Thundercat is the alter ego of virtuosic bassist / singer Stephen Bruner. The South Los Angeles-native has released two critically acclaimed full length albums on Brainfeeder Records since 2011, and last year saw the release of widely praised mini-album The Beyond / Where the Giants Roam. The album features appearances from the legendary Herbie Hancock, fellow Brainfeeder family members Kamasi Washington, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and Mono/Poly and production work from Brainfeeder head, Flying Lotus. 2015 also saw Thundercat make outstanding contributions to landmark albums by Kamasi Washington (The Epic) and Kendrick Lamar (To Pimp A Butterfly). His work on Lamar’s recently netted him his first Grammy.
Bruner found his instrument at the age of 4. That made him a late-bloomer in the house of Ronald, Sr., who drummed with the Temptations among others. His first bass was a black Harmony, and he practiced to the Ninja Turtles soundtrack until pops played him Jaco Pastorius. He joined thrash legends Suicidal Tendencies as a teenager, and spent road and studio time with everyone from Stanley Clarke to Snoop Dogg to Erykah Badu. Eventually the name Thundercat stuck, a reference to the cartoon he’s loved since childhood and an extension of Bruner’s wide-eyed, vibrant, often superhuman approach to his craft.
Read more articles