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Brayton Bowman’s first festival is Lollapalooza. Here, at the BMI stage, we find Brayton Bowman. He breezes through ’22 Minutes Later’, which is his first official project. Brayton Bowman, who dubs his music as “autobiographical,” is playing an acoustic set. The soulful pop music brings together an avid music audience that’s curious about who this new artist is.
As a new artist, Brayton Bowman shares his dreams and vulnerabilities through music. His songs like ‘The Second I’m Rich’, ‘Puff Puff Pass’, and What’s Really Good?’ are optimistic and joyful. The personal songs have relatable lyrics that connect with the audiences. This fresh performance shows Brayton Bowman’s original body of work and gains him new fans.
After the show Brayton Bowman sits down with Good Music All Day. In his interview, Brayton Bowman talks about being an independent artist. Furthermore, he discusses ’22 Minutes Later’, playing Lollapalooza, and cities with the best weed.
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Check out our Q&A with Brayton Bowman, below and start following Brayton Bowman on Facebook for new music coming soon, and show dates!
GoodMusicAllDay: Where do you draw inspiration for the music that you make?
Brayton Bowman: “Life. When I started to say it was time for me to work on an album or work on my next project I was like, Ok. I have to go live more. I don’t know. I write about whatever I see.”
GoodMusicAllDay: Do you have a favorite city?
Brayton Bowman: “Philly is my favorite because it’s where I’m from. After that it’s probably a close tie between NYC and LA.”
GoodMusicAllDay: Now in Philly I know that I interviewed Rozes a few months ago.
Brayton Bowman: “The chick. The singer chick?”
GoodMusicAllDay: Yeah. Have you been able to collaborate and network with other Philly artists?
Brayton Bowman: “When I first started everyone was like, OMG! You’re from Philly. That’s dope. Philly cats look out for each other. I never knew anyone in the music industry from Philly until I got to LA. I lived in NYC for two years and never knew any Philly cats. I got to LA and started to meet all of them.”
GoodMusicAllDay: I know that you’re from Philly. Where are you based out of now?
Brayton Bowman: “LA.”
GoodMusicAllDay: Can you tell me what the title ’22 Minutes Later’ means to you?
Brayton Bowman: “I think it ties back to the first question you asked. My stuff is so autobiographical there isn’t a concept to any of it other than a span of time. I don’t remember how I picked it. I could tell I was going to finish all of the project when I was 22. I don’t remember anymore. I was like, Ok. I’m 22. I have to center it around the fact that I’m 22. Then I became obsessed with the idea of it being exactly 22 minutes. Now I have it tatted on my chest. I don’t know. I picked the number 22, and then ran with it. It didn’t have any significance until the project, and now it does.”
GoodMusicAllDay: Who’s your producer for ’22 Minutes Later’?
Brayton Bowman: “It was produced by MNEK and Tre Jean-Marie.”
GoodMusicAllDay: I know that today you did an acoustic set, which was deliberate. Was ’22 Minutes Later’ an evolution into that type of live performance for you compared to the previous EP’s you put out?
Brayton Bowman: “22 Minutes Later’ was the first thing I curated. My first two projects I wrote the songs, I got rid of one or two of them, and then put it out right away.’22 Minutes Later’ was a good year and a half [to] two years of my life leading up to the release of it. I love electronic stuff. If you see the other way that I do a set it’s either me and Dylan on guitar, or it’s me, Dylan and then a guy that plays Ableton. He triggers samples live. ’22 Minutes Later’ was my first real offering. I have ADD. I’m like, I want big electronic songs. Then I also want to strip them all back and play with the guitar. It’s also easy to hit the road with a guitar player. It’s so much easier.”
GoodMusicAllDay: How did it feel to see fans react to all of your songs today?
Brayton Bowman: “I’m still such a baby. I love that there’s anyone there. The fact that there’s anyone there like more than five people is great. I was used to playing shows in NYC where you’d beg five people to show up. When I say the name of a song – and people are like, OMG! Yeah! – it completely froze me. I’m like, This is it. You actually know me. You’ve heard of this song before. You’re waiting to hear this song. It’s surreal to be honest. I’m not going to be like, Oh yeah! Cool! Yeah they know the words to my song! It’s weird.”
GoodMusicAllDay: Now you’re at Lollapalooza. It’s a pretty big festival. Was there a defining moment where you feel like you made the transition to be able to play a festival of this magnitude or this size?
Brayton Bowman: “I don’t know. I don’t think so. It’s been such a long time coming. I think not so much for me, but for other people when I put out ’22 Minutes Later’ they were like, Ok, the kids ready. He really has something to say now. Let’s give him the opportunity to do so. There hasn’t been a big shift I’d say in a couple years. I’ve been building on top of everything. This felt like the logical finish line of the past six months. I’ve been on and off hopping on tours with my friends and stuff, playing shows here and there, and this is the logical build up.”
GoodMusicAllDay: ’22 Minutes Later’ took you to the next level.
Brayton Bowman: “I think it made people pay attention. It made all the business people I work be like, Ok. Let me wake the fuck up.”
GoodMusicAllDay: Are you independent as an artist?
Brayton Bowman: “I have my own label. But functionally it’s me, and Zev [Brayton’s Manager] hustling trying to make something happen.”
GoodMusicAllDay: What are some of the challenges of being you, and Zev and owning your own record label?
Brayton Bowman: “Exposure. For me, it’s looking for the right exposure. I don’t want to go viral. I don’t want to have one song that everyone knows, but no one knows who I am. It’s been hard in the modern music industry where everyone is like, What are your numbers? Do you have a viral song on Spotify? Do you have this and this? I’m like, No, but I don’t want any of that. I want to have a career for more than 6 months and a Billboard single. I feel the biggest struggles have been exposure in general, and then also exposure that’s true to who I am. Not how do we mass market Brayton? It’s like how do we tell the story here and keep going?”
GoodMusicAllDay: How do you stay real like the song…?
Brayton Bowman: “I would say my quickest answer to that without being full of myself is I’m not afraid to say no. I get in trouble a lot because they’re like, “Brayton don’t turn it down.” I’ve been doing this for so long. I know what I want. I know what I want to do. I think it’s my ability to say no, and not get too hype because people say a whole bunch of shit. They’re like, “We’re going to do this, then do this, then do that.” I’m like, “Ok, that’s great, but I was still here yesterday when you weren’t here and I’m going to be tomorrow when you disappear because something cooler’s come along.” Try not to get jaded in the meantime.”
GoodMusicAllDay: What’s it like performing a song like ‘Stephen’ in front of audiences that are here?
Brayton Bowman: “That one of my favorite songs to sing now because it was one of the first songs I wrote. I still love to play it. It’s evolved a lot. I’m actually toying with the idea of putting it out on my first album, re-producing it, and re-vamping it. I don’t know. I got goosebumps thinking about it. It’s weird because I think that self-conscious Brayton made my first project, and made the song ‘Stephen’ hoping maybe it would work out, and I would actually make music. It’s surreal to be here a couple years later. It’s like, “Ok. I’m still singing this fucking song.” I’m here at Lollapalooza. I haven’t changed the words. It’s cumulative. I haven’t really gone through any breakthroughs. There’s been periods where shit has exponentially grown, but it’s stepping stones.”
GoodMusicAllDay: When it’s acoustic it sounds great because it’s your own song.
Brayton Bowman: “It’s funny because playing the song with Dylan live made me go back. Dylan plays guitar for me. It’s made me re-think how I produced it because first when I made it, it was a very somber tug at the heart strings ballad. But now when I play it every time it’s a feisty love song. It’s a very autobiographical moment for me.”
GoodMusicAllDay: All of the songs had a really good vibe.
Brayton Bowman: “I love playing acoustically now. I used to run away from it so much because when I was at school there was there stereotypical singer-songwriter with a guitar. I don’t play guitar, but I definitely stepped away from that. When you listen to my stuff it’s so produced. It’s all ends of the spectrum. A girl came up to me at the FYE tent. She was like, “Oh, wow! I honestly thought you would maybe be bad, but you were awesome!” Acoustically it’s nice for me to get to step out and introduce myself because two years from now I’m sure that you’ll see my show, and I’ll have lights and all of it. It’ll be insane. For now, it’s nice to just tell the story.”
GoodMusicAllDay: How do you have handle the pressure of not going viral?
Brayton Bowman: “I’m so weird, and I’m such a unique little package that it hasn’t been too difficult yet. I’m not fighting off somebody that want to blow me up on YouTube. It’s a discovery phase right now. It’s dope that there are some publications that have noticed like, “Ok, what’s going on here?” I don’t know. It’s a hard one to answer, especially because publications have posted stuff of mine in a one-off way. They’ve seen one thing that I’ve done, and been like, “This is dope. This is great. Let’s take this, and syndicate it.” But there’s a lot more to me than one song. I’m not very easily understood in a single. You have to see the whole thing. That’s maybe been what’s made it easy to ward it off. They’re all looking for a flash in the pan. I can play the game to some extent, but I’m not marketable like that. My stuff isn’t going to go viral. I hope it goes viral in some capacity, and everyone listens to it. I’m not going to be a hip for six months, this is really poppin’, and then it’s gone.”
GoodMusicAllDay: Which city has the best weed?
Brayton Bowman: “Los Angeles, and Barcelona. My friend told me I went to the wrong places in Amsterdam, but Barcelona and LA are my top great sativa weed places.”
GoodMusicAllDay: Do you have any dream collaborations?
Brayton Bowman: “My life goal is to be in a room with Stevie Wonder before I die. I don’t like to say before he dies because I would like to think that he’s going to outlive me. I have to be in a room with Stevie Wonder. It’s weird. I don’t have a lot of goal collaborations so much as I have people I want to meet because I’ve met people that on paper we would be dope in a studio, but realistically we meet and you can tell right away. We cannot collab. We should talk and share ideas, but we’re much better served being equals and not getting into that. I want to meet Chance. I want to meet Janelle Monae really bad. I have a list. People always ask, “Who are the collaborations you want?” I don’t really know until I meet people. It’s the same thing with the KYLE one. I never met him. I don’t even know if we’d vibe like that. I’ve got to see you, and look at you.”
GoodMusicAllDay: Are there other artists you would love to write for?
Brayton Bowman: “I love to write for my friends. I love to work with my friends, and write something for them because I feel like I know you. My stuff is so autobiographical it almost becomes weird to write for someone else. I’ve done it twice. I’ve written a song for someone and sent it to them. Again, it was someone that I knew. If you can sing, I’d be more than happy to give you a song of mine. Then again, I also am weird because I have songs that I’ll finish. I don’t really want them at the time, then nine months from now I’ll be like, “OMG! I have to have that song. No one else can have that song. I need it. It’s a hard one.”
GoodMusicAllDay: Do you have three top favorite songs of your own that you want new fans playing?
Brayton Bowman: “I would listen to ‘The Second I’m Rich’ because I would say that was the first song I ever made where I stopped singing so much and really told a story. That’s probably my favorite because that’s so in my brain. I don’t know. Whatever you’re into. I’d like to say that I have enough stuff out that there’s a little bit of a sample platter you could pick and choose. I would start with ‘The Second I’m Rich’.”
GoodMusicAllDay: It’s seems like you like relating with your fans through your own music too.
Brayton Bowman: “I am petrified of losing that. I am petrified to one day be on a stage and have someone look at me and feel removed because when I see Beyoncé who’s my icon [and] my idol I never feel – granted she works harder than everybody else – removed from her. I never feel there’s something about her that is elitist. I ray that I never never lose that because that’s what the fuck is the point. If people in the audience can’t relate to it, then go home.”
GoodMusicAllDay: If you could smoke with three artists dead or alive who would they be?
Brayton Bowman: “Amy Winehouse. I would love to have a spliff with Amy Winehouse. Erykah Badu, and I don’t know if she smokes anymore, but she definitely used to because she wrote a book about it. I’m going to say Jill Scott. I’d love to smoke a blunt with Jill Scott and start getting into it and see what’s going on.”
GoodMusicAllDay: Do you like Jays or Spliffs or Blunts?
Brayton Bowman: “When I’m in LA in LA I’ve listened to my voice teacher enough that now I smoke out of a bong most of the time. The first day I met my new voice teacher he was like, “You’re a smoker? That’s cute. I listened to Puff Puff Pass. What’s up? Please stop smoking papers. Just smoke out of a bong.” I went home. I smoked out of my bong. When I’m on the road or not at home you can put anything in front of me that has weed in it and I will take it. I’m not picky. A bowl. A bubbler. A bong. A spliff. A joint. Pass it.
GoodMusicAllDay: Are you going to be check out other artists while you’re hear?
Brayton Bowman: “My boys Third Story are singing backgrounds for Chance. I’m going to definitely be there front and center for that. Then I might check out Zara’s set. Other than that I’ve got to see who else is here. I have my blinders on for Chance. I’ve wanted to see him for so long.”
GoodMusicAllDay: What’s the biggest learning experience since Here Now EP came out up to Lollapalooza that you’ve learned?
Brayton Bowman: “I already knew it when I was putting out Here Now, but it’s to really trust yourself. If everybody is saying do this and your gut is saying don’t do it do not fucking do it. Just don’t because I can count on one hand the things I’ve done that I didn’t really want to and not that they tarnished my career or anything, but looking back at it I’m like, “I should’ve trusted the I knew it wasn’t for me. I shouldn’t have done it. I should’ve stuck with the course.” Trust your gut. Same shit everybody says.”