Bryan Sledge, also known as BJ the Chicago Kid, has been one of Chicago’s best kept secrets—until now. After moving to Los Angeles to pursue his dream, he has gone from relative obscurity to an industry force, having written and performed background vocals for some of the greatest artists of our time, including Mary J. Blige, Musiq Soulchild and Kanye West.
Although his story ends well, it wasn’t always so easy. Growing up on the south side of Chicago, where nothing is promised and nothing is expected, BJ defied all odds. The youngest of three sons born to musically‐inclined parents, both church choir directors, BJ discovered his vocal ability at the age of six, although the drums were his first love. The young singer vacillated between the rough inner‐city streets and the pews of the church. Forced to live in two different worlds, BJ developed a soulful sound with a street edge, offering fans the best of both worlds. He calls it “World Soul R&B.” Critics call it talent. BJ likens his love for music to a marriage: “Once I fell in love with it, there was no way in the world that I could escape it;
I fell in love with it, there was no way in the world that I could escape it; and no matter what it was always around me.” After working with some of Chicago’s top artists and producers, BJ relocated to Los Angeles at the age of 19, where he was offered his first professional music gig as a backup singer for the Grammy ® award winning duo, Mary Mary. Though
Thoughhe currently resides there, he says Chicago will always be his home.
Providing background vocals for the likes of Mary Mary and others provided the stepping stones he needed to make aname for himself. BJ has since released several mixtapes and been featured on a number collaborations with established and up‐and‐coming talent.
BJ is currently working on tracks with Snoop Dogg, Anthony Hamilton, Chris Brown, and his brother, Aaron Sledge, a Stellar Award‐nominated musician.
BJ plans to release an album, Pineapple Now and Laters, later this year.