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Exclusive Interview With Bro Brocean

Bro Brocean is a NorCal-based band that performs a wide range of genres most easily summed up as “island jazz pop with a punk edge.” The group is filled with incredibly talented young musicians with diverse musical backgrounds. Their frontman, Morgan Wenter combines his humorous lyrics with interesting, catchy melodies that are brought to life onstage with high energy and audience engagement.

Some critics claim that their newest album, “Fresh Wax,” is “nearly listenable,” while others have even gone so far to call it “decent music.” They’ve headlined Sacramento’s Porchfest and entertained drunk people all across the state. So if you decide to see Bro Brocean live, prepare to dance, laugh, and have your face melted off! We sat down with Morgan for an exclusive one-on-one interview…

Tell us about Bro Brocean. Who are the members, and how did you come up with such an unusual name for the band?

We used to get a lot of people mispronouncing our name. I guess they don’t always assume that “Brocean” rhymes with “ocean,” since most of our gigs are more than an hour drive from the Pacific Ocean.

And honestly, the word Bro Brocean came up as a joke when I was having a bonfire with some strangers on the beach when I was in high school. I forgot a lot from that night, but I never forgot Bro Brocean because of how stupid and funny it was to say out loud. Ever since then I’ve been trying to name a band Bro Brocean, and I finally found the one!

Our members change from time to time and gig to gig since everyone in the band is also in other projects, but the one consistent member is the frontman and songwriter, Morgan Wenter. I record most of the music myself, but sometimes the other members step into the studio to make it even better. My buddy (and now bandmate) Joe Skandy helps mix it since he’s a wizard with that kind of stuff.

Our bassist, Tyler Miles and our drummer Edward Blue joined around the same time. They’re good friends and they’re pretty involved in the jazz scene in the North State and the Bay Area. More recently, we’ve had a couple new members join who are heavily involved in the Concord music scene. Joey Nunez plays keys and Joe “Skandy” Skandalaris plays lead guitar. These guys are insanely talented and ridiculously fun to share the stage with.

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You are from Sacramento. How has being from northern California influenced the band’s music and attitudes?

Some of us live in Sac and some of us live in the Bay Area, so our local fan base is spread across a wide area. California is a super diverse state and it’s been a major benefit to us since we’re very eclectic. Our live shows can give you music whiplash from bouncing around from one genre to the next. It seems to keep all types of audiences satisfied and it keeps us from getting bored.

We also end up taking all kinds of ridiculous gigs over the years where the audience will pretend like we don’t exist unless we play classic rock or country or hip-hop, so our setlists vary to match the crowd. The expectations of an SF crowd are a much than a Fresno crowd.

But California is dope. Yeah rent is high and the covid restrictions curbed our ability to play shows for awhile, but the weather and the general vibe out here is great.

What kind of fan would someone be most likely to find at a Bro Brocean show?

Our die-hard fans are mostly in their mid to late twenties, but I think that might be because most venues we play are 21+. It’s always funny seeing newcomers at our shows because I get to watch the shock on their face once we play a song like “OnlyFans,” which has some of the most absurd lyrics. Luckily by now, most of our audience is in the joke, so I see more people singing along and dancing than standing with their arms crossed.

Look up our live shows and you see that it’s always a party at a Bro Brocean show. Most people end up getting lei’d at our shows, which is a fun tradition. I mean, how are you gonna have a bad time with cheap, colorful, fake flowers around your neck?

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Your music has been described as “island jazz pop with a punk edge.” Who are the band’s influences, and how did they come together to form such an unusual blend?

Every Bro Brocean EP and LP is a totally different style. We’ve been compared to Ween for that reason, but they aren’t a big influence on us. It’s not that we’re “trying to find our sound,” or anything like that. We just like giving people a buffet instead of a single entree.

The Crystal Mama EP from 2019 was influenced by a lot of old Motown recordings, as well as newer funk groups like Vulfpeck and Magic City Hippies. The new album, “Fresh Wax,” is influenced more by pop-punk groups like Blink-182, The Front Bottoms, The Frights, and FIDLAR.

The earlier EPs had totally different influences, but that’s what keeps things interesting. At one show, a new fan approached me and said “dude that was Zappa! I heard you singing about titties, that’s something Zappa would do!” I was shocked that anyone recognized that there was any Zappa influence. It wasn’t directly inspired by him, but I definitely listened to a lot of Frank Zappa growing up. The formula I stole from Zappa is to have goofy, fun, maybe even stupid lyrics performed with excellent musicianship. It worked for him and it works for us!

How important is social media to a band’s success? How do you measure success in the first place? What does it mean to be in a successful band?

MTV doesn’t play music videos anymore, so I don’t think we’d be nearly as popular without people seeing our videos on YouTube. We’ve gained fans across the globe just from acting ridiculous with a camera. If you haven’t seen our music videos, definitely check them out!

I’m pretty active on Instagram and TikTok, and our fans find out about most of our shows from our posts. But if you wanna keep people around, you gotta share your personality with them and be worth paying attention to without just the music. The algorithm also doesn’t exactly reward you for just posting a concert flyer.

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As far as “success” goes, I don’t even know what that means. Music streaming doesn’t compensate the artist well and most shows don’t pay the artist much once you split the payment among the band. So it obviously doesn’t pay that great to be in a band. Luckily for us, we have great merch and great branding so people love to represent. We also all play in multiple groups spanning tons of genres, so we find ways to get more gigs.

I think the cool thing about our group is that people in Sac and the Bay know who we are and they don’t forget our name. People who go to our shows know the words to our songs and they’re down to come back to see us again and again. It’s hard not to feel successful when you have that much love from your fans!

Tell us about your latest album “Fresh Wax.” What can listeners expect?

Upbeat, catchy songs with great musicianship, production, and of course, humor. It’s a pretty filthy album, so don’t play it in front of your mom, but it’s a great one to listen to on a car ride, at the gym, or at a party. I knew that we needed some more upbeat songs to play live because people weren’t spilling their drinks or falling in heels enough with our earlier music. Gotta keep the shows interesting!

What’s next for Bro Brocean? What plans does the band have for the rest of 2022?

The “Fresh Wax” EP was such a big project that I’ve needed a break to just play shows and get inspired again. This summer, I’ll have a chance to finally compile all the snippets of songs that I’ve been recording on my phone into something coherent. It’s such a long process, but it’s worth it to have more music to share. And anyone who knows me knows that I take forever to edit videos, so you can expect to finally see that music videos that we filmed months, or maybe even years ago!

Thanks for the interview!

facebook.com/BroBrocean

www.instagram.com/bro.brocean

Artist Spotlight

Hip-Hop Sensation: Barbie Billions Is Back To Take Over What’s Rightfully Hers.

Barbie Billions

One of the most refreshing things to hear in music is an original style. In a time when everything sounds the same, and there seems to be very little creativity and innovation in music, it stands out even more when an artist dares to be great with their own style of music that they would like to bring to the world. That type of sound is what you get from Barbie Billions.

Born and raised in Oklahoma City, Alison Richardson popularly known as Barbie Billions is a multi-talented rapper and songwriter who has gained acclaim on the music scene for some time and earned a huge fan following across various social media platforms.

At the age of 18, she met an Oklahoma City rapper named Starr Lyfe and she traveled all over the US with him helping promote shows, learning about the music industry and eventually learned how to rap.

 

She has been a big sensation in the music industry after releasing her first music video “Barbie world” which reached over 250,000 views on Facebook in just a couple days. Because of its popularity, the producer offered her a trip to Paris, France and Amsterdam, Netherlands to shoot another video for her official single “Barbie Girl” which reached over 3 million views on Facebook within a week of posting.

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Check out Barbie Billions latest release on YouTube below:

Hi there, welcome to Honk Magazine. Thank you so much for taking out time to respond to us. To kick things off, Can you tell our readers about what really inspired you to write music? 

Barbie Billions – I’ve been a fan of music forever, especially rap music & my home state isn’t really known in the Industry for rap music, so I thought about trying it & it worked!

When did you realize you were going to make music professionally?

Barbie Billions – In 2017, I tried it & my 1st video hit over a million views. That’s when I knew this was meant for me. 

Tell us what is so unique about you and your music?

Barbie Billions – It’s authentic & comes from the experience. Either what I’ve been through or what I’ve seen so far.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that? 

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Barbie Billions – OMG! my 1st performance was so scary! I was so nervous I performed with my back turned to the crowd the whole time lol. I definitely learned not to do that again lol.

Can you tell us about your latest releases and what inspired you to create them?

Barbie Billions – My latest releases were with some female artists. Kelsey Lynn, Nayborhood Barbie & Kay Kay. I wanted to start collaborating with more female artists to show our talents, especially since we’re so dominated by men in this industry.

Can you give us a brief insight about your upcoming projects?

Barbie Billions – I have a new single entitled “Push It” coming soon. The world is definitely gonna love this one.

What do you wish you were told when you first started making music that you think would help artists just starting out?

Barbie Billions – Never stop! I wish I didn’t take that long break but it’s okay. I’m back now!

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Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Barbie Billions – Keep going because the sky’s not the limit! There are so many goals out there to accomplish and you can never get enough done.

What do you do when you don’t do music (creative or otherwise) and that you are passionate about?

Barbie Billions – I’m a certified esthetician & beautician and I also love to paint. I do vlog as well.

Any last piece of advice for those artists who just started making music?

Barbie Billions – Promote, promote, PROMOTE! .. awareness is everything when it comes to music!

How can our readers follow you online?

Barbie Billions – For more information about my music, you can all follow me on all social media platforms below:

Instagram – @barbiebillions__

Twitter – @barbiebillions__

Tik-Tok – @barbiebillions__

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Artist Spotlight

Know Self Is A Valid Standout For Pioneering His Musical Masterpiece Diverting Him Into A Viral Sensation

Know Self sounds like a valid standout for pioneering his musical masterpiece, diverting him into a viral sensation in a time when music can seem overcrowded, and everyone is always looking for super dope music to take in. To stand out as an artist, you must have a presence, commanding energy to you that everyone knows you’re the person they came to hear as soon as you speak on a track. That is a significant factor in standing out, and that’s what Known Self is all about.

This week we talked with Know Self, who was kind enough to share his journey through the music scenes. Who is Know Self? Sounds unfamiliar? How does he intend to carve a mark with his music? Check out the interview below and let us know your views in the comment section below.

Let’s start by introducing ourselves. You know the basics, like name, age, and where you’re from, as much or little as you’re comfortable sharing.

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Know Self: My name is Jereme, and my stage name is Know Self. 

I’m 30 years old, was born in Burbank, California, and moved to Denver, Colorado, when I was 2. 

 

What’s the best advice you ever received concerning music?

Know Self: The best advice I’ve received is persistence is the key to success.

 

What would you have done differently if you knew then what you know now?

Know Self: I would not have taken all the no’s so personally If I knew then what I know now. 

What is still your biggest challenge?

Know Self: My biggest challenge today is getting my music to a more expanded audience. 

 

What keeps you going when things get tough in the music industry?

Know Self: When things get tough, I check out of the industry and go back to writing mode. Writing is my therapy to keep going in life and music.

 

If you could open a show for any artist, who would it be?

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Know Self: I’d like to open for Brother Ali and go on tour with him if I could open for anyone. 

 

Please talk me through your creative process.

Know Self: I typically always write in my car in a beautiful nature spot. I park and listen to the beat repeatedly until something comes in. Sometimes I ask the higher power what to write about and will get inspiration quickly after that. If I get blocked, I move energy, get out of my car, and go for a walk. The rhymes usually begin to flow again at this point. I always write, then re-write and edit. I have multiple drafts typically. 

How do you solve productivity/scheduling problems and reduce overwhelming situations?

Know Self: I find returning to “self” is the best way to maneuver stressful situations. Yoga, working out, getting in nature, and meditation are how I get back to balance when stress is high. I work, make music, and take care of a family now. It’s a lot to maintain. 

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What are you focusing your time on now?

Know Self: I just finished an album that will be releasing 11/11/22 called R.I.P. (Replenishing Inspiration Proper) 

I plan to play shows, and I have a baby girl on the way, due in February, which will fill my time. 

How do you currently feel about the state of “Your genre” in general?

Know Self: I feel like the hip-hop genre requires help, it’s lost a lot of its original elements, and my goal has always been to “bring it back,” interweaving conscious, heart-centered hip-hop into the mainstream.

 

How can our readers follow you online?

Know Self: The best way to follow me is on: Instagram| Facebook| Spotify

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