KCRW’s Private Playlist: Thundercat

KCRW’s Private Playlist is a weekly listening session with Southern California’s most notable musical figures in their private creative environments. The piece airs Friday mornings on KCRW as the closing segment of Morning Edition. For this installment, I spoke with Thundercat, one of L.A.’s most accomplished and in-demand musicians. A frequent collaborator with Flying Lotus, Bruner has also contributed to albums by Erykah Badu, Kamasi Washington, and Kendrick Lamar, with whom Bruner shared a Grammy in 2016 for his performance on the track “These Walls.” But most recently Thundercat has come into his own as a solo artist. His fourth album, It Is What It Is, was released in April 2020 on Brainfeeder. Bruner spoke with KCRW about the night Jaco Pastorius changed his life, the importance of listening to albums from the beginning, and the record that helps him through strange times.