Just the other day we gave you guys the introduction to new artist Bryan, debuting his first mixtape project. Now we get a bit more in depth with this up and comer to see what’s up his sleeves. He’s got a lot to say and wants you to know what’s in the pipeline for him. Check out the exclusive interview below.
PIF: How about we start with the simple stuff. Tell us a bit about Bryan…where you’re from, where you went to school, you know the basics.
Bryan: I was born in Nassau, my parents got divorced when I was really young around 3. So up until about 7 was when my mom moved us to Freeport for the first time (that was a depressing day for me, especially cuz I hated the move and I didn’t want to go) but I was basically back and forth between islands frequently. Before I graduated from Freeport High (what it was called back then) I’d already been to 4 different schools not really spending more than 2 years at each. As for who Bryan is, Im just kid that writes down about what I go through and I try to connect to people through that by putting it all in the music.
PIF: How old were you when you first picked up rapping and what influenced you to?
Bryan: Before I could remember writing raps, I was always writing but for self therapy. When I was in 6th grade I used to keep a notebook under my pillow and I’d write in it everyday after school. But shortly after that I think around 7th-8th grade I was about 12, when I started writing raps. I was the BIGGEST Eminem fan, he’s my favorite artist if you have to ask me. When you speak about raw, unfiltered emotion, literally no one’s better and I guess thats why he was such a huge influence on me earlier on, if not the MOST important.
PIF: When did you first start recording and writing for “Thus Far” and what was that first recording session like for you?
Bryan: I started writing and recording Thus Far between 2012 and summer 2013 right before I got accepted and went off to college in NY. I recorded the entire thing in my home-purchased studio. Recordings was kind of intense because Im hard on myself as an artist cuz I’m a perfectionist and like every great artist, you want whatever you do to come out perfect in your mind. I think it came out great though.
PIF: So, “Thus Far”. Tell us a bit about the thought process behind recording these tracks. Did you intend to work on a mixtape or did it just kind of come together like that?
Bryan: Whatever situations I’m dealing with at that current moment of my life is the biggest factor that determines what goes into my tracks and then from there I expand. I try tell stories and speak to people who may have went what I went through whether it might be putting up with a job you don’t want to work at but you need the money or when your mom pulls over on the side of the highway one day and tells you to get out the car and not to find your way back home (lol) cuz at the end of the day we all go the same problems and I put ALL of it into the music. I love to put together whole projects, Ive never been one for just cutting sole tracks here and there. Before I made Thus Far, I knew I was setting out to sculpt what it would later come out to be.
PIF: The cover artwork kinda made us feel like we were looking through a history book. What’s the significance behind it, what message are you trying send with it and how does it connect to the music for you?
Bryan: Im glad you were able to notice that because I pay extra attention to things like that because there really is a deeper meaning behind it. Art and music are synonymous so for me its important that the artwork reflects my music. I feel like in today’s music, symbolism is dead. But basically the cover art is Christopher Columbus’ discovery of the new worlds, and to me when I listen to my music, I’ve heard many times over that its different so in the same manner I see myself as uncovering this different type of rap in my own way. I feel like no one in The Bahamas is making the kind of music I’m making right now and thats the message that I’m trying to send.
PIF: You say you recorded these tracks before you went to college in 2013, why the long wait to release them?
Bryan: To tell you the truth Thus Far almost never came out. Not because I didn’t confidently feel the music wasn’t good enough or worth sharing but during the time I was writing it, I was going though a lot of personal turmoil and a whole lot of things had to be dealt with first before music. I’d relocated to Freeport again for the umpteenth time, I was facing a lot of challenges and then simultaneously school became important again and before you know it I’m going off to school again in the U.S. A real life roller-coaster. But when I was done with college I was faced with certain decisions and I chose to release Thus Far and 2 years later here we are now..
PIF: Has a lot changed in your recording & writing styles since you did this project?
Bryan: Umm Yes and No. I say that because I know what I wanna talk about and Im not scared to talk to about it, so that aspect about my music hasn’t changed in the slightest bit but the way I’m giving it to you is. I’m always trying to give you something new every single time you hear Bryan.
PIF: There’s a track on the tape named after former NBA wildcard Dennis Rodman, were you a big fan of him and/or the game back in the 90’s?
Bryan: Before I wanted to be a rapper, basketball was everything to me. It was the only thing I wanted to be profession wise but sadly my dad wasn’t 6 feet lol (not even close) but he was a referee. I remembered attending a few of his games when I was really young. The first jersey I ever got was Reggie Miller #31 around 8 or so because he was my favorite player growing up. Dennis Rodman is a legend! I watched all of the Bulls games growing up. Im a fan of everything basketball!
PIF: Who were you a fan of artist-wise growing up? Who did you really love listening to?
Bryan: I’m one of those artist that can get inspired by all forms of music. But for the sake of rap, outside of Em, I grew up on and loved listening to Nelly, Ludacris, Dmx, Lil Wayne, Ja Rule, 50 Cent, Nas, Biggie, Bone Thugs N Harmony, Jay Z, Outkast, Kanye and that was where the list usually stopped because my mom didn’t approve of rap in the house so I always had to sneak listening while she was at work. Outside of rap Aaliyah, Monica, 3LW, Usher, Ashanti were just as influential. Im also a huge fan of rock… James Blunt, Simple Plan, Sum41, Bowling for Soup…great memories.
PIF: Which two ablums/mixtapes stand out most from your childhood to you?
Bryan: Easy…Nelly ‘Country Grammar’ and Ludacris ‘Word of Mouf’. I still listen to those same albums today.
PIF: How about now? Noticed you showed Kendrick some love on the tape. Is that a sign of whose currently in you top five and your iPod?
Bryan: Yeah K.Dot is definitely in my top 10, as well as being one of my fav rappers. Rap wise, right now my iPod’s filled with a lot of Drake, J.Cole, Mac Miller, Vince Staples, Chance The Rapper, Joey Bada$$, Wale and Joe Budden. But I still feel like todays music could never replace the classics you grew up on, in my opinion.
PIF: Everyone gets comparisons as far as music, who do you get compared to the most and who do you think you’re most similar to?
Bryan: A lot of people commonly compare me to mixtures of Lupe Fiasco, Drake, Wiz Khalifa, J.Cole. In fact just the other day my cuz dropped by during one of my mixing sessions and he said he thought it was Kendrick Lamar coming out the speakers until he realized it was me. Its all flattering though because those guys make incredible music and I’m fans of all those guys. For my music to be compared to any one of them is letting me know that Im on the right track.
PIF: You worked with Soulja Shaddy & 2 Shots The Army on “Thus Far”, how did you connect with those guys and who else helped you work on it?
Bryan: I met Shaddy back at a music conference a decade ago when Street Runner came to The Bahamas. He was real cool when I met up with him so It was just a matter of hitting him up. He did the mixing for “Sing About Me” (which he also told me was his fav). Shaddy is insanely talented and Im grateful that he was even able to do that for me given how busy he is. 2 Shots The Army is one of my bros I knew from way back when I initially started doing music seriously. A Genius producer. He produced two beats on the project (‘Smile’ & ‘Get Up, Get Out’). I also did some production on the tape myself. Another person I did a little bit of work with is one my really good friends, Devron of 2twen2ty. He provided some uncredited vocals on ‘Into The Sunset II’. Those guys are ultra talented and so is their music. Aside from that, everything else was me.
PIF: You’re working on a new project at the moment aren’t you? Tell us a bit about that and what we can expect from that?
Bryan: I do have a second mixtape planned for the first quarter of 2016, its 80% completed as of right now. It’s called “25 To Life” and I’m going to release on it New Years Day. Sonically its in a different direction from Thus Far. As far as what people can expect from it, expect 2 possible features on it and some great music. Besides that I really don’t like to set expectations because its nothing more disappointing than all hype and no follow. I always try to take people by surprise and let my music speak for itself. I feel like this upcoming project is gonna take A LOT of people by surprise. Thats all for now.
PIF: Who have you worked with so far and who do you plan on working with on it as far as features and production?
Bryan: As far as features, I want to keep them hidden until the day I actually release the project. Production wise, again I put the project together myself. However Im still looking to add at least one more track to the track to the project.
PIF: Who else do you like and possibly want to work with locally?
Bryan: Locally I’d like to work with Duckie, Travis Bowe, Porter The Poet, Mdeez and Adria. Shoutout to those guys, they make incredible music.
PIF: If any international artist had the chance to listen to your music, who’d you really like it to be and why?
Bryan: Either Drake or Em because Eminem inspired me to pick up the pen but ‘Comeback Season’ Drizzy made me really wake up and take my raps seriously.
PIF: What else will you be working on before your next project drops? Can we expect music videos for some of the songs on “Thus Far”?
Bryan: I’m debating on whether or not I should release an EP on my birthday September 14th coming. It may or may not happen who knows we’ll see how it goes. I don’t ever want to release music for the sake of releasing it. I have ideas for music videos drawn up for ‘Smile’ and ‘I Gotta Wonder’ but I haven’t met up with the right people yet to make it happen. If any videos are done, it will definitely be arriving before 2016 reaches.
PIF: We appreciate you talking to us and letting the people know a bit about the new guy on the scene. Is there anything else you’d like the people to know or check out?
Bryan: I appreciate you guys for asking about the new guy. I want everybody to know that people are gonna be hearing a lot about Bryan in the few short months/years to come. Before I die I’ma have that Grammy for best rap album hanging on my wall!
PIF: For those that’ll want to find you and your music, what are your social media tags?
Bryan: No hashtags yet but anyone looking for my music can find it at soundcloud.com/bryan_music or follow me on instagram.com/islbryandvibes for updates.
PIF: We’ll be keeping an eye out for you man, stay in touch.