Billy J Brown


Hello and welcome to One on One in 10, where we pick the brains of some of the most talented Indie artists in the Tri state area with 10 questions. It’s your girl Mai Mazzi reporting live on the scene, bringing you the real with todays’ movers and shakers and allowing you to meet them, one on one.

The summer is here in full effect! Aren’t you guys happy? I know I am! Sun and fun is how I’m coming! Although after a day in the sun I need major rest, the tan that becomes of me is well worth it!

This month, I have the pleasure of chopping it up with the very talented performer/songwriter Billy J. Brown, repping my neck of the woods, Neptune, NJ.


Mazzi: Thank you so much for taking the time out to speak with me.

Billy J. Brown: Thank you for having me!

Mazzi: So for our first question, what made you first realize that you wanted to pursue a career in music?

Billy J. Brown: At a certain age it just came to me that I had the capability to make music. When I listen to records, now and when I was younger, and I like them, I really like them and I get into them, and they inspire me from many different directions. When I was old enough I decided that I want to make music and make that a part of my life, never mind making money, because I am a songwriter first.

Mazzi: How would you describe your music for the public audience if they have never seen or heard you before?

Billy J. Brown: Far reaching. The reason I would use that description is that when I am doing anything that looks like making music, I just want to reach to wherever it goes and whatever it takes to make that particular song happen. I am a music lover; people ask me what kind of music do I make and I can’t answer because it is all just music to me. Some things are from the rock side, some are from the R&B side, some things are from the country side and as some people will soon know some things are from the hip hop side. It comes down to what do I feel I will be able to do to make this song happen, and it can be up tempo or down tempo or somewhere in between. I just try to write, come in, and go back out and hopefully the song brings something to the listener.

Mazzi: If you had to categorize your music, what genre would it best fit?

Billy J. Brown: My style is a fusion of it all. I hope that there are elements of really musicianship that people get out of it because you never know what is going to hit a listener. It may be a lyric or something in that sound that grabs them.

Mazzi: Earlier you mentioned that you are a songwriter more so than a performer correct?

Billy J. Brown: Yes I say that because if I had my choosing, I would have never gotten to the point of being a performer because I love recording and writing that much that that would be satisfying enough for me. As time passed and from things happening and not happening you change your view or your direction and if you are not doing as well as you had hoped to do than fine there is some way you can go at it and that is why I tried to start performing a lot more. I have had fun and a busy two years doing all kinds of stuff. I have an original band that I work with and I work with some of the members in a cover band; I have worked on a film. I have worked on many little things throughout the industry which is all a part of what I do. I am just happy to stay busy and meet a bunch of new people, whether it is me performing or writing.

Mazzi: Are you familiar with the term “starving artist”?

Billy J. Brown: Yes.

Mazzi: How do you cope with major obstacles as they relate to the term?

Billy J. Brown: Leaning more towards the come up perspective as it relates to the term, the most important thing is having a solid sense of direction. You have to have a solid commitment to what you are actually trying to achieve. What level do you want to get to as an artist? How do you want yourself and your craft to be represented? How far do you actually want to go with it? Once you really decide on that and once you decide that you want to be in it for the long haul, you have to maintain checks and balances within yourself. One thing that I have found to work really great for me was that once I could put a situation together and add the steps and make sure that I hit those steps because you know its logic. The music business in all actuality is no different than any other business. You have to be able to put situations together and follow through. You really have to have a workable and sensible plan. Everybody has big goals and you have to be able to appreciate the small goals. Each one of the smaller goals can help lead up to a bigger one. People tend to dream too big and God forbid they don’t actually know what it is that they are trying to do, so then they are dreaming big and don’t know what they really want to do they are not going to get there. For me there was life and music so I never felt the “starving artist” part of the industry; I lived a full life, I have been married and have children. I never allowed myself to “starve”.

Mazzi: What do you think your “biggest break” or “greatest opportunity” has been so far in your musical career?

Billy J. Brown: My biggest break was actually a situation that did not break. I was working on a project and I was actually in it more from the management side and it didn’t quite pan out itself. Out of that situation I met a bunch of people, most of whom have attained some success in this business and work steadily, and some of them who have remained friends all of this time too. Those relationships are the types of relationships that you can count on and they are good all around. I learned so much about the business. I am real happy to be where I am now. It was a long way around but at least I can say I am very happy with it.

Mazzi: What image do you think your music conveys and why did you choose this type of image for your music?

Billy J. Brown: The music and the songs convey a connection to emotion. Lyric writing to me is so, so important, not saying that the music isn’t as equally as important. I studied lyricist coming up. I would study people and their work and dissecting it to find out how it flows. There is life in music and I want to be able to bring it out. I also feel as if music allows people to cope with certain things a little better. One song in particular called, “Somebody’s Child”, was a favorite song of mine to write. I wrote it from the stand point of people watching other people and misjudging them. The message is that every person, especially the person being talked about in the song, is somebody’s child. It’s allowing them the full ownership of the fact that they are human beings. I try to say things and say those things directly, but if I am going to explore the common things I hope that I can bring people insight on whatever they are dealing with because that’s what music always did for me.

Mazzi: Art and music has an impact on both the young and the old; sometimes the older generation loses respect for the music we listen to today because they cannot comprehend the value of it. What advice can you give to the youth of today looking to enter the industry in regards to being able to stay relevant for every generation and for any audience?

Billy J. Brown: It is real simple. I really do feel like there is no reason to not to be able to look back and study the past because of all the information and technology that we have available to us now. No generation gets to own music. Whatever you are listening to definitely has some details from the past, directly and indirectly. I would say to dig back a little bit, go check out something that you never thought you would check out. Explore the person or personality behind the music you are listening to. Open yourself up to something different than your norm. That’s the place where those little things happen that can spark something in you. You can throw it into a song of yours because of that spark and that song can be more than awesome because that spark set it all off. Just don’t think that because you want to mark your generation based on what you did growing up that that cannot be paralleled with those before you that also had to grow up; growing up is a common experience and it doesn’t matter what the different environments are. There are commonalities between all generations so dig into history and keep it directly connected to music.

Mazzi: What are your immediate music career goals (1 to 3 years)?

Billy J. Brown: Oh cool that’s an easy one! I have been working on a song for a movie which I really love. I have a couple of people that I am working in the studio with. I have a new project of mine that started out as an EP, but over the course of a year and a half of working on various things it has grown into an album. So that’s within the next year, I wouldn’t even go beyond that for me.

Mazzi: Do you have other interests or talents that you would like to share with us? How do you like to enjoy your relaxation time away from the music?

Billy J. Brown: I am a working person so I have that commitment of 40 hours to that. In regards to something else, no I do not have any other interests outside of the music. I am busy enough with all the projects that I am a part of. Now one of my favorite places to go, which I wish I was there right now, is Palm Springs California. In my spare time we find places to get away and get away from the normal grind.


And to you, the readers thank you for tuning in. Make sure you stay tuned for more NMNJ One on One in 10!


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