Welcome to The Conduit, a podcast that brings together motivated artists to share their experiences and pull back the curtain for a firsthand look at life in the arts. Our first guest is renowned West Coast Rapper, Bootie Brown of Pharcyde, and Gorillaz fame. Having come up as a dancer under the tutelage of Toni Basil, Bootie then transitioned into the world of music soon after, a career path he never thought he would follow. Yet, once the bug bit, there was no going back for him.

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In today's episode, we hear more about Bootie's background and the different twists and turns in his journey. We find out how he met some of the most influential people in his career and the ebbs and flows that come with relationships in the music business. Our wide-ranging conversation also touches on things like signing a record deal, the value of having good role models, the experience of being on big tours, and why it is important to break the rules.

“You not getting everything that you want so fast at a young age makes you decipher what's right and what's wrong.” — Bootie Brown [1:27:56]
“Watching J Dilla work and just being in the studio, I realized that breaking that traditional ‘rulebook’ of what you're supposed to do and how you're supposed to do your song, it's what is going to make that moment count.” — Bootie Brown [1:32:05]

For someone who made it big as early on in life as he did, Bootie is remarkably grounded and generous with his time and energy. As he has grown older, he has come to understand that inspiration lies in so many different places, and his desire to express the beauty of the human spirit will continue to inspire him to create for many years to come.

Key Points From This Bootie Brown Episode:

  • Get to know today's guest, Bootie Brown.
  • What Bootie's life growing up was like and where his love for music stemmed from.
  • A career in music was not Bootie's first choice.
  • When Bootie started learning from Reggie Andrews..
  • How Bootie came to the world of dancing and some of the incredible dance opportunities he had.
  • The role that the legendary Toni Basil played in Bootie's dance career.
  • When Bootie started writing rhymes and how his foray into music happened.
  • The beginnings of Pharcyde and how the group came together.
  • How Bootie met Paul Stewart and their subsequent relationship.
  • When Pharcyde landed their first record deal and who helped them navigate this big milestone.
  • As you get older and you have more responsibilities, you are more dependent on your music to make a living.
  • The value of learning about ownership, publishing, and copyright as a musician.
  • Bootie's experience of landing a record deal at such a young age.
  • What it was like for Pharcyde telling the label they wanted to work with J Dilla, who was unknown at the time.
  • If you don't have a good role model to guide you, it can be easy to fall into chemical dependency in the music industry.
  • Four Ps that are important to Bootie when it comes to making music: preparation, practice, professionalism, and patience.
  • The importance of following the producer's idea as an artist.
  • How Bootie came to work with Gorillaz and his experience working with Damon Albarn.
  • Some of the prolific artists that Bootie met through working with Gorillaz.
  • The difference between preparing for a big show or festival and a club.
  • What it takes to prepare for a big concert tour.
  • Bootie's experience of hearing stories from industry legends.
  • There is value in not getting everything you want at a young age.
  • What Bootie learned from J Dilla about breaking the rules.
  • The admiration that Bootie has for young people, who are more inclined to breaking rules.
  • Bootie's take on analog versus digital, new versus old, and why he believes in drawing on everything.
  • How Bootie keeps positive in the often cutthroat music industry.
  • Why Bootie considers himself to be reverse engineering his music-making.
  • The importance of relationships in the music business.
“Whether it's good or bad, it's always a learning experience.” — Bootie Brown [0:17:36]
“The money that you make on records is not necessarily as big as the fame and notoriety.” — Bootie Brown [0:46:36]
“If you are ahead of the curve, you can work through different ideas to find which one works the best.” — Bootie Brown [1:08:46]

Listen the Apple Music Playlist for The Bootie Brown Episode

Here is an Apple Music playlist Dan curated to celebrate this podcast episode with Bootie Brown, which you can listen to here:

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