Brasstracks Drop New Track "Missed Your Call"

Brasstracks Drop New Track "Missed Your Call"

Brasstracks Drop New Track "Missed Your Call"

Amidst their new singles, the duo talked to VMAN about their upcoming album, pre-quarantine New York, and the artists who've impacted them.

Amidst their new singles, the duo talked to VMAN about their upcoming album, pre-quarantine New York, and the artists who've impacted them.

Text: Sam Ford

With Ivan Jackson on trumpet and Conor Rayne drumming, Brasstracks’ discography is equipped for both jazz lovers and hip-hop fanatics. The New York natives are known for a sound that’s driven by soulful brass but grounded to a funk beat, and over the years they’ve produced and written hits for the likes of Wyclef Jean, Anderson .Paak, GoldLink, Harry Styles, and Mark Ronson. Brasstracks’ most acclaimed collaboration was awarded a Grammy for best rap performance in 2016, when they produced Chance the Rapper’s “No Problem” featuring Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz.

Recently Brasstracks have been releasing singles off their upcoming LP, which will boast features from numerous artists. On Thursday, Brasstracks are turning loose the B-side to their single “Change For Me” featuring Samm Henshaw, titled “Missed Your Call” with Col3trane.

VMAN spoke to the duo about their newest body of work, the musicians who’ve rubbed off on them, what they miss most about pre-quarantine New York, and everything in between. 

VMAN You just released two new tracks from your album that's coming out soon; what were some inspirations for the album?

Ivan Jackson I think we just dug deep into our roots individually and tried to find where our Venn diagram matched up. We're two people who's taste for different styles of music rapidly change, so the easiest place for us to start was where we overlapped in the moment. That started with '70s Stevie [Wonder] records, Tower Of Power, DeBarge, etc. After that, it was a full on hodgepodge of influences, anywhere from D’Angelo to Hermeto [Pascoal].

Conor Rayne Ivan and I were on the same page about '70s records at the time of making the album. Parliament is always a go to for me when it comes to that era. On top of that, I'm always checking out music from around the world. Indian classical music and South American folk music specifically. Those aren't exactly influences for the album but they influence how I relate to rhythm.

VMAN The video for "Change For Me" with Samm Henshaw is fun and upbeat as the three of you run around the city; what was your favorite part about shooting the video? What's one thing you miss most about pre-pandemic New York?

IJ Hard to say what my favorite part was. It was probably either the moment that Conor threw the flowers away, or when the reporter guy interviewed Samm and I. The biggest thing I miss about pre-pandemic New York is pretty simple—just going out and trying different restaurants. Delivery is not the same.

CR Definitely getting out the skateboards and cruising around the city. And I miss seeing people in person!

VMAN You've previously worked with Anderson. Paak and Wyclef Jean among a long list of other artists, so how do you decide who you want to collaborate with? Who are some of your favorite artists you've worked with?

IJ Honestly, most of it happens to fall in our laps. Either someone hears about us through social media like Chance, or our managers tell a friend that tells a friend like Mark Ronson. For me it’s way too hard to pick out favorite artists we’ve worked with, but those two I just mentioned are pretty stellar.

CR Robert Glasper. That was one of the most fun sessions of my life.

VMAN It's been said that your sound caters to both hip hop fans and jazz fans; who are some musicians you think helped form your funk/soul sound?

IJ Stevie, Roy Hargrove, Miles Davis, D’Angelo, Herbie Hancock, Robert Glasper, they all come to mind. But it’s not fair to only drop only R&B and jazz names, we listen to so much music. And I actually don’t know if I’m comfortable even saying that we have a funk/soul sound! Maybe for right now, maybe for this album. But also maybe not next year. Who knows?

CR There are so many influences from all styles. I went back to the drummer Zigaboo Modeliste from the Meters recently and there's so much in there that lead to hip hop. I like Brian Blade because he makes the drums sing. The Roots always.

VMAN What are some of your plans for after the album drops?

IJ Keep on dropping more music? I haven’t thought too far ahead if I’m being honest, I’ve been practicing cooking. Maybe when my knife technique gets a bit better I’ll have a better idea of what happens next.

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