Wrap Up And Watch Out: Brandun Deshay
Hailing from the same city as Kanye West, Chicago-born BrandUn DeShay is an up-and-coming rapper and producer who is well known for being a former member of Tyler, The Creator’s Odd Future collective. He has also worked with former Young Money artist Curren$y, rapper Danny Brown, ex-Odd Future member Casey Veggies and Mac Miller to name a few. The Wrap Up's Kamran Assadi caught up with him to talk about what gets his creative juices going, his current music project and his history with OFWGKTA…
The Wrap Up: Hey BrandUn! How did you get into music?
BrandUn DeShay: I used to play way too many video games in my first year in school… after a while I got bored and decided to try making beats. When I made my first dope beat, I was inspired to rap on it.
TWU: What does music mean to you and how would you describe your musical sound?
BrandUn DeShay: Music is a language. You use it to speak to your heart and mind. My sound is everything I am, everything I used to be and everything I want to be - it represents all I am. My sound consists of hip-hop, rock, Jazz and Japanese sounds - I’m a real creative Potpourri!
TWU: You were once a member of the Odd Future collective. How long were you in the group for and could you clarify why you decided to leave?
BrandUn DeShay: I was in Odd Future from 2008 officially, so just over two years. I left for a few reasons - personal and musical. Musically, I just didn’t really f**k with them anymore. Personally, I just felt I wasn’t being respected, so I decided to leave.
TWU: How was it being a part of OFWGKTA?
BrandUn DeShay: I was encouraged a lot though from everyone in the team. Tyler and I used to have conversations for hours on Instant Messenger, reassuring each other that we would see success someday soon.
TWU: You have been making a name for yourself by producing. What is you creative process like when making a beat?
BrandUn DeShay: I make a bunch of beats and if one speaks to me, I use it myself for my own projects. Otherwise, I try to place it elsewhere. Creatively, I listen to a lot of music that has the sound I'm going for on that day. I absorb that inspiration and then I go at it. Sometimes I like to have an anime cartoon programme playing in the background so I can just read the subtitles and still hear my beats. Other times, I like turning the speakers up loud so I can just zone out to my created sounds.
TWU: Your first official music video, ‘Why You Gotta Zodiac Like That’, was heavily rotated on MTV. You were also nominated for the XXL Magazine's 2012 Freshman Class. How did it feel to accomplish these achievements so early in your rapping career?
BrandUn DeShay: I felt really great. I’m really blessed because I'm doing all of this with no manager, just my friend and God behind me. I love it. However, I still have a long way to go.
TWU: In terms of producing and rapping, which artists have influenced your flow and style?
BrandUn DeShay: I like to stay current so I keep an eye out and listen to other music my fans may listen to. I keep that current vibe on whatever sound I'm crafting at the time. So, now I’m meshing A Tribe Called Quest with Lex Luger! [Laughs]
TWU: You recently released your debut full-length independent LP ‘All Day DeShay: AM’, can you tell us more about the project?
BrandUn DeShay: ‘All Day DeShay: AM’ is to let my fans know that even though I've been mainly producing; I'm still rapping and will have more projects out in the future. I did it in a week so I'm glad people liked the result. Expect more videos for this album, at least until ‘Seven7Ceven’ starts off. That’s the name of my album but it’s also my way of life. It means being aware of where you are, who you are and what you have.
TWU: If you could have a dinner party with any 5 artists dead or alive, who would they be and why?
BrandUn DeShay: Michael Jackson - he'd have some awesome advice. Kanye West, because he’s mad cool so that'd be interesting. Leonardo da Vinci, because his mind was wild. Natalie Wood - she’s hot and she might give it up after some wine and food. Lastly, I guess Pharrell Williams or Yasutaka Nakata. Both of them are just people I want to say thanks to for making such awesome music that inspires me to create so often.
Stay up to date with BrandUn DeShay on Twitter – www.twitter.com/brandunxdeshay
Words: Kamran Assadi (@Kamranassadi)