Breyan Isaac, singer/songwriter and producer, has crafted hits for the likes of Flo Rida, Charlie Puth, Pitbull and several others. The multi-hyphenate recently won his fifth BMI Pop Award for co-writing Puth’s breakthrough ballad “One Call Away,” and spoke with Billboard via email about the song’s success — and his own.
When he found out he had won yet another BMI Pop award for the fifth year in a row, Isaac says, “It hit me like an epiphany: ‘I’m really in the music business now.’ It’s amazing how something you think was only a dream could turn out to be your reality.”
He feels humbled by the win and is also quick to credit Puth — “he’s like my ultra-talented little brother who I’m very proud of” — and to relate that since the two have worked together on a handful of other songs off his debut album Nine Track Mind, they feel “super comfortable” together at this point.
Isaac recalls being at a house in Montecito with a group of writers and producers all sitting around a gas fire pit. “I remember DJ Frank E saying to a couple of us, ‘I got this idea,’ and it was off to the races from there. ‘One Call Away’ is a legitimate campfire song.”
As for the song’s lovelorn lyrics, Isaac feels that songs provide “an outlet to be vulnerable and caring,” and that “One Call Away” shares “what we love, how we feel” and that it “shows some part of our hidden fears.” As a result of such, he says he was scared after hearing the final cut for the first time. He adds that when a song incites that reaction, though, it’s usually a good sign.
Since the top of the year, Isaac has had his hands in several successful projects, from being involved in kick-starting ascendant singer-rapper 6lack’s career to producing Nick Jonas and Nicki Minaj’s “Bom Bidi Bom” for 50 Shades Darker. While he’s hesitant to reveal any in-the-works projects — “The last time I talked about what I was working on, I got in trouble” — Isaac says even with his five BMI Pop Awards, he still wonders how he got in the room in the first place. “We’ll see what the future holds, but hopefully it holds more awards and more good music.”