I wanted to start the New Year on a high note and post on article on a topic I am passionate about: music, culture, and the youth making waves in our city. Brainorchestra represents all of that to a T and I am so excited to start the year with this dope interview we did just a few weeks ago at ChicpeaJC HQ.
Brainorchestra makes music that will take over your brain waves. I am telling you right now that this guy is going to be HUGE, and very soon. I saw him for the first time in June at photographer Andy Mac’s birthday party where he played a set.
I remember being at the other side of the room and as soon as he started playing, I gravitated towards him. For the whole duration of his set, I was in a trance and his amazing beats were pulsating through my body (yes, I was probably in a self-induced state of mind #legalizeit). I couldn’t believe my eyes or my ears. Brainorchestra’s music left me feeling euphoric.
I went right up to Andy and said “Who is this guy?”
Ever since then, I’ve been listening to his music and following him on all his social media channels. Brainorchestra doesn’t just make music, he is inspiring, he has a voice, and he creates amazing content. He IS the whole package.
Again, I must reiterate: he is going to be huge. I know it. Talent like that knows no borders.
I invited him to come to ChicpeaJC HQ on a Monday night with some friends to get to know him and he played us a set. The vibes were amazing.
I live for this shit.
Along with him joined filmmakers/photographers/lovers Kyle and Bailee who shot the interview and set using a VHS camera, and took polaroid pictures. They were awesome for sending me all this footage to include in this post (I smell an interview soon). Interestingly enough, I posted my NYE resolution a few days ago which announced that we would be doing more video interviews in the New Year.
If you want to see the whole interview instead of reading it press play. This is a raw interview with no edits.
For Brainorchestra’s sets keep scrolling down!
Happy fucking New Year.
What’s your name?
What’s your artist name?
I don’t know. I feel like you create things as part of a process, and nobody can really tell me how to do it. It’s in your brain. It just came up.
Are you a brain for the orchestra?
I guess. I think I piece things together.
So what do you do?
I just make music. I don’t like to generalize it as “beats,” or just “hip hop,” because you can easily generalize anything. It’s a lot more than people think it is. It’s more musicality, just a lot going on that we hear and we’re trying to get people to listen to, so it’s pretty cool.
How did you start?
I f-cked with J Dilla a lot, shout out to him. My brother always put me on good hip hop like Dipset and LOX, just mad dope music. I took it upon myself to figure out different sides of rap through video games that have rap songs, like Tony Hawk. I ended up finding Del the Funky Homosapien. He used to rap under some other alias for the Gorillaz, and that’s how I found out about them.
What you do is very different.
Right! We’re just making music and trying to f-ck your brain up. We just create in our own brain. There are too many limitations, and we just move past it.
What made you pick this up and start making beats? There had to be a moment where you were like, “I’m just gonna try this and see what happens.”
It goes deep. I was starting on a laptop and then ended up figuring out these producers and all these other people who make beats, and finding out what they use. You end up wanting to either do it the same way, manipulate it to make it sound similar, or just buy the equipment to do your own thing.
How old were you?
It’s one thing to love it and another thing to make it.
That’s a whole other side. That’s just a step into respecting the culture. If you’re going to do anything musically, you have to respect what you’re doing and not be fake about it. I don’t care what people think about my music; nobody can tell me what I do or tell any other artist what they do. You just have to observe, respect, and support the art if you like it.
How do you come up with a beat?
I don’t know. Sometimes, I’ll sit down with samples and it’s a process. It takes a while to understand. It’s like a whole different world. It’s hard to explain sometimes, but I could easily tell you how I chop a sample.
Every singer, songwriter, producer, most creatives, they will never be able to explain how they come up with ideas. Most people just do it.
I think I just put my emotions on the table and let them do their thing.
How do you feel about music today?
It’s dope; everything’s in a dope state. I might not like it all, but that doesn’t mean I can’t respect it and the grind some of these people have. And I’m just talking about mainstream media and rap, because if we really want to get deep, there’s a lot of doper music than what we’re listening to. We have to respect it. There’s a time and place for everything.
Right! You were talking about the Gorillaz before. It’s a different time.
That was able to be played anywhere, and now it has its time and place. Everything has a time and place. I fuck with all of it; I just don’t like fake shit.
What constitutes “fake shit” to you?
People who flex with a fake cause. They’re not impacting anything. And they’re not even invested in themselves; it’s just an image. Then they’re living for an image that they can’t maintain, which is why a lot of people deteriorate as artists in music because they just want to be cool.
My experience with you was at Andy’s birthday, and you started playing your set, and I naturally gravitated toward you. I don’t remember how long I was standing there. It could’ve been 10 minutes; it could’ve been the full half-hour. I was asking Andy, “Who is this guy? He’s amazing!” I was in a trance. It was like an out-of-body experience.
That’s what I try to do. I try to just make dope music, almost therapeutic. People don’t need to relate; they can just listen to it. People are so blinded by what people say or do, but music at the end of the day never needed lyrics. Classical music didn’t need words, and those were 18-minute songs. It was like a movie. We’re doing that, but we’re doing it with the times.
Do you collaborate with other artists?
Yeah, sometimes. It’s hard for me, though, because every artist likes to take control. Unless I’m working with someone who knows what they’re doing.
Right. So you’re not from Jersey City?
Nah. But I fuck with Jersey City. I’m from Elizabeth. The love is cool here. It’s a lot different where I’m from. People just like to listen, where I’m from. It’s dope here. I tell people they have to fuck with their area, where you’re from. Rep that. I have Jersey tattooed on me, so it’s already the stamp. People just need to do it in their own way. They’re too caught up on repping the city, but I’m cool with everybody. That’s why I’m glad to be in Jersey City. They open up their arms to let me come through.
I had a rule up until, like, 6 months ago. I would only interview people in Jersey City. Now I’m at the point where I don’t care where you’re from, if you show respect for Jersey City, you’re talented, and you work hard, I think it’s important for people to know about you. Musically, what you do is special.
I appreciate it!
I remember, I checked out your stuff after seeing you perform and we even added you to our Soundcloud playlist for the office.
That’s dope. I love that I’m in someone’s office playlist. Just knowing my music is being played in a creative setting is awesome.
So what are your future plans?
I don’t know. I don’t call it or think about it. I manifest things, like anybody could, but I want to be a full-time producer.
You’re 21, you’re so young! I see you being a big producer.
People tell me that a lot. And that’s what I’m trying to be! I look myself in the mirror and tell myself about being a big producer. If you’re not doing that, you’re not waking up for shit. I’m working 40 hours a week, but I’m not trying to be under somebody. I like being my own boss, I already take risks with losing a good job just to do this.
How many hours do you work on your music a week?
I get home and go in the studio. I do construction, so I wake up really early. I’ll get home at 4 and I’ll stay in the studio from 5 to 10 or 11. It’s not even me always working on something. I’m just catching a vibe, putting something on, watching a documentary, just zoned out.
What are your musical influences?
It goes more in-depth now because I’m trying to collect vinyl records. I like buying records and sample anything. You can take a record and do anything. Manipulating sound. People even make beats on their phones. Everybody has their place. I know my lane as an artist. Other than rap and hip hop, my dad put me on Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Metallica…
I knew you’d say that. I hear that undertone! Like that 70s, psychedelic rock.
When I found a way to get that dope psychedelic feel with a new age sound, I touched base on a lot and stuck with it. You never really realize how important it is when your parents raise you on good music. I was raised on the best rock-and-roll ever. There’s nobody better than half of those bands. There’ll never be another Pink Floyd or another Ozzy Osbourne. I respect it. It influences everything. I’ve seen some crazy things.
There’s a place called The Box in New York. You walk in and everyone’s drugged up.
It’s called “The Box,” so I would honestly expect everything.
It was a year and a half after having a baby and my friend dragged me there for my first time out after having a kid. I just ended up here and everyone’s doing cocaine at the table! Honestly, I’ve seen the craziest things.
I’ve seen weird shit. It just influences me, like it’s saying “be yourself.” I wouldn’t do it, but I’d back off and let people be. As an artist on stage, you’re not going to tell them what’s right and wrong. They’re going to ignore you anyway. I just respect it, everybody’s got to be themselves.
Anything coming up?
I have an album. I release something once every two weeks, just some beats. Lately, I’ve been getting more in tune with what I want to make. I’ve been getting super personal with my stuff, so I haven’t been just fucking around, making beats. I’ve been trying to create stories.
The material I have for the album is crazy, in my opinion, but what I have for next year is already out there message-wise for whoever fucks with that, or if they want to. It’s progressive, and I needed to take that into consideration. It’s two years worth of everything in a piece of work. Emotions, work, whatever. All that into an album that made sense, that wasn’t something you could just define as “this is this type of album, this is what this album sounds like, he sounds like this.” Lately, I’ve just been planning a little bit better. I don’t talk about much anymore because I know what’s coming for me, and if people are hoping for good then they’ll see it. I’m working on myself.
You’re going to do well!
Yeah, I just do what I do. I get in nobody’s way. I love what I do. That’s the difference. If you don’t like what you do, you’re just doing to be cool, that’s going to deteriorate.
What do you think about when you create music? It seems like you’re in your own world when you play live.
I try to bring everybody into it. It’s whatever you want to make it. I like it. My boy Andy, he’ll sit there in his zone and then you’ll have two people having a conversation, but that doesn’t bother me as an artist. If you’re comfortable in an environment and the music is dope, where you can have good conversations with people, that’s when music hits the brain. That’s why, in the club, you really can’t just talk to people about anything. I’m glad my music can either have people submerged in their own, in a world with everybody, or in their own zone talking to somebody – a friend, a lover, whatever. It’s cool. You could see that people are easily comfortable with what’s playing, not worried about changing anything. I’m glad I can bring people together in one space and they can understand what’s going on.
It must be fun.
It’s like the first time every time. That’s your experience. I’ll just be in my own zone. I show people what I like to do and if they like it, it’s pretty cool.
Awesome. Do you have a favorite Jersey City hangout spot?
Probably Iris Records – shout out to my people. I just be buying hella shit. My whole studio has 7 or 8 crates just full of stuff.
Follow brainorchestra on Soundcloud, Instagram, and Twitter!
Follow Bailee and Kyle @kilosnow973 @baileeboo
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