Mike Brown is an up-and-coming artist out of Philadelphia.
He started recording his own songs in 2017, but it wasn’t until this year that he began releasing them to the public.
Brown grew up in Hatboro-Horsham, but spent a lot of time in the Olney area due to his dad’s businesses. He went to college at the United States Naval Academy where he played Division 1 basketball. After graduation, he spent a couple years in the Navy in San Diego before moving back home to Philly and starting his music career.
PW recently caught up with Brown to talk about his music and the impact Philadelphia has had on his career.
PW: Let’s go back to the beginning. When did you first realize that music was going to be a big part of your life? Who were some of your earliest influences?
MB: When I think back, there isn’t a single time in my life when music wasn’t extremely important to me. I think growing up with a Jamaican father, it’s next to impossible not to be heavily into music. My dad introduced my sisters and me to so many different sounds at such a young age, which really helped shape my artistic mind. I can also vividly remember my eldest sister getting the “8 Mile” and “Nellyville” CDs and me begging her to let me borrow them. Then I would pretend I was Nelly and put a piece of white tape on my face and rap battle my dad.
But seriously – I think, for me, like most people, music has always been a place of peace. Drake is, without a doubt, my biggest influence. Anyone who knows me can tell you that. But, early on, it was guys like Eminem, Lil Wayne, 50 Cent and Biggie who made me want to be a rapper. Those guys were like superheroes to me.
PW: In your bio, you said that Philly has greatly influenced your music. How so? How does the city find its way into your music?
MB: Philly [has] such a vibe. Just the other day, I was driving past the Philadelphia Art Museum and saw a mile-long line to take pictures with the Rocky Statue. It was a subtle reminder like “Oh yeah that’s right, Philly is a national attraction.” You can just feel the energy in the air. Our people are passionate and tough and wavy – all characteristics that can be found in my sound. I spent so much time in the city growing up that it’s one of those things you don’t notice is happening at the time, but when you look back, it’s so obvious.
That’s how it feels when I think about how Philly has influenced my music. That’s why I take every opportunity to shout out Philly. Whether it’s in my lyrics or in my music videos, I always try and put the city on full display. I’m proud of where I’m from and I will always represent to the best of my ability.
PW: Are there any Philly artists you’re listening to now or that you’d like to collaborate with in the future?
MB: Without a doubt, Meek. I’ve been listening to him since I was in middle school. So, to be able to work with him would be a dream come true. I also would love to get some work in with Lil’ Dicky. I’ve been blown away by those two and their ability to take their product and insert themselves into other sections of the entertainment industry. I know those are the big dogs in the city, but those are the two that I would want to collaborate with the most.
PW: You just started releasing your music to the public this year. Talk a little about your music. How would you describe it? How can people find it?
MB: I think the best way to describe my music is ‘smooth.’ That’s the feedback I get most often when people talk about my music. I think I have a voice that is easy on the ears, and when you pair that with the different flows I use I think the final product is something silky smooth.
Being from Philly gives me an advantage. I come from a place that produced The Roots, Beanie Sigel, Freeway, Will Smith…And the list goes on. I’ve also spent my entire life listening to guys like Drake, Miguel, Bob Marley; all people that, in their own way, have an uncanny ability to glide over any instrumental. I think the combination of all of that has greatly shaped my style. My music is available on all of the streaming services. Just type in “MIKEBROWN” and get on the wave.
PW: What projects are you working on now? More studio work? Are you prepping for live shows?
MB: Right now, my two main focuses are to keep making music and to continue to get my name out there. I’m in the best head space I’ve ever been in and I think I’m really starting to catch my stride as both a writer and artist. I’m also very fortunate to have linked up with Obsidian Studios. They are – hands down – one of the best studios in the city and welcomed me in with open arms when I first started to do studio recordings. They are the real deal with wickedly talented engineers and sharp shooting videographers. So, definitely more studio work and more music videos! As we continue to return to normal life, I’m looking forward to doing some live performances and getting onto a stage.
PW: Look ahead five years. Where would you like your career to be then?
MB: I have big aspirations. In five years, I want to have put all my people in a position to win and provide them with the means to pursue their passions and achieve whatever their higher purpose is. I want to also see my music turn into an organization that has its hands in many different things. Other than that, I’m all about the music and connecting with people. Five years from now, I see myself continuing to put out high-quality music and doing my part to push this culture forward.
PW: What are the best ways for fans to stay current with what you’re doing?