We had the good fortune of connecting with Mike Brown and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mike, why did you pursue a creative career?
I chose to go the artistic creative route because it felt inescapable for me. I have worked in almost every industry from retail to restaurants to education. Those were always my “back up plans” if this didn’t work out for me. Nothing has spoken louder to me than creating my own work. I know that I am expendable in someone else’s business. But, in my own work, win lose or draw its all on me. I’ve never been passionate about someone else’s job as I have been about my own art.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
The thing I am most excited about right now is my book I am releasing soon. It is called ‘In A Panorama: Short Essays, Journal Entires, and Other Thangs’ (yes thangs) by Mike Brown. It is a compilation of writings that I wrote during the pandemic. I spent alot of time alone and writing was one of the things that kept me sane during this time.
I think I got here in my professional career by diving deeper into who I am as a person. I use art to express myself. When I moved to Los Angeles, music production was my only way of communicating my feelings. It wasn’t easy at all. I didn’t know alot. I saw only one way of success which was being on the radio and winning a Grammy. I didn’t understand that I really had purpose in what I was creating and I may not need to walk through someone else’s door to get to where I want to go. I may have to build my own.
Podcasting helped me in not being so fearful in sharing my art. Releasing episodes every week and understanding that everything I create doesnt have to be “the one”. It helped in me getting my ideas out and allowing it to be what it is and not hoarding my creative ideas.
Something I have learned in my journey is there is no right or wrong way of doing this shit. Everyone’s journey doesn’t look the same. Everyone doesnt become a millionaire. Everyone doesnt go crazy trying to pursue the dream. Just keep doing what you love and have fun with the shit and if it makes you feel good and it makes other people feel something, that’s all that matters. There is no dollar amount you can put on joy. None.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I think if you are visiting LA you should visit Echo Park. It is a dope place to chill and people watch. I am pretty simple so I like alot of outdoors stuff. Definitely hit the beach. Venice is dope. You can people watch and it one of my favorite places to watch the sun set. Hotel Erwin! Hit Koreatown for some good Korean BBQ. definitely have to go to Agora Temple. Especially if you consume cannabis. LACMA museum is pretty dope. I don’t find myself into alot of the touristy stuff. Amoeba Music if you like music. Griffith Park is really nice for a hike as well as. If you are in town during a weekend I am having a bonfire you should come. Dockewiler Beach! Bonfire Sessions.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My parents definitely deserve a shoutout. They are an intricate part of who I am today. I think that is why I always strive to do my best and also why I go after what I want, and get it! My friends have alway been supportive. More specific my friends James woods and Byron Young have been two friends that have always encouraged me in the space of creating because I have always known this is what I wanted to do but held alot of fear in if I would be good enough. Byron funded the release of one of my first projects publicly and it helped in building my confidence in future releases. I would say Kanye West and Pharrell Williams also. These guys were like my role modes when it came to being Black men and free. Can I credit myself? Not to say I did it on my own but to say trusting myself throughout this entire journey and not always knowing what was on the other side is what brought me to where I am today.
Personal Photo taken by: Michael Majors