Wednesday, April 6, 2011

And Where Do You "Where To?": BRKN RBTZ

Last month when I covered the Brian McKnight concert at the Avalon Hollywood nightclub, I discovered that music truly runs in the McKnight family. His two sons Nico, 19, and Brian Jr. (BJ), 21, collectively known as BRKN RBTZ, graced the stage with their father to sing some seriously moving R&B songs. With their charismatic banter back and forth, natural good looks and seductive three-octave range capabilities, I became hooked and couldn’t wait to see more of what these two had to offer.

Fortunately, I didn’t have to wait too long. My girl Tulani and I had the pleasure of hearing them once again when they opened a special showcase for up-and-coming artists at The Roxy two Sundays ago on March 27th.

As their first official live show ever, BRKN RBTZ (pronounced "broken robots") took a departure from the previous R&B style they delivered at the Avalon. They seamlessly blended a good dose of enthused rock with light pop and heart-stopping soul. Accompanied by a drummer and two bass guitarists, BJ held down the lead vocals while Nico did backup vocals and also played the guitar (pictured below to the right). They performed a total of four songs, making sure to include a few about love.

“We always want to tell a story and we just picked the songs that told that story – the old-fashioned love story,” BJ explained to me after the concert in an exclusive interview. “You meet a girl, you’re not sure if you like her, if you have a crush – all that.”

And while these two have toured the world as backup singers for Brian McKnight, this past show was their first solo appearance under BRKN RBTZ. So I was curious: how did they feel about it all?

“I felt awesome,” BJ beamed. “It being our first show and having a bunch of our friends and family out here, and just being able to rock for the first time, it was awesome. I can’t explain it!”

“I was nervous,” Nico admitted, as BJ nodded his head in agreement. “I was way more nervous than him, only because I’m very cautious. And being that this is our first show and we’ve only had a week and a half to get it all done, it’s just crazy. For the deadline to be right now, I’m happy it was as good as it was because of how nervous I was.”

Well it was a job well done - they seriously rocked the house. And in true Wilson’s Guide form, you know I had to sneak in a question about their favorite place to “where to”:

“Do you all have a favorite place to go out?” I asked.

“The bowling alley,” Nico said.

“Canoga Bowl, 24 hours,” BJ replied. “You pay for an hour, bowl all you want.”

“We’ll be in the studio until 4 in the morning,” Nico said. “And we’ll be like –”

“We’ll be awake and go bowling,” BJ affirmed. “We bowl and eat. We bowl and eat and make music.”

“‘Til 7 in the morning,” Nico summed it up. “Then we come back to the house and make more music.”

Looks like bowling in the early morning is the thing to do.

But seriously, these guys are awesome. Look out for BRKN RBTZ because they will be at venues around Los Angeles in April and will then open for Brian McKnight on a multi-city tour that starts in May. Perhaps I’ll see you at their next concert!

For more information:

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Twitter - @brknrbtz


  1. I’m devoted to all his songs. I can relate and feel every words and songs he sings. Truly remarkable.

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