It is Tuesday, and I have another exciting article piece to share with you. Today, it will feature the rising talented artist, Christian Bravo.
Bravo is an upcoming rapper and actor who is making power moves. Bravo was born and raised in Queens, New York. Bravo is very proud to represent Queens and prideful about his name.
“I use my last name as my artistic moniker,” Bravo says. “Not going to lie, I lucked out being born with this name. Good looks, mom and pops.“
Christian’s family is from Cali, Colombia. His father came to the United States in the mid-’80s, which is around the same time his mother’s family arrived.
“They met in Flushing Meadows, which was the center of my world growing up,” he said. “I was exposed to such a diverse array of cultures from birth. It has influenced my music immeasurably, and I will continue to pay homage to that.”
Picture was taken by photographer Novi Brown.
I’ve known Christian for almost five years. In Summer 2015, we met when we got cast in Shakespeare’s Othello. During our time in Othello, I instantly knew Christian’s knowledge about Hip Hop when we began to talk about the rapper AZ, one of the most underrated rappers/lyricists ever. We’re both fans of 90s hip hop. Since Othello, Christian has continued to grow with his music.
“My love for hip-hop is what ultimately led me here,” Bravo says. “For a while, acting was my main pursuit, but the music kept calling me in one form or another.”
Christian always have been exposed to music since his youth days and enjoys playing instruments such as congas.
“I played congas in my youth, and now that dream has been fully realized with our band (much love to my fam, the Boogie Down All-Stars),” Bravo says. “My father’s side of the family is very musically inclined, and he is an excellent percussionist. I was exposed to so much music growing up, but salsa and rap are the two forms that resonated with me the most,” he explained. “I decided to take rapping seriously about two years ago, and it’s already brought me to places and people that have become essential to me. Dropped a project in January called the “Samsara EP” all beats made two ridiculously gifted producers (Kyle & Sean, bless you all).”
Throughout his music career, Christian performed in several open mics and venues.
”I’ve done many open mics all around the city, and that was a critical part of my journey (shout out to NuBlaque),” Bravo says. “I’ve been part of showcases at Muchmore’s, Rubulad, and The Living Gallery Outpost; threw my show at the record store Cinderblock People in Harlem. With the Boogie Down All-Stars, I’ve had the privilege of performing at venues such as Soundview Park for Summerstage and El Museo Del Barrio.“
Christian’s material come from the decade of the 90s. Like I already mentioned, Christian is a big fan of that era.
“There’s no hiding that I’m a 90’s boom-bap at my core, and much of my material has reflected that,” Bravo says. “The past few months have been transformative ones for me, however, I’ve been blessed with the beats,” he continued. “The beats have pushed me to expand the variety of my flows and cadence. A very exciting feeling as I was already very confident in my abilities before. I can see the growth in my process, and I’m hype for the next round of projects I plan to release.”
Christian speaks about whatever is on his mind. His themes touch on serious topics such as oppression, justice, and the list goes on.
“Lately, my themes have centered on things like self-determination, fate, loss of autonomy, mental fortitude, the organization of the oppressed, justice, and the damage done to our planet. Highlighting incidents throughout history that have led us to where we are now,” Bravo explained.
Christian came out with a track called “Samsara.” Attached below, you can see the cover. He would go on to explain the meaning of his latest project.
“Samsara is the title track of my last project, and that song captures the essence of the whole EP,” Bravo says.
” Samsara is a central belief in Hinduism and Buddhism, where our existences are a never-ending cycle of life, death, and rebirth,” Bravo explained. “The circumstances of rebirth are determined by the actions of your past life (karma). Here are a few words regarding the concept of Samsara from Georgetown University Berkeley Center to help explain, “Believing in the illusion of separateness that persists throughout Samsara leads one to act in ways that generate karma and thus perpetuate the cycle of action and rebirth. By fully grasping the unity or oneness of all things, the believer has the potential to break the illusion upon.”
Christian goes into more depth that Samsara has played a role in his own life.
“About the track, I acknowledge the role Samsara has played in my own life and express my intentions to break free from it, to break the cycle,” Bravo expressed. “I feel I should mention that I’m a not practitioner of either religion, but that particular view has held some sway with me.”
Every hip hop artist have artists they looked up too or had a significant influence on them. When I asked Christian about which artists had an effect on him, he mentioned some of the greatest lyricist in hip hop history.
“There are quite a few, some of my biggest is A Tribe Called Quest (RIP Phife Dawg), Nas, Gangstarr (RIP Guru), Rakim, Big Pun, Black Thought, Talib Kweli and those are just of a few off the top of my head,” Bravo continued. “Common is up there too. I have also been influenced by some rappers younger than I am, Joey Bada$$ and Earl Sweatshirt in particular.”
When are we expecting another song or album from Bravo? Well, this is what he had to say.
“There will be a follow up to my last project coming over the summer, and that will wrap up the narrative I started with “Samsara EP,” Bravo says. “I’m also putting out a music video for a dope track called “Fools Gold” (shoutout Profesa FX and Sean Hawkins Jr., they are both featured) and that will be released Memorial Day Weekend. There are few other surprises in store too, gotta stay tuned for those though.”
Music has been massive for Christian. Although things are going great with music, he’s not losing his sight with acting. Christian is working on a couple of projects.
“I am currently in the series called “New York Minute” (created, directed, and written by the mastermind ILLA GHEE), and you can check that out on YouTube,” Bravo says. “The show has a devoted following that is constantly growing, and I’m grateful to have seen the rise from the beginning,” he explained. “Shoutout to ILLA and the whole cast ✊🏾 Checkout the IG for more: @nyminute_series.”
To check more of his music, hit the link down below:
You can also follow his IG account: @_christianbravo
Christian Bravo is also in my film, Where Did We Go Wrong, which will be released in the Summer on YouTube.