The Local 913: The Buckle Downs


“Kiki in high school was an introvert. Um, I didn’t talk to anybody [laughs]! I was not popular [laughs]- At all! So, no, this didn’t happen until college.”

Kiki Brown is the charismatic frontwoman for Pittsburgh soul rock band The Buckle Downs. The group has evolved over their 4 years from prog-rock to a funky soulful group with a rock edge. 

“A lot of that had to do with me finding my voice. I’ll admit for the first couple years, I was just going along with whatever we thought sounded great. And it did sound great. But, what we discovered was that there was this pocket that I fit into that didn’t necessarily cover one genre.  It covered funk and rock and soul. We thought we’d see what happens if we meshed all those there things together. It became this crazy, awesome completely electric thing we kept going with. Now you’ll see us pull back on the rock a little bit and go with the funk and groove more. That’s what seems to fit me more for some reason.”

Although her roots lay in soul music, Brown had to overcome the stigma of being a “soul singer”

I so badly wanted to have this rock name put to everything. I didn’t wanna be the stereotypical ‘soul singer’. That’s not what I wanted. Getting away from the rock name and accepting the fact that funk and soul was where we really needed to focus; that was my first biggest challenge.”

Catch The Buckle Downs at WYEP’s Summer Music Festival at Schenley Plaza on June 24. Look out for a new record in July which will feature the new song, “Soldier.”