2020 Soul/R&B Artist of the Year Mike Brown

Photo provided by KRG Productions

Mike Brown is one of those artists we encounter every year who can fit into a few categories. He’s got soul-influenced beats and croons his way through songs half the time, but his words and flow can stand up to any local rapper in 2020. In fact, he could have easily slid onto the Hip-Hop Artist of the Year ballot. Brown’s 2020 EP Hes Gotta Have It has several moments where the artist mixes auto tuned vocals and rapid bars for an infectious listen.

Regardless of how you refer to his genre, his music’s a good time. When asked about his influences, Brown cites funk band Earth, Wind & Fire, rapper Kendrick Lamar and producer and composer Quincy Jones. “All of the stories are very similar; their work ethic is just unbeatable,” he said about his influences. “That’s driven me.”

Brown recently recorded a live album composed of material from his last project, titled Emotions in November, and will release it on Thanksgiving. Plus, with a new publishing deal and a single on the way, Brown sounds like he’s just getting started. “I haven’t decided if I’m going to drop a slow ballad or if I’m going to do a rap song,” he said. “It really depends on how the music scene is around that time and what they’re looking for.”

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