Episode 1

Published on:

1st Sep 2021

Bootie Brown: Making it Big in the Music Business

“If you are ahead of the curve, you can work through different ideas to find which one works the best.” — Bootie Brown [1:08:46]
“You not getting everything that you want so fast at a young age makes you decipher what's right and what's wrong.” — Bootie Brown [1:27:56]

Welcome to The Conduit, a podcast that brings together motivated artists to share their experiences and pull back the curtain for a firsthand look at life in the arts. Our first guest is renowned West Coast Rapper, Bootie Brown of Pharcyde, and Gorillaz fame. Having come up as a dancer under the tutelage of Toni Basil, Bootie then transitioned into the world of music soon after, a career path he never thought he would follow. Yet, once the bug bit, there was no going back for him.

In today's episode, we hear more about Bootie's background and the different twists and turns in his journey. We find out how he met some of the most influential people in his career and the ebbs and flows that come with relationships in the music business. Our wide-ranging conversation also touches on things like signing a record deal, the value of having good role models, the experience of being on big tours, and why it is important to break the rules. 

For someone who made it big as early on in life as he did, Bootie is remarkably grounded and generous with his time and energy. As he has grown older, he has come to understand that inspiration lies in so many different places, and his desire to express the beauty of the human spirit will continue to inspire him to create for many years to come. 

Key Points From This Bootie Brown Episode: 

●     Get to know today's guest, Bootie Brown.

●     What Bootie's life growing up was like and where his love for music stemmed from.

●     A career in music was not Bootie's first choice.

●     When Bootie started learning from Reggie Andrews..

●     How Bootie came to the world of dancing and some of the incredible dance opportunities he had.

●     The role that the legendary Toni Basil played in Bootie's dance career.

●     When Bootie started writing rhymes and how his foray into music happened.

●     The beginnings of Pharcyde and how the group came together.

●     How Bootie met Paul Stewart and their subsequent relationship.

●     When Pharcyde landed their first record deal and who helped them navigate this big milestone.

●     As you get older and you have more responsibilities, you are more dependent on your music to make a living.

●     The value of learning about ownership, publishing, and copyright as a musician.

●     Bootie's experience of landing a record deal at such a young age.

●     What it was like for Pharcyde telling the label they wanted to work with J Dilla, who was unknown at the time.

●     If you don't have a good role model to guide you, it can be easy to fall into chemical dependency in the music industry. 

●     Four Ps that are important to Bootie when it comes to making music: preparation, practice, professionalism, and patience.

●     The importance of following the producer's idea as an artist.

●     How Bootie came to work with Gorillaz and his experience working with Damon Albarn.

●     Some of the prolific artists that Bootie met through working with Gorillaz.

●     The difference between preparing for a big show or festival and a club.

●     What it takes to prepare for a big concert tour.

●     Bootie's experience of hearing stories from industry legends.

●     There is value in not getting everything you want at a young age.

●     What Bootie learned from J Dilla about breaking the rules.

●     The admiration that Bootie has for young people, who are more inclined to breaking rules.

●     Bootie's take on analog versus digital, new versus old, and why he believes in drawing on everything.

●     How Bootie keeps positive in the often cutthroat music industry.

●     Why Bootie considers himself to be reverse engineering his music-making.

●     The importance of relationships in the music business.  

“Whether it's good or bad, it's always a learning experience.” — Bootie Brown [0:17:36]
“The money that you make on records is not necessarily as big as the fame and notoriety.” — Bootie Brown [0:46:36]


Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode: 

The Pharcyde


Toni Basil

Paul Stewart

Delicious Vinyl


Damon Albarn

Adrian Younge


“Watching J Dilla work and just being in the studio, I realized that breaking that traditional ‘rulebook’ of what you're supposed to do and how you're supposed to do your song, it's what is going to make that moment count.” — Bootie Brown [1:32:05]



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About the Podcast

The Conduit
The Conduit gives you the unvarnished truth about music biz!
The Conduit is a podcast featuring candid conversations between professional musicians and music biz veterans who give you the unvarnished truth about being an artist in the music business today. Hosted by L.A. musician, producer, DJ and writer Dan Ubick aka Constantine “Connie” Price, The Conduit is real talk, no posturing. Learn from top music veterans as they talk honestly about their struggles and experiences and share with you their wisdom and knowledge. The Conduit is a co-production between Crewest Studio and DanUbe Productions, The Conduit will inspire, educate, entertain and empower up-and-comers pursuing their musical dreams. Follow today!

About your host

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Dan Ubick

Producer/Composer/Multi-Instrumentalist Dan Ubick grew up with music- his father Richard played jazz bass, his mom listened to the Beatles and classical music while designing jewelry while Dan's older brother and sisters listened to Bowie, Traffic, Yes, Genesis, T. Rex and Zeppelin.

However, it was Dan's little sister who turned him onto rap music in the late 80's through to the early 90's; Public Enemy, Beastie Boys, ATCQ, B.D.P. and Big Daddy Kane created endless possibilities. Soul, jazz, rock, country, funk and reggae all melded together perfectly.

Later on Dan's friend Miles Tackett asked him to play guitar in the Breakestra which he did for six years traveling to Europe, Canada, the States and Japan backing everyone from Jurassic 5, Black Eyed Peas and Dilated Peoples to Quannum, Wu-Tang and Freestyle Fellowship. Dan got to play on Breakestra's Live Mix Part 2.

Dan absorbed all kinds of music - from Little Feat to Lalo Schifrin, Fela Kuti to Cymande, Jorge Ben to The Band and The Mighty Diamonds to the Roots Radics. As his record collection grew so did his interest in making records of his own in an attempt to add something new and different to this incredible legacy that he grew up on.

Motivated, Dan built his own Lion's Den studio piece by piece, mic by mic and reel to reel, began to practice other instruments more and collaborated with Blood Of Abraham and Will.I.Am, then Madlib and Macy Gray. Dan started writing and putting out his own material, first as Connie Price and the Keystones (Now Again Records & Ubiquity), then with The Lions (first on Ubiquity, now on Stones Throw) while concurrently producing for television, film, gaming and advertising.

As a studio and live musician Dan has played guitar behind Lily Allen, Joey Altruda's Crucial Riddims, Mulatu Astatke, the Beat Junkies (DJ Babu, JRocc & Rhettmatic), the Beatnuts, Big Daddy Kane, John Bingham, Biz Markie, Aloe Blacc, Black Eyed Peas, Black Shakespeare, Blood Of Abraham, Blue States, Eddie Bo, Brand Nubian, Breakestra feat. James Gadson, Brother J (X Clan), Busta Rhymes, Colbie Caillat with The Transcenders, Novena Carmel, Common, Hollie Cook, Craig G, De La Soul, Dilated Peoples, Chris Dowd, Eamon, EPMD, Kelly Finnigan, DJ Format, Ghostface Killah, Macy Gray, DJ Greyboy, Leroy Sibbles & Barry Llewellyn (the Heptones), Durand Jones, Sharon Jones, Lonnie Jordan (War), Jungle Fire, Jurassic 5, Kurtis Blow, Talib Kweli, Lady Of Rage, Barrington Levy, The Lions, The Mad Geezers, Madlib's Sound Directions, Masta Ace, Method Man, M.O.P., Keyboard Money Mark, The Monophonics, Kendra Morris, Mos Def, Jeremy Sole's Musaics, Myron & E, Night Owls, DJ Numark, Ohmega Watts, Orgone, Percee P, The Pharcyde, Rakim, Rapsody, Redman, The Rhythm Roots All Stars, Sixto "Searching For Sugar Man" Rodriguez, Sa-Ra, Sandy Gold, Noelle Scaggs, Slick Rick, Snoop Lion, Ta'raach, Too $hort, Jade Vincent, Wildchild, Wu Tang Clan and many more.