The Knockturnal was recently able to talk to Barry Brewer, who co-stars on the new BET+ original series Bruh.
Brewer plays John Watts, who has a small group of four friends that are living life and are in the dating world. The Chicago native has come a long way from his humble beginnings in performing in church – to headlining and producing a comedy tour that sold out everywhere. Get to know a little bit more about Barry Brewer in this exclusive interview!
The Knockturnal: What drew you to comedy and what are your earliest memories performing in front of a crowd?
Barry Brewer: When I was growing up in the southside of Chicago, I was always watching comedy shows and movies too. Some of my favorites stand-up comedians were Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence and I used to watch them with my mom. It was also around this time when I started to perform in my church, and I had to learn how to be funny and how to read a crowd. It’s more than being a funny person as you also have to tell a great story that goes with your comedy act. So it was those factors that drew me to comedy and I loved performing in front of my church! The church was also the place where I found my love for music. I thank my grandparents for taking me there every weekend when I was younger.
The Knockturnal: You held your tour last summer across the United States and it because a huge success! What were some of the challenges that you and your team had to endure?
Barry Brewer: Oh man! I am happy that you brought that up because we did a lot of work to prepare for this tour (The Whole Crew is Stupid Tour). I can say the biggest challenges for us were; booking buildings, getting the word out, advertising, and merchandise. Me and my entire team put all of our effort on that tour from the first day, to the final day. We were really surprised and grateful that we sold out each and every city. I remember talking to Bigg Jah and Minks during the pre-planning of the tour and they were both excited to do this tour. The last day of the tour in Dallas, TX, was an emotional one because it made me think of how far we have all gotten from the start of all of us planning it. The tour was a success and we hope to do another one sometime after the pandemic is over.
The Knockturnal: During your music career, you have worked with top names such as Brandy and Ray J, this must have meant a lot to you since it also helped your career. How much of an influence did both of them have on you and who would you like to work with in the future if given the chance?
Barry Brewer: Brandy and Ray J are awesome and I still keep in contact with the both of them to this day. When I first met them over a decade ago, the fan inside me came out. Then I got to work with them and it amazed me to see their work ethic on their production of their music. They both also really helped my career too as I looked up to the both of them. A lot of people think that songwriting is easy, but it’s not and I learned that when I moved to LA years ago. Both of them along with Tank really helped shaped how I produce music. I started playing music on the saxophone at age 17, and from then I moved on to: the piano, drums, and more instruments. As far as who would I like to work with in the future, I would like to work with Kevin Hart. When the opportunity is open, I will not hesitate to take it.
The Knockturnal: You play John Watts on Bruh. What can we expect from John on the series?
Barry Brewer: John is the friend that is still trying to find his way. He runs a restaurant called A & J Sandwiches. He does not have the major relationship issues that the rest of his friends currently have. His relationship with his mom is important to him and you will see that during the series. Also, his friends want to help him with his own situation with the restaurant as they have been friends since college. John also was able to make it out of college, but he did not become the doctor or the lawyer like his friends did. The dynamic between these four is interesting as they have those jobs and he is still trying to find himself.
The Knockturnal: The cast on Bruh is such a strong cast and you’re part of it! What are some of your best memories working with everyone on the set?
Barry Brewer: The cast is great! We all have each other’s back like family. I do not know if most people know this, but Monti Washington has a great personality, and sometimes off-camera in between from when we were shooting, he made all of us laugh. And Caroline Harris did the same thing too. I bonded well with everyone on the set and it was a great feeling to be part of this cast and the talent and even the producers and staff. The amazing part about this is that this was all done within a few weeks at Tyler Perry’s studio, and he was around the whole time. I also know that this show and Ruthless were both shot back to back. That’s really unheard of for a television these days for two shows to be shot back to back in the same studio a week apart.
The Knockturnal: Since the series has a dating aspect, I’d like to know if you have any first date horror stories you would like to share?
Barry Brewer: *laughs* I have not had too many first date horror stories that I can remember. But if I did, I would make it known because first date horror stories can be funny, or weird, or even scary. I also think that those kind of stories are a guilty pleasure to people because those stories can be told in a very humorous way. It is like taking your worst part of your day and turning it around to sound like it is the not so bad part of the day and the crowd eats it up!
The Knockturnal: What’s the first thing that you will do once this pandemic is over?
Barry Brewer: I have a long list of things that I want to do. I miss the restaurants, I miss the nightlife, and I miss playing basketball! Those are the three major things that I want to do first.
The Knockturnal: Speaking of basketball, how did you react when you seen Lebron James’ announcement of Space Jam: A New Legacy?
Barry Brewer: I am excited for it! I am a huge fan of Space Jam and Lebron James is one of my favorite players. Just like Michael Jordan did years ago, I know for sure that Lebron will do great on the new Space Jam film! I am looking forward to it.