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The Internet is a very wild place. It’s a lot of noise depending on where you’re looking whether it be for music artists, actual artists for design work, and even creatives that have their hands in so many pots that it seems like they’re involved with everything! This new column “United Nations of Senclaire” is to highlight the wonderful people you may or may not be aware of in your own backyard. We’re going to be talking to people from all over. Seeing how their surroundings either built them up, tore them down, and forged them into the person they are today. 

The Internet is a wild place, we’re just here to help you cut through the bullshit.

Round 2 is based around Brian Brown the “artist. simp. nigga. chef boyarneegro.” the Tennessee raised, Atlanta thriving artist that’s ready for the next step in his journey.

Thanks for doing this interview Brian. Now, who exactly is Brian Brown? What’s his story? – Brian Brown is… a kid who’s just trying to figure it out. Learning to keep that balance of never growing up while, at the same time, accept the inevitable responsibilities coming my way. And I also happen to rap. Lol. I am 23, from Nashville, Tennessee. I began rapping around the age of ten but really started to take it a bit more seriously around 17,18. I went to Western Kentucky for a year after I graduated high school. I had an epiphany in one of my classes one day, it was a history class if I remember correctly, that I didn’t want to sit in a desk for the next four years of my life. And now here we are! Lol.

What were some of your earlier memories when you finally took rap seriously? What’d you do? – For me, one of the earlier moments that started to set the tone was high school. The school I attended, Martin Luther King Magnet, was one of the best schools in Tennessee, & in the country, in terms of academics but I never really gave a shit about that. None of the things being taught to me, besides English, never grasped my attention the way it should have. I always felt like, if you had the slightest bit of an idea as to what you want to do in life at an early age, there should be programs or classes that help you get ready for what you may run into or face in certain situations. Those were never granted to me. Also, it felt like school was just a system of sorts. Teachers teach curriculum, student either passes or fails, teacher gets paid no matter what & I wasn’t about to feed into that system/cycle. Huge thank you to the teachers that did give a damn about me however.

Also, back in the summer of 2013, one of my good friends committed suicide & that gave me a wake up call like no other. And, at that time, I was a full year removed from Western Kentucky, working at Chipotle, figuring it out, etc. etc. I was rapping but the motivation was missing. Dotun, the friend who passed, was a gifted poet/MC & had a smile like no other. Lit up the room every time he would come around & coming to grips that he was never coming back was a lot on me & anybody who ever ran into him but we all knew that he wanted us to keep going. The time that we have on this planet isn’t long so his death taught me to do what you truly love & to always love what you do, no matter what.
brown-5Sorry for your loss man, what are some of your influences when you’re rapping and writing your rhymes? – S’all good, man. He’s proud of me. At least I hope so. Lol. My main influence is life, obviously. I don’t write it if I don’t feel it/believe it. Forcing things never really work out for my good, I have learned so when I feel it, I take it & run with it. Can’t ever fight the feeling. The music I grew up on helps a lot too. Artists such as Outkast, Jay Z, Prince, Amy Winehouse, DMX, Frankie Beverly & Maze & COUNTLESS others have helped me in terms of how I approach certain beats & sounds, different rhyming schemes & cadences, hooks & everything in between. They really helped me with the idea of paying attention to the details, doing the little things that you may not have heard on the first listen but, when you go back, you catch it that next time. Outkast were masters at that & it just always made listening to them that more fun, which is what I hope my music is like for somebody out there.
What was the local reception like in Tennessee with your music? – I can only speak on the places I have been, such as Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Johnson City & I feel like I’m forgetting one but the reception I received was beautiful. I felt like somebody or some shit. Lol. I actually won mixtape of the year in the Nashville Scene, a hometown publication we have, back towards the end of 2014 & that was super tight. My parents still have that issue of the Nashville Scene on display where the TV is in their house & seeing that anytime I go home will NEVER get old. Having people tell you that your music gets them through their day & has helped with situations in their lives is all I could ever ask for. It’s my release & my form of expression first but to have ANYBODY who’s able to relate to my music & my words & my passion is like no other feeling in the world.

Where has the journey of being an artist taken you for 2016? – The journey of being an artist has taken me to a various amount of places, house to house, couch to couch. All for what I believe in & love & I could never down the lows. They make the highs a lot more special. This year alone has been a strange one. Lol. Started the year in Chattanooga but I now currently reside in Atlanta, a move I had in mind for a second but the way I landed in Atlanta was….. interesting, to say the absolute least. It’s been a challenge, trying to keep the faith all the while living such a nomadic lifestyle but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. You can sit around & wonder “When is my time coming?” or “First this, now what?” but what good does that do you after a certain point? I always, or at least always try to, think of all the trials & tribulations as tests for something greater. You pass some, you fail some but if you live to see another day & learn from what you’ve just went through & experienced, what’s there to be mad about? And sure, there’s a lot to be mad about, Lil Wayne voice, but shit could ALWAYS, & I mean ALWAYS, be worse.

How’s Atlanta been treating you since you’ve planted your feet in the A? – Atlanta has treated me rather well since I got here. A bit of a faster pace than Nashville & a LOT faster than Chattanooga but a really cool city, nonetheless. A lot of characters, lot of personality, super eclectic. Kind of feels like you’ll never see the same face twice but that’s never a bad thing unless you thought you saw the love of your life at a club or something. Can’t miss out on that but Atlanta is tight.

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Has the music scene been a shakeup that’s a positive change of pace for you? – I would say so, yeah. I’ve got a lot of friends out here who rap & sing & produce as well & seeing them thrive out here & do their thing pushes me to go a bit harder each & everyday. Let’s you know it’s not impossible to make your dreams a reality if you really go out there & get it & stick to it.
Whose on your radar as far as other artists and rappers go? – It really depends on how I’m feeling from day to day but there’s a few that I always go to. Kendrick, Curren$y, Freddie Gibbs(glad he’s free cause we really need Gibbs more than we think. he’s amazing.), Anderson .paak, EarthGang, Isaiah(s/o big bro. it’s the houuuuuuuuuuuuuse biiiiiiiiiitch!), really been on Dave East a lot lately, Moruf. Been on this R&B/soul kick as of late too though so Frank, Solange, Iman Omari, old Carlitta Durand, KING, etc. oh & i really love Little Dragon & Alabama Shakes. and RIP Amy Winehouse.
Does who you’re listening to at the moment influence the type of music you’re trying to churn out? – Sometimes. In those situations, it’s more so studying how they tackled a certain topic that I might be writing on. For example, let’s say I’m writing a love song. I’ll run some Isley Brothers or some D’Angelo just to catch the vibe first but then I just kind of think what made them say that line or what did that lady do to these guys to make them feel this good?? Apply it to my own life, think about those same things, find some motivation & just go where the wind & pen takes me.
Any Brian Brown project or anything of the sort to speak on for the near future? – Absolutely! I am working on a project now titled Journey. it’s my baby, man. been putting in a lot of time & work into it. it’s based mainly on the conversations I would have with my father growing up as a kid in the south. He used to wash & detail cars & some of the cars he would take care of, the owner would let him use from time to time so with each car, there’s a story or some type of wisdom that was passed along that might not have stuck with me then but as you’re growing up, you go back to those talks & think, “Man, he warned me about that way back then.” It’s been fun reminiscing & listening to the stuff we would ride around to then to catch those vibes & get in the zone that I’ve been in. I’ve gotten a lot better & matured a lot since my first project, the 7:22 EP, & I’m super excited about displaying that growth to the world. got a lot of my friends on the production side of things such as Tiggi, D. Sanders, ParkAve & some more. it’s a family affair. hope you got a system in the car too. lol

How’d you decide on what would be the subject matter of your project? – Life kind of decided that for me honestly. lol. throughout the whole process of making it, it’s been a challenge trying to find that balance between accepting adulthood & all of its bullshit while trying to keep that child like optimistic look on life. the whole “still won’t grow up, i’m a grown ass kid” thing. and we’ve all been there & we all can relate. hell, somebody might be going through that same thing with me & i don’t even know it but if i can help provide the soundtrack to get you through it, then i did my job.

 What role do you think rappers and artist’s play in providing an escape from the problems plaguing people day in and day out through their sound? – We play a huge role in providing that escape, whether we actually know it or not. I was actually talking to Isaiah one day while i was on the bus & he said something along the lines of “people might start their day with your or my music, Brown. you never know what your words & voice can mean to someone.” And as I thought about it, it made me think of times I ran to music to say what I thought I didn’t have the words for or if talking to somebody about a situation wasn’t enough. And to be on the opposite end, knowing that I could get someone through their day or through a situation with my music, is a surreal but wonderful feeling because it was my release & if anybody can relate, then i did what i was supposed to do. makes you a bit more responsible about what you say & do & actually meaning it as well, i would think/hope.
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When you aren’t making music, what are you doing day to day and to relax? – As of late, I’ve been getting up early in the mornings to go run & stretch & drinking more water, one time for Mick Jenkins & Makonnen. love Basketball so when i get a chance, I def will hit the gym to get some shots up. still think I’m going to Duke at some point. maybe a game of 2K here & there. getting back into my comic books, STILL gotta start Coates’ Black Panther. Cartoons & ESPN really get me through the day however. We could talk cartoons all day. the world kind of sucks so I usually stray from the news but I know I need to watch it/keep up with the world so I watch it every now & then. Fuck Trump. Black Lives Matter.

To wrap up, what would you tell musicians and artists out there for words of encouragement? – Stay the course, no matter what. it’s gonna be hard, it’s gonna be stressful, but you’re gonna look back at it all one day & be thankful that it happened. take the L’s, turn them into W’s. learn from your mistakes but be sure not to make the same one twice. you’re going to mess up & fail a few times but how you come back from that is what sets you apart from those who wish they had done & those who did it. and, if you’re anything like me, you know which group you’d rather be in. lol

Keep up with Brian Brown on his Twitter and dive into his music on his Soundcloud!

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