Brandon “Plan B ’85” Ross Interview | Creating ‘1985 Music’, Sync Placements, Future Plans + More

Brandon Ross, founder of 1985 Music, is a renowned music producer and songwriter known as Plan B ’85. He began his music career at 13, cutting his first demo, which then led him to produce, write and record his own material. A few years later, Brandon co-founded Time is Money Entertainment with his business partners Will Brown and Daniel Thomas.

[Shot by Cory Ross for 1985 Photos]

You’re a jack of many audio trades (engineering / producing / songwriting) — which would you say you enjoy the most?
Plan B: “That’s a tough one. I enjoy all of them equally.. I love crafting a sound. It [just] really depends on the mood I’m in that day.”

1b. Which would you say is the most difficult?
Plan B: “Good question. I wouldn’t say one is more difficult than the other.. they all present their own challenges. However, overcoming those challenges is the beauty of the process overall.”

Brandon would then move to Miami in 2004 and sign with TGL Entertainment. There he would be featured on Tilo The Godlion’s debut single “Boom.” Shortly after, Ross launched 1985 Music’, releasing his successful debut EP “The B-Side,” which would amass over 1 million streams. Nearly two decades later, his company now offers extensive music production services and has expanded into music licensing and placement on networks like OWN, MTV, and VH1.

You established your own production company — would you say that was always your goal, aside from say, signing to a powerhouse company?
Plan B: “That wasn’t always the goal, but as I climbed my ladder.. my prospective(s) changed. It made more sense to start my own company and create my own opportunities. That gave me the creative freedom.. not only to push my own entity but to also partner/do business with larger companies such as Tyler Perry Studios and Fox.”

2b. How did it feel signing your first artist?
Plan B: “I don’t like the term “signing” .. I like to partner with artists. Especially those that have a foundation already. That’s where I come in to help build their vision more.”

You’re very savvy when it comes to the business side of music. What made you want to learn that aspect of the industry so heavily?
Plan B: “I’ll make it simple. When you look at the word “music business” .. the most important word in that conjunction is “business.”

“One of the first production companies I signed with taught me a lot about the music business and drove me to learn more. You hear the stories all the time about how artists and producers aren’t getting paid and getting jerked by their labels or management. At some point you have to sit back and ask yourself why? The “why” motivated to learn the business. I never wanted to be the person who’s song or beat took off and couldn’t explain why I was, or wasn’t getting paid for it. That [just] never made sense to me.”

“A book that was very helpful for me early on in my career and still is to this day, is “Everything You Need To Know About the Music Business” by Donald Passman. Obviously the title says it all [haha]. I recommend for everyone in the industry, artist, manager, publicist, etc. .. to give it a read.”


“If you’re trying to make a career out of something why wouldn’t you want to know where the money is coming from or where it’s going.? At every stage of my career I had to learn a different part of the business. I had to learn the business of being a producer. I had to learn the business of being an engineer.. and I had to learn the business of being a songwriter. And one of the best subjects I learned about was sync licensing.”

Now that you mentioned it, you are very heavy on sync placement and music licensing. First break down the meaning of each for those who don’t know, and the importance of both.
Plan B: “Music licensing and sync licensing is the business of placing music in TV and film. It’s important because it’s the second and third most viable revenue stream in music. It’s one of those gifts that keeps on giving. With a hand full of placements, or even just one major [one] .. yo can keep getting paid for a very long time.”

Now with your extensive business IQ, you offer services to up-and-comers of the game. Tell us about some of the services you offer.
Plan B: “Aside from offering music production, mixing and mastering services, I offer mentorship for upcoming producers and artists who are interested in getting their music into television and film. I also offer a quick 30 minute course on how to accomplish sync placements. Access to these products are available in the link here.”

You have a clothing brand as well? Touch on that.
Plan B: “Yea, “1985 Culture” is just a boutique clothing extension of the music company. We have hats, hoodies and t-shirts.. all different flavors.. and all available on Get you something!”

[Shot by Cory Ross for 1985 Photos]

Ross also worked on films such as “King of Newark” and “Best of Two Evils,” which won an award at the Charlotte Black Film Festival. In 2018, he mastered soundtracks for “Papillon” and “Final Portrait.”

How did it feel when you landed YOUR first sync placement?!
Plan B: “It felt amazing man. Definitely a very dope feeling. Seeing and hearing your music on the big screen or the silver screen, is very rewarding! Literally too [haha]!”

In 2022, Ross became the lead composer for Season 5 of Tyler Perry’sSistas” on BET. He continues to innovate in music production, serving artists and major platforms worldwide.

How was your experience being the lead composer of Tyle Perry’s SISTAS on BET?
Plan B: “I loved it. I enjoyed working on such a popular show. Being hands on and having the creative freedom to demonstrate how diverse of a composer I am was so dope.”

“What made it even more special was that it’s a show that my wife and I watched together for several seasons before I joined the their team. It was really fly to watch the season I composed music for, in our living room, on our couch together. Then to see my name pop up in the credits.. surreal feeling to say the least.”

What can fans expect from Plan B / 1985 in the coming months?
Plan B: “Working on more projects and taking on bigger clients. And help elevate the producers around me. I want to put them in position for more opportunities in television and film.”

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