Nazo Bravo

Bravo for Nazo as He Reaches for the Stars in Film and Music

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LOS ANGELES — Nazo Bravo is a true child of Los Angeles, in the sense that he is both Armenian and in show business.

Nazo Bravo, left, with D.B. Sweeney in a scene from “Dead on Arrival”

Bravo, né Aslanian, was born in the city to parents who are from Yerevan. He is also working hard to advance his career in music and movies.

This month he has a film coming out, “Dead on Arrival,” which has been picked up by Sony.

Emmy-nominated Billy Flynn stars in an ensemble cast as Sam Collins, a pharmaceutical sales representative who visits a small town in Louisiana to close the business deal of a lifetime. He finds himself in a dark world of sex, corruption and murder as he is poisoned with no antidote to save his life. Desperate for answers, with less than 24 hours to live, Sam turns to a local girl Jesse. Their path leads to a voodoo priestess who only confirms Sam’s doomed fate. On the run, caught in a deadly vertigo with no one to trust, Sam and Jesse find themselves running from police detectives, the Mob and a dirty sheriff who wants him dead.

He has enjoyed a long collaboration with Stephen C. Sepher, the writer, director and co-producer of the movie.

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The film is “not a remake” but “inspired” by the Hollywood 1949 noir classic “DOA.” (A remake of “DOA” was released in 1988, starring Dennis Quaid.)

 

Start with Passion, Add Hard Work

During a recent interview he said his journey into the artistic world “started with a passion and interest. Next, he said, anyone interested in the filed needs to get a dedicated and resourceful and good people “you can trust” around them.

The path is not a certain one.

“If you’re a doctor, it is a definite path” but as an artist, he said, “there is no guarantee you will get where you get.”

And any words of advice for those who want to follow his footsteps?

After passion comes perseverance, he said. “Just keep building,” he said. “What person in their right minds would do it for 10 years without a profit?”

“You have to be passionate and really believe in yourself,” he said.

Bravo is a co-producer for “Dead on Arrival,” which means that he was involved in every aspect of filmmaking, from pre-production and location scouting to post-production, casting and helping with the crew and “all these different steps go smoothly.”

Now he is involved with the marketing of the movie, taking it to many film festivals.

Bravo related that Sepher was scouting locations in rural Louisiana for another movie, about an hour outside New Orleans, in deep swamp lands, and was inspired instead by the landscape which “lends itself to mystery and mystique” to write the screenplay.

“It’s a whole new set of characters, with an American-Armenian detective and his partner guy from the south and not too familiar with Armenians,” he explained. The dynamic between the two characters offers some light moments in an otherwise serious and moody movie.

Nazo Bravo with rapper Jonn Hart

In the film, he plays Detective Naroyan. “Whenever I can I will represent our culture in a positive way,” Bravo said. “It is important to make good, entertaining movies with good stories,” he said.

The film will be shown in theaters in New York and Los Angeles and will be widely available on Amazon, PlayStation and cable as well, with streaming and international showings.

He has appeared on “Vigilante Diaries,” “Armenia, My Love” and the gritty, critical favorite TV series “Southland” with Regina King and Ben McKenzie.

Bravo first started trying to go into music.

“Something naturally attracted me to hip hop,” he said. “I was organically drawn to it but I have no training in music, no uncle in the business. I started from zero and I bow my head down along the way and learn.”

He said what many of the artists he admires have in common is sticking to their vision through thick and thin. “It is not easy,” he said.

He tries to merge his twin loves of movies and music whenever possible. He has a song on the soundtrack of “Dead on Arrival,” titled The Money, credited to his real name, Nazaret Aslanian.

He has also performed on the soundtracks of “Aram Aram,” the song Before I Die, credited to N. Aslanian and on the “Vigilante Diaries,” “Focus,” “Armenian America” (The Anthem) among others as Nazaret Aslanian.

He is working on Burn Up and Up, an LA anthem of sorts, which he expects to release soon.

Now, with millions of streams online as a rapper, Bravo has worked with established artists like E-40 and Jonn Hart and performed at venues such as the House of Blues and The Troubadour.

He said artists like the late Tupac, as well as Ice T and Ice Cube, are his inspirations, since they not only excel in rap, but also moved on to film.

Rap is close to his heart. One of his current favorites is Kendrick Lamar, whom he met a couple of years ago. “He is really kind and humble. He gave me a lot of advice,” he recalled.

He also expressed his admiration for Drake, saying “he is at the top of his game,” as well as Chris Brown, noting, “despite all the controversy, he is a great performer.”

“In the same way in music that no one gives you anything, I took the same approach” about acting, he said.

While Bravo is interested in the arts and self-expression, he is a realist who knows that making it in show business is very hard.

“I decided to make my own films to create opportunity,” he said.

He and frequent collaborator Sepher “share that mentality,” he added.

Sepher got his big break on with the 2015 film “Heist” which stars Robert De Niro. He wrote and co-produced the film, which received critical acclaim.

“Once you produce a film, it’s almost hard to imagine only wanting to be an actor,” Bravo said. “I don’t want to stop producing.”

Bravo added, “We are all storytellers as well as artists. As a filmmaker, there are bigger roles. Telling a story on multiple levels. I really enjoy that.”

Now he is producing another movie for which he is scouting locations in Bulgaria.

Growing up Armenian in LA

“In LA I had a pretty Armenian upbringing,” he said.

Bravo has three sisters and his family, he said, “is a typical Armenian family” to whom he is very close.

“Family is very important to me. It is hard for me to imagine doing this without their support,” he said.

He attended Armenian school until eighth grade and thus learned how to read and write Armenian.

Bravo said that his dad grew up in a blue color environment and developed a strong work ethic. “Work hard and shut up,” he recalled his father sharing with hi. He held two jobs to support his family. After graduating from the University of California at Irvine, Bravo headed into the corporate world and realized a while later that it was not for him.

He lives many miles away from his family’s birthplace of Armenia but his heart is close to the land of his ancestors. He recalled that three years ago he went for the first time to Armenia, to the house where his father grew up. The fact that everyone spoke Armenian was an interesting change for him. He also performed his music there and was pleasantly surprised at how global the appeal of hip hop was. “It was the same elements regardless of language,” he said. IT was a good experience of cross pollinations, he said.

After his publicity tour for “DOA” is over, Bravo said he would like to organize a tour, as well as put out more music.

For more information on the film, visit http://DOAfilm.com or to see the official trailer visit – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jJ-kC-rq0Q.

To hear his music,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEdu4FSEo44 for the Power of the Hye music video filmed in Yerevan or

No Lie music video with Armenian speaking rappers Narek Mets Hayq and Red Light (filmed in Armenia) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPLB0RkIy9k.

 

 

 

 

 

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