Brenton Brown takes his music from the dormitory to the streets. A lover of words, not afraid to challenge his thinking or understanding the college graduate naturally turned to music as a form of expression.
When others began to identify with his sound Brenton knew a career in hip hop was in his near future. The New York natives’ decision to follow what felt organic has lead him to open shows for some of today’s hottest artist Wale, J. Cole, B.o.B, Big K.R.I.T and Big Sean just to name a few. However, it’s his connection to his fans that landed him an amazing 10,000 downloads in under a week of his noted mixtape, The Brenton Brown Affair.
Yo! Raps recently had the pleasure of talking with Brenton Brown; the newcomer shares a few secrets to his success, whom in the industry he aspires to work with and how is song with hip hop veteran Joe Budden became a reality.
Who is Brenton Brown? What do you want people to know about you?
Brenton Brown is your average kid who has something above average to say. I want people to know that I’m a humble human who just wants to be heard. I’m hoping my music will reach people and affect people in positive and inspiring ways.
Your mixtape, The Brenton Brown Affair, reached 10,000 downloads in under a week, what do you attribute this to?
I attribute that to an immense hustle and a devoted team. We (New World Music Group, The R.E.G.I.M.E., and I) put countless hours of work in, editing, re-editing, planning, and grinding to make sure when the project was ready, it met a bigger audience. Things are still moving forward and I’m proud of that.
What inspired the title of the mixtape?
I was watching the movie The Thomas Crown Affair and I got the idea to call the project The Brenton Brown Affair. It was my way of playing on the fact that I was having an affair with different types of music and styles. It was my way of explaining how a kid who was expected to be one thing, flipped the script and did something else.
Which song on your most recent project, best describes you and why?
Black Hemmingway is my most heartfelt track. I feel like I said what was on my mind and it wasn’t forced or exaggerated, it was just me. I speak on my high school and college years, my last relationship, my dream and my vision of the future and I give it to the listeners in more of a poetic fashion. I wanted people to listen back to this track and realize it was spoken from the perspective of my age group.
How has living in Brooklyn and Miami influenced the sound of your music?
I learned the concept of lyricism from my New York roots and the technique of an energetic and rhythmic hook from the Southern sect. They both became something I picked up along the way; I realized I had to play the fence between the two in order to create music that would be liked by the masses.
Who is on your wish list of people to work with and why?
I mean, aside from the expected answers like Jay-Z, Kanye West and Nas and other pioneers, I want to work with more of my peers like Phil Ade, Logic, Childish Gambino, Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole. I think we could make some serious heat! In terms of current producers, Jahlil Beats, Cardo On the Beat, T-Minus, 40, Xaphoon Jones and a few others are in my sights.
How do you envision that this experience will enhance you or your work?
Everything is a learning experience, a chance to rise to the occasion and I think that’s where most of my talents lie, in the ability to meet and exceed expectations. What I’m saying is, I think working with these artists and producers will only push me to meet or exceed their energies.
Explain the feeling you had as you walked off the stage at Gator Growl?
Whew, I felt like I was ready to take on a billion more shows. In my head I was like, “Yep, this is it. I want that feeling again and again.” The idea of rocking a suit and tie every day and reporting to someone just didn’t match up to the thrill of having a crowd of that magnitude giving you a standing ovation.
What about that performance told you this is what you were destine to do?
Everything, it all felt natural. It was like I finally stepped into this world I was supposed to be in.
Who has had the greatest impact on your career to-date? Why?
Although my management and team have been extremely supportive of my grind and dream, I think it was everyone who had doubts, hated, or expressed their intense skepticism about this pursuit of mine who impacted me the most. I’m the type of person who proves I can do something when they say I can’t. I hate that word.
How is it that you came to work with Slaughterhouse’s Joe Budden and Emilio Rojas on this project?
Those were both shots in the dark, to be perfectly honest. I reached out to Budden’s people, after linking up with producer Black The Beast, and pitched them this track idea I had as well as the instrumental, I got a response the next day and the rest was history. It was a bit of a bumpy road with the Emilio joint, so much so that it almost never happened, but it ended up working out similar to the Budden track and for the best.
You’re no stranger to the hustle that comes with getting your music out to the masses, what’s your most effective strategy for reaching people?
I won’t drop too many jewels, because I’m still working on my own expansion, but I will say the main idea is networking. It’s not just about whom you know, but rather what you can prove to who you know; take that however you’d like and grind with it.
How would you describe your fans?
Those who support my music are extremely dope. They’re college kids, high school kids, drop-outs, drop-ins, dreamers, hustlers, blue-collar, white-collar, white, black, tan, and brown and everything else. But above all, they’re everyday people with an ear to my music.
What is your degree in? Prior to enrolling in college did you know that you wanted to pursue a rap career?
My degree is in Journalism. As it turns out, Journalism is a great practice in jotting down ideas, brainstorming, reading and forming thoughts in unconventional and conventional ways. Before college, music was more of a hobby, I was moved by it, but not yet married to the idea of having a successful career, and I still doubted my skill because I didn’t feel ready.
What are your next steps? Where do you see your career 2 years from now?
The next steps include shows, traveling, more music videos, radio collaborations, appearances and everything I need to be tangible as an artist. In two years, I see myself doing shows across the U.S. and possibly internationally signed to an indie label.
In the end, let the people know where they can find you online.
Hit me up whenever on Twitter @TheKidBBrown and check out The Brenton Brown Affair.
- By Alysha “AP” Price