In celebration of his debut album We The Future, Black-ish star Miles Brown walked E! News through the songs and albums that have shaped him.
Is there anything Miles Brown can't do?
Before he'd even turned 10 years old, the wunderkind had already made a name for himself as a preternaturally talented dancer and landed the role of Jack Johnson on ABC's Black-ish. And now, two months shy of his 16th birthday and just days away from the launch of the hit sitcom's seventh season on Wednesday, Oct. 21, Miles has gone and dropped an album.
On We The Future, the multi-hyphenate follows in the footsteps of rapper father Wildchild with a collection of 15 original hip-hop tracks and remixes that are rooted in Miles' desire to champion positivity, family ties, strong mental health, equality, and the fight against racial injustice. Featuring guest appearances from Dame D.O.L.L.A., Jidenna, Tevin Campbell, Slick Rick and, adorably, his own dad—not to mention shout-outs from artists like Redman, Method Man, Big Daddy Kane, Rakim, Flava Flav, Post Malone, and Macklemore on "Feeling Inspired"—the album is Miles' call to the next generation of leaders to recognize and own their strength and budding authority.
In celebration of the new album, E! News asked Miles to pull back the curtain on the artists and albums that have influenced him throughout his life and career. From the song he wishes he'd written to the track guaranteed to get him turned all the way up, this is the soundtrack to his life.
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The song/album that reminds me of childhood: The song that reminds me most of my childhood is definitely "Up in Here" by the Bar-Kays because I performed to this song during my first appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. It was my second television appearance, and being able to show Ellen and the world my passion was pretty cool. Most people wouldn't think I listened to groups like the Bar-Kays, but funk music was really what I listened to mostly when I was 4 years old. The best part was getting to do a dance performance to open their festival and meet them in person for an autograph on the "Up in Here" record cover I brought with me.
The first album I remember buying: The first album I bought was Michael Jackson's greatest hits. I remember being so excited to buy it the first time I went to the Amoeba Music store in L.A. Michael had too much music that inspired me, especially The Jackson 5ive animated show! That was huge to me!
The song/album people might not expect me to love: Maybe "Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See" by Busta Rhymes. I first had this song on repeat when i would play NBA 2K, and at that time, kids my age wouldn't even know who Busta Rhymes was. I was so excited when I got to dance at an event that he also performed at and meet him. He gave me some inspiring words and was shocked I knew about the late great J-Dilla (RIP). That was cool.
The song/album I turn to when I'm at my lowest: Any Travis Scott or Drake song! Both Travis and Drake bring that energy that matches my mood all the time, no matter how I'm feeling. If I am in a chill mood or I'm anxious—like watching NBA pregame warmups—or heading to a concert with my best friends, I always relate to their songs, especially if I feel down or need inspiration.
If I could only hear one song for the rest of my life, it would be: Any Michael Jackson song from any of his albums! "Blame It On the Boogie" by The Jackson 5 was one song that I would sing all the time—on the way to school, going to sleep and, I think, even in church! There's a part of the song my dad looped on repeat, and I would make videos dancing to it! "Sunshine, Moonlight, Good times, Boogie." For some reason, I got excited on MJ's adlibs in the background. Man, rest in peace to Michael Jackson for real though!
The song/album that's guaranteed to get me turned all the way up: "Sicko Mode" by Travis Scott. It always seems to come on when I would be with my best friends, so it became like our anthem to turn up on. Even my parents would get into this song!
The song/album I wish I wrote/recorded: I really wish I recorded "Blame It On the Boogie." It had the right beat that got you in the right mood before the lyrics even started. I remember being mid-conversation at a dance event and heard the beginning come on and said, "Ooooh hold up, hold up," and I ran to the dance floor to get down. It was cool because everyone around me felt the exact same way. The lyrics went to the beat perfectly. It's like a timeless song to me, and I hope to create music like that.
My own song that I'll never get tired of performing: I'll never get tired of "We The Future" feat. Dame D.O.L.L.A. because of my love for the NBA and just how much Dame D.O.L.L.A. kills it on the song. We both have ties to the PAL (Police Activities League), so it made it even more special to speak to kids like me through the song. Mic Checkmate, who produced the track, gave the right energy on the song, as well as on the remix. This was my first song recorded for the album and still feels like my anthem.
The song on my new project that I can't wait for fans to sing along with me on tour: "Entourage," produced by Madlib. One, for the fact the beat is hitting different! Shout out to Madlib, who is one of my dad's best friends and part of his group when he started out. But the vibe of being with my friends on a normal day or on stage with them—this song makes me feel that vibe and I hope people feel it when they listen. I think Travis Scott may have wanted to use this beat, so the fact Madlib let me use it is fire, though! Maybe one day me and Travis could rap on this together? You never know!
We The Future is available now.
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