There are many influences in life that create a fantastic musician. The key is to take those stimuli and turn them into something positive. We have all had tough times growing up and in some places it is easier to let that spiral into living a negative lifestyle.
Haze Brown is a young NJ based rapper that had his share of hard times and often turned to the world of video games to get away from the outside influences. He has now turned this into the inspiration for his first solo album A System Apart. He describes it as “A tribute to video game culture…a summary of my life as a gamer”. His escape has created something that needs to be shared with the world. We were able to get a sneak listen to a few tracks and were more than impressed. The track ‘R.E.B.E.L.’ has an electronica beat that would be notable in any genre, but when Haze Brown starts flowing over it something magical happens. The listener has so much going on he has to listen to the song a few times to take it all in. ‘#Killer808’ is another song that features Haze’s non-stop style of delivery. How he amasses so many killer lyrics in each song is remarkable. We are looking forward to the full release of A System Apart.
Indie Band Guru was able to catch up with Haze Brown for a minute to get a better look into the innovative mind. The interview is below:
IBG: So how did you come to be known as Haze Brown?
Haze: My name came about as an alter ego of mine. The cool side of the guy known to the world as Hakeem. Just the guy that does what everybody else is afraid to do: be original.
IBG: It seems obvious that marijuana is a big part of your image, explain how you use it?
Haze: Mary Jane is just a stimulant to what i write. It helps me open my other 90% of my brain not being used to explore verses, styles, and topics others would probably stay away from for fear of not being popular in the music scene. I know that smoking personally helps me out when I need it, so it falls into a lot of my rhymes.
IBG: How have you been able to gain such a following? Any tips for up and comers?
Haze: I feel I’ve gained my following by just sticking to my honesty and bringing something new to the table when it comes to Hip Hop. I’m not about the flash, cash, or other things that these songs and artist portray now; I’m about being original. Being myself along with giving Hazers (what I call my fans) a style that is unique yet something that they are comfortable with. My advice to up and comers is just stick to what you know but don’t be afraid to learn and just be mindful of the business side to this game yet have fun too.
IBG: You seem comfortable writing rhymes that relate to your true life, Tell us about that?
Haze: Well, writing what i know is just easy for me. It’s so easy to take my feelings and emotions and just convey them into a way that people can relate to it even if they never been in the same exact situations I’ve been in. Life has a way of making us relate to complete strangers at times and I feel music is that glue. Music is a main outlet in how people see themselves and I want my music to let people see who I am, like I’m in the room with them.
IBG: Tell us about the Newark NJ rap scene?
Haze: The Newark rap scene out here is…ok to be nice about it. Honestly, I just don’t follow a lot of artist because a lot of them seem to be just following the same formula of the industry. So I tend to just stick to my waves.
IBG: I know you are an avid video gamer, what is your favorite game of all time?
Haze: To say what my all-time favorite video game is, there wouldn’t be room in this interview for it. I’m just a big fan of all types of games except sports but I know for a fact that I’m a HUGE PROBLEM in any Street Fighter game! Don’t step to that game unless you wanna get kicked!!
IBG: Now being a solo act, compare the writing process to your past with the groups you were in?
Haze: My writing process with people actually depends on how I relate to the person. With The Embassy, I actually used to not listen to an entire beat when I wrote. I just listened to 30 seconds of it and boom I had a whole verse perfect and everything! My cousin used to hate that but it worked at that time for me. When I write solo however, I tend to get more in tune with the beat I’m hearing. Now, I’ve learned to listen for every aspect of the beat cause each piece of an instrumental to me tells me to flow a certain way, like instructions on how to demolish a track. So from there, I just go with it.
IBG: How do you use that influence on your upcoming album A System Apart?
Haze: My influence on A System Apart is just that of an avid gamer playing the ultimate game. It’s my dedication to the technology that made me who I am: Video Games. That album I’m working on now but I have my new project, Bright Lights Dim Minds, releasing this summer. That project is about the bright lights of fame and the dim minds who get caught up in the flash. It’s a tale of both sides to fame and fortune from my perspective.
IBG: Are you looking to stay indie or sign with a major label if the opportunity arises?
Haze: Whatever happens with my music, as long as I can do what I love to do with the control I have now, I’m down for. It’s a deal or just me going big on my own merit, as long as my music gets to the fans, my mission is complete: to get REAL music out for REAL Hip Hop!
Go get your own taste of Haze Brown at: http://www.officialhazebrown.com