Brody Brown Talks 8 Grammy Wins, Working w/ Bino Rideaux & Releasing ‘The Kick Back’

Brody Brown

Brody Brown shifts his focus into his own artistry, releasing his own music as a recording artist. To kick off the year on a high note, he released his long-awaited debut album titled THE KICK BACK, with features from Bino Rideaux and BLXST.

Brody Brown has accomplished what many wish they could in a lifetime. The Compton, California native boasts 8 Grammy wins to his name, which includes Bruno Mars’ smash hit “24K Magic” winning Record of the Year in 2018 and Silk Sonic’s “Leave the Door Open” winning Best R&B Song and Song of the Year last year. 

In describing himself, Brody Brown states he’s “an executioner. I’m an executioner for a lot of artists. I’m the sniper boy [with my pen game], and with my talents when it comes down to playing instruments as well.”

Real name Christopher Steven Brown is the true definition music-lover, really getting musically-inclined while growing up in the church. All his family on his mom’s side were singers, while his grandmother played instruments. To date, Brown plays the keyboard, organ, drums, bass and guitar.

As a member of the production team 1500 Or Nothin’, Brody has worked with all the elites in the music industry. His impressive catalog of credits include Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa’s “Young, Wild & Free,” Mark Ronson’s “Feel Right,” Cee Lo Green’s “F*ck You,” T.I.’s “Love This Life” Adele’s “All I Ask,” Nipsey Hussle’s “Feelin Myself,” and many more.

Now, Brody Brown shifts his focus into his own artistry, releasing his own music as a recording artist. To kick off the year on a high note, he released his long-awaited debut album titled THE KICK BACK, with features from Bino Rideaux and BLXST. The 10-track project pays homage to the kick backs he grew up going to in the city of Angels.

AllHipHop spoke with Brody Brown via Zoom, who was knocking out some spring cleaning in his home. Read below as we discuss

AllHipHop: Being born and raised in Compton, what was that growing up? 

Brody Brown: Of course, I started gangbanging. I started doing a whole lot of things that I wasn’t supposed to be doing, but was doing them anyway. It was a challenge. I had to really choose if it was gon’ be the streets or a career. My mama raised me right, my daddy wasn’t there. I knew who he was, but he wasn’t in my life the way he needed to be or I wanted him to be. My mom raised me by herself. I didn’t get Jordans growing up, I got a keyboard growing up. I got drum sticks. I wasn’t fresh, I wasn’t fly, but I was neat. My mama always had been neat. Going outside, leaving the porch, started gangbanging. I was doing all types of drugs. I had to choose, and I chose music.

My mother didn’t believe all the way at first, even though she nurtured me into playing instruments. Her, my auntie, and my grandmother, they seen that I love instruments so that’s all they bought me. I didn’t get Jordans, I didn’t get FUBU, didn’t get none of that growing up. If I was to get it, I had to work for it.

AllHipHop: What was your first foot in the door?

Brody Brown: Honestly, there’s levels to this. When I knew I was on the verge of being somewhere and something I wanted to be is when I got asked to play bass., started going on tour with Chris Brown. I dropped out of high school so I wasn’t allowed to work at Food 4 Less. I wasn’t allowed to work at Ross. I wasn’t allowed to do nothing but music. Good thing my guy asked me “man, do you do secular music?” Like getting outside of the church. “Do you play for other artists?” 

I’m like, yeah I play. He said “you heard of Chris Brown?” I’m like, yeah I think I heard of Chris Brown. Mind you, that’s my real name. Brody is something I came up with, my real name is Christopher Brown. So I went on tour with Chris Brown, they used to call me CB2 on the road. Girls used to knock on my door in the hotel rooms. He used to go by an alias, so I’m the only one with my real name Chris Brown. They’d show up to my room like, “where’s Chris?” Goodbye. [laughs] You might want to go check the rest of the rooms. 

That’s when I knew I was getting somewhere in life, because I’m starting to play with top-tier artists. My next gig was Lil Wayne, then I did Lupe Fiasco. I did T.I., Katherine McPhee.

AllHipHop: You were playing music with them?

Brody Brown: Yeah, I’d tour with them as a bass player. I was playing for a lot of people, then I got signed as a writer. That’s when I met Bruno Mars.

AllHipHop: Definitely want to talk about that, how did you meet Bruno Mars?

Brody Brown: After I started touring as a musician, I’m tired of flying city to city, state to state, country to country. Waking up, not knowing where I am. I just want to stay home. I’m always a homebody. I figured I can make enough money writing songs in LA, in Hollywood, the land of the living. Getting my rocks off here, in LA. IRetire my mama, do all this all in LA. I got signed at 17.5 to a guy named Steve Lindsey. He signed a lot of people, he signed me and Bruno for sure. 

He said “I want you to meet somebody man, this kid Bruno.” Alright fasho, so that was my start as a songwriter. As a musician, I’ve already toured with Chris Brown, Lil Wayne, T.I., Snoop Dogg, everybody. This is all before 17/18. While I was on tour, I was signed to a publishing deal. I left tour, I came back and met Bruno Mars. Me and him were signed to the same publishers

We started working together. He got signed to Atlantic Records, and he asked me to come work on his first album. 

As a songwriter I wrote “Grenade” on his first album. We were young doing this. From then on, I wanted to become an artist. I always wanted to become an artist, outside of producing and songwriting. Because I’m always quiet, I’m a quiet guy unless I’m doing music. Other than that, I’m very shy and timid, won’t even tell you who I am if you don’t ask. [laughs]

AllHipHop: Bring us back to when you won your first Grammy.

Brody Brown: I was nominated with “Grenade,” “F*ck You” by CeeLo Green, “Young Wild & Free” by Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa. My first Grammy was 2016, I was 17. That was Adelle, on her 25 album. “24K Magic” came out the year before I won my first Grammy, we just didn’t meet the Grammy requirements in time for voting. When 2018 came around, that’s when “24K Magic” was nominated for these categories. I won five that year, so that’s six Grammys. Then Silk Sonic came out, I did “Leave The Door Open.” I got two more Grammys, so I’m at eight right now.

AllHipHop: How does that feel? Did you ever think you’d be getting that coming up in Compton?

Brody Brown: Hell no! Not at all. I always wanted one. I’ve been nominated 10 times and I got eight Grammys. I think I’m doing okay. [laughs]

AllHipHop: Talk about the progression from being a songwriter to your own artist. Do you ever feel it’s hard for people to take you seriously?

Brody Brown: All the time, but I don’t care. It’s millions of people doing music. My whole thing is, I’m not going to sit here and cry about the people that don’t believe. I’m about to show you. I’ve been doing this professionally for a long time. A lot of people are surprised at how it actually sounds. They thought I was gonna do the Bruno Mars thing, everything else I do for everybody else. The Lukas Graham’s, but music is an extension of who I am for real life. 

If you don’t know me, then you won’t get it. But that’s the issue here, a lot of people don’t know me. When writing records, I have to make sure I’m being strategic about who I’m making this music to. The people that don’t believe in me, don’t believe in me. The people that will, will. That’s the way I look at it. A lot of people doubt me because where was I when I was 21? I was writing for other artists, trying to feed my family forreal. I didn’t have to be in the front, I’m an Indian. That’s how I was raised, to serve forreal.

Nobody put a gun away and told me I need to be signed at Def Jam, I need to be an artist. It’s something I wanted to do. You know what? I’ma do it! It’s 10 million people doing music in the world, who said I can’t do it? Transitioning from songwriter/producer to artist, it’s all home to me. After me being an artist, I might be a record label owner. This is my field. I’ve been country to country, went through three passports already, it’s nothing new to me. 

I don’t want to seem like a know-it-all or arrogant, I want to keep it real. I don’t want y’all to be blinded by who they’re talking to. Very much so grateful though, I do believe that anybody can be in this position. I’m grateful for Def Jam taking a leap of faith, when it comes down to my artistry. I wouldn’t change it for the world.

AllHipHop: What inspired your project, The Kick Bank? What do you want people to get from it?

Brody Brown: Honestly, I want them to get a feel of who I am right now. The Kick Back was something I wanted to bring up and about because in LA, we have kickbacks. I remember going to kickbacks. Not really so much a house party, but a kickback vibe. This is an extension of me. I have a lot in me, this is just the start.

AllHipHop: Talking about linking with Bino Rideaux on “No (Know).”

Brody Brown: Bino, that’s my n*gga man! That’s my boy. I reached out like man, you think Bino would want to get on this? Because everybody knows I’m quiet in LA. Unless you know me, you know me. But if you don’t, you’re like who the f### is this? I never thought that everybody would know me the way I perceive them to know me. When I reached out, I was expecting everybody to say no. You I reached out to India Love, she said yes.  I reached out to BLXST, he said yeah. I reached out to be Bino, he said yeah. I reached out to RJ, he said yeah. I reached out to Buddy, he said yeah. 

Okay cool, I guess I do got a little name on me. I be thinking people don’t care about the Grammys and money. They’d think getting the Grammy is corny, but for me, that’s one of the highest we can do it in our in our field of music. That’s one of the highest things. My mother beat breast cancer, I retired her, all off music. I don’t know how to do nothing else. I got a basketball court here I didn’t put together. I got a car drive, I don’t know how to change tires. I don’t know how to do none of that, that’s not my specialty. My specialty is strictly music. 

Linking up with Kacey Khalil, Rance 1500 and Mike&Keys, I never thought — I did a lot of Nipsey records. I did “Last Time That I Checc’d.” 

AllHipHop: With 1500 Or Nothin?

Brody Brown: Yeah, I’ve got it tattooed on my belly! [shows tattoo] “Hussle & Motivate,” I’m a part of all these records. I’m a part of the Hip Hop, pop, country. I do all types, whatever you want me to do. I feel very blessed to do that. When I reached out to Bino, he immediately said yeah. He came to the studio the night of, cut the record, it was done. Amazing.

AllHipHop: Do you have any goals for yourself? 

Brody Brown: Just to keep going, that’s my only goal. I can’t I can’t let my kids down, knowing this is all I do. I want to have a Gold record, and to reach the people too. I want them to know ya’ll don’t have to keep seeing the same old talent. Y’all can see somebody new. If I cut my hair, I look like I’m 18. But I gotta keep up with the youth. [laughs] It’s hard, but it is what it is.

AllHipHop: Is there anything else you’re excited for?

Brody Brown: I’m excited for my band, I got a band called Striktly Bidness that’s supposed to be coming out this summer. It’s a group of producers, musicians, and songwriters. We all got together and created a band, just to keep music going. Different genres like funk, R&B, that’s what we basically are.