Brian Hazard Bullhorn Keys

Color Theory Defined by Hazard

"I would rather create than recreate,” says Brian Hazard, the brains — and fingers — behind the one-man electronic music act he calls Color Theory.

Don’t let the synthesizers fool you, the project is not another 1980s revival. Rather, it’s a subtle nod to synthpop legacies like Depeche Mode and Pet Shop Boys — the brooding sounds that carried Hazard through his teenage years in Huntington Beach, California. “Evoking a sense of nostalgia for these groups through my own music — that’s what’s really fun and exciting for me,” he says.

While the playful dance melodies may be an homage to a decade past, the unexpected piano chords that also define Hazard’s poppy ballads are distinctly his own. This unusual blend of sounds is likely a result of the four years he spent attaining a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from California State University. It was during this time that he learned the importance of perseverance. “I was really one of the weaker pianists at first,” the now married father of two explains. "But, I'm competitive, and I worked my way up.”

Although the days of studying Bach and music theory are long gone, Hazard’s tireless climb towards musical eminence continues today. Since first conceiving of Color Theory in 1993, he has released nine studio albums, including 2016’s Adjustments. A John Lennon Songwriting Contest Grand Prize sits proudly on his resume, and his music appears in notable pop cultural texts, including MTV’s The Real World and Just Dance Kids.

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