If you’ve been listening to Hip Hop in the last few years there’s a good chance you’ve been jammin to the bass lines of one Brady Watt. I met Brady back when he was a student at Berklee School of Music in Boston. He and one of my best friends from my neighborhood formed a band with other Berkley students. I would go to Boston often via Fung Wah Chinatown bus and stay up there for weeks at a time. We threw some pretty wild parties and they put on insane shows. Good times! I remember Brady talking about one day playing bass along side some of the very people he tours with today.
Brady’s also produced tracks for like Talib, Smoke Dza, Styles P, and Ro James. Whether session or live he’s been killing it as one of NYC’s go to bass players. I caught up with Brady at Maison Restaurant in Harlem to talk about tour life and working with the greats. Then we headed to Queens for a practice session with DJ Premier and The Badder Band. I even got a few food questions in with the legendary DJ Premier.
Brady what up?
Brady: What up Naj!
We’re at Maison in Harlem. Is this a spot you come to on the regular?
Brady: Yea I’ve been coming here for about six or seven years.
So that’s pretty much when you moved to Harlem?
Brady: Yes I was coming here a lot when I was living at the first brownstone because we didn’t have a kitchen. We didn’t have heat or a kitchen. There was a fridge but we had a hotplate and there were rats.[laughing] So I kinda avoided that section of the house. It was kinda of an abandoned house so I would go to Maison a lot with artists I was working with. We were producing records over there so we would always go to Maison for breakfast.
What do you usually get here?
Brady: I usually get the eggs nordique. Which is like eggs benny with smoked salmon. Comes with really good home fries and salad. Either that or the French toast with bacon which is freaking great.
So you just got off tour with Premier and The Badder Band. How was that?
Brady: It was dope man! Great tour. It was incredible to do it in America. We had toured Europe and Japan. So it was nice to see the States. I got to see a lot of my friends across the US. Met a bunch of new people. We were working. Busting ass. Gigging everyday so we didn’t get that much time off. We bodied every show.
How is it being on tour with someone you respect as much as Premier?
Brady: It’s a dream come true I’ve always looked up to Premier. I’ve been a super fan since I was a kid. I know his catalog in and out. I already knew how to play a lot of the music because he was my favorite producer growing up. So it’s a dream man. Since I met him I’ve been trying to observe and see the moves he makes. I think I’ve j learned a lot from being around him. Its been great for me not only as a musician but as a person I think I’ve grown by knowing. And after touring the world together we’ve become really good friends.
What’s life like on tour?
Brady: The day starts with getting to whatever city we’re playing in. So that might be a flight or a drive. Sometimes a long drive sometimes a short drive. Depending on how much time we have, we’ll either head to the hotel or go straight to sound check. Besides that we’ll go eat, hit up the gym or whatever we have to do before the gig. Rock the show. Hang out with the fans for a while. We’re all good friends so we always have a good time on the road. We usually chill together before we head back to the hotel. We make sure we get some sleep then do it again. There’s not a lot of time f so we have to make sure we’re moving quick and efficiently. Sometimes you have to squeeze in meals and showers. So I always make sure I have enough time for that. I like to make sure I eat good, workout and get enough sleep. I like to get eight hours of sleep and its not always possible on the road so there’s time we have a few hours I’ll get some rest before the gig. I just try to be efficient of the road. And the most important thing for me is the performances. I feel like were on the clock out there so I’m not really fucking around I want to be in my best shape to do my best show. That my number one priority on the road for me.
How’s eating? Is it hard to find good food?
Brady: Dude it’s amazing now with Yelp. Sometimes I might ask whats good around a place. But most of the time I get on Yelp and see what’s best in the area, figure out what I’m in the mood for? Am I starving? Should I eat a bunch of soul food or should I keep it light because I’m getting ready to do a show. So technology has made eating on the road way better. Back the day you at the mercy of what ever you can see around you which made it difficult sometimes. But it can still be tough. You’ll be in Cleveland in the dead of winter and get Chinese food because it’s the only thing open then you have a fucking stomach parasite for seven days. Yea that happens[laughing].
What’s a go to meal when you’re on the road.
Brady: Cliff bars. If I’m at the hotel I’ll grab whatever they have down there. I try to keep trail mix on me at all times. That’s essential. It’s a touring life hack. That will save you from eating McDonalds and stuff like that. If your get hungry to can eat a bunch of trail mix and be good. A lot of the time its good for breakfast it’s the best thing you can eat. You don’t wanna necessarily get up and eat a big ass meal. Especially if your about to be sitting down in a car or plane for eight hours.
Tell me about you me your new video.
Brady: Songs are called Youth in Revolt featuring my young homie from Boston Michael Christmas. He’s a good friend of mine. We met through another good friend of mine Tim Larew. We recorded it out in Malibu. I was living out there for a while in the mountains. Making beats everyday living the hermit life.
Brady: Yea that was dope I was just grilling food everyday. It was really far out so anytime someone was leaving I made sure they grabbed some hamburgers and hotdogs to grill. You know I’m not a master chef but, if I get a grill around dude I’ll be eating meat and vegetables like it’s nobody’s business.
What’s the last thing you cooked?
The last thing I cooked was steamers[clams] and lobster. I was up in New Hampshire… just got back yesterday. That’s where I’m from… Nashua, New Hampshire which is like 45 minutes north of Boston. But every year we [family] would go to the beach in Seabrook. We rented a house there and went down to the local fish market. Got a couple pounds of steamers and couple lobsters steamed them. We didn’t even have any sides we just did that and we were good. No seasoning or anything. Just poured the beer in the bottom of the steamer and that’s it.
“Curry Chicken” was one of the first times you work with Statik Selektah?
Brady: That was one of the early sessions yea. You what to know what I like about Statik? I’ve played on a lot of his stuff but not all of it gets released. He releases a lot of stuff. People rap on his shit and it gets out. That’s what I love about him. He works his ass off and puts stuff out. So I been on a ton of his shit. We’ve been working together for like three or four years. But honestly I go over and he plays beats and I do one take over them. There’s been nights I’ll do twenty in a rows. Its either that or he’ll send them here and I record my parts and send them back. Then they’ll end up on 2 Chainz records[laughing] it’s crazy.
You’ve worked with him a lot nowadays. How’d that happen?
Brady: I forget exactly how we met but I think it was at a Talib show. It was during SXSW back in the day. And we said yeah let’s work in the future and eventually we started working when the time was right. But that was early Joey Badda$$ sessions. I recorded about four of them in one day “Curry Chicken” “No.99” others I don’t remember. We’re also both New England dudes so I’ve know about Statik back where I was in high school. Statik has been grinding he’s the real deal. He was on “Lifetronics” One as well. He did the cuts on the track “Deeper”
You have your own band as well right?
Brady: Yup “The Lifetronics” comprised of Doug Fitch, Carlos Homs, and Jonathan Barber. That shit is great.
Been doing a lot of shows?
Brady: Yeah we’re hitting the mark. I always write down goals like actual figures to try to hit and they’re always far fetched as fuck but I think I’m going to hit the mark. I said I want to do fifty solo shows this year and I’m going to hit the mark. Honestly it’s thanks to Preem for having me open the tour. But there been a lot of other shows too. I got my first solo in Texas. I did San Diego, Nashua, Middle East in Boston and bunch in New York.
What’s up coming up next?
Brady: Bunch of shows. I got singles coming out every month. The next one is “Roots around my Rib Cage”.(link below post) It’s a jam!
Premier what cities do you look forward to the most on the road?
DJ Premier: I like all cities obviously New York and LA will always be the most dominating cities Chicago too. But I play anytime anywhere. I don’t care about the size of the venue it doesn’t matter. It’s just rip it to the fullest when you get on that stage and the lights goes on period!
What’s eating on the road been like for you?
DJ Premier: It varies for me. Eating is tougher in Europe because their food cooked differently, they season their food differently. Your in a country your not use to being in on the regular. I can be in Wyoming but it’s still an American city so I know how to survive in those towns than the foreign cities.
You came up in the eras of rap where it was almost mandatory to have expensive cars, booze and lobster in a music video. What was one of your favorite times someone from the music world took you to dinner?
DJ Premier: Peter Lugers man! You gotta get a Lugers steak. Dave and Doug from the D&D Studios. Which is a legendary hip hop studio. They use to take me there. Before you eat the steak you get the big onions with the sliced tomato. You start with that and when you chop it and eat it together every chew is straight delectable morsels[laughing]
Baskin Robbins or Cold Stone?
DJ Premier: Come on man? Baskin Robbins! Jamoca Almond Fudge then I go buy Hersey’s syrup and put that on top. Three scoops!
“Roots Around My Ribcage”
“Youth in Revolt” feat. Michael Christmas