This week we got to meet with DJ, Bryan K. Bryan is a musical guy who loves his occasional cigar & rules the club house like no one else – to say the least, not much is different when it comes to DJing. Bryan is passionate and in control when it comes to delving out beats that are sure to get his audience turning heads. He discovered his love for music and talent for mixing at the age of 10. He then started to edit and experiment with MIDI in his home at Ottawa, Canada. Bryan is now a DJ house music specializing in up-tempo deep house and tech house. He has a leading project podcast on iTunes called “The Beat with Bryan K”. He has been performing in the clubs for over four years now and has also started to branch into music production recently. Off late, he also started performing in Montreal and Toronto. Bryan attributes his success to intense hard work, endless passion to electronic music and a bit of luck by his side. He considers himself lucky to have shared the same stage as Adam K, Avicii, Thomas Gold, and Playmate; to have performed alongside house legend Andy Warburton, Etienne Ozborne, Phil Fairchild and DJ Punish. Bryan has been married for four years now and considers his wife to be his biggest support. Apart from music, he loves to work out and considers himself a fitness freak. He believes that his strong fitness background influences his music at times. With his disciplined techniques, tremendous enthusiasm and the passion for his art, this Canadian is sure to rock and roll the dance floors for many years to come. We are excited to share our interview with Bryan K with you today – read on for more!
Entertwine: Could you tell us a bit about your musical background? What led you to begin performing and DJing in the first place? In my 20’s I went to my first rave to see a popular trance DJ at the time, and that inspired me to start djing myself. I remember the start of the curiosity was sparked by my father, I remember being in the car, and him asking if I wanted to hear something. He tuned the dial a few times and found a station with these odd tones, it was early minimal techno. It was very interesting to me as a child. Moving on I experimented with programming tones and sounds on a Commodore 64. Looking back I wished I capitalized on my interests earlier, but it’s reassuring that the path I’m taking seems to be natural for me.
What can you tell us about the music scenes of Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto? How are they different? How are they similar? Wow… Not similar at all. I am just a little bit envious of my peers in Montreal because they have such an intensely amazing scene in their backyard. Toronto I feel has less of a focus on a specific sound, but enjoys it all, from the day parties, to nighttime rooftop gigs, they have a well established musical landscape.
Tell us about your iTunes podcast “The Beat with Bryan K”; what genres do you normally feature? Originally the direction was to rotate between my variation of EDM, tech house and deep house. With the relaunch of the podcast a short time ago, the definition of each genre will play more to the following that we have achieved, as well as the direction of my music production. It has become more of a defined sound.
How are you following the current trends in house music? How has the program evolved and differed podcast to podcast? Well always trust your gut. Many years ago I was playing deep house tracks that we are now hearing on the radio. I never thought that the specific track would get radio play, but there it was. It’s easy to get lost and frustrated and say “I was playing that years ago, and you thought it was weird then… now its hot?!”, but now I just chalk it up to being on the right path to begin with. Now I just trust my ear, and the feeling that the specific tracks give me and I roll with it.
You’ve been DJing in clubs for four years now; could you tell us about a few of the most exciting or interesting club performances that you’ve been a part of? A few come to mind, Technocolor Dreams paint parties, The Black Tape Project, day club parties even a “naked party”… I didnt believe that one until it actually happened. I have been booked for Halloween and NYE consistantly now for high energy performances, those always have a story to follow them. I have been witness to a playboy playmate showing me a trick where she dislocates her arm.
You’ve also been on bills with Andy Warburton, Heather Van Viper, DJ Punish, Etienne Ozborne and, Antoine Clamaran among others; what were these experiences like? Well Heather is a sweetheart, she truely enjoys what she does. A funny incident happened where Punish enjoyed my performance and part way through his headline set, handed the reigns over and asked me to continue and play his collaboration track the produced with Tiesto, “Shocker”. I was extremely honored for that. I probably was influenced the most on a personal level by meeting Andy Warburton. I knew who he was, and what he had done with HedKandi and Ministry of Sound. I was nervous once we met, I knew he was a highly skilled dj. As it turned out we became very good friends.
Could you tell us some about some of your more recent performance dates as well? Recently there has been alot of Deep House chill outevents coming my way. Some of the largest groups to play for outside of a festival, is the special events. At times there are 3000 people all in the same room as you! Some of the best dates I have had recently were in Montreal! That city likes to get down and dirty, they are very appreciative of their underground scene. Toronto, on the other hand has such a refreshing variety! I have had a blast in recent times to either city.
What does a Bryan K live performance look and sound like? I am quite versatile. Despite the genre, I always do my very best to keep it all vocal. Thats also the benefit to having being born in the early 80’s, I have so many throwbacks that have been remixed or re worked, adding that nostalgia. I will always try to WOW! you with a throwback of a track you may have listened to in grade 9 but with a house music twist.Vocal, melodic, and stompy. It really is a fun recipe.
Tell us more about your recent endeavor into music production. What is the most challenging part of the transition from live performance to studio engineering for you?
In my 20’s I went to my first rave to see a popular trance DJ at the time, and that inspired me to start DJing myself. Still wanting to create my own music, I promised myself, I will not touch music production until I had spent years in the clubs as a DJ. That is what makes a difference between a good producer, and an amazing performer.
I’ve always wanted to create something 100% my own. As a child I used to muck about and collect .midi files of popular songs, before .mp3 was released. Infact coding my own commodore computer in the 80’s to make all kinds of tones, beeps and simple melodies. In hindsight its always where I’ve wanted to go with music, almost destined if you will.
In terms of transitioning from the clubs exclusively to the studio, I hate the virtual buttons! Haha, aside from the learning curve of getting used to a particular peice of software,
The upside is that I have a lot of support behind me, and some very good friends that have been extremely well established internationally ,.in house and dance music. I could probably head to Toronto now, have a guys weekend, eat good food, and nerd-out over Djing and production… then eventually end up in a heated debate over it. Haha. I am very fortunate to have a friend like that.
Aside from working out and spending time with your wife, what activities and hobbies do you enjoy in your free time outside of music?
Funny thing is we do all these things together! My wife and I are truely best friends, and she’s not shy to tell me when I practice in the studio that she didn’t like something, or I definately have to play a specific track at an event.
Aside from the music, I do love the Carribbean! I have been so many times over the years we lost track over 20 times and have an extensive art collevtion from the markets in Havana. When I am in the right mood I bring the same attention to detail from my music to cooking. I love to put on BBQ dinner and drink parties with my Big green egg BBQ.
You also have an affinity for cigars, correct?
Haha. I do! I have been purchasing and collecting for about 11 years now. I do enjoy the occasional cigar, my staple being a Partagas Series D04 or a Hoyo Du Monterrey Petit Robusto. My Cohibas though… I have had very heated disputes at the Partagas factory in Havana once to obtain the last box of a collector item.
What does the remainder of 2015 hold in store for Bryan K? The podcast re-release started on May 11th. We will be continuing on with the revamped show and that will be continuing throughout the year at the very least. Production, I have made a lot of progress in writing my first single. It’s just about bending the sound now. So soon..ish. Touring, for the 4th quarter, we are looking at satifying the demand overseas for a performance, I cannot reveal the specifics as of yet, however Paris has alyways been a place I have wanted to visit.
Do you have any upcoming performances scheduled? I do, on occasion you can catch me at Tomo for a deep house set, and we have been working out some details with a few tour locations, such as Vancouver, Calgary, Windsor, St. Catharines, and Montreal. It’s started coming to a point where I have had to turn down a few gigs because they were not relevant to what I do as a DJ, or it wasnt in line with the direction I wanted to take the name. Locally I have had the pleasure of working with true housemusic promotion groups, Privé and FloorPlay. All my specifics for dates can be found on my Facebook page.
Can listeners expect original music from Bryan K in the near future? What about a new installment of your podcast? It’s coming! I am a tad bit of a perfectionist, I have played some personal remixes and original work live to guage reaction on the dancefloor, the release is close at hand. The podcast should be biweekly, work has already been done on that episode. There are a few guest mixes coming up, I loved working with DeeJay Chaotic, and Daveo from former releases, but we also have some very dark “Montreal / Detroit” inspired stuff coming from LXIX’s guestmix, who could forget a project I mentor “Tastes like Blonde”, bringing their unique energy to the decks, as well as a very special guestmix performed by a very close friend and mentor, HedKandi’s Andy Warburton.