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About Thundercat


Stephen Lee Bruner , better known by his stage name Thundercat, is an American bass guitarist, singer, songwriter and actor from Los Angeles. First coming to prominence as a member of crossover thrash band Suicidal Tendencies, he has since released four solo studio albums and is noted for his work with producer Flying Lotus and his appearances on Kendrick Lamar's 2015 album To Pimp a Butterfly. In 2016, Thundercat won a Grammy for Best Rap/Sung Performance for his work on the track "These Walls" from To Pimp a Butterfly. In 2020, Thundercat released his fourth studio album titled It Is What It Is, which earned him a Grammy Award for Best Progressive R&B Album.


Born into a family of musicians, Bruner began playing the bass at an early age, listening to bass players such as Stanley Clarke and Marcus Miller for inspiration. By 15 he had a minor hit in Germany as a member of the boy band No Curfew. A year later he joined his brother Ronald Jr. as a member of the Los Angeles punk band Suicidal Tendencies, replacing former bass player Josh Paul. Bruner's earliest studio album appearances include playing electric bass on Kamasi Washington's Live at 5th Street Dick's and The Proclamation. In 2004, Bruner collaborated once again with Kamasi Washington, as well as Cameron Graves and Ronald Jr, under the label, the Young Jazz Giants.


Along with his band duties Bruner is also a session musician, acclaimed for his work on Erykah Badu's New Amerykah and Flying Lotus' Cosmogramma . He released his first solo album in 2011, The Golden Age of Apocalypse, which featured production from Flying Lotus, and was influenced by 1970s fusion artists such as Stanley Clarke and George Duke. The next two years saw a return to the recording studio with fellow Brainfeeder artist Flying Lotus, with contributions to the Lotus's Until the Quiet Comes and You're Dead! , and the release of Thundercat's second album Apocalypse .


Bruner has been described as being a major contributor to and "at the creative epicenter" of Kendrick Lamar's critically acclaimed album To Pimp a Butterfly.


Along with the involvements with previous artists, Thundercat draws inspiration from jazz musicians such as Miles Davis, Mary Lou Williams and Ron Carter.


In 2016, Bruner revealed to XXL that he was working on a new album with Flying Lotus as a main contributor. In May of that year, Bruner appeared live with Red Hot Chili Peppers to play additional bass on their song "Go Robot" at iHeartRadio's release party for the band's 2016 album The Getaway. In August 2016, Bruner appeared live with singers Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald in Chicago.


This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Thundercat", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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