Here’s Every Interview BROCKHAMPTON Ever Gave As Independent Artists

Brockhampton interviews

Brockhampton officially signed with RCA Records for a massive $15 million contract, ending their three year streak as an independent group. To commemorate their incredible early run as independents, we gathered and analyzed every interview BROCKHAMPTON’s members ever gave up through the record deal. Group interviews and individual interviews, before and after the beginning of BROCKHAMPTON – here they all are.


Every Single BROCKHAMPTON Interview

Here’s every interview that BROCKHAMPTON’s members have ever given as independent artists in chronological order – including exclusive cuts with JOBA, Merlyn Wood, Dom McLennon, Bearface, Matt Champion, Kevin Abstract, and Ameer Vann.  Each interview has its date, main topics covered, and best quote also listed. Prepare to learn more about their backgrounds, early days, and musical influences than anyone you know.

Brockhampton interview

Bearface Interview with Lights and Music

Date: November 19, 2012
Topics: Ciaran’s start in music, behind the name “Bearface”, his first EP Beat_Tape
Top quote: “I hate naming things and it always makes me laugh when you read about the reasoning behind someones name and they come up with a really ostentatious explanation. I just wanted a dumb name which wouldn’t be taken seriously.” – Bearface


Dom McLennon Interview with No Fillers Mag

Date: November 13, 2013
Topics: Alive Since Forever, musical influences, the making of his project Thesis (Side B)
Top quote: “[I take] a visual way of looking at sound rather than something formulaic or mathematic. I’m trying to make sound in 3-D on some James Cameron shit.” – Dom McLennon


Ameer Vann Interview with Respect Mag

Date: January 30, 2014
Topics: Odd Future’s influence on Alive Since Forever, the making of Ameer’s debut EP, musical influences, the future of ASF
Top quote: “I got put in a teen leadership class in 10th grade and met Ian (Kevin Abstract). That’s it, that’s the only reason I started making music or even became interested in it. I grew up in Third Ward, Houston, so I was always around hip-hop, all my cousins rapped and freestyled. I never thought about being a rapper until I got put in that class with Ian. A computer algorithm decided the course of my future and I couldn’t be happier.” – Ameer Vann


Kevin Abstract’s Interview with Verse

Date: May 27, 2014
Topics: High school, the making of MTV1987, society and culture
Top quote: “None of this shit is forever. I’ll be gone one day and the universe will carry on. So I’m just doing whatever I can at the best level possible. Let it live on the web forever. For free, for now ya know. I don’t care. I just want it to reach and help people get through whatever it is they are going through. Dance and cry.” – Kevin Abstract


Kevin Abstract Interview with Wonderland Magazine

Date: July 16, 2014
Topics: Kevin Abstract’s childhood, influences, the making of “Drugs”, labels, influences
Top quote: “I used to want to be an actor or comedian. When I was younger I was obsessed with Mike Myers, Chris Tucker, Chris Rock and Martin Lawrence. Then I wanted to be a writer. I wrote short stories about aliens and shit like that. I wouldn’t consider anyone in my family an ‘artist’.” – Kevin Abstract


Brockhampton Interview with Green Label

Date: February 24, 2015
Members: Anonymous
Topics: Cryptic shit
Top quote: “We wake up in an enriching creative environment. We accept genius. We accept ideas. We shut down ideas that don’t represent our values. We critique each other. We never stop learning. We are the future.” – BROCKHAMPTON


Brockhampton Interview with Hot New Hip Hop


Date: August 26, 2015
Members: Romil Hemnani, Henock “HK” Sileshi, Matt Champion, Kevin Abstract
Topics: Chris Brown’s head tattoo
Top quote: “[Chris Brown’s] hairline looks just like a grilled cheese sandwich.” – HK


Dom McLennon Interview with Elevator Mag

Date: October 6, 2015
Topics: Origins, beginnings as a producer, the New England rap scene, early projects, the formation of BROCKHAMPTON
Top quote: “Think about your brain like it’s a popcorn kernel. Then think about putting a group of popcorn kernels together and heating them up. It’s inevitable that one of the kernels will pop, and then that energy will transfer to the next kernel and so on. The heat being applied to the group of kernels is an idea. For example, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been around people who don’t consider themselves creative, but when you put them in a room with creative thinkers they want to do SOMETHING.” – Dom McLennon


kevin abstract interview brockhampton

Kevin Abstract Interview with USA Today

Date: February 3, 2016
Topics: Kevin’s childhood and upbringing, musical influences, the making of They Shoot Horses (which later became American Boyfriend)
Top quote: “I want kids to live through this character I’ve created. I want them to say that they are Kevin Abstract because they relate to it that much.” – Kevin Abstract


Kevin Abstract Interview with Nylon

Date: February 14, 2016
Topics: the move to California, art and creation, labels, his album They Shoot Horses (later known as American Boyfriend)
Top quote: “Labels have tried to come to me since the release of MTV1987 but it’s never the right fit or they never know how to market me or they never really know what to do with me. I used to say I wanted a major label backing but now I just want resources and exposure. And if anyone out there would give me that, I’d take that. It doesn’t have to be a label, it can be a tech company. Like a tech company in Silicon Valley, not to be like too Kanye 2013 story. I know that once this hits it’ll really hit, and create a bit of a subculture for kids to hold on to.” – Kevin Abstract


Brockhampton Interview with Tyler Mitchell


Date: June 22, 2016
Members: Kevin Abstract, Romil Hemnani, Ameer Vann, Russell “JOBA” Boring,
Topics: Early beginnings, the concept of a “boyband”, their creative process
Top quote: “If the team wins, you win, no? So you gotta be a team player and adjust your role accordingly. I feel like, as a producer, production should be there to bring out the best in the artist.” – Romil Hemnani


Brockhampton Interview with Dazed Digital

Date: September 6, 2016
Members: Romil Hemnani, Ameer Vann, Merlyn Wood, Kevin Abstract, JOBA
Topics: the making of All American Trash, themes and goals within their music, where they fit into hip hop
Top quote: “Making music without direction or making anything without direction is dangerous. It’s dangerous for your creativity because you don’t grow. You don’t go anywhere if you make music without saying, ‘Here’s what I want to do,’ and more importantly, ‘Here’s how I want to make people feel.’ And if you can’t figure out those few things then you probably aren’t making the best of your creativity.” – Ameer Vann


Kevin Abstract Interview on the No Jumper Podcast

Date: October 4, 2016
Members: Kevin Abstract, Romil Hemnani
Topics: Early life in Texas, musical influences, Kanye vs. Will Smith, making music as Alive Since Forever, Odd Future, Frank Ocean, homophobia
Top quote: “In the 4th grade I was super into Will Smith, he was my idol. And my sister was always talking about Kanye. I would always beg her to play Will Smith instead but she wouldn’t… I always wanted to be an actor first when I was a kid and Will Smith was the perfect icon for it.” – Kevin Abstract


Kevin Abstract Interview with The Fader

Date: November 15, 2016
Topics: Frank Ocean’s tumblr letter, influences of American Boyfriend, high school, the move to LA
Top quote: “I remember exactly where I was when I read [Frank Ocean’s coming out letter]. I had just had my first experience with a dude. It was just like, Thank you. It saved me.” – Kevin Abstract


Kevin Abstract Interview with Interview Magazine

Date: November 18, 2016
Topics: behind the alias “Kevin Abstract”, suburbia, beginnings in music, videos and film, the making of American Boyfriend
Top quote: “Someone told me yesterday, “You’re so open in your music. It’s interesting that you have this guard up when you’re talking to me, but you seem so, ‘This is me, this is me,’ in your music.” That’s because when I record it it’s not out. I can think about not releasing it. If I’m tweeting something I can be in control and just delete it. But if I’m talking to a journalist I’m not in control of that. … I might change my mind. I don’t know—that’s life I guess. I guess that’s what happens when you grow up on the internet and in control of how you look.” – Kevin Abstract


Kevin Abstract Interview with Office Magazine

Date: November 2016
Topics: American Boyfriend, LA and Texas, mental health, group origins, film, the internet and truth
Top quote: “I was just always on the internet growing up, so I found Kid Cudi through Kanye West’s UniverseCity blog, that sparked a lot for me. Tyler, the Creator, Odd Future, all that stuff was like a really big turning point for me as an artist, and as a person. The Woodlands was just a boring suburb with a bunch of white people, not many black people or people of color, not too much culture I could resonate with. But what I found that I liked the most about the suburbs was the fact that there’s a lot of pain behind the beautiful homes and shit. I ended up bringing that to my music, and that’s what my entire album is.” – Kevin Abstract


Kevin Abstract Interview with LA Weekly

Date: December 14, 2016
Topics: Donald Trump, the Brockhampton subculture, musical influences and heros, Kevin’s identity as a creative
Top quote: “I am everything Donald Trump is against. That’s why we wave the flag onstage, because it’s waving this flag around my identity and who I am as a person. I think it’s powerful, waving a flag around your identity. Like, I know I’m not what you want me to be. I know I’m not what everyone says I’m supposed to be. But I’m gonna say what I want, and this is me, and I’m gonna be American whether you like it or not.” – Kevin Abstract


matt champion interview brockhampton

Brockhampton Interview with The Outline

Date: March 2, 2017
Members: Henock “HK” Sileshi, Kevin Abstract
Topics: Influences of Odd Future and Childish Gambino, Kevin Abstract as a film maker
Top quote: “I’m really big on emotion and just making people feel something. After they see something I’ve made, or hear a song I’ve made, I want them to feel something. My biggest goal is to just move people, especially on social media because you’re scrolling.” – Kevin Abstract


Kevin Abstract Interview with Vanyaland

Date: March 7, 2017
Topics: Kevin’s early albums, film, hip hop, live performances and shows
Top quote: “If I watch The Breakfast Club — the John Hughes film — I feel like I’m right back in high school. I want my shows to be that –this representation of freedom and youthfulness. I want people feeling OK to feel 17 again.” – Kevin Abstract


Kevin Abstract Interview with The Guardian

Date: April 6, 2017
Topics: Brockhampton in society, the roles of sexuality and music in his early years, aspirations and goals
Top quote: “When you mention Bieber, Lorde, One Direction: I want to be on that list. But at the same time, when you say Lil Uzi Vert, I want my name to pop up too,” he explains. “I’m kinda in between both. I wanna bring them together and exist. Whatever that thing will become? That’s what I want my art to be. That’s what Kevin Abstract is.” – Kevin Abstract


Brockhampton Interview with Pigeons and Planes

Date: July 6, 2017
Members: Merlyn Wood, Kevin Abstract, Romil Hemnani, Kiko Merley, Ameer Vann, Dom McLennon, JOBA, Matt Champion
Topics: Growing their group chemistry, the Brockhampton factory, the creative process behind SATURATION
Top quote: “I remember one day, I woke up at like 8 A.M., and I heard noises in the back of the house so I went there. I was thinking it was motherfuckers that woke up before me and shit, but nah, it was Ian, Ameer, and Romil with these red bags under their eyes. They were like, ‘YO WE DONE LIKE SIX SONGS THIS MORNING.’ They were working in the studio, I went to sleep, I woke up, and they were still working.” – Merlyn Wood


Brockhampton Interview with The Fader

Date: July 13, 2017
Members: Kevin Abstract, Ameer Vann, Matt Champion, Jabari Manwa, Kiko Merley, Ashlan Grey, Henock “HK” Sileshi, Merlyn Wood, Ciaran “Bearface” McDonald, Robert Otenient, Romil Hemnani, Dom McLennon, Russell “JOBA” Boring
Topics: roots of individual members, the group’s early beginnings, the making of SATURATION
Top quote: “My dad always told me that you don’t need a lot of friends, all you need in life is a couple close friends to get you through, and I have been so fortunate to have 15 best friends that I live with. I get to wake up every day and do what I love with the people I love and they inspire me. It’s kind of like a family. A lot of people aren’t fortunate enough to have one stable family, and I’m lucky enough to have two. It means the world to me. It’s a very good creative environment to be in.” – Romil Hemnani


Kevin Abstract and Roberto Ontenient: Brockhampton Self-Interview


Date: September 28, 2017
Members: Kevin Abstract, Robert Ontenient
Topics: love, aspirations, spirit animals, top things to travel with,
Top quote: “My name is Kevin Abstract and I want to be remembered for being awesome at everything I do regardless of what medium or whatever I pick up on a random day. I change my mind… Actually i don’t change my mind no more. Changing your mind is for bitch ass niggas. Even though i just changed my mind, right now.” – Kevin Abstract


Ameer Vann and Jabari Manwa: Brockhampton Self-Interview


Date: October 4, 2017
Members: Ameer Vann, Jabari Manwa
Topics: dream cars, tattoos, musical influences, early careers
Top quote: “I was on KTT years ago, like 2010 or 2011, and I recently went back to listen to some of the music I’d heard from Kevin and was like, damn… This shit is not that good. It’s pretty bad. But back then, I heard it and I was like, ‘this nigga is going to be a star’. I wonder what my 14 year old self was hearing that allowed me to be here still [today].” – Jabari Manwa


Kevin Abstract Interview with Spike Jonze on the Launch Left Podcast


Date: October 31, 2017
Members: Kevin Abstract
Topics: how Kevin and Spike met, how the group came together, Kevin’s solo projects, video production and film, inspiration and design,
Top quote: “A lot of my favorite artists come from a specific background but they have a weird and particular interest or something. Like Tyler comes from the skate world but he’s super into fusion jazz, and then you put these two things together and get something that you’ve never felt before.” – Kevin Abstract


Brockhampton Interview with MTV


Date: November 2, 2017
Members: Kevin Abstract, Jabari Manwa, Merlyn Wood, Matt Champion, Ameer Vann, Dom McLennon, Romil Hemnani, JOBA
Topics: the SATURATION trilogy, Brockhampton’s creative process, Helmet Boy, rape culture, family
Top Quote:“We never want [our albums] to be exactly the same as the last one, but we always want to have the moments that people are familiar with and then innovate on top of that… Everybody is a part of the process. We’re like Apple.” – Kevin Abstract


Brockhampton Interview with The Verge

Date: December 11, 2017
Members: Dom McLennon, HK Sileshi, Ameer Vann, Romil Hemnani, Ashlan Grey, Kevin Abstract
Topics: Racism and homophobia in pop culture, collaboration, critics, and the journey to success
Top quote: “We make pop music, so why is it so weird for us to be a boy band? I think people will start asking that question. Why is it okay for this group of people to be called a boy band and it draws no attention at all? But not this group of people, who are seemingly the same except for one thing… New Edition is a fucking boy band and Boyz II Men is a man band. Those are never mentioned. They’re like ‘R&B soul groups,’ not a boy band. But at the time, that was the popular music.” – Kevin Abstract


Kevin Abstract Interview with GQ

Date: December 19, 2017
Topics: Goals and values, Brockhampton’s group identity
Top quote: “Everybody puts out music fast, but how can we do it at the highest quality possible, from videos to art to music?” he asks himself. “I’m super inspired by Master P and early moguls. They were doing everything. I wanna do that, too. Twenty-six albums in one year. It’s possible. Very possible.” – Kevin Abstract


merlyn wood brockhampton interview

Brockhampton Interview with Anthony Fantano


Date: February 3, 2018
Members:Kevin Abstract, Romil Hemnani, Russell “JOBA” Boring, Merlyn Wood
Topics: Jaden Smith, Connecticut, Ghana’s music scene, early group beginnings, the boy band outfits
Top quote: “You go to Ghana, and music is life… You hear the bass lines from the church like two miles away. And even if you’re not in church people are always dancing. As long as you hear music people are dancing. I fell in love with that shit and joined a gospel band – I played the saxophone.” – Merlyn Wood


Brockhampton Interview with Nardwuar


Date: February 27, 2018
Members: Kevin Abstract, Matt Champion, Robert Otenient, Merlyn Wood, Henock “HK” Sileshi, Ameer Vann, Ciaran “Bearface” McDonald, John Nunes, Russell “JOBA” Boring, Romil Hemnani, Jabari Manwa, Ashlan Grey
Topics: Musical influences, members’ lives before Brockhampton
Top quote: “The connection between me and King Krule is that King Krule loves Jean-Michel Basquiat, and I also have a deep love for Jean-Michel. He is one of the reasons I know about Brockhampton… At the peak of my interest in Basquiat, I was looking up abstract painters on Youtube… Kevin Abstract came up as the second-to-last suggestion. When I clicked on it, I saw his music video for “Fool’s Gold” and I thought it was garbage. But then I heard “Rabbits” by Ameer Vann and Kevin Abstract – I loved it, and after that I followed everyone on twitter and bothered everybody.” – Ashlan Grey


About Carter Scott

Hey, I'm Carter. I live in Atlanta, GA and love key lime pie. Some of my favorite artists are Frank Ocean, Anderson .Paak, Future, Vulfpeck, Kanye West, and Gorillaz. When I get into an artist I love learning absolutely everything I can about them and sharing it with others in engaging ways. Currently accepting donations for my ticket to Rolling Loud 2019.

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