Brian Imanuel (born 3 September 1999), known professionally as Rich Brian (formerly Rich Chigga), is an Indonesian rapper, record producer and songwriter. He is best known for his viral debut single "Dat $tick", which was released in February 2016. The single was certified gold by the RIAA. On 2 February 2018 he released his debut album Amen.
Rich Brian was born on 3 September 1999, in Jakarta, Indonesia to a Chinese Indonesian family, he has three siblings and he is the youngest one. Brian was raised in West Jakarta in a middle-to-low class neighbourhood despite his father being a lawyer. He never had a formal education and spend most of his time helping at his parent's café that his parent ran as he was homeschooled.
In 2010, while growing up in Indonesia, Brian began his career with social media, when he was 11 years old. He originally gotten his hands on a Rubik’s Cube, and realized he could log onto his parents’ computer to find strategies for solving it faster. This is how he discovered YouTube. He also found and joined Twitter, in August 2010, when he was just under 11 years old. This eventually led him to making video content, including dark-comedy sketches on Twitter. Brian moved to the platform Vine when he was 15 and began to post daily videos there. Brian, who spoke only Bahasa Indonesia taught himself to speak English by watching YouTube videos and by listening to rappers like Childish Gambino, 2 Chainz, Macklemore and Tyler, The Creator.
Brian began listening to hip hop music in 2012 when an American friend he knew on the internet introduced him to Macklemore's "Thrift Shop" and Brian began to explore deeper into the genre, discovering Drake, 2 Chainz, Kanye West and Logic at first. Brian wrote his first rap song in 2014 and recorded it onto an iPhone microphone over a produced MF Doom instrumental.
Brian originally wanted to become a cinematographer in Los Angeles, giving up once his music career began taking off.
Brian began his career under the name Rich Chigga and released his debut track, titled "Living the Dream" on 17 July 2015, on his YouTube account. The song was produced by DJ Smokey. Brian then went on to release his debut single "Dat $tick" on 22 February 2016. The track caught international success after a reaction video was released, featuring American rappers Ghostface Killah, 21 Savage, Tory Lanez, MadeinTYO, Desiigner and many more. Since the official music video for the track was uploaded onto his Youtube account, it has been viewed over 46,000,000 times. "Dat $tick" then went on to peak at number four on the Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Singles.
Brian then went on to release his second single titled "Who That Be" on iTunes on 9 August 2016. The song was produced by Sihk. He then released the remix of his single "Dat $tick" which features Ghostface Killah and Pouya.
Brian later released his third single "Seventeen" which quickly surpassed the one million hits mark on both YouTube and SoundCloud.
Brian started his first U.S tour in April 2017, concluding in May. In May 2017, Brian released the single "Gospel" with XXXTentacion and Keith Ape. This was XXXTentacion's first collaboration with Brian and the song was released on 88rising. The single has 21 million views on YouTube as of October 2017.
Brian won an award at 4th Indonesian Choice Awards as Breakthrough Artist of the Year in May 2017. Brian announced his debut album in an interview with XXL, saying "“I’m working on a debut project and there are some serious songs and some comedic stuff, but the serious songs are my focus." In an interview, Brian said he was spending most of his stay in Los Angeles, California working on his debut album.
Brian dropped "Glow Like Dat" on 15 August 2017, on 88rising's YouTube channel. He then announced a nationwide tour starting on 9 September and concluding on 21 November titled "Come to My Party Tour".
Brian released "Chaos" in October 2017 and "Crisis" featuring 21 Savage in November 2017. On 19 December 2017, Brian announced on the social media platform, Twitter, that he was releasing his debut studio album, Amen, on 2 February 2018.
On 1 January 2018, Brian officially changed his stage name from Rich Chigga to Brian with the release of "See Me". Six days later, he changed his official name again to Rich Brian. On 2 February 2018, Amen was released. Amen made him the first Asian to reach number one on iTunes Hip Hop charts.
Rich Brian's musical style has been called "ironic" by UrbanDaddy though it "eventually transcends itself to become a legitimate piece of art." Brian's vocals have been described as baritone, and his delivery as "gruff yet agile" and "unique". His writing ability has been called "skilled" by HotNewHipHop. Brian, originally making comedic music, has since attempted to distance himself and make more serious music with singles such as 'Seventeen' and 'Glow like Dat'.
Brian has quoted Young Thug, Tyler, The Creator, Yung Lean and Childish Gambino as inspirations.
Brian currently lives in Los Angeles, California after moving there in May 2017. He is not a permanent resident of the United States; though in July 2017, he extended his stay.
Brian has only been in one relationship that was long-distance with a girl from Maryland in August 2015. The relationship lasted two months.
Brian's original stage name, Rich Chigga, created controversy in the past. It was a thing that Brian and his friend came up with when he came out with his first song on SoundCloud. "I realized I don’t really have a rap name. And then my friend from Wichita was just talking about it. We came up with a couple of names which were cool, and he was just like, “Rich Chigga.” I was like, “That is really catchy.” And that's honestly it." Talking about his stage name, Brian said "I do regret it – I didn't really know what I was doing and I definitely did not know people were gonna pop off like this." As a result, he began to be professionally known by Rich Brian from 2018 onwards. In a Twitter post, Brian said "I have been planning to do this forever and I'm so happy to finally do it. I was naive and I made a mistake."
Brian was homeschooled and has stated that he does not wish to seek college education, though if given the chance, he would attend film school.
Sources: Last.fm, Wikipedia
Rich Brian in the news
|Songs by Rich Brian|