EP 112: Rockie Brown (autogenerated)
[00:00:00] Dane Reis: [00:00:00] you booked it episode 112.
[00:00:04]Alrighty. Or let’s get started. I am excited to introduce my guest today. Rocky Brown. Are you ready for this Rocky?
[00:00:14]Rockie Brown: [00:00:14] Yes, let’s get it.
[00:00:16] Dane Reis: [00:00:16] All right. Rocky is a British Filipino American indie pop rap artist, hailed by the Las Vegas sun, as one of the city’s most promising artists, the Las Vegas based rapper singer and all around bad-ass is bringing her one of a kind a sound to a national.
[00:00:34] Audience in 2019, Rocky signed eight major sync deals with II entertainments, keeping up with the card. Cassian’s total divas, total Bellas, and E’s born this way. MTVs the real world Lohan beach club TLC, the healer USA networks, ms. And mrs. O networks, family, or fiance as well as discovery, TLC and NASCAR international.
[00:01:01] Her followup EDP mad world is in high demand. Charting on nearly 100 college radio stations, nationwide mag, the world’s biggest dance music and clubbing destination recently dropped her single get gone. Rocky just signed it’s urban influence in the UK
[00:01:21]and her song rockstar baby was recently featured. I heard at a Las Vegas golden Knights, NHL hockey game, Rocky. That is a quick intro of who you are and what you’ve done, but why don’t you tell us a little bit more about yourself and to fill in the gaps and a little bit more about what you
do do as a professional in the entertainment industry.
[00:01:43]Rockie Brown: [00:01:43] I, yeah, that was a mouthful.
Um, thanks for having me Dane. So, yeah, so I’m originally from LA, but I’ve grown up in Vegas. I’ve been here most of my life. I am first and foremost, an artist, a singer rapper songwriter. And I’ve also done musical theater shows, reality competitions, improv comedy, but my bread and butter is singing and rapping.
[00:02:13]So pre COVID, I was performing full time anywhere from five to six gigs a week,
um, on some of the dopest stages in Vegas. And I know you have Brandon on here to his, um, his take with you the other night. But, um, he’s so he’s my coach lead singer, um, in our band velvet Elvis, and our main residency is on the Fremont street experience here in Las Vegas.
Um, where there are thousands of people faded and frolicking on any given night. I’ve worked in this town for 15 years and Fremont is by far my favorite and most Epic party to play.
[00:02:52]Dane Reis: [00:02:52] Yeah, very cool. And let’s move on to this next section here. And Rocky, look, I am a sucker for a good quote. What is your favorite quote? You’d like to share with everyone?
[00:03:05]Rockie Brown: [00:03:05] Don’t wait for opportunity. Create it.
[00:03:08]Dane Reis: [00:03:08] And can you delve into that a little bit and talk about how you’ve applied that to your career and your life?
[00:03:15]Rockie Brown: [00:03:15] Oh, definitely. Actually I have most definitely followed that mantra.
Um, UCI, I’ve never been the girl who belted the highest notes. So that’s when I started writing my own songs and crafting them specifically for my sound, my style, my voice. And, um, I started my own van put on my own shows and once I embraced.
[00:03:38] The things that made me unique and stop trying to fit in. That’s when I truly blossomed. So weird is good. Different is good. You can’t be afraid of you and you gotta take chances because no one’s going to help you. But yourself.
[00:03:56]Dane Reis: [00:03:56] That’s right. Yeah, no one is going to help you, but yourself, you said it right there. I think so often
we, we look for too much external approval instead of just doing us, doing our art and letting that fulfill us.
[00:04:11]Rockie Brown: [00:04:11] Absolutely. Yeah. It’s a hard, it’s a hard business,
you know? So it’s like, you worry about what people say about you, what people think about you and, sometimes you don’t have to follow. You know, the curve and what everyone else is doing. And so that, that quote really, um, says it all for me, you know, I had to, I had to, I didn’t fit the mold, so I created my own.
[00:04:30]Dane Reis: [00:04:30] Oh, that’s so good. And so many artists have done that for themselves. Even in the film industry, look at, say Sylvester Stallone. He wrote Rocky because he couldn’t get booked anywhere else. I mean, he wrote his own role in stuff,
right. So, and that happens loads in the film world, but I love that you’re doing that in yours.
[00:04:50]Rockie Brown: [00:04:50] Yeah. Yeah.
I mean, obviously on a lower budget scale, but yes, absolutely. You have to, sometimes you have to believe in yourself. Um, and, and sometimes you just have to make it happen and do it yourself. Cause it’s, it’s hard, especially nowadays, you know, it’s like people, people don’t really invest unless you’ve done all the work yourself already, you know, then they’ll jumped in, then they’ll.
[00:05:09] Then we’ll throw some cash your way,
you know, and take it to the next level. Yeah, for sure. And let’s move on to this section here. And Rocky, of course, you’re an entertainer, I’m an entertainer. And I think that you would agree this industry can be one of the most subjective, brutally, honest, personally, emotional industries in existence. And you know, you know, as well as I, that in order to create and how have a successful career in this industry, like you’re having now takes a lot.
[00:05:42] Dane Reis: [00:05:42] Of dedication and hard work. And while yeah, there’s an outrageous amount of fun and excitement doing what we do. There are also our fair share of challenges, obstacles, and failures. We are going to experience and we’re going to have to move forward through. So tell us, what is one key challenge, obstacle or failure you’ve experienced in your career and how did you come out the other side better because of it.
[00:06:08] Rockie Brown: [00:06:08] Man there will always be challenges.
Um, the entertainment industry is one of the hardest industries to thrive in, um, managing the majority of my bands and projects. The hardest part is dealing with different personalities. Um, It’s not, it’s not even really the music and show aspect of it. It’s, it’s managing different, um, difficult situations, um, dealing with egos and pleasing clients.
um, I’ve also experienced working for terrible agencies that abuse their power abuser employees, um, sound men like sabotaging my show, but at the end of the day, it’s, it’s taught me to be firm and to not take crap from anyone. And it’s okay to say no. It might make things difficult as a result sometimes, but it makes your skin thicker and you come out the other side stronger, smarter, and better off.
[00:07:09]Dane Reis: [00:07:09] Oh, so well said, and let’s move on to a time that I like to call your spotlight moment. That one moment in time you realize, yes, I am going to
be, be an entertainer for a living or maybe it was, yes, this is, I need to be doing as an entertainer. Tell us about that.
[00:07:33]Rockie Brown: [00:07:33] Yeah.
Um, I was, I was young when I figured it out. Um, I’ve been singing since I came into this world. So, uh, I started doing professional gigs as early as 10 years old. And there was an yeah. Um, there wasn’t an exact moment that comes to mind, but it definitely came to me as a senior in high school. Cause I had to.
[00:07:53] Make some decisions as to what the next few years were going to look like for me. And I just, I couldn’t see myself doing anything else.
You know, it’s really all I, I had known. And, and that’s when I started looking at performing arts schools and ended up going to the American musical and dramatic Academy in Hollywood, but, and the rest is history and I, I found my way.
[00:08:16]Dane Reis: [00:08:16] Yeah, so good. And let’s piggyback on that real quick and let’s talk about your number one, booked it moment. Walk us through that day, the auditions and call backs. If they happen to be a part of it, what was going on in your life? And what about that moment? Makes it your favorite book moment?
[00:08:39]Rockie Brown: [00:08:39] Wow.
Um, there’s, there’s definitely been a couple, but I, this is my number one. Um, it wasn’t for a gig for a show. It was the moment that I signed sync and licensing deals for my album volume one. And, um, I, I think being an independent artist has been far more difficult. Then my singing career, I’m a hundred, a hundred times harder.
Um, so for over a decade, I had been pushing my original music, like literally sweat, tears and heartbreak, and it’s just a lot of work. It takes a lot of money to do it all yourself. So. FYI. I don’t, I don’t get excited about anything until I either sign a contract or cash, the check. So I’m sitting at the dining room table.
[00:09:26] That’s just covered in contracts for eight different major TV shows, networks. And I just, I couldn’t believe it was real. It was just, it, this is one of the most memorable moments of my life. And that was a day that I finally felt. Validated and heard as an artist. there’s this quote that I love.
[00:09:48] It’s another quote. I’m going to butcher it, but it’s something like sometimes it takes years to become an overnight success.
And, and I’m not, I’m not saying I became an overnight success, but it had been a decade of pursuing an original music career to finally get the feeling of. Wow. I did something, you know, like moral of the story is persistence because I wanted to quit so many times because it’s just so hard.
[00:10:20] But when I look back on what I’ve done in my life, the catalog of music and the music videos and photo shoots,
you know, these are, these are milestones of hard work and it’s something to be proud of. And no one can ever take that away from you.
[00:10:36]Dane Reis: [00:10:36] Yeah, that’s such a good story. And I can only imagine how validated and on cloud nine, you must’ve felt sitting there.
You know, in silence almost at your table, right? Looking at all these contracts. Wow. What a great moment. And for the benefit of our listeners, because they come from a lot of different aspects of this industry.
[00:10:57] Can you delve into what sync and licensing deals are?
[00:11:02]Rockie Brown: [00:11:02] Yes.
So, um, these, these thinking licensing agreements that you make, uh, we, we went through an agent that, that helped us land , but you know, these, um, the people that create these shows, you know, have to find music . To put, you know, you know, watching when you watch shows, you’ll kind of, um, it’s like a subconscious thing.
[00:11:19] Like you won’t even realize sometimes that there’s background music going on or whatever,
you know, but it’s all part of the production and they’re always a confer for music. You know, it’s either like some of my songs. They, they ask for, instrumental versions and they ask for like, with the vocal track on it and they’ll pick and choose what they want to, um, to put in their shows.
[00:11:41] So that’s, yeah, that’s pretty much
how it, how it works and what happened is, you know, an agency that we working with, landed that for us. So it was pretty crazy.
[00:11:51]Dane Reis: [00:11:51] Yeah, very cool. And very insightful. Let’s take a moment to talk about the present. What projects are you working on now? What are you looking forward to? And. It’s a crazy weird time, right? We are amidst this global pandemic. How do you see the entertainment industry moving forward in the next couple of years?
[00:12:14]Rockie Brown: [00:12:14] Yes, it is a crazy time. It’s
kind of upsetting and freeing at the same time. Um, , it’s kind of like forced me to, to come out of complacency and, you know, sometimes as entertainers, you know, we get, we get, um, a little complacent and, you know, you know, if you’re doing the same show all the time and whatnot, But anyway, you know, I’m still, I’m still working and I’m still working on my music.
Um, so I have a new single dropping next month called last laugh. So look out for that on Spotify. Um, it sounds like a breakup song, but it’s really about the crazy world that is American politics. Um, so the past, the past year or so, my writing has been very messaged, driven, and anthemic. And, um, so my view on politics, women’s empowerment, human rights, equality.
Um, and I’m also dropping another piece of work following last laugh. And I, I can’t say anything about it just yet, but I’m super stoked. And I also have like some side businesses that I’ve been working on completely unrelated to music. Um, since I have the time right now, so that’s cool to finally, you know, get, get these projects started and I will put that on blast.
[00:13:22] I’m ready to go. as far as the entertainment industry goes, it’s just, it’s constantly changing. as is everything related,
you know, from marketing, social media algorithms and so on, you know, um, the music business is a free for all now. Um, record companies are becoming extinct and it’s a demonetize market.
[00:13:45] So music is free. So artists have to now focus on other facets to actually make money from it. Yeah. Live shows, merge music, videos, YouTube ad revenue, artists. Do you have the opportunity
to, to succeed on their own though, which is dope, but it’s just, it’s so hard. Yeah. You need to have a lot of money or the skills to produce everything yourself.
[00:14:12]as far as live entertainment, I think. Vegas is the benchmark and
it’ll, it’ll show you where it’s going. Obviously shows have closed, left and right during COVID, uh, not just on hiatus, but like actually closing up shop and going bankrupt in
[00:14:29] Dane Reis: [00:14:29] Yeah, like
[00:14:31] Rockie Brown: [00:14:31] Oh my gosh. I know. I know.
And, and Cirque and, um, Ah, so it’s so sad and heartbreaking, especially these are, these are incredible productions.
it’s, it’s such a, it’s mind blowing, but you know, pre COVID, lot of these shows weren’t making it either. You know, some of my favorite shows in the strip are gone. I mean, you know, your show BAAs. It was my favorite. and. You know, when shows have to compete with celebrity, DJs and legacy artists, like lady Gaga, Celine Dion, pit bull share halo.
I mean, how do you compete with that? You know, like times are changing. Competition is always hard. And with the havoc of COVID, the next two years would probably be. There’ll be rough on the entertainment industry. Like I, there’s no word yet of any of my gigs coming back this year, so I’m sure it’s going to be a slow, steep climb.
[00:15:28]Dane Reis: [00:15:28] Yeah, I guess we’re all in for the ride. Aren’t we
[00:15:31] Rockie Brown: [00:15:31] We sure are. Whether you like it in that.
[00:15:35] Dane Reis: [00:15:35] it strap in. All right., let’s move on real quick to one of them. My favorite sections in the interview, I call it the grease lightning round. I am going to ask you a handful of questions. I want you to answer them as quickly and concisely as possible one after another.
[00:15:54] Are you ready?
[00:15:56]Rockie Brown: [00:15:56] okay. I’m
[00:15:57] Dane Reis: [00:15:57] right. First question. What was the one thing holding you back from committing to a career as an entertainer?
[00:16:05]Rockie Brown: [00:16:05]
Uh, fear uncertainty and myself.
[00:16:09]Dane Reis: [00:16:09]
Hmm. Second question. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
[00:16:15]Rockie Brown: [00:16:15] If you want to know how to do something, go straight to the source.
[00:16:20]Dane Reis: [00:16:20] Great. And can you expand on that? Just a titch.
[00:16:23]Rockie Brown: [00:16:23] Yeah, absolutely.
Um, just anything that you want to know, you know, don’t, don’t let your ego get in the way of asking for help. You know, if you want to know how to, you know, lose 10 pounds or something, you know, I remember, I remember this one time. I. I reached out to Ann Martinez. And at that time, you know, we weren’t super tight, but I was like, Hey girl, like you’re, you’re looking hella good.
Um, can you give me some tips on, um, and what you’re doing right now and what you, what is working for you? You know, She, she she’s in incredible shape. Um, and same thing, you know, going to some of my musician, friends or whatever, and asking for, you know, advice on production or, or, uh, how to, you know, how to do something, how to, how to succeed, you know, like go, go to the people who know what they’re doing, the people that are professional and, and don’t, don’t be scared of doing that because.
There’ll be, there’ll be happy to help you, you know, especially if these are colleagues or acquaintances in the field that you’re working in.
[00:17:16]Dane Reis: [00:17:16] Yeah, that’s really great advice. And the third question, what is something that is working for you right now? Or if you’d like to go pre COVID, what was working for you before? Or our industry went on. Pause
[00:17:31]Rockie Brown: [00:17:31] Being authentic and being different.
[00:17:34]Dane Reis: [00:17:34] Fourth question. What is your best resource? Whether that is a book, a movie, a YouTube video, maybe a podcast, maybe a piece of technology that you found is helping your career right now.
[00:17:48]Rockie Brown: [00:17:48] Well, YouTube is a wondrous.
Well, uh, so are all my colleagues and friends in the business. Um, but shout out to my manager, producer, and life partner, Jason Tanzer, who has worked tirelessly to help me my career. I would not have gotten this far without his expertise, counsel and support.
[00:18:09]Dane Reis: [00:18:09] Beautiful. And the fifth question, if you had to start your career from scratch, but you still had all the knowledge and experience you’ve collected from your career in this industry, what would you do or not do? Would you do anything differently or would you keep it the same?
[00:18:27]Rockie Brown: [00:18:27]
um, I wish I was still 21. But don’t we all. Um, but everything I’ve learned gets implemented in real time though, I refuse to make the same mistakes. So if I could talk to younger me, I would say, be careful how many chefs you let in the kitchen? Don’t be afraid of saying no, do what’s best for yourself? And, uh, take more risks.
[00:18:54]Dane Reis: [00:18:54] All great gems of advice. And the last question. What is the golden nugget knowledge you drop? You’ve learned from your successful career in this industry, you’d like to leave with everyone.
[00:19:08]Rockie Brown: [00:19:08] So I honestly wish that I had done this before I spent 40 K plus going to a conservatory.
Um, it would’ve saved me a lot of time and money. Some people aren’t just school. I’m not, never have been. Um, I like taking the quickest route to get the tools that I need need, and I want to make money right away.
I’m, I’m just saying, if you want to dive headfirst and entertainment, consider this, get private lessons, get a mentor that is seasoned and is working in the field and pay them to teach you and guide you. Go straight to the expert, get the knowledge put in the work. And don’t let fear stop you from creating your own opportunities.
[00:19:52]Dane Reis: [00:19:52] thank you for sharing that. And to wrap up this interview, Rocky, it is time to give yourself a plug. Where can we find you? How do our listeners connect with you? Is there anything you want to promote?
[00:20:07]Rockie Brown: [00:20:07] Yes, please check out Rocky brown.com. Follow me on Instagram at Rocky Brown music and stream my music on Spotify. I will be dropping a lot of new music real, so
[00:20:24] Dane Reis: [00:20:24] Yes. And for everyone listening out there, I have put the links to everything Rocky just said in the description of this episode. So you can easily connect with her and check out her music. Rocky, thank you so much for being here today and sharing your journey.
[00:20:41]Rockie Brown: [00:20:41] thank you, Darla. And it was a blast.