by BRITTANY HALL
Music is to the soul what words are to the mind, in fact the greatest mind of all time, Einstein, once said that he only sees himself “in terms of music.” Another, incredible intellectual is 34-year-old, Swainsboro native, Tony Alexander Brown Jr. also known by his musically inclined alter ego, Proper Einstein. While Albert Einstein created his theories from physics, our local Einstein creates his theories through poetry and lyrics with a purpose to inspire hope, positivity, and peace throughout society.
Brown’s ambition for creating music began innocently during childhood when he was visiting a friend’s house and was introduced to an early PlayStation game called Music 2000. Recently celebrated as “The sickest bit of software ever” by VICE Media’s Editor, Josh Baines, the game was ahead of its time for the late 1990’s and was a visual approach to musical content for the millennial generation. It allowed players to navigate a grid of sound channels, effects and even a video sequencer, whose lo-fi quality could now be considered as retro by the gen z’s who didn’t get a chance to appreciate it when it was new.
“I fell in love with the fact that I could create my own music.” Brown explained, “I didn’t want to leave. I remember looking back at the tv screen as if it was the last time, I was going to see it. The funny thing is it was. I was around 11 years old at the time.”
Years later, he learned that there was a more professional program for creating tracks called Fruity Loops. It was the summer of 2008 when he first downloaded the software and began making beats. It was during this time that he gained the confidence to share his gift with a friend who instantly liked the mixes the moment he heard them, reassuring Brown even more that the talent was there.
“I started singing and rapping after attending Albany State University.” He explained, “Me and a couple of friends and roommates started a little group called the ‘402 Crew’ based on our dorm room number. It was corny but catchy.”
But, as days went on, he felt an even greater desire to follow his calling outside of his dorm-room in pursuit of happiness. He continued to make music but with a dedication to use this hobby to reach his potential instead of simply settling for the norm. As Brown acknowledged his passion and shifted his thinking, a flash of inspiration appeared, encouraging him that his dreams were not out of reach and his name could be written in marquee lights as long as he remained tenacious.
“My first inspiration didn’t come from a musician but in fact, a comedian; Comedian Barbara Carlyle” He stated, “After seeing her on BET, my dad told me that she was from Twin City. She had made it. That let me know that it’s possible to do big things even if you’re from a small town.”
Being open to new experiences and opportunities gave Brown the room he needed to grow as a musician. As he gained personal development, he also gained a stage name, that he ran with and is mostly known by today:
“I was given the name ‘Proper’ by my friend, Demetrice Howard, because of my ‘proper speech’. I later attached Einstein at the end because of my ambition of wanting to become a musical genius and because of my intellect, so it has a double meaning. Albert Einstein stated that if he wasn’t a physicist, he would have been a musician and it’s the other way around for me.” He explained
With his ambition and new name, Brown began making music videos and commenced his journey to fame with a premiere in his hometown at the Swainsboro Auditorium. Establishing a star-studded moment of significance that would continue for years and years to come.
“It was such a great experience and even though I was nervous, everyone made me feel right at home.” He said, recounting that night.
Brown went on to perform for our sister city, Twin City, before obtaining a spotlight in Statesboro which led him to a performance at Georgia Southern University. He later earned a highlight feature in a 2018 edition of the Music Connection Magazine, a national award-winning print publication that bridges the gap between ‘the street and the elite,’ which left him discouraged but fueled him to create a project called ‘The Reject.’ This inspired him to crossover from Rap to Alternative Rock and launch his first project called, ‘Light Bulbs’, which received a lot of attention from fans and media and was even featured on MTV and other publications from the promotion company that he was using.
“I was also featured on tv by WTOC Savannah and even Swainsboro’s own Forest Blade.” He said with a smile, “Since then I’ve been honing my craft and staying consistent and have just been recently featured again in Music Connection Magazine’s October 2022 issue. The review was a lot better this time and was a relief, so I actually bought this issue to keep as a memory.”
Brown’s creative process differs with each song or project. It’s an act of discovery that always takes him somewhere unexpected but that’s what makes it so inspiring.
“Sometimes I sit in my home studio and make beats. Sometimes a random melody comes to mind, and I add words to the melody. Sometimes I even hear music and melodies in my dreams. At times, I take lyrics from an unreleased song and try them with a different production to see if it works.”
A perspective that has paid off because Brown has since released up to 90 songs and has collaborated with many artists including Canadian rapper, Dave Mac. He’s also created mixes with inspirations from ‘The Weeknd’ and says that one of his goals is to officially collaborate with him or pop singer Ellie Goulding. Brown’s favorite song that he’s created through this entire process is one that he named after a meaningful quote from one of his previous interviews, which he said, sums up his music ‘as a whole.’ The name of the song is:
“Music is a universal language. I can speak to anybody on earth through my music and the reason I strive to be a multi-genre artist is so that I can reach all of earth to let people know that it is okay to be yourself and it's okay to be different.”
“I’ve recently been told that my music is ‘bi-polar’.” He said with a laugh, “I love all styles of music and I strive to be able to create any one at will. I think that I’ve released around nine different styles of music from Orchestral music to Country. I try to spread as much positivity through my music as possible. None of my music has cussing and is appropriate for all ages. Most of all, I try to spread God through my music because God is love.”
Brown has an upcoming performance at the Swainsboro Auditorium on November 12th and says that he plans to do other performances in the near future and has a project that will be released on October 7th on all digital platforms called ‘Purple World’. Among these incredible endeavors, he also recently collaborated with his former college, Albany State University, to create the intro song to their campus and city wide tv talk show.
“I was honored to be able to do that.” He said
When asked what he would be doing today if it weren’t for his music, Brown paused for a minute then laughed and said, “I would definitely be a scientist.” Reverting to his Einstein roots. Before our interview concluded, he attributed his success to the support that he’s received along the way from his family, friends, and even complete strangers. He also said that his greatest experience through all of this, is still being experienced and that the most notable advice he’s ever been given came from God who encouraged him to, ‘Be careful what you say in your music.’
“I really couldn't imagine my life without music because it’s definitely a gift from God and is part of my purpose.” He explained, “I couldn't imagine life apart from my purpose. I’ve learned to embrace the journey. All the ups and downs continue to teach me. However, the MTV thing was definitely pretty cool!” He said with a bright smile.
Proper Einstein’s music is available on all platforms including Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, and YouTube. You can also read his latest feature in Music Connection Magazine’s October 2022 edition, who labeled him as Georgia’s own. “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” — Howard Thurman
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