Photo: Andrea Tavolaro

Breezy aka Hanna Bratton is a Berlin based rapper, singer, and producer. On March 18, we have the honor to welcome her as a guest of our BERRIES No 7 and in advance she took the time to talk with us about her music.

BERRIES: It would be great if you would quickly introduce yourself to our crowd for all Berliners, who do not know you yet!

Breezy: Waddup Berlin! I’m Breezy, hailing from the great state of Rhode Island. No, not New York. I’ve lived all over the U.S. but Los Angeles is my second home. I started rapping in 2012 while I was finishing university in California and in September of 2015, I moved to Berlin to study electronic music production.

Your music has many different sides. What are your artistic influences?

I’m heavily influenced by the main players from the Golden Age of hip hop when the genre was primarily functioning as a voice for underrepresented minorities in the U.S. while also providing a nonjudgmental space for self-expression. A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Queen Latifah, Gang Starr, KRS-One, and Nas are some of the artists I was raised on, but I also draw from the jazz greats, such as Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Etta James, and blues music from Sam Cooke and Otis Redding. I’ve gotta throw James Brown and George Clinton and The Parliament Funkadelic into the mix. It even goes back to when my father used to wake me and my brother up for school with motown from The Four Tops and The Temptations every morning. I could go on, but I’ll cap it there.

Women in the music industry and especially in hip hop still have to struggle much harder to get the audience’s attention. Which is remarkable considering that there is so much great stuff  by female rappers out there. How do you personally deal with this problem?

There’s no question that hip hop is a male-dominated genre and the struggle is real for female rappers to be taken seriously. I’ve observed the dynamic of women using their sexuality to further themselves and while I understand that approach, I refuse to do that. Since I’ve moved to Berlin, I’ve probably worked with fifteen or so male producers and one female. In the rap game, doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like, you’ve got to hustle in every way you can, but I’m making a conscious effort to collaborate with more women and through my school, I’m learning how to produce myself so that I have the option to create music without relying on the plethora of male producers. But kudos to all the male rappers and producers having female emcees on their tracks and helping forge visibility. The game’s changing, for sure.

What are your favorite artists you are currently listen to?

I started listening to Rapsody after she showed up on Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp A Butterfly.”  I’m really digging Akua Naru’s conscious flow on “…The Journey Aflame.” I love the direction that Logic took with “The Incredible True Story” album and Anderson Paak’s voice is so smooth. 

Thanks for the chat, Breezy. We are very looking forward to have you at Berries soon!

Interview: Dominik Djialeu