Dennis Brown, Musician

Photo: Lucas Michael

Very nice beard.
I call it “#beardface.” I moved here a few months ago from L.A., and it’s kind of become an extra scarf. I’m getting used to the cold.

Other than the weather, how are you adjusting to the city?
I like it a lot. But the other night, I was walking home through the East Village, and all of a sudden, I swear, there were rats everywhere, hundreds of them, running through the street, jumping out of trees. They had taken over the whole sidewalk.

Jumping out of trees? Are you sure you didn’t … hallucinate this?
No, I’m serious. It was rat traffic!

You have a great voice. Do you sing?
I do mostly hip-hop. But people have always said I have a “phone voice.” I’ve done a lot of telemarketing and customer service in the past.

What are the tricks for getting what you want from a customer-service agent?
There’s a rule that we learned called “three no’s and then go.” We had to hear the customer say no three times to our pitch before we could close the deal by lowering the price. Just remember that they can always go lower—trust me.

Interview by Alexis Swerdloff.

Dennis Brown, Musician