Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sure Fire Music by Michelle Libby

Windham, Maine isn’t the first place people think of when they hear Grammy nominee, but Sterling Brunsvold and Jerry Edwards are making their presence in the music industry known as a part of Sure Fire Music Group, and their studio is in Windham. 

“Most don’t know we are here as a resource,” said Brunsvold, at his studio. “Most think Maine is a dead place. We prove they don’t have to run away to New York to find success,” he said. 

The studio is in a non-descript house in a small room. However, one can sit in the studio and forget that this is Maine. There is a sound booth, computer screens, good sized speakers, a keyboard and a microphone locker as well as a couch and a few chairs. Mr. Butters, the studio cat, saunters through and into the booth where he will often times sit while a session is happening, according to Brunsvold. 

Sure Fire Music, which started in 2003 outside of Boston, is best known for its urban music and its big sound. Creating musicians from soup to nuts is what Brunsvold likes to do. “We try to help local artists. Helping people develop a career in the industry – develop personality,” he said. They get much of their business from referrals, or if an artist happens to find the company on the Internet. 

The mentor and guidance offered by Edwards and Brunsvold is something unique with studios. Some just want the artist to pay their hourly rate for studio time and that’s it. Although there’s nothing wrong with that, Brunsvold has a different vision. “I want to build connections with people and not be a revolving door. Come in and shut the door,” he said. 

Brunsvold majored in physics at Montana State University, but his father was a professional musician. “Music was always in my home,” he said. “I had a come-to-Jesus-moment and realized my undergrad was as far as I can go. I wanted to try to do the music thing.” He tried to be an artist, but he realized that with the crowds and the lack of original music, he liked the part where he was able to create his own music. 

“It’s a young person’s game,” Brunsvold said. He decided to become a producer because it didn’t matter how old he was, he could still do it. 

“It’s about relationships. That matters more to me,” said Edwards, who has loved music since he was little and won an award in seventh-grade for music. He was a rapper in high school and realized he had a natural ear for music. “I was told my flow of creativity was brilliant,” he said. Despite that, Edwards majored in Africana studies at Bowdoin, where he found his voice as a writer, he said.

Through a lot of trial and error as well as reading, watching video tutorials and listening, he has developed his mix engineering skills. Edwards, from Scarborough, does a lot of his mixing at home on his Apple computer using speakers and a keyboard. He called it his pre-production studio. 

“I do it because I love to do it,” said Brunsvold. “I’m doing something I love – touching people’s lives,” he added. 

“They can’t teach you how to be creative,” said Brunsvold. “Just do it, don’t sit in a classroom. Do it, live it and be a part of it. It’s a culture,” he added.
“We are scholars of this,” said Edwards. “We have been developing our own style. Big, with hard hitting drums,” is how Edwards described their sound. 

Sure Fire Music Group has a large studio in Lowell, Massachusetts, and is in its seventh year of business at that location. The other parent company owners are Jared Hancock, Brendan Brady and Stephen Saxon. According to Brunsvold, it was Hancock’s cousin that brought the whole group together. It grew quickly and in 2005 they incorporated and found a commercial space that was designed specifically for the needs of artists. 

“The artists like coming to get away from the city. There’s safety in the community where the space exists,” Brunsvold said. 

Sure Fire Music Group has earned accolades from Dove, BET and Soul Train as well as being nominated for a Grammy Award. They also did the mixes on a project that ended up winning a Grammy.  “It’s a good success for all of us,” Brunsvold said. 

Brunsvold has worked on albums for Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, where Sure Fire produced nine of the 14 songs on her posthumous album. He worked on an album for Brooke Hogan from “Brooke Knows Best,” and a hip hop album for DBlock. Sire Fire did a year’s worth of commercials for Under Armor and the theme song from Yu-Gi-Oh! The list of artists goes on from tracks for Missy Elliot and NEO to Freeway and Bobby Valentino. They also did the sound design for Red Dead Redemption, a Grand Theft Auto in the Old West, according to Brunsvold. 

“We have an incredible team of people and are one of the best resources in the New England area,” he said. 

Brunsvold and Edwards are interested in working with local artists from Maine and New Hampshire to help shape careers. They sell music, lyrics, tracks and the time to work with them in the studio. “We’re not a record label,” said Edwards. The musician still does most of the promotion for a song. 

Sure Fire has also started doing video production. One of their most recent projects is with Makio, a Kenyan artist who was on “Making the Band 4” from MTV. The song “Digital Love,” can be found on iTunes, YouTube and on Sure Fire’s website.  

Brunsvold is looking for late high school to college students to be interns at the Windham studio. If they are interested in entertainment, being exposed to this environment and have time to donate, they should contact us, Brunsvold said.
For more information on Sure Fire Music Group visit or email

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your Comments Help Improve Your Community.