First and foremost let’s clear the air, singer Austin Brown is a member of possibly the most musical family known to modern mankind: The Jacksons. That’s right, he’s a Jackson. His mother is Rebbie Jackson, meaning his aunt is Janet and his uncle was the late King of Pop. Sure uncle Michael and aunt Janet are tough acts to follow, we imagine the benefits of such associations aren’t too shabby either. While the humble 27-year-old isn’t shy about discussing his famous lineage, he’s quick to explain that he doesn’t rely on the fruits of his family’s labor to cement his musical career. He’s a low-key kind of guy who favors flannels and grunge to flashy fashion gear (no Swarovski encrusted gloves here). On December 24th, Brown will release his mixtape, Highway 85, and you can hear the excitement in his voice as he chats with us about the release, ripped Levis and more.
Austin Brown, City of Angels
So what’s happening?
Everything is great! I’m really happy because Jojo’s mixtape, Agápē, recently dropped. She’s a great artist and friend. Myself and our team produced it and wrote four records on it.
Really? Which songs did you pen?
We wrote “We Get By,” “Take the Canyon,” “Billions” and “Thinking Out Loud.”
What about your Mixtape? It’s dropping pretty soon, what can we expect?
My mixtape Highway 85 is a collection of songs I’ve worked on for four years. It’s me figuring out how to articulate my story as an all around singer and performer. Heartbreak, love, regret and depression… it’s about my life in my 20s.
What was the inspiration behind your sound?
[Myself and my band] are fans of sound and all kinds of music in general and how it transforms from one genre to another, from jazz to soul to R&B and eventually hip hop. We like to figure out how those things got to be what they are.
Are there any artist who inspire you?
I love The Beatles, Minnie Ripperton and Stevie Wonder.
When it comes to fashion you have a very laid back sense of style, what or who inspires it?
I’m a 90s kid. I grew up with two older sisters and they molded me too. I love the grunge era and I love beanies, fedoras, flannels and ripped chucks.
Is there any particular person’s style whom you admire?
Johnny Depp for sure. He’s so cool and easy going and I like Pete Doherty’s style. I think what Q-Tip and Pharell Williams bring to the table are great too, their music connects to their style.
Austin Brown, Menage A Trois
What’s elements of your style would you consider a signature?
My thing is to always have a the ripped up flannel or Levis. There might be a beanie with me that’s been with me since the beginning of time. I keep things for a really long time.
Living on the West Coast, where do you like to shop?
American Vintage and Wasteland are some definite favorites. There’s so many vintage stores in La Brea too but I never know their names.
What made you pursue music, was it Uncle Michael or Aunt Janet? Did you family inspire you to pursue music?
I appreciate my family because this is not something they pushed me to do. In fact they were really against it, but I really love it. I can’t see myself doing anything else. I have such a fascination and passion to create music and making millions of people dance.
Check out Austin Brown’s new mixtape, Highway 85, now.