out there finally being listened to,” he enthuses. But more than that, the release also bears the transition of something private finally getting out into the world. “All of these songs for the last two and a half years, they've just belonged to me. They've been my private feelings, and they've been the only things I hear,” explains Major. “And now the whole world is going to be able to hear them and it's amazing.”



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With the album standing as Bruno Major’s lyrical introspection of himself, his relationships and the world around him, The Show Must Go On sets the tone for the rest of Columbo. “[The song] is really about my mental health, my own issues that I’ve had with social anxiety,” he admits. “Basically, I’ve felt like there were two versions of me: an inside version and the one I project. And sometimes, when I feel down, I still project this idea of a charismatic, funny and happy person. When those don’t line up, you get anxiety—I think that’s where my anxiety comes from.” The track tells his story of still pushing to go onstage despite the disconnect. 


The succeeding eleven tracks continue his vulnerable ruminations and dives into different forms of love, such as asking for forgiveness in Tell Her or the pain of loss in 18. A Strange Kind Of Beautiful—one of Bruno’s favorites from the record—finds good in the smallest of things, the way we collect green flags (and the occasional beige flags) in a beautiful relationship. If anything, the album further expands Bruno Major’s talent for thoughtful and observant storytelling.



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With Columbo out, Bruno Major is set to begin touring again. “I'm looking forward to playing these songs to people,” he shares. “Because I feel like when you write a song or make a piece of music, it doesn't really feel like you've finished it until you've played it on stage. It’s part of the creative process for me.” So the upcoming shows won’t only complete his latest release but also To Let a Good Thing Die. “I also can't wait to come and meet all my fans from all these different countries. Even now it's still mind-blowing to me that I get to come to places on the other side of the world and there are people who want to hear my music,” he expresses. 


Bruno Major will be reuniting with his loyal Filipino audiences at the New Frontier Theater on August 15. If there’s anything he hopes to say ahead of the show, “It’s been three and a half years since I played a show and I can't wait to come and play for you all. Thank you so much for your support over the years ‘cause it really means a lot.”



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Give Bruno Major’s “Columbo” a listen on all streaming platforms. Meanwhile, tickets to the Tour of Planet Earth’s Manila stop are still available via TicketNet



Photos Neil Krug courtesy of Karpos Multimedia

Art Matthew Ian Fetalver

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