My first introduction to Kev Brown was through a BBE Records Marley Marl compilation. The song was called What Ruling Means, feat. Grap Luva. Soon after that, I would be driving around LA with Grap and I hit him up about Kev. I was working on my solo album and I wanted to find out if he would be down to work together... So Grap put in the call. We chopped it up a bit, and the next thing you know I was on a plane to Philly to lay down some joints at the legendary Jazzy Jeff's, A Touch of Jazz Studio! After a few CA shows together, I have to say that everyday, I am more impressed with Kev's work. He is a master at what he does and has been an inspiration for me to keep making music in this fickle "business".
First off, people think you're from Philly or NY. Let's set the record straight. Who is Kev Brown ?
Well...I'm a producer/artist from Landover, Maryland.
You have a unique, vintage, and progressive sound. Who would you say played the biggest part in your sound, and who influences you past & present?
There's too many influences to name really... As far as the beats Pete Rock was my favorite coming up but there's mad other influences in my music from gospel to rock to soul music and jazz...
You've worked with some real heavyweights in this industry. Are there any particular artists that were the most memorable?
Well... De La Soul was dope to work with. I hope to do some more stuff with them. That was my 1st out of town, "official" kind of studio session up in NY...
Low Budget is your crew. When did this come to fruition, who makes up the crew, and what are the plans for the future?
Low Budget as a collective has been around since around 99/2000... I was calling my productions low budget for years but as the crew started to form it kind of stuck. The crew is a collection of very talented producers/artists mainly based from the DC/Metro area...(they call it the "DMV" now...). We plan to keep elevating and putting classic music out.
Now that the introductions have been made, what keeps you creative, and what does Kev Brown do when he's not in the studio?
Not really sure what keeps me creative... I'm not always working on music as people think. I mainly make beats when I really feel inspired to. That inspiration could come from just about anything... I've been told I'm "fun" to hang out with but I don't really see myself as an outgoing type of person compared to a lot of other folks I know.
With the current state of the music industry and most people giving their stuff away on the Internet and blogs, do you find it harder to stick to your guns and not follow the current "trends" that are stripping the soul out of music nowadays?
Giving away music is cool to a certain point. If you're going to do a mix-tape with a bunch of blatant, easy to recognize samples or you give an ep or a few joints out for free here and there. That's just part of the "game" we have to play now. At the same time people have to realize the type of quality music that we do. Also there is a lot of time and energy going into this (at least as far as my circle is concerned). So as an artist, I feel you have to have a balance of things.
Do you think the Myspace / Facebook / Twitter age has helped or hindered the quality of artist that are currently getting the most "shine"?
The social network sites are a plus and a minus. It's a plus because it kind of levels the playing ground as far as competing with the "major" labels. You can make your own video and put it up on youtube or one of the many video sites of that nature as opposed to crying about not getting any video play on stations such as MTV, BET, and the like. Then you can go on Twitter or whatever site you use and promote it to all of your friends and followers. The minus is that EVERYBODY thinks they have some type of artistic talent so the medium gets over saturated because there's so much material out there. The true talent seems to find a way to shine through eventually, I hope.
Any plans for a new album? What projects are you working on that you can discuss?
The latest "solo" project is out now. It's called "Random Joints". I released it totally indie this time. It's available digitally on itunes, rhapsody, emusic, etc... As well as limited physical cd copies only available on amazon.com at the moment... I'm working on a vinyl version coming soon (along with the instrumental vinyl). Most of the new stuff I'm working on now involves the crew. I'm finishing up a new KAIMBR project as well as another Low Budget member SEAN BORN. It looks like Sean's album will be the first to have production from every producer in low budget. Also LMNO and myself are preparing the follow up album to "selective hearing". It's called James/Brown. (his 1st name is James, my last name is Brown) I have an album with DJ RODDY ROD coming soon too. A lot of good music on the way. Just stay tuned...
I have to ask this, your thoughts on M.O.P & Freddie Foxxx, I know that you have worked with Freddie Foxxx already...
Fight music all day... That's pretty much what I think about when those names come up. Hopefully the Foxxx/Kev Brown project we recorded will see the light of day soon.
Before we get out of here, can we do the traditional "shout outs" interview ender?
Thanks to y'all for wanting to do an interview and hooking me up with the new gear... Shout out to the whole Low Budget. (pg county wuddup?!)
Last but not least... Where can the fans go to find out more about Kev Brown & The Low Budget Crew?