From his catchy cover of Pop diva Britney Spears‘ “Baby One More Time” to touring with JoJo, singer-songwriter Brayton Bowman is making the most of his 22 Minutes. Introducing himself to the world in such a short time frame, Brayton has built a sustaining fan base around the world. His songs are filled with soul, love, light and a bit of smoke building his reputation as a candid artist. His songwriting skills are exceptional.
It’s songs like “Stephen” that showcases the singer as a great storyteller. The song finds Brayton saying goodbye for the last time to a past love, which adds to his vulnerability. Many of us have fought with the idea of releasing a love that is no longer good for our hearts and “Stephen” is the perfect departing letter.
Ready to give fans another part of his story, Brayton is putting the pieces together for Chapter 23.
How early did you develop an interest in music?
I always wanted to sing. I was too afraid to say it out loud for most of my adolescence that I can’t remember ever wanting to do anything else but sing. It didn’t feel like I had a choice really, I had to.
Can you tell me more about 22 Minutes Later? It’s autobiographical in a sense.
I wrote “Kustom Made” when I was 19 and spent the next two years of my life building a body of work around it. When I realized I was going to be 22 around the time of its completion I sort of ran with the concept: 22 Minutes Later, 22 minutes long, I was 22 at the time. It just made sense to me.
What themes are most prominent in that project?
Hard for me to answer that one. The project doesn’t feel thematic to me because it’s almost hyper-auto-biographical. It’s not overly curated if that makes sense. I just wrote about what I saw and how I felt. The rest is up for interpretation.
Describe your current mood with a song from 22 Minutes Later.
“Puff Puff Pass”
What did you learn about yourself throughout its creation and completion?
I remember wanting to carve this project out of the ether so badly and more than anything I learned that I actually could do it. Watching the EP come to life was almost reassuring and I think one of the first times I ever really believed in myself.
How would you describe your sound?
I’d say that my “sound” is the solution to my ADD, I sound like me. Hopefully one day they’ll call it “pop.”
You’ve openly shared stories about your love life and sexuality within your music. How important is it that you share those pieces of yourself with your fans and those that may not know who you are?
Music has always been about honesty for me. I couldn’t imagine doing it any other way. If you hear me singing something, I want you to always know that I’m telling the truth.
How do you deal with heartache?
A lot of crying. A lot of blunts. A lot of new songs. A lot of ice cream.
What influence has living in NYC placed on your songwriting process?
I moved to NYC when I was 20 and would say that the city of Manhattan shaped me as both an artist and a young man. I wrote and recorded most of my first two EP’s in my bedroom at 160 & Broadway in Washington Heights but I actually live in West Hollywood now. Big fucking change from NYC lemme tell you!
When are you your most creative self?
When I’m around people that inspire me or when I’m frustrated.
Besides Britney Spears, who else would you name as your musical influences?
Studying Amy Winehouse’s songs is I think what taught me to be a songwriter. I would credit an enormous part of my musical identity to Amy and what she did for pop music.
Stevie Wonder & Lido
If you had to listen to the same 5 songs for the rest of your life what would they be?
Beyonce – “Love On Top”
Stevie Wonder – “Never Dreamed You’d Leave In Summer”
Brasstracks ft. S’natra – “Lemme Put This Cup Down”
Shirley Horn – “Here’s to Life”
Amy Winehouse – “You Sent Me Flying”
What’s your most useless talent?
I can eat more salted cashews in one sitting than anyone you know.
Most exciting moment of 2017 thus far?
Probably getting a lap dance from JoJo the first night of the tour.
What can we expect from you for the remainder of the year?