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First Look Friday: Jameel "Kintaro" Bruner Interview

Photo of Kintaro taken by Ural Garrett for Okayplayer.

We called it, Okayplayers! At the top of the new year, we shared Jameel Bruner‘s “Don’t Mind A Label,” and said that the former The Internet keyboardist was poised to have an extremely “dope-as-fuck” 2017. It seems that it has come true, as the youngest of the world-renowned Bruner clan has bubbled to the top of audiophile’s playlists with new work and a burgeoning live show.

For those not familiar with the act better known as Kintaro, the Los Angeles native is the baby brother to Grammy Award-winning siblings, Ronald Bruner Jr. and Stephen “Thundercat” Bruner. A Grammy nominated act himself, Kintaro has been building up a slate of hits on his Soundcloud that is sure to be harder-than-adamantium coming out of your speakers. If you weren’t #TeamPejondis before, don’t worry, here is your late pass and your ticket of entry to become a fan.

We were able to speak with the young Super Saiyan singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist about how his family life inspired his creativity, how many cups of alcohol does it take to overcome stage anxiety and why collaborations with anyone is not in Kintaro’s immediate future.

Okayplayer: Most people know you as a member of the illustrious, Grammy Award-winning Bruner Family, but what they might not know is how you got your start in music?

Jameel Bruner: I’ve been playing music virtually all of my life. It came naturally to me. My parents put me in the Yamaha School of Music at one point, but even before then I was playing the accordion and taking lessons as a kid.

OKP: What would you say the rest of the world is just now catching up on when it comes to your sound, style and skill?

JB: Whatever the world is supposed to be catching onto, I guess it would be my production and the artist that I have been working on within myself.

OKP: Who are some of your most cherished influences that inspire you to do the artistry that you do?

JB: There are a lot of people and nuances in my life that really inspire me. I can say that the biggest influence would be my brothers, really. Just looking up to them and being around them as a kid [was great]. Then, of course, the musical influences of George Duke, Tyler, The Creator, and even Michael Jackson to everything else that musically matters to people. I’d even go as far as to say the approach that architects have to architecture inspires me on my melodies. Small things like trees, leaves and plants inspire the simplistically of beauty. Breathing, being alive as a human is an inspiration as well. It all kind of influences the music that I make. Even in my current situation—from being broke to having a little bit of money—I think everything about life influences my music.

OKP: Speaking of your brother, we just ran an interview with Ronald [Bruner Jr.] on the site. I wanted to get an insight view of what it was like to grow up in that household, surrounded by all that talent and developing into the forces that redefined the West Coast sound.

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