If there’s one name in today’s R&B scene that’ll get any tastemaker excited, it’s LA’s Brent Faiyaz. He skulked on the scene with unprecedented grace on tracks like Poison, and his A.M. Paradox EP is one of the year’s finest. We caught him for a quick Q&A to find out more…
Your first musical memory?
I can’t be too sure. Music’s always played a part in my life. I think my first time ever creating something was about 6 or 7 years old though. My parents bought me one of those old Yamaha keyboards for Christmas. So I made a beat, and my brother and I wrote a rap song, hook & everything, and performed it for the family.
The first album you ever bought?
The Diary of Alicia Keys. I got into CDs because my oldest brother was always buying CDs. I wanted to be like him. So I had finally got some money and went to BestBuy, but my mother wouldn’t let me get any of the ratchet shit I wanted. So that was my next option. It was a great album though. I knew every song.
Describe your vibe in three words (but then tell us a bit more about the EP).
Refreshing. Authentic. Relatable. A.M. Paradox was a concept that really wrote itself. It’s a story that shows the evolution of a relationship with a woman, from start to finish, through a man’s perspective. How I speak directly to her through my music, and how in the skits, my attitude changes when I’m with my niggas. A natural duplicity I think all men have.
We notice you’re also involved in a couple of side projects. Tell us about those and the different ethos each one requires.
I’m 1/3 of the band Sonder with producers Atu & DPat. We connected off some random shit & locked in the studio when they came to LA. We been working ever since. I can’t speak too much on that right now. But I’m excited about where it’s going.
An album you would never listen to again?
I wouldn’t even remember to be honest with you.
Your inspirations, musical and otherwise.
I get inspired by conversation. I make situational music. So I pull from real life experience. Whether it be the news, or going out, or walking the street, I soak it all in. At the same time I’m also a very visual person. So certain photography or the environment I’m in while I’m working can really affect my creativity.
What are your current jams?
This might be the first point in my life where I’m my favorite artist. So I’m really enjoying a lot of my music that hasn’t come out yet.
Any guilty pleasures, musical or non?
Women. They get me into a lot of trouble out here, but I’m not sure I feel guilty. I don’t feel the need to apologise for my inability to settle. Not at 21. That, and I eat a lot of junk & fast food. haven’t had a vegetable in months. People are always on me about smoking cigarettes because I sing. And I’m always spending money. I’ll get some drinks in me and spend, just on impulse. I’m learning to budget.
Finally: your favourite Beyonce song?
I don’t have one. I like her music though.