Sleepy Brown: Soul Man
Story and Interview by Matthew Shack
((( Audio Interview Below )))
ATL’s own Patrick "Sleepy" Brown, is THE man behind the Grammy winning, Multi-Platinum success of Outkast’s “The Way You Move” and TLC’s “Waterfalls”, yet he is overlooked in many circles.
Not any more.
He is a member of the world renown music production crew, Organized Noize, along with partners Rico Wade and Ray Murray, produced Outkast's first two Multi-platinum LPs, "Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik" and "ATLiens", and helped set the foundation for the Dirty South's dominance in hip-hop, yet he is still underrated. (Remember "So Fresh And So Clean", the ICONIC second single from Outkast's "Stankonia" )
A crooner is a title given to a male singer of a certain style of popular songs, dubbed pop standards. And Sleepy is hip-hop's Nat King Cole....SILKY SMOOTH!
Sleepy Brown is currently releasing his latest album "2070" in next month under his own label, Orion Records distributed by Universal Music and Fontana Distribution in association with Fase 1 Entertainment.
He also has a new female artist, ROXXY that he will be dropping on his label sometime in late '09.
TFM: It’s been a long time coming since your last album, “Mr. Brown”; we’re looking at about three years. What do you have going on with this new LP and what’s the difference in your sound from then until now?
Sleepy Brown: Well, I’ve got a new situation. I have my own label through Faze 1 /Fontana/Universal. And the label is called Orion Records and I’m about to drop next album off my label. It’s a new experience because I’ve have label deals with Organized Noise with myself, Rico Wade and Ray Murray but now it’s just me. So I doing great with the album and am about to drop it in March. It’s called “2070: The Year Of The Futuristic Throwback”. My first single is on I-choice called, “I’m So Ready”. Everything is going good, I’m real excited! The new album is a little more edgier than n the other past smooth stuff I’ve done. It has a little Rock in it and has some funk. Kind of everything in it man. So I’m real proud of this project.
TFM: How much of the "Organized Noise" sound is in this new LP? Or is this Sleepy’s sound?
Sleepy Brown: It’s definitely Organized Noise’s sound because that’s us, you know? On this album, I basically produced all the beats myself. But it still sounds like us but it’s just a new take on it. I think everyone is going to like it because it’s a little harder and a little different from what I’ve done. It’s going to be funky as hell.
TFM: Give us an idea of some of the collaborations that you have on "2070".
Sleepy Brown: I’ve got Bun B. on a song called “Hustler”. I got Kurupt on a song called “Mind Control” and I’ve got his brother, Roscoe on “Three Fingers Up “. And I’ve got a guy named, Tilo from Method’s Of Mayhem on a song called “Hard”. And I got this new guy called, Steph Cobain. I’ve really got a nice cast on the CD, man. But, I’m trying to get Big Boi on it and Dré [from Outkast] on it, so I’m going to see what they’re going to do. And Cee-Lo, too.
TFM: You’ve blessed them with many hits so I can’t see why they wouldn’t jump on it?
Sleepy Brown: Oh no! They definitely want to it’s just everybody is busy.
TFM: Since we’re speaking on that, you’ve been on some of the top songs out there. “The Way You Move”, and “I Can’t Wait” so people know your voice more than your name recognition. Do you think that you’ll be able to bridge that gap with this record?
Sleepy Brown: “2070” will definitely bridge that gap. I think the reason it was like that was because, I was on every song featuringSleepy Brown, it more like I was in Outkast. Everybody always put me in Outkast you know? Which is cool because I was definitely the third charter member. [Laughs] At the same time, it kind of made everything like that. But this album right here will definitely bridge that gap.
TFM: With Orion Records, how does it feel to be the actual label than just the artist signed to the label?
Sleepy Brown: Just more work to do, which I love. I have a great team. My manager, Ryan [Smith] and Jake. We have a real strong team and we’re feeling really good. We’re in the Super Bowl and we’re ready to whoop ‘em up! Get some interceptions and some fumbles and win this game. [Laughing]
TFM: I was with you on New Year’s Eve down in Newport Beach and you rocked it! You really let the audience know that you are a performer. How much credit do you get your father, Jimmy Brown [from Brick] for that ability?
Sleepy Brown: All of it, honestly. My first experience of really going to a concert was to see him. When I saw if for myself, it really blew my mind because “Dazz” was #1 at the time. When I saw and everything it did, I just copied it. It’s definitely who I am.
TFM: Do you have Pops on the LP, man? Is he on there doing anything?
Sleepy Brown: Man…I’m working that out, right now! I’m trying to figure out what song I want him on. He’s just waiting on me.
TFM: I’ve been around you quite frequently and every time I’m around you, I see a young Isaac Hayes but when I hear you sing, I hear a young Curtis Mayfield. You’re able to channel those two legendary artists into your persona. How have they influenced Sleepy Brown as an artist?
Sleepy Brown: Every artist from the 70’s era has influenced me. Obviously, it’s some of the best music ever made. Back then, they did their thing and made all the women go crazy and I admired that. I really wanted to base myself after the crooners. The crazy thing is with Curtis is that I love his voice. It’s like a pretty violin on top of a strong beat. It’s beautiful. As far as Isaac Hayes, I definitely loved him when I was coming up. Some of the coldest songs he made were SO cold, they’re still sampling to this day. He was so hard, so gangster but at the same time, he was so loving. And women found that very attractive. So of course, I’m going to copy some of the greats.[Laughing]
((( Audio Interview Below )))