Interview, photo: Elena Savlokhova
What’s the biggest appeal of the nightlife for you?
Just enjoying the moment, being around friends, meeting new people. For me, the most important thing is being around people who feel the same way as you do, who love the same music as you do.
How did you get involved with DJing and producing your own music?
Probably 10 years ago. But back then I never thought about doing it professionally, I started doing it more seriously, maybe, 3 years ago. I started to work and tour around a year ago.
Do you remember the very first party you’ve played?
For sure! It was in Avila, it’s a very small city close to Madrid. I remember I was with friends and I imagined how the whole thing would happen, how people would come to the club and listen to my music, and when I started to play it was just 5 people, who were just my friends haha. But it was good and real, and I think it’s like that for everyone who starts playing. Back then I played techno but it was more calm – not the style that I play now. Now it’s just crazy, even for me haha.
What’s cool about being young in Barcelona?
There are so many things over there. Museums, people etc. But in terms of the electronic music scene, for me, it’s shit. I mean, Barcelona is a very tourist city. So imagine you go to a club and probably 80% of the crowd are tourists and the rest are locals. I don’t quite like that. Maybe others prefer it this way but I always prefer local people, because for me a club is like a skate park. When you go to a skate park you always see the same people, people that you know. Sometimes people I talk to always say: ”Yeah, Brayan, but it’s boring to see the same faces every single time”. For sure, it’s boring, but for me the real sense of electronic music is a community – we are friends, a group. In Barcelona people can just walk by a club and say ‘oh let’s just go check it out’. But maybe they don’t even like that type of music, you know. I think in cities like Amsterdam or Berlin the same shit is happening. In Berlin it’s better because you know the history of it, you know that it’s famous for its techno, so you go there and you know what you get. You go there because you like electronic music, because you like techno.
Yet even in Berlin tourists just aim to go to Berghain or other popular spots.
With Berghain I have a big problem, I just don’t like the concept of it. I don’t like the idea of standing in a mile long line and then being rejected. Why can’t I enter if I come here for music? I understand though, it works as a filter, for tourists or whoever (the same ones like in Barcelona). But you are human after all, and the guys at the door don’t know if you’re crazy into this type of music, or if you’re just there because of the hype. So yeah, it’s a concept that more and more clubs adopt, like not allowing pictures etc. I understand the fact that if you are super drunk and you are potentially going to bother people then they don’t let you in, that’s fair. I understand the part about cameras – it’s no good when you go to a club and you have a guy pointing a flash of his camera in your face. Also, regarding Berghain, I understand that the cameras inside are forbidden because of its strong atmosphere… and all the crazy stuff that’s happening inside haha.
Describe the world you are trying to create during your live and DJ sets.
When I play I always have this thing on my mind ‘I will kill people’ haha. Metaphorically, of course! In clubs, I know what kind of shit is going on: the drugs, the alcohol, all the crazy moments. If you have problems you just always forget them. But yeah, I would say that the atmosphere of my sets is ‘I will kill people’.
What was the last film you’ve seen that impressed you?
Oh fuck, ‘The Lobster’. I remember that scene when they danced in the forest with headphones, I would love to make something like that in a place of nature. I really love this concept. I even made one EP about it. I sometimes get inspired by movies. It’s a source of inspiration for my music, but not always. If you look at the cover of my EP, you can see the line from the film: “We all dance by ourselves, that’s why we only play electronic music”.
There’s a new film by this director you might like called ‘The Killing of the Sacred Deer’.
To be honest, I’m not actually a movie person. I have a lot of friends who are into films and they are the ones who suggest me to watch stuff. I remember that I watched The Lobster because of my ex-girlfriend. She’s a very creative person and knows a lot about cinema. She opened my mind to a lot of things, not just movies.
What question do you hate answering the most?
When people ask me about ‘underground’. It’s a strange question because, for me, the underground doesn’t exist. There are levels to the underground. You read magazines about DJs like Nina Kraviz, Ricardo, Ben Klock etc. where they’re labeled as ‘underground’ artists. Fuck no, that’s not underground. Why? Because if you’re underground you don’t need 5 star hotels, huge salaries etc. I’m not against them in any way, this perception of the underground is at fault because of a lot of factors – the promoters, the hype the media creates and so on. When I get asked about the underground I just say it doesn’t exist, it’s all just music.
When you perform, who receives more energy – you or the audience?
I think it’s both. When I play I give my best. It’s also very nice when at the end of your set people clap and cheer you, it’s always a nice energy to receive.
Did you ever get negative responses?
No, I think it’s strange when someone does that. I don’t want to pretend like I’m some superstar DJ but since I’ve started playing I’ve never heard anything bad. It’s always positive. Maybe, when you post something on social media you get some comments, but even those are mostly favorable. But it’s normal if someone doesn’t like it, it’s always like a test. And imagine if someone comes up to you and just says ‘it was shit, man’ – it’s simply very rude. I guess big artists might get a lot of that though.
To what extent do you care about what others think about you?
It’s important, because thanks to people, thanks to the promoters, I can tour around the world and play my music. But wait… It’s important, yet it’s also not important. It depends how in the middle I could answer this question. For example, I remember once in Barcelona I played at one after-party and the promoter talked to my friends afterwards and asked them not to come with me there anymore, because I ‘played too much distortion’. Fuck you, man! If you don’t like my music, why did you invite me in the first place? So in this situation I don’t care about what he thinks, I won’t ever play in that club. I think the negative comments give me more energy to make better things and some day I can tell those people to fuck off. There was a funny story with my mom too. When I just started out playing and bought my first mixer, I remember my mother helped to buy it and she said: “Brayan, why do you need this if in a few months you’ll put it under the bed?”. And look at me! I’m here now after all these years and people pay me to do this. I’m not after money really, I understand what promoters have to deal with – if you put my name on a flyer, maybe no one will even know me. But little to little I’m getting there. I’m proud of me haha.
What do you like about yourself?
It’s a difficult question because I’m very critical about myself. But I’m proud of myself, because when I started this journey, I lived for myself. When I started doing music – I did it for myself. I learned to play and create music on my own by reading and watching videos and magazines.
Give an example you have witnessed of the strongest influence music had on someone or yourself?
One of the best experiences when I played was one year ago in November in Lyon, where I played at one big festival, I think it was my first big professional event. It was the very beginning for me, I started playing with very big artists like Dasha Rush, Surgeon, etc. The promoter texted me ‘Brayan, I like your music, you should come here’. For sure, count me in! I remember when I finished playing people started to clap and it was my first them when I had this contact with the audience. I was very shy and I was so overwhelmed that I almost cried. I remember that moment clearly and since then I’ve had plenty of great moments, but that one was one of the best for sure.
In your opinion, what is the one thing that every single human being should experience at least once in life?
Damn, I don’t know…
I’m from Colombia, so obviously I grew up with Latin music. Back when I started to skate – that shit also opened my mind to new music. I started around 10 years ago, so around the same time when I got into electronic music. That was when I moved to Spain. I’ve loved electronic music since I was 12-13 years old. I don’t skate too much right now thought. I think skateboarding is great but I can’t recommend it to everyone. It’s very personal. I mean, if you want to – go for it. But I won’t go around telling people that they must try it at least once. I guess my answer would be that everyone should travel. It opens your mind to new cultures, people, food. Travel motherfuckers!
What do you miss the most about Colombia?
I think I miss everything in general. I’m very proud to be born there, it’s a nice place. It’s sad for me to say this but the government is not that great, it’s sad to see how it destroys a lot of things. Otherwise, I miss the food, the views, everything is just so green. Colombia has a magnificent scenery. I fucking miss that. I miss my mom, who is now there. I miss my family for sure.
What are your plans for this year?
I think this year looks very very fucking nice! I have a lot of news about my life, about my music, releases, gigs. I already traveled a lot in January and I have gigs planned in February, March, April… It’s looking good. Also one very nice agency contacted me to work with them, so I can’t complain.
Are there any artists you would really like to meet in person?
I’m not crazy about meeting producers because for me they’re all normal people. I prefer to meet places and get familiar with new cultures. Regarding artists, they’re all human like me, even if famous, but anyone can become famous in an instant. You see that plant over there? I can create an IG account for it and maybe in 3 months it becomes fucking famous. The world is crazy like that today. But for sure I would like to work with some artists. Collaborations for me is always very important and valuable.
*** Special thanks to the cosmic people of Celestial.