Brainer Mix Vol. 3: B. Bravo
Adam Mori, aka B. Bravo, first caught our ears back in September just before he released his first EP for London’s Earnest Endeavours label. Titled Kiss ‘n’ Tell, the 5-track record won Brainer over with its g-funk stylings and electronic swagger. So much so in fact, that we asked the San Francisco native to put together the third instalment of our Brainer Mix Series. We caught up with Mori to talk music, funk and California – to listen to and download the mix, click here.
How would you describe your sound to someone who hasn’t heard it before?
Synthesizer sex music [laughs]. Nah, I’d say its funky, smooth, sensual, fun. That’s kinda how other people describe it. I have lots of influences from ’70s, ’80s funk and soul and ’90s rap and R&B.
How did you come to start making music?
I started out playing saxophone in school. My dad got me into jazz when I was really young and I wanted to be like John Coltrane. I played throughout school in the jazz band and then started getting into making electronic music toward the end of high school. I really started getting into making beats and producing in about 2002, my second year of college. That’s when I really got the bug.
What’s your production setup?
Right now my setup is: MPC 2000xl for drums, a bunch of synths – Arp Odyssey, Yamaha DX7, DX 100, Motif, Roland JP-8000, Juno 60, Talkbox, MicroKorg. I use Nuendo to do the multi tracking.
What does funk mean to you?
Funk is a feeling. It’s a state of being. It represents fun and positivity, freedom, celebration. All the good things in life put into music form.
How does it feel to be a key torch bearer for modern funk alongside the likes of Dam Funk and Devonwho?
It feels good! [laughs] It’s pretty cool to be recognised like that. It was never a conscious decision, like, “I’m gonna make modern funk music!” It was just a natural thing. I just do the music I feel and do what feels good and that’s what comes out. To be a ‘member’ of a movement is cool because its kinda gives more power to the sound and message that we all convey. We’re trying to spread a positive message and bring a ‘lil sunshine into people’s lives.
What does California mean to you?
It’s home. I grew up within walking distance to the beach, so it’s part of who I am. The sunsets over the Pacific are something that never gets old and always give you that special vibe and inspiration. I think California is part of my sound.
Tell us about Frite Nite.
Frite Nite is a label, artist collective, and all around group of buds. Most of the crew is based in the SF Bay Area. Salva, the founder, is in LA now. It started off as a platform for us to just get our music out to the public and off of our hard
drives. It started expanding and has just been branching out ever since. Right now artists include Ana Sia, NastyNasty, Comma, Epcot, DJG, Eprom, Starkey, SoWhat, Teeko and The Starship Connection.
Who are your influences?
A lot of funk, soul and jazz artists like Herbie Hancock, George Clinton, Roy Ayers and Roger Troutman. Producers like Dre, Battlecat, Rick Rock, Dilla, R Kelly and Timbaland. Newer artists like Sa-Ra, Waajeed, Jimmy Edgar and Salva.
Tell us about the mix you’ve done for us.
It’s a mix for the steppers on some mid-tempo R&B vibes. It’s a feel-good one. Couple cool things in there. Hope you like it!
What producers, acts or bands should we be keeping an eye on right now?
Comma has been ripping up the live sets lately. I heard DJG is working on some new stuff thats nasty. Oh man. Starkey’s new stuff!? Wow. All I can say. Always gotta support my fellow Red Bull fam – Ad Bourke, Space Dimension Controller, Julian Gomez, Deep 60. The homie ARP 101 is doing some dope stuff. Keep an eye out for my new band The Starship Connection – four piece synth funk, electro dance style. Lots of fun.
Favourite album of all time? Why?
Gonna have to say John Coltrane – Blue Train. I used to listen to it every single night before I went to sleep. It just reminds me of falling in love with music.
What do you think of Lana Del Rey?
I don’t really know much about her to be honest. I saw her on Saturday Night Live. People were hating, but I didn’t think it was as bad as they made it out to be. Shit, if she’s making a living off of music, I take my hat off to her!
What have you got in the pipeline following the release of your Kiss ‘n’ Tell EP on Earnest Endeavours?
Me and my production partner Teeko have a new EP coming in the next few months on Frite Nite: Starship Connection EP. Got a new track with Darkhouse Fam on their new EP on Earnest Endeavours. Also working on my debut album. Really excited for that. Show-wise, doing a lot of travelling, gonna be at SXSW this year with The Starship Connection. Looking at coming over to UK and Europe hopefully!
Words: Ian Hsieh
Photography: Trevor Traynor