For this 2nd episode of The Soulquest Lab, we sat and talked with New Jersey based rapper and producer Brainorchestra. Very prolific artist with a fascinating discography of 4 albums, 2 EPs and a substantial amount of collaborations and singles, Brainorchestra gave us a moment to answer our questions and allowed us to go deeper and learn about his process and his style.
Hey man, thank you so much for your time. Truly amazing to have you. How you been man ?
Good man, in the studio getting work in as always.
First off, congratulations on your new album ‘’Marmalade’’. When did you start making music and what first got you into it? Any favorite producer ?
I've always been into music due to school & using those classes to simply not do regular stuff like papers or math haha. Really started beginning of high school (personally) with beats. J Dilla all day.
How would you describe the music that you typically create to people that might have not heard of your work?
A taste of New Jersey in the rawest, purest form of hip hop.
It’s really inspiring to see how productive and prolific you are. You sell beats, you collaborate with other artists, you release your own music and merch. It’s great to see indie artists managing their business like you do. How do you keep the balance between the artist and the business man ?
I realized that there are people who want to work with me, and appreciate the time & effort I put into my music. I figured since I am my own boss I have a responsibility to deliver. Regardless of how big I get, I'll always strive to build with up & coming artists like myself.
You really seem to enjoy having full creative freedom and ownership over your art. You also release rap projects but also beat tapes. Did you always write or was rapping just the natural evolution of Brainorchestra?
I was a rapper first around 15 years old. I didn't enjoy the climate of creating rap as an indie artist because in NJ it felt like a race to everyone. I got into beats & beat sets to give my city & state a fresh approach on the music we love. Now that its my business & career (starting haha) I figured why limit myself?
As you know, we really love your new rap project ''Marmalade'' you released in September. Can you tell us a little about it ?
Marmalade is a collection of rap music I made after 'From The 908' with friends & producers I looked up too. Originally was going to release solo but decided to be High Water Musics first rap release.
In terms of production, what’s your creative process like ? Can you tell us about your workflow ? Any special tools or plugins?
I just use my vinyl player, MPC Live or 2000 (or both), & export the stems into Ableton. Everything between that is usually a creative blur haha. Y
You recently featured on the album of one my favorite producers ever, Elaquent. Can you tell us about this collaboration? How did that came about?
Man, we started chatting on Twitter after a few videos popped up & I got to meet him at a show he played. Since then we kept contact & even go on Zoom calls with fellow producers (Shouts to Battle Ave) & play music. Good dude right there.
We love discovering forward thinking artists here. Who have you been listening to lately? Is there any underrated artists that you like and that we might not have heard of ?
Good Food, Anhkle John, Young Why, Pootie, Moruf, Fatboi Sharif, Roper Williams, Jah Monte Ogbon, DOOF, FA$TLIFE, Planet Earf, Jahsh Banks Lord Cartel....I can go for eons.
It’s usually a hard question to answer but what do you feel is the best track/album you’ve ever released and why?
To be honest, probably my 'Me & Your Momma' remix on Soundcloud lmao. I dont know what the fuck I was on, but that remix is prestine. I don't think I've heard a better one but I am biased.
What would you be doing right now, if it wasn’t for your music? You seem to dabble with different creative outlets such as painting and analog photography. Maybe a career in visual arts?
To be honest, probably something involving food or construction. I love food & worked as a carpenter for a while. Pizzeria delivery paid for half the albums people have purchased early on.
What’s next for you? What have you been working on lately?
2021 is going to be full of raps, beats, vinyl, merch, videos & hopefully shows. Just expect a lot of good shit. 'E-TOWN GENERAL' dropping February 8th 2021 via Copenhagen Crates out of Denmark on vinyl. I'll have merch & tapes too.
Thank you so much for answering our questions man. We really appreciate your time and insights. Keep up the amazing work ! We're very excited to see what's to come. Anything you’d like to add?