Brandon Howard is a sophomore who is living his life day-by-day. Striving to be successful in the music industry, Howard is constantly pushing himself further and further to get his name out there and increase his fan base. I had the pleasure to talk with Howard to find out a little bit more about what it takes to be positive and how staying “always true” helps along the way…
Q: Tell me a little about yourself – what is your name, where are you from, what is your major, etc.
A: I’m Brandon Howard, and I’m from Miami, FL. My major is Pre-Med.
Q: How did you first get into rapping?
A: Funny question. My next-door neighbor actually dragged me into the studio one day while he was recording his first track called “Jumpin.” They needed a third person on the verse and he asked if I could do it. I was like, “No way, I can’t rap.” Ever since then I’ve been incorporating rap into my music.
Q: What is your “rapper name”? How’d you come up with it?
A: A.T. It stands for always true. It goes with the same story of how I rapped. When I was in the studio, my neighbor kept saying, “Change this line. Try this.” I was just like, man, if you want me to be on this track I’m gonna do it my own way. So hence the name Always True because the lyrics I wrote come out dope.
Q: What are some obstacles you’ve had along the way? What’s the hardest part about getting your name out there?
A: The main obstacle I have is people stereotyping me as a red head. I put out a song and about 2 seconds later there’s a couple dislikes. It doesn’t really bother me; it’s just a little harder to get my point across. Also, trying to get past my 4400 fan barrier has been a goal of mine. It seems to always be around 4400.
Q: Have you been doing shows? If so, where at? Do you have any coming up?
A: I’ve done about 7 shows. A couple in Miami and recently I’ve been performing at Wills Pub, Scoop Orlando, and Firestone Live in Downtown Orlando. I’m trying to open up for Mac Miller on April 20th in the UCF arena. I’ve been working really hard to try and secure a spot. It would be wild.
Q: What was your biggest gig? Or your proudest/most exciting moment as a rapper?
A: I would say my biggest gig was Mi-Vi Gulfstream in Miami. There were hundreds of people out that night. My proudest moment is when a fan tells me that my music helped them get through their problems. Or when I hear people blasting my music. It’s always a great feeling.
Q: How would you describe your style of music?
A: I would say my style of music is universal. I have tried to make everything from hip hop, reggae, R&B, and pop music. It just depends on how I feel. It’s crazy cause because, since I’m always doing different styles, I have a split fan base. Some fans only like a certain style of mine.
Q: Who are your musical influences?
A: My musical influences are mixed because I love all kinds of music. I’m a fan of Journey, The Eagles, Nas, Biggie Smalls, Tupac, Logic, Kanye West, Asher Roth, Billy Joel, Rebelution… The list can go on forever.
Q: What are your favorite genres of music?
A: I don’t really have a favorite genre because new genres are created all the time. But I follow hip hop a lot. It’s interesting what an artist can do with just continuously rapping lyrics.
Q: Do your parents support you rapping?
A: (Laughs) So, my parents are not fond of it, but they support it. It’s crazy because they actually listen to my lyrics. I had lyrics about smoking and they called me right after I released it. As well as when I said, “I don’t wanna be a doctor, I wanna be a musician.”
Q: What are your hobbies other than rapping?
A: I played for the UCF Lacrosse team my freshman year. If I have time, I go out there for a couple practices.
Q: Where can we find/download your music/music videos?
A: Sometimes they are hard to find because I have different music video filmers, so they each linked them to their separate YouTube account. If you go to my favorites on my YouTube page you will find them all.