Johnny “Bravo” Rayborn – “I Find Creativity And Energy In People”
Johnny “Bravo” Rayborn III was born on the Chicago’s South Side. Being the youngest of three children, he was exposed to a wide variety of music genres. By the age of 9, he was already producing live music tapes for his family members.
Engulfing himself in the music business with internships at Epic Sony and Jive BMG, Bravo finally found his course in the music business world. After graduation from Columbia with a B.A. in Arts Management/Music Business, Bravo headed to California where he was already working with Urban World Wireless developing Ringtones, commercials, as well as corporate ringtone mix-tapes for companies including T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless. These albums set new and unique trends in the industry. These corporate Mix-tapes also gained national attention and were featured on MTV’s Mix-tape Monday’s. While in L.A., Bravo also briefly worked at a Production House where he was responsible for scoring and developing music for movie trailers. This experience also helped add to Bravo’s distinct and unique sound.
Later he linked up with college friend and international songstress Jameisha Trice to help push his music production company/Indie Label “Inkstars Creative Group LLC”.
Bravo is a co-writer on multiple video games, along with having music licensed on MTV, MTV2, ESPN & EA Sports. Most recently Bravo is slated to drop numerous dance remixes and original productions featuring the likes of today’s biggest names and a long list of artist. These party anthems will be released through S&S Records Inc. located in Chicago, which is headed up by 4-time GRAMMY® nominated producer Steve “Silk” Hurley and international DJ/producer Shannon “DJ Skip” Syas. Currently Johnny is vocal producing and writing songs for top named DJ/Producers and artists from around the world such as Bad Boy Bill (Beatport Co-Founder Chicago), Steve “Silk” Hurley (Chicago), Umek (Slovenia), Jameisha Trice (Chicago), Waka Flocka (Atlanta), King Bubba (Barbados) SNDSTRM (Japan), Eddie Valdez (Brazil) & Superfunk (France). Bravo is sure to deliver his unique sound / ear to the world of music.
Bravo is currently a Rep for Fabfilter and Wavearts, DAW instructor at SAE Chicago, Beta tester for SSL plug-ins, presenter for IMSTA, and a active Sesac Music Publisher and executive for Boardmemberz a platform dedicated to mass marketing and promotion for new artist via itunes, spotify and a long list of other.
Q&A by S&S
S&S: What’s your style of music? How do you describe it?
Bravo: I basically call my style sophisticated turn up. I like energy I like fresh ideas and I like things that have never really been heard before. I’m really into blending styles and genres together to create something fresh. Whenever I have the opportunity I like to just take live instruments, trap sounds, house sounds and, pop sound and Create something new, I do it as much as I can.
S&S: Who or what was most instrumental to you when it came to music?
Bravo: The most important thing was just understanding music and having musicality. Being able to understand different genres different styles of music that are from opposite ends of the spectrum and just having intuition and good musical instincts. I think that’s the key to everything what sounds good what feels good? The other important thing to me that has to be music theory I think music theory opens a world of understanding that many people don’t really know about. The last thing would have to be understanding technology. Once you merge music, music theory and technology together then there’s nothing that you can’t create or nothing you can’t do and the possibilities are just endless.
S&S: What drives you creatively?
Bravo: I find creativity and energy in people. Anytime you can be around good vibes and interact/create with dope people, it’s a win. Whether I’m in the studio or going to club to listen to some music, or hanging out with friends. I like to be around good energy. As long as you’re around good people and great energy that help’s feed you, you can then translate that into your music or whatever craft that you’re into.
S&S: How much does your audience influence you and your music selection?
Bravo: It’s a very fine line of what my audience likes and what I like and what I select to either create or play while djing, so I’m always mindful of what they like. I always like to include some fresh things that they haven’t heard before or introduce small things they really wouldn’t expect from me and I think that that creates a unique experience. I’m always mindful not to go too far over the edge where I loose my audience with new things but just give enough to keep my audience excited and on the edge or their seats.
S&S: What artists or genres do you listen to when you’re not working?
Bravo: This might sound like the cliché answer, but I listen to everything and I listen to a lot of different genres and styles for different reasons. I like pop music because of the fusion of so many genres and I like pop mixes as well. House music is free and just really expressive and about opening yourself up and sharing your creativity with the audience. I like a lot of underground EDM trap because it’s just creative and edgy and it’s gritty. I like R&B and Country music because of the songwriting and I like classical music because it just feels good and it’s an amazing genre of music, it’s one of the purest forms of music out there.
S&S: Do you have any favorite memories of growing up with your family?
Bravo: Growing up my brother sister was very into house music and rap and I just followed suit. My love for oldies came from my father because he was always listening to James Brown, Sam Cooke, Otis Redding and always ready and I’ll type of do so to this day I still love old 50s and 60s doo-wop. My mother introduced me to the Blues and to HBCU Marching Band which I marched in and still love to this day.
S&S: Is there anything you would like people to know about you?
Bravo: Yes I’m a very quiet person at heart. I try to spend as much time alone as possible and I like to think I’m very philosophical and outside of music I don’t enjoy loud environments I like silence. I don’t watch much TV and I love web junk… lmao I read a lot and a truly enjoy learning and studying. Did I forget to mention that I am a total gear-head. I guess that’s part of the reason I enjoy teaching at SAE Institute.
S&S: Are there any charities you are working with or excited to tell us about?
Bravo: I’m currently the official DJ for Forever Hope Agency, which is a multi-purpose organization. I have also done work with the make a wish foundation. I believe in giving back and I believe and helping others in need.
S&S: Are there any questions that you wish people would ask you?
Bravo: I wish people ask me how I’m doing and I wish people would ask if I have the time to do something or if I’m available to do something instead of just coming up to me or calling and saying “hey I need you to do something”.
S&S: And on the flip side of that, are there any questions or references you wish people would stop asking or using?
Bravo: Naw we’re pretty cool there… lol!!
S&S: What artist(s) have you been the most excited to work with?
Bravo: Everyone!! I actually love the art of Collabing, so from Steve “Silk” Hurley, DJ Skip, Jameisha Trice, Bad Boy Bill, Umek, Waka Flocka, DJ Rhythm, Eddie Cuesta, Nick Ahren, Shawwna, Bump J, Superfunk, etc…
S&S: Are there any artists that you dream of working with on collaboration?
Bravo: I am always excited to work with people who want to work with me.
Too many people to even name.
S&S: What can we look forward to next from you?
Bravo: Of course continuing to teach at SAE Chicago which I’m proud of and love doing, because I love empowering the next generation of producers and engineers and working with IMSTA as a product specialist presenting software for various brands. Everyone knows I’m a gear junkie.. I can’t help it. LMAO Working on my solo/artist project. For a very long-time I’ve always dedicated myself to the project I was currently working on. I’m at the point in my life where I want to dedicate my work to me. I’m currently working on the Songwriter mixtape which is a collection of records from some very talented songwriters and producers I work with. Of course expect to see me DJing and hitting the road a lot more. My passport is ready and my bags are packed.
S&S: What kind of gear do you like to use?
Bravo: Right now I am in love with my Prism Sound Lyra 2 compact audio interface. It gives me the ability to have a hi-def system with me all the time. I like gear the makes sense and it makes sense. It’s basically some of the highest quality of DA/AD that you can find and the fact that it’s portable is just mind-blowing. There’s nothing else on the market like it. It’s the centerpiece of my studio right now asides from my Laptop. Good clocking good AD/DA is where it all starts.
S&S: What legacy would you like to leave?
Bravo: Want to be known for being myself and having fun I think many people right now are trying to chase records and sounds and chase other people styles, but I think that I’m better at being myself than being anybody else. I want to be remembered for being Bravo.
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