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Sleepy Brown - conducted by Janelle Harris  

Sleepy Brown

August 2006

Until now, he's been the fly hook singer, the behind-the scenes hitmaker, the celebrated songwriter and one third of the Grammy-winning production team, Organized Noize. He's also the son Jimmy Brown, lead vocalist and saxophonist for 70's funk band, Brick. But what Sleepy Brown hasn't been is a standout solo star– yet. With an album scheduled for release on October 3, Sleepy's fixin' to add platinum-selling artist to an already impressive repertoire. Highlighted by thoughtful lyrics and a falsetto as smooth as chocolate syrup and just as sweet, 'Mr. Brown' doesn't sound anything like someone's first solo release (Brown actually signed a solo deal in 2004 with Interscope, but it fell through because of creative differences). Guaranteed to stay in heavy rotation with music lovers who appreciate throwback soul, the album oozes the same down home sex appeal that made your mama and her girlfriends exchange knowing glances before starting those sentences that stretch 'girrrrrlll' into an eight syllable word. And that's exactly what Sleepy wants, to bring that old thing back.

MVRemix: So, a new album. Are you excited?

Sleepy Brown: Yeah, yeah. I'm very excited. October 3rd the album will be out, so I'm very excited.

MVRemix: What do you think makes 'Mr. Brown' a masterpiece?

Sleepy Brown: It's throwback soul, you know what I mean? It's like taking soul music back to the beginning.

MVRemix: So how important is having live instruments in your music?

Sleepy Brown: Well, it's very important. You know, I grew up backstage so I've always loved R&B music and appreciated live instruments.

MVRemix: Do you play?

Sleepy Brown: I play drums, keyboards and a little bit of bass.

MVRemix: So how did you hook up with Outkast?

Sleepy Brown: They went to school with a girl that worked around the way. We [Organized Noize] fell in love with them and took them home.

MVRemix: [Laughs] Do you consider yourself an innovator in the ATL movement? Is it a movement at all, should I say?

Sleepy Brown: Yes, I do. But at the same time, I just wanted somebody to do it for the A, you know? I mean, you got Dallas and you got Jermaine, but Outkast and the Dungeon Family were really the firsts.

MVRemix: It seems like this is the year of the songwriter stepping out for a solo career. So do you think having that success behind the scenes makes you a better artist?

Sleepy Brown: Not necessarily.

MVRemix: What kind of music do you listen to outside of R&B and hip-hop?

Sleepy Brown: I listen to all kinds of music. I really like 70's music – Barry [White], Ron Isley, Issac [Hayes]. Curtis [Mayfield].

MVRemix: Have you enjoyed everything that comes with behind in front of the mic as opposed to behind the console? Like the interviews and the promotions and stuff?

Sleepy Brown: It's cool, but I would say it ain't easy.

MVRemix: Why not?

Sleepy Brown: It's cool. But at the same time, boy – it is hard. Doing interviews early in the morning, that ain't cool. It's like, man can I wake up first?

MVRemix: Right. [Laughs]

Sleepy Brown: So it's definitely harder but it's good. It is what it is.

MVRemix: Do you have favorite song on this album?

Sleepy Brown: Yeah. 'Dress Up.'

MVRemix: Why?

Sleepy Brown: Because it's sexy.

MVRemix: What are you most proud of in your career?

Sleepy Brown: Wow. I think doing a movie and winning a Grammy.

MVRemix: Where do you feel more free creatively– writing, producing or performing?

Sleepy Brown: Producing.

MVRemix: OK. Why?

Sleepy Brown: It's all about what you're feeling.

MVRemix: Your father was a member of Brick. So what's your favorite Brick song?

Sleepy Brown: 'Dazz,' because that's when they blew up. That was their first big hit.

MVRemix: Seeing him, is that what made you decide you wanted to be in the business?

Sleepy Brown: Yeah, definitely.

MVRemix: Was he supportive? Was he proud that you wanted to follow in his footsteps?

Sleepy Brown: Not at first, but you know, when he started hearing our stuff, he was feeling it.

MVRemix: In your opinion, what makes a woman sexy?

Sleepy Brown: I like prissy women. I like women that are soft and prissy. To me, being sexy is you walk in to a room, you sit down, you cross your legs. That's sexy. Prissy women are very sexy to me. I don't really like bossy women too much. They always try to tell you what to do, ‘you need to do this' and ‘you need to do that.' No. You know what I'm saying? I'm cool. I like the way prissy women smile at you and talk.

MVRemix: It seems like a lot of brothers have issues expressing love and being romantic, so can you give me an example of what a romantic evening should look like?

Sleepy Brown: See, that's the problem. I can't really sit here and explain how a romantic evening should be. I don't know. It's almost like– it would be corny for me to say it, you know what I mean? Does that make sense?

MVRemix: Well, I can see what you're saying but you can't give them any guidance whatsoever? They need direction.

Sleepy Brown: OK, I tell you like this. This might sound corny but it be way better if I do it like this. You gotta conversate, you know, get to know each other. [Laughs] You see what I'm saying?

MVRemix: OK, let's say this is his girl. This is not just some girl he's meeting in the club.

Sleepy Brown: Nah, I'm just saying, even if it's his girl– especially if it's his girl. It's weird to say, ‘OK well, do this.' OK but – to do it is way better. It would sound corny for me to say, ‘OK, we'll go tot the restaurant, sit down and sit by the window and– that's corny as hell. I mean, come on. I'd rather show you.

MVRemix: Alright, alright. Point taken.

Sleepy Brown: That's gonna sound corny as hell. I don't wanna sound corny.

MVRemix: I know. You seem like you've always been cool. So what were you like in high school?

Sleepy Brown: I was the same way I am now. I just kept to myself. I really didn't do too much, nothing like that. I always was the same.

MVRemix: Did you play any sports?

Sleepy Brown: Nah. I didn't play no sports.

MVRemix: So tell me more about the album.

Sleepy Brown: It's 13 songs. I got a bad backup band on there. Got Pharrell on there. Big Boi and Organized Noize did the production on there. You haven't heard it?

MVRemix: I got a sampler, but I didn't hear the whole thing.

Sleepy Brown: Oh. Well, it's cold as hell. That's what it is.

MVRemix: Let's play a quick game of name association. So if I say an artist's name, you tell me the first thing that comes to mind, OK?

Sleepy Brown: Why you doing that to me?

MVRemix: What? You don't want to play the game?

Sleepy Brown: Nah, we can do it. Come on.

MVRemix: Alright. Curtis Mayfield.

Sleepy Brown: Classic.

MVRemix: Etta James.

Sleepy Brown: Oh, classic.

MVRemix: You can't say the same thing for a different person.

Sleepy Brown: If I want to, I can. You can't change the rules in the middle of the game.

MVRemix: [Laughs] Alright. From now on, you have to use a different word for each person.

Sleepy Brown: How you gonna change the rules? You didn't specify.

MVRemix: I didn't know I had to. Issac Hayes.

Sleepy Brown: Soul.

MVRemix: Millie Jackson.

Sleepy Brown: Gangster.

MVRemix: Rick James.

Sleepy Brown: High.

MVRemix: Jimmy Brown.

Sleepy Brown: My daddy.

MVRemix: Is that the answer?

Sleepy Brown: Yeah. I ain't gonna say nothing else cuz you gonna tell me I can't say that.

MVRemix: So how does being on Big Boi's Purple Ribbon label affect the project? Does it make you more confident about it? Is it like being with family?

Sleepy Brown: Yeah, it's like being with family.

MVRemix: Well, we burned through all my questions. Is there anything else you'd like to say?

Sleepy Brown: The album will be out October 3rd. Go get that thing.

MVRemix: Well, thank you so much for your time, sir.

Sleepy Brown: No problem. Stop changing the rules on me.

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"Prissy women are very sexy to me. I don't really like bossy women too much. They always try to tell you what to do, ‘you need to do this' and 'you need to do that.' No. You know what I'm saying? I'm cool. I like the way prissy women smile at you and talk."