On stage for their AGT 2022 audition, brother’s Gabriel and Nathaniel Brown introduced themselves as Navy veterans who are also on the autistic autistic spectrum. Gabe quipped, “Socialising is difficult and this is kind of terrifying, really”. He added that they are high functioning, “most of the time”, which, he figures “means that we’re good at pretending that we’re normal”, although he’s “never met a normal person”.
Judge Howie Mandell asked what the brothers hoped to achieve by appearing on AGT. Gabe replied, “That we can be a voice for and inspire people like us”. The Brown Brothers are a music duo. Nate is a multi-instrumentalist while Gabe is a singer with a knack for vocal impressions. For the AGT audition the brothers handed the judges sets of yellow character cards and blue song cards to select from. This meant they couldn’t predict which songs and character combinations would come up. Take a look:
As Gabe said, there were a possible 576 combinations, so the Brothers were essentially improvising. This also makes it interesting that the Simon Cowell card came up, as Cowell is often a subject for impersonation and jests on AGT and BGT. Did the character cards include other judges? Besides their musicality, what gives the Brothers an edge on other impressionist acts is that Gabe sings the songs straight for a bit before slipping into character. Also, Gabe is a genuinely good impressionist.
Krishneelkumar7898 comments on YouTube: “He sang in 10 different voices in 3 minutes, and all were spot on. That really deserved a golden buzzer.” The issue of the brothers deserving a golden buzzer runs through the comments and is particularly apposite in this instance. Apparently Cowell wanted to give them the buzzer, but they had all been used. I’ll get back to this issue after the next video. Music Man readers, here is Gabe, backed by Nate, with impressions of 54 famous singers in 8m30s!
Incredible isn’t it. That video has 139M YouTube views on Gabe’s “Black Gryph0n” YouTube channel (Nate has his own channel called Baasik Music). You will no doubt have noticed that underneath the impressions, Gabe is a gifted singer. Gabe joined the US Navy to become a SEAL, but he was injured in training. He ended up as a singer in the US Navy Band. As lead singer for the 7th Fleet Band, Orient Express, Gabe was awarded three Navy superb vocalist Achievement Medals He sang in 12 languages at events around the world, mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere.
Nate, who followed his brother into the navy, trained and flew as a fighter pilot at the US Naval Academy. In his downtime, he started Navy Beats, a music club with a focus on producing electronic music.
Now back to the audition where Simon exclaimed about the golden buzzers being “used up”. In Gabe’s words, “And then there was this whole, kind of, like, chaotic thing where producers walked down and started talking to them. And Simon was saying, ‘It’s not fair. I’ve always said we should have more than one Golden Buzzer. We don’t know who’s coming on.’” This may be the reason for the return of the “group golden buzzer” in AGT 2023 and the introduction of an audience buzzer.
In the next round of AGT, Gabe did impressions to Nate’s multi-instrument take on A Million Dreams from The Greatest Showman. The brothers were a bit peeved when Simon praised the production team after their performance. “The implication of that, we think, is that the production crew built our act. In reality, we built our act, and we actually had a really hard time getting it approved,” Gabe has said, adding that they mocked up a demo of the looping concept which they then showed the producers.
The brothers did not make it through to the next round. Being on the autistic spectrum can mean “less filters”. Talent recap reports Gabe saying that the brothers “do feel that the show gives preferential treatment to certain acts” but they “spoke positively about the camaraderie they felt with their fellow acts.”
After AGT, Nate has continued working as an impressionist (he was Becky the Loon in Pixar’s Finding Dory), but the brothers are focusing on working together. They plan on taking the ideas that they’ve developed in Nate’s garage (including the concept for their A Million Dreams AGT 2022 performance) on the road as a touring stage show and they’re working on an album. The Music Man wishes the talented brothers well on their journey. If you would like to see more from The Brown Brothers, you can subscribe to their YouTube channel or follow them on Facebook.