Austin’s interview with Essence Created on Wednesday, 17 October 2012 09:54 ESSENCE.com’s “New and Next” column spotlights the brightest new talents we think you should know. This week they meet Austin Brown, who is working hard to create his own spotlight and not live in the shadows of his famous uncles. His debut single “Menage A Trois” boasts a fresh sound while paying tribute to the great sounds of the ’60s and ’70s. Check out the interview!

ESSENCE.com: How would you describe the sound you create?
AUSTIN BROWN: It’s really basic. I just take all of the influences that inspired me to want to make music in the first place and everything that I love and I give my interpretation of it. I kind of just talk it all in, whether it be past sounds from the Beach Boys, Songs in the Key of Life by Stevie Wonder, The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour, Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix, Jay Charles, all the things that inspired me that I listened to. My producing partner and I like to pay homage to the people, and then we go in on our own personal experience.

ESSENCE.com: How do you think your own family’s music influenced you – particularly your uncle Michael Jackson, and the Jackson 5?
BROWN: They influenced me a lot. Not even just from standpoint of the work ethic and their drive for excellence and always trying to give their fans something new and exciting to look forward to, but their overall sound, harmonies and melodic changes. How they brought the energy. Their CD’s would have so much energy, and when you saw it on stage it was like, “Yes!”

ESSENCE.com: How has your family responded to you making music? Have they been very encouraging?
BROWN: Yeah, actually they’ve been really encouraging. At first my mother at first didn’t want me, but I think she was just being protective. When you have a love of something no one is going to stop you from it if you are truly passionate about. And they see me finding myself in it more so. So it’s nothing but encouragement from my entire family.

ESSENCE.com: Does being a Jackson make it easier to go into the music business? BROWN: Well, I think you will obviously get people’s curiosity but that’s really it because people have such an attachment to a sound and the nostalgia that they have grown up with, like the Jackson 5 starting in the late 1960s. So I would completely understand why some people might be reluctant, you know, thinking that there might be an entitlement issue. And it’s not that by any means and I don’t think I really have to say that. I think once they sit down and listen to the music and see what I am really about they see that’s it much deeper than that.

ESSENCE.com: Looking at the musical landscape now, where do you think you fit in? Who do you think is pushing the same agenda that you are?
BROWN: I would say Drake is doing a really great job. And Bruno Mars and their crew are always doing an amazing job of soulful pop feel. And there’s people like Jack White who continue to push their creativity to a whole another level. And so many other musical greats that I look up to and am inspired by. Kanye West is always somebody who doesn’t hide different music styles that he tries to put into his sound.

ESSENCE.com: Where can people see you performing?
BROWN: I will be hitting up a few festivals coming up shortly this year and we will be announcing more tour dates on my website coming up so it’s a lot of performing. A lot, lot, lot of performing. And that’s pretty much what it’s about. The main thing that we are pushing right now is my “Menage” single and video which has been getting some really good love so I’m really excited an happy that people are being receptive to it and wanted to check it and see what I’m really about.

@AustinBrown supports “Touching Ourselves?!” @letsfcancer

Check out Austin’s video and story in support of Touching Ourselves to encourage people ot get checked, stay healthy and prevent Cancer. 90% of cancers are curable if caught in stage one, why the hell aren’t you looking for them?! Touching Ourselves! is a self exam video contest presented by Fuck Cancer and Funny or Die. Together we’re calling on comedians and early detection ambassadors to create funny and educational videos about early detection. 

@AustinBrown performs at Brockton Rox Summer Concert Series tonight!

Austin is performing this Saturday September 8th at Brockton Rox Summer Concert Series 2012 at Campanelli Stadium in Brockton, Massachusett. Showtime is 7 pm and the concert is produced by Sydney Devon from TheCoolTV. 

Austin Brown - Highway to the Sky
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Enjoy this one minute snippet of @AustinBrown track “Highway to the Sky” studio version from his forthcoming album #Highway85! Stay tuned!

Photos of  visiting @SWRV set of @MusicChoice channel on August 16th playing his music. No updates yet on when this will air. 



Photos of @AustinBrown and @Mr_Dupri on set of #AXSLive with host @Jeremy_Hassell! 

@AustinBrown doing radio interviews in New York

On Monday August 13th 8pm(EST) 5pm(PST) Austin will be on SugaTreats WHCR 90.3 NY live with audio and video stream with @OhSoKool on @sugatreats WHCRr.org 90.3 FM-NY. Make sure to tune in! On Sunday night, August 12th, Austin did an interview on Z93 with DJ Cass.

@AustinBrown invites all #backpackkids to come see him perform at @betmusicmatters showcase in New York

Austin invites all backpackkids in the New York area to come watch him perform at the BET Music Matters Showcase at Santos Party House on August 14th. The doors open at 8PM and the show starts at 8:30PM. Age is 21 and over and Admission is free. The venue is Santos Party House and the address is 96 Lafayette Street, New York, NY (between Walker St and White St). 

VOTE for @AustinBrown “Menage a Trois” on MTV U’s show “The Freshman”

“Menage a Trois is featured on MTV U’s show “The Freshman.” The show highlights new cool music - both on-air and online, and fans have the chance to vote for the music video! To vote for Austin Brown, visit http://freshmen.mtvu.com . Fans will have the opportunity to vote until August 4 at 2 p.m. 

@AustinBrown listening party hosted by @Mr_Dupri


The liquor was flowing, the sun was shining, and the music was pumping as Jermaine Dupri hosted a listening party for Austin Brown at the El Cartel Tequila mansion in the Hollywood Hills during BET Awards weekend. The nephew of the late King of Pop previewed music from his upcoming debut Highway 85 including his single “Menage a Trois” as celebrities such as Melody Thornton, Too $hort, and Evan Ross stopped by the poolside soiree. 

“He has a fresh new look to this music scene and I think that’s what we need out here,” J.D. told Rap-Up TV of Austin, who he manages.

Austin has worked with Rodney Jerkins, Q-Tip, Ryan Tedder, and Pharrell on his album, and maintains a close relationshipwith his aunt Janet, who he calls his best friend. “She’s the one who gives me the most advice,” he said of the pop icon, who introduced him to A Tribe Called Quest.