Rhyon Brown’s new single is for all the Cali girls

Having landed hella roles in popular films and TV shows, Rhyon Brown is no stranger to the industry. Get Rich or Die Tryin’, Lincoln Heights, and Surviving Compton: Dre, Suge & Michel’le are just a few instances where she’s gotten a chance to show off her skills.

Recently she released her debut single “California” which pays homage to something Rhyon has deep, deep love for: the west coast.

She also has an upcoming album in the works and a dope visual to pair with it. And did I mention she directed it herself? Talk about an independent woman!

Since back to school time is among us, what would you say was the hardest challenge you faced as a college student?

Staying. By my Sophomore year at USC I was ready to leave. It wasn’t that I hadn’t been having a good time because I was, but I wanted so badly to get back to performing. But the choice to stay was actually what led me into the exploration of my music and my sound.

What’s your number one tip for surviving college?

The people that you surround yourself with are such a huge part of your experience. You’re making relationships that you’ll have for a lifetime. It’s so easy to get caught up in the social part of college and become negligent to the reason that you’re actually there. So, surround yourself with people that challenge you, inspire you, and make you always want to grow. There’s a lot less room for distraction that way.

When you went to USC you studied film, how does that give you a leg up in the music industry?

I think it’s what makes me so powerful as an independent artist. When you study all aspects of your craft it allows you to better understand who you are as an artist and then makes it easier to be honest with your audience as you share that craft. Having control over all parts of the process helps to keep the message from being diluted and ensures that their experience is a bit more visceral.

Since landing a major role in Surviving Compton, has things changed tremendously for you? 

I wouldn’t say that Surviving Compton was my first major role. But, since Surviving Compton honestly, I’ve been so engulfed in my music that I haven’t had time to step back and take it all in. The film winning a Gracie Award was an incredible experience. I’m not generally one for award shows, but standing in a room filled with such powerful women was truly awe-inspiring. It was crazy to think that women like Debbie Allen, Lynn Whitfield, and Chrissy Metz are now my peers.

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Not only did you play a singer in the movie but you’re involved with music IRL. How did that happen?

That’s God. It’s not something that I could have planned. Ephesians 3:20, in short, says that God can do greater than we could dream or ask for. I used to have trouble with that scripture because I’m a pretty big dreamer, but this time in my life has showed me the truth in it.

In your single “California” you express the love for your city, how has being from Cali influenced you?

I’m cold everywhere else I go hahaha! But in all seriousness, I’m always proud to tell people where I’m from. I grew up in such a diverse city from the people to the culture to even the landscaping. If you want a beach you’ve got it, mountains we can give you that too, all in a day if you wanted it. I know there’s so much more out there, but I’m able to get so much “world” from the comfort of my own city, and I know how rare that is. All of the diversity here definitely helps to shape the way I approach my art. I’m so blessed that LA is the home of the entertainment industry. It’s allowed me to work and follow my passions without having to move away from my family.

How do the creative processes for acting and singing differ?

I would say when I’m acting I’m trying to look through the lens of someone else’s eyes and find what they’re trying to say, whereas singing I’m using my own voice to share my own circumstances and views on life.

How would you describe the sound generating from your upcoming album “Pretty Girl”?

It’s a fusion between now and then. It’s the future meeting everything we wish hadn’t died in the 90’s era. It’s old school, like the 90’s when I was in elementary school, but with a very fresh outlook on sound. I hate trying to categorize it though. You listen and tell me what you think.

Finally, what do you want people to take from your first album?

I think we live in a society so permeated with the idea that everything has to be perfect all of the time, and I want people to know that that’s so far from the truth. Because nothing and no one is perfect. We should strive to live in a world where people feel comfortable in being transparent about who they are and what it is they’re going through. Because everyone has something they’re dealing with–our struggles should unify us, not tear us apart.

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