Blanco Brown is a singer, songwriter, and producer for such great artists as Pitbull, Chris Brown, and Childish Gambino before releasing his debut in 2019.
His first record ranked number one in the Billboard country charts and rose into the top 20 Billboard hot 100 charts with his incredibly catchy tune, The Git Up.
Blanco’s Git Up Challenge went viral on TikTok and has been featured in more than 2.7 million videos there, with over 3.5 million videos that were made collectively with over 3.5 billion views.
LEWITT: Hi Blanco, the success of your viral song "The Git Up" is pretty incredible. What do you think about that?
Blanco Brown: Man, it's mind-blowing till this day. I couldn't think of that number and put it into perspective, it's such a blessing!
LEWITT: How do you feel when you see so many different people are taking part in your music and enjoying it, having fun, and loving it?
Blanco Brown: Well, I make music for that reason hoping it brings joy to people. I'm just excited to have a song, and now multiple songs that bring a smile to people's faces. It all started with The Git Up.
LEWITT: Do you happen to have a favorite viral video of somebody doing The Git Up?
Blanco Brown: Not just one favorite. I love all the videos. Different ones bring about different emotions. Sometimes, it's a good laugh and sometimes, it's just a great smile.
"Social media is so powerful. You can make something in your bedroom and post it on the web anywhere, and it could take off before you know it."
How social media influences music these days
LEWITT: What do you think about as an artist, how social media influences music these days?
Blanco Brown: Social media is so powerful. You can make something in your bedroom, and you can post it on the web anywhere, and it could take off before you know it.
LEWITT: What kind of advice do you have for people trying to get their music out there on social media? Are there any special tips that you can give them on how to promote their own music?
Blanco Brown: I say keep creating, make something great, and let the people choose it. The Git Up was the last record I did on my album, and I didn't get signed because of that record. It didn't even exist. There were records like Country Time, Georgia Power, Tn Whiskey that got me my deal through BMG and Broken Bow Records. I picked up a lap steel guitar in September 2018, created The Git Up, and leaked it on April 19th, 2019, while dancing to it. Before you know it, it took off. So the advice I'd give is, don't stop and just keep on making great music!
Combining different genres
LEWITT: You combine country music, soul, a little bit of rap music. What was your thought process and what inspired you to bring all those three different genres together in one video or actually one recording?
Blanco Brown: Well, I call it trailer trap. It's trailer park music, which is essentially country mixed with trap music. I grew up in the hood of Atlanta and in the summertime, I would go to the country. Those two things influenced me, so it brought out in my sound. I didn't have to choose one, I chose all.
LEWITT: You spoke about influences. Were there any artists specifically that you want to do a shout out to that influenced your music, that you loved growing up listening to?
Blanco Brown: Outkast, Johnny Cash, Tim McGraw, Keith Whitley. I like listening to those records. It's just one of those things. Sammi Smith, I love her sound. And the list goes on.
About your production process
LEWITT: What does your production process look like? What's the journey when you produce a track?
Blanco Brown: Sometimes, I start with the track, and sometimes, I start with just the melody. I hum it, and I have someone strum it or I play it myself, just depending. I play guitar, but I'm not like the greatest. So it just depends on the mood. Sometimes, I'll play around with it enough to just to come up with something dope. Sometimes, I have a musician around me with great chops that I know will quickly pick up what I need. The lyrics come as I lay a melody on the actual track. Every song just about starts with just the melody, no words.
LEWITT: Do you have a musical collaborator or specific musicians that you rely on to interpret your vision for you?
Blanco Brown: Yeah, definitely. I have my go-to's, and it's only about four or five of us, and we just make it come to life. Even my dad played on my last album.
LEWITT: What do you use?
Blanco Brown: Well, usually, I start most riffs with a guitar, Fender being my choice. I just love my Stratocaster. I use my LEWITT microphone to record. I use a lot of elements in my sounds. I use a (Universal Audio) quad for my recording, and I work mainly out of Pro Tools for recording vocals and Logic for recording tracks.
LEWITT: Do you record in your home and then bring it to a studio to redo it?
Blanco Brown: I never really re-record anything. Whatever it sounded like with the noise and the background stuff is what it's going to be. I try to keep the levels down, turn off the fan, make it sound good sitting right in the room and trailertrap, it's crisp, but it got a little dirty to it. So I like the grit in.
LEWITT: What people liked about a lot of the stuff in the '60s and '70s and early '80s is that I don't want to say mistakes were left in, but little things were left in. You just let it go and that gave it a great feel.
Blanco Brown: Yeah.
LEWITT: Is that what you do there, too?
Blanco Brown: That's exactly what I do. I call it a good noise, god-given noise.
LEWITT: Did any mistakes happen that you fell in love with when you started recording?
Blanco Brown: Definitely. I mean I can go through my album and point out about a good five things and be like, "Oh, that wasn't supposed to be there," but I liked it in the mixing process or sound was un-muted that I didn't want and I just fell in love with it like "Why did I ever mute that?" Different things.
"When I put all the things together that I use to write and produce music, I'm always excited to touch those things. I'm always excited to see what the microphone brings that day."
Recording with LEWITT
LEWITT: You are using LEWITT microphones, the LCT 640 TS. What specifically do you like about that microphone?
Blanco Brown: Well, I love the wide band on it. I can record and make my vocals feel warm, and then I could change the polarity after I record. I just love being able to go in and change the way it sounds just with the Polarizer plugin the mic comes with. And then I can put into a mixer and go even further so it's a great product.
LEWITT: Well, we're glad you love it. What is your relationship with your gear? Are they simply a means to an end or is there a personal feeling you have about your production and recording tools and instruments?
Blanco Brown: See, I'm funny acting like everything got to line up and make sense, and I got to be excited about working in order to work. When I put all the things together that I use to write and produce music, I'm always excited to touch these things. I'm always excited to see what the microphone brings that day. I'm always excited to see what my guitar is going to sound like. You find different God-given sounds. Like I picked up my guitar the other day and I plugged it into my quad and as I was plugging it in, it made a loud noise, but it felt like a strum, but it wasn't really a strum. It was me hitting the strings while I was plugging it in and I ended up sampling that and making a song out of it. So you never know.
The ingredients to get the vibe right
LEWITT: What ingredient does it need to get the vibe right?
Blanco Brown: I think the energy in the room means the most. That's the most important thing out of everything, the energy. Number two, I will say lighting is everything. With me, I got to have like a certain vibe or candles. It makes me feel a certain way, depending on what I'm going to write. If the room is too bright, it's boring. Another thing, my team, my team is essential. Those three things, we make magic.
LEWITT: You're a producer and a composer, and now, you're an artist. How does doing all of that influence your approach to individual production tasks?
Blanco Brown: Well, first, I learned how to produce because people weren't given me tracks. So I said, "I'm going to make my own tracks. I won't ask for anything." And then, I started writing because I didn't want to have to depend on people to narrate my songs in my head. I need to figure out how to get them out myself. I also learned how to engineer because I didn't like waiting for engineers to re-record something. It was just never on my time. You know what I'm saying? Like if I do something and I know in my head that I need to redo it, I just immediately redo it. So I mean the advantage of not needing anything to create to me was just the most magical thing ever. I can't thank God enough for the gift of creation.
LEWITT: So do you sometimes wake up in the middle of the night and think of something and then go write it down or ...
Blanco Brown: Yeah. I've heard songs in my head, and I woke up and put the melody in my phone or wrote the lyrics down. That's how my last album started off with Temporary Insanity. I dreamt about that. I woke up and wrote down Temporary Insanity. And then, I lived on it for a moment, and my album was almost done. I picked up my grandma's guitar that she left me, and the chorus came to me, and I wrote the song.
LEWITT: That's pretty inspiring. That's great. Wow. Is there anything special you're working on at the moment right now that we should be aware of?
Blanco Brown: Working on album number two, and I have a record out called Do Si Do with Diplo. That's doing what it's doing in the process of me working still. I also have a record with Parmalee, titled Just the Way, which just went number one on Sirius XM’s channel, The Highway. It's a beautiful thing to have music living while you're still creating life. For my next album, I don't have a release date yet, but it will be sooner than later.
LEWITT: And what do you think about LEWITT as a brand in general?
Blanco Brown: They show me love, and it's a quality brand. I love the microphone, and I mean, I can't say much more about it, except for it's great. It's my go-to.
LEWITT: Any final comments or thoughts?
Blanco Brown: Remember, purpose over everything and just enjoy life. Different diversity comes in what you want to create. And I look forward to growing, just keep on growing. It's a beautiful journey.