Amidst a wave of self-made songwriters, artists and producers, Oakland, California’s Bobby Brackins is at the crest. With over 25 million YouTube plays, and international radio spins, the established soloist who has written a litany of artists including Chris Brown, Nicki Minaj, Zendaya, Trey Songz, Dev, Jeremih, and Tinashe, is finally coming into his own as a soloist with a sharp pen and easygoing charm.
Growing up in the diverse streets of East Oakland, Bobby immersed himself in a variety of cultures, styles, and attitudes. Bringing that vast influence to his arts, Brackins graduated a local Pop star, hearing himself on radio the night of his senior prom. . “We were all getting back in the limo, and the song played, with our dates all that. It was pretty dope,” recalls the artist, who hasn’t slowed down eight years later. Following his Go Dav cut, “Ride Or Die Chick,” it only grew. “After that, everybody in the Bay area pretty much knew me, and that I made music. I’ve been pretty popular ever since.”
Following high school, Brackins relocated to Los Angeles alongside his producer and close friend, Nic Nac. “I wanted to keep making music with Nic, and I knew that L.A. was more industry-based. That’s where the labels and well-connected managers were.” There, he embedded himself in a hungry musical community that included friends and collaborators such as YG, Ty Dolla $ign, ScHoolboy Q, and DJ Mustard in addition to hit-making vets, Chris Brown and Ray J. Although he was in the land of the stars, the artist with the government name used the Internet to build a base. With a strong female following, Brackins says, “I took advantage of the web, learning how to market and brand myself, and grow more popular.” With impressive numbers on his singles and videos, the “143”-maker continued to work, and fuse sonic styles. “Besides legends like E-40 and Too Short, there weren’t many artists from my generation who were from the Bay, working with L.A. talent. So I put it on myself, I built the bridge, for this generation.” Co-headlining his first tour with YG, and closely working with Los Angeles’ new musical guard, Bobby Brackins has touched many facets of the Southern Cali sound, despite his Bay area roots.
Even with his viral success, Brackins is patient with his brand and timing. “We live in a singles-driven market; it’s not 1990 anymore,” he jokes, regarding his yet-released debut. “Singles can go platinum and gold, and albums can come out and sell 10,000 copies. I’ve seen it many times. If it gets to the point where you feel like an album necessary and needed, it’ll be done.” Looking at YG’s success as well as fellow writers-turned-artists like The-Dream and Ty$, the twenty-something has no issue waiting for on a proper offering, despite eight mixtapes in as many years, including 2013’s Maxwell Park. Until the fan-base is there, where I can do shows across the country, filling up 5,000-plus-seat venues, that’s when I’ll drop an album,” he admits.
Until then, Bobby has plenty of work. The writer and producer revealed that Rihanna’s camp recently solicited some of his hit-making abilities. “I don’t ever shop records. One of my friends might play it for somebody, or more often, the artists are coming to the studio to witness the whole creative process, from scratch.” Locked in the lab, it’s dutifully plugging away that’s led to Bobby penning and co-producing a #1 record for Chris Brown in “Loyal,” as well as helping Tinashe find the traction necessary to earn a major label album release date with her lead single, “2 On.” “People are seeing my name more and more, and they’re giving me a lil’ more credit. I’m excited about dropping my own music, and giving people awareness that I’ve helped mold the new West Coast sound.” The credit is there, is as the chart and viral reaction, assuring the world that Bobby Brackins has his pen, production, and artistry on the pulse of the people.