As a musician, he released his project #Focusss, hosted by Young, California’s DJ Carisma and featuring fellow musicians Problem and Kurupt. His latest single, “Put It In Reverse” featuring Bay Area legend E-40, is being played in clubs and radio stations across the nation and has been labeled a hit by AllHipHop.com.
As an actor, he has partaken in the screen with the likes of Lucy Liu, Michael Jai White, and Michael Madsen. This year, Nazo will be featured in four films, most notably Lionsgate’s 2016, the action-packed Vigilante Diaries and Armenia, My Love.
He has already been able to land an official co-sign from REAL 92.3‘s Big Boy and has a singles features with guest such as E-40 and 2 Chainz.
RESPECT. had the opportunity to catch up with the rising star to talk about how important major industry co-signs are nowadays compared to having features by household names. He also talks about actually needing a budget and great individuals within your marketing team to help get your product to the right fans and customers to build a loyal fan base. In addition, Nazo gives us insight how it feels to be recognized for his movie roles that earned him award nominations. The rest of the interview with Nazo can be read below!
RESPECT.: Where do you draw your inspiration for as a musician?
Everything starts with the beat. To me, the instrumental already has the story inside of it and it’s my job as a songwriter to uncover it. It may have multiple stories and directions it can go, but as an artist, it’s my choice as to where to take it. From there I use my actual life experiences and just things I know and have learned or seen firsthand from people around me that I incorporate into the content to make it real.
RESPECT.: How long did it take for you to come up with the concept for your hit single “Put It In Reverse” Featuring E40?
That song went through multiple revisions and it took a bit of time to come together. I met 40 when I opened for him at the Troubadour in Hollywood, but we didn’t discuss a Collab until a while after that. It was originally on an entirely different beat but when it was complete it felt great because everyone was excited about the record.
RESPECT.: Can you talk about your upcoming single featuring Jonn Hart?
That will be released in February, it’s called “Baddest Chick”. We shot the video and it’s my best-looking music video to date. The cinematography, choice of colors, location, women, and story all came together and I’m excited to release it. Also, the song has gotten great feedback from fans who I’ve previewed it with and DJs at radio on the West Coast when I was doing my promo run for the E-40 record. The single will be part of a new EP that I’ll be releasing in March and we’re currently working on the 2nd music video off of that project.
RESPECT.: What is your regimen preparing for an acting role compared to working in the studio as a musician?
It depends on the character that I’m playing. I try to understand who the character is and why he makes the decisions he does, from the smallest things like how he dresses and talks to how he reacts to situations he comes across in the story. If it’s someone I can relate to or is closer to the real me, then I just can focus on what his purpose is in the story. If I have to develop some type of accent or be in a specific profession or situation that the character’s in that I haven’t personally been in, then that requires research. I just finished a movie called “D.O.A. Blood River” where I play a detective in the small town in Louisiana. I’ve never had any personal connection to law enforcement as far as having friends or family in that field or ever wanting to be one, so to get outside of myself as Nazo Bravo I made a choice to not listen to any Hip Hop while we were filming. My character was just a straight-laced guy, so I found that not listening to Rap helped me shed the swag a bit and just be that regular dude who wanted to help people and catch the bad guys. On the flip side, when I’m in the studio I’m just me, free, spittin’ from the gut and creating the vibe that the song is going for.
RESPECT.: You have been fortunate enough to have your music featured on the radio as an independent artist. Can you tell about the process you had to take to get music out there with a major machine behind you?
You need a budget and a good promo person, but none of that matters if you don’t have a strong record. I could go up and down the West Coast including California, Nevada, and Arizona to promo the E-40 record, and it was a great experience. I learned a lot and met a lot of radio people in-person, which is so much better than just emailing them the DJ pack or sending them a message because they get to vibe with you in 3D and that can go a long way in this business.
RESPECT.: You are receiving some major recognition for your role in Armenia, My Love. How does that make you feel as an artist that your craft and hard work is being noticed?
It feels great to have someone tell you “yo I watched that movie and I loved it” or “it made me cry”. Even with my music, when people tell me “I listen to that song every day” or “I know all the words” it’s one of the most rewarding feelings because it reminds you why you create, and a lot of times it serves as motivation to stay humble and stay hungry.
RESPECT.: You are the CEO of “Mighty Hye Records” do you have any business aspirations outside of the entertainment Business?
Absolutely. Mighty Hye is the name of the core brand, with merch available at www.MightyHye.com and Mighty Hye Entertainment is the film production side of the company. Beyond that, there are several different directions I’d like to branch off into but those plans will get more developed over time.
RESPECT.: You are an actor and a musician I must ask, would you rather win an Oscar or a Grammy and why?
That’s a tough one. They’re both incredible accomplishments that most people on Earth don’t ever get to experience. If I had to pick one, I’d have to go with a Grammy. To write a song that gets the highest level of praise on the planet would be incredible. Then again, if I got an Oscar for Best Original Song like Eminem and Three 6 Mafia I’d kill two birds with one shot.
RESPECT.: You have already worked with E40, are there any other artists you would like to collaborate with in the future?
Definitely. There are a lot of artists in the game right now with their own unique perspectives and they’re each successful for a reason. I feel like I could make a great record with most singers in the game, but if I had to pick a few off the top of my head I’d love to get in the studio with The Weeknd, Chris Brown, and Ty Dolla $ign.
RESPECT.: How important do you think Major artist co-signs are compared to major features as an artist?
Major artist co-signs can really help with an artist’s buzz. If you look at the top artists in the game right now, they almost all entered with a major co-sign. Drake had Wayne, J. Cole had Jay-Z, and Kendrick had Dre. It’s true that those major artists have co-signed other artists who have come and gone, so the co-sign isn’t everything but it allows an up and coming artist to get a special type of attention from the game and from there it’s up to the artist to sustain that. A record deal is also a type of co-sign because having that Interscope or Def Jam stamp can set an artist apart from others. As an independent artist, myself, I’ve had to move on my own with my team and build relationships organically just out there grindin’. A major feature can be a co-sign but it just depends on how involved the featured artist is. Will they do a video? Will they post it on social media? With the E-40 feature, we were fortunate enough to have 40 retweet the record several times off the strength of how much we were pushing it on social media and getting that organic love from fans and blogs.
RESPECT.: What are some of the community events that you will be involved in this year that you are looking forward to?
It’s important to give back to the community. In the past, I’ve visited high schools in LA, from Compton to the Valley, to perform and encourage students to follow their passion, and if that happens to be entertainment I encourage them to focus on finishing school and getting a college degree regardless to have a backup plan, just in case. Nothing is guaranteed in this industry, even if you put in 20 years, so I feel like it’s something that a young mind needs to hear. Aside from that, this past year I went up to the Bay Area to perform for a fundraiser for Syrian relief and did some community-related shows around April to commemorate the Armenian Genocide. I don’t have all the events locked in for this year but I’ll be open to similar events and new causes based on what goes on in the world this year.