Brilliance is an un-signed artist who is a producer, writer and emcee. Hailing from the suburbs of Detroit, MI, he is making a major buzz from the east to west coast. He doesn’t really fit into a category; his sound is so fresh and new and is influenced by a diverse list of artists like Nas, Eminem, Tupac, Hendrix, Clapton and Sublime. The Brilliance songbook combines many influences such as funk, rock, rap, dance, jazz and Motown elements.
Brilliance is full of creativity, persistence and ambition. Being an independent artist, he has to do some strong self-promotion. His creativity and persistence is definitely paying off. He has several records spinning throughout every major club in Detroit. His songs are featured in the top mix shows on Detroit radio and he recently had a single in rotation on 95.5, the #1 top 40 station in Detroit. Also, his songs online have received hundreds of thousands of hits. He is now working with some of the top producers in the hip hop community. I had a chance to catch up with him to pick his brain. Check out the interview.
You have to set goals, be ready to put in long, hard work hours, stay focused, and consistent.
1. Where are you from?
Born in Southfield, MI and raised in Novi, Michigan, representing the Mitten, the Midwest!
2. What type of music do you make? Who is it for?
I make music to motivate people, whether it’s life motivation or just a feel good record to lift up the mood. I try to stay creative and positive with my lyrics, and keep my demographic open from high school to college students to older crowds that can appreciate my old school influences!
3. What differentiates you from every other rappers?
I feel like I stand out with my rhyme style, the melodies and hooks I come up with. I also write 100% of my lyrics so everything you hear is coming from me.
4. Who/what inspired you to express yourself through music?
Just the love of music! I’m definitely passionate about what I do, and being creative runs in my family. I picked up the music influence from my father and have always had support from family and friends. It goes a long way!
5. Who is your favorite rapper?
Of all time? I’d have to say 2Pac; he was an incredible artist and a big influence on me growing up. His music definitely inspired me to be where I am today.
6. What are some of your BEST experiences/accomplishments in the music industry so far?
Having several of my songs supported on major radio in Detroit, which is a very tough market, is a huge accomplishment; overwhelming support from my DJs; working with Grammy & Oscar Award winner, Jeff Bass; and just having the opportunity to perform on all the stages I’ve ever rocked! It’s a great feeling.
7. What are your plans/aspirations/goals for the music industry?
Continue to record good music, tour the world performing my material, and eventually expanding my brand, such as opening doors in other industries like movies, television, etc. I also have my own graphic design business so I’d like to build that up and be a relevant designer in the music industry for artists around the world.
8. How do you feel about the competition between rappers? Is it all love? Is there hatred? And how do you deal with it?
I think there’s definitely boundaries, but the competition keeps the game alive. At the end of the day it’s all love. The music is what brings us together so as long as things don’t get physical it’s a good look. I don’t really battle anymore, but it definitely built up my skills earlier in my career. Now I try to focus on being productive in the studio and working on expanding my audience and brand.
9. Any advice for people trying to get into the rap game?
Definitely. If you plan on being successful in the rap game or in the music industry period, you have to set goals, and be ready to put in long, hard work hours. Stay focused, consistent, and know how to take constructive criticism. No matter what you achieve, don’t be afraid to raise the bar and challenge yourself in other areas. You can accomplish anything you work hard enough at. I remind myself of this daily.
Photos of Brilliance.