We had the good fortune of connecting with BrassiousMonk and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi BrassiousMonk, why did you pursue a creative career?
To be honest, I didn’t feel I had any other choice. My soul just isn’t moved by traditional pursuits, and believe me, I’ve tested that theory. Art and creativity have just always been a part of me; being an unconventional thinker, I wanted to be a cartoonist when I was a child. My mom had been pushing the whole lawyer thing on me most my life; claiming its because I could “argue” about anything, but I wasn’t for all the moral ambiguity and book work(hahaha). Around my junior/senior year of high school I took a class called “Computer Art” and I was hooked. I knew for sure art life was for me; I just knew. I went to college for graphic design and visual arts, even joined a dance team and all. That specific artistic pursuit slowly lead me to my career of choice; music. I mean it’s completely honorable and admirable to be a literal savior of lives or a societal pillar; i.e., a doctor, therapist, lawyer, fire fighter. The funny thing is though, those people feel a need to be inspired and motivated to go about their days and the irony is, art is usually their outlet for motivation. Art often challenges the human thought processes and the depth that which we view life. A song, poem, painting, even a statement piece of clothing can inspire a person to do, strive, and achieve; maybe even to go out a literally save a life. So an artistic career always seemed worth the pursuit and was definitely my path from the jump and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My name is BrassiousMonk, rapper/producer from Raleigh, NC. My music is hip-hop with a splash of jazz and house influences, usually pretty bouncy and bubbly in nature. I seek to confront to the blues of life and encourage others to see their glass as half full in order to find their “happy place”. I found mine and named it, the BrassExpansion; a label/world of my own creation where my art is housed and stems from. See, I’m a product of artists like Pharrell, Kanye, Flying Lotus, Kid Cudi, hell even Tyler and Travis; artists who are great at almost abducting you into their world beyond just their music. I strive to do the same with every song, video, and project of mine. Not saying that other musical artists aren’t geared to think that way, but I can say there’s an archetype I follow that built my brain to think “this music deserves its own environment to live and be experienced in”. Being a “rapper” from North Carolina; a place only known to produce roughly 3-4 famous rappers, with that type of artistic mentality has set me apart off-rip. Seeing as how my state isn’t known for just one signature sound or style, people never truly know what to expect when I take the stage. I’ve used that to my advantage in my career, choosing to create a sound and world for myself, as my faves did before me. I can say that going against the grain of the current industry sound in a place that hasn’t yet been fully established and betting on my sound has definitely taught me lessons about conviction and resolve. Choosing to stay the uncharted course takes cujones ya’know. The funny thing about that though, is that I’ve learned that being fully me always garners a bigger and more genuine response than shying away from it, every single time. My path has been one of literally seeking out my tribe and letting them grow with me, which has been an experience I could never trade for a pre-made fanbase thats more into me because I sound like (insert popular artist here) instead of myself.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Being as I’m from Raleigh, NC I’m still learning about the spots in Atlanta, so we’d honestly just go on an adventure of trying things out. Pass a spot that looks dope, oh we stopping there. It’d be a week of exploration for the both of us(don’t fry me for it hahaha). If you want to know the places I’d frequent back home, I got a grocery list full of worthwhile spots.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to shoutout the entire artist scene of North Carolina. If we’re being candid and honest; without the support, encouragement, and inspiration of my peers I wouldn’t be who I am today. My constituents seriously drive me to keep pushing my craft to the next level; whether it be through releases of their own or just passing conversations we have about our perspective fields and disciplines. North Carolina has one of the purest talent pools I’ve ever seen or been a part of because its just full of so much untapped, raw potential. Since the state itself hasn’t yet been acknowledged for the growing art mecca its becoming, everyone’s extremely hungry right now, which is producing some amazingly dope art. I do have a few individuals I’d love to single out for their part in my career though. My g Seph.Dot for actually getting me this interview, the homie Capital L for producing the biggest song of my career(Idoleyez), my fellow artist and best friend, Jooselord for always encouraging me to remain myself in this industry. Of course, last but never least; my in-house biggest fan, choral director, Jasmyn Cooper for the constant “you can do its” and lessons on music theory.
STG Imagery BackPackSavvy 8bit Photography LUM Visuals