With production talent that has landed him releases on Hardwell’s Revealed imprint and Dirty South’s Phazing Records, it’s hard to believe that Michael Brun is only 19 years old and a sophomore in college. This young up start from Haiti has received both praise and support from major DJ’s like Tiesto, Kaskade, Fedde Le Grand and Afrojack in the short span of his career…so the future certainly seems bright. You may have heard his latest collaboration with Special Features, Synergy which is taking the Beatport charts by storm too. In the midst of a hectic final exam schedule, Michael took a little time to talk to the PB&J™ team and even put together a quick mix for us. Producing right out of his dorm room at Davidson, Brun is able to balance a heavy course load while playing shows with the likes of Dirty South, Avicii, Thomas Gold, AN21 and many more. With insane talent and the drive to match, we present: Michael Brun. Check out his PB&J™ Radio mix below and hit the jump for our exclusive interview!
So, let’s start with the basics for our fans. Tell us a little bit about yourself, your background from Haiti, and what influenced you to start DJing and producing?
Michael Brun: I’m 19 years old, born and raised in Haiti, and a sophomore at Davidson College. My parents have always loved music and they made me take piano and violin lessons when I was little and I kept them up for most of my life. When I was around 15, some friends introduced me to EDM and I pretty much instantly knew that I wanted to be producing my own stuff.
How did your relationship with Dirty South start and what sparked your past (and future) releases on his label imprint, Phazing Records?
MB: One day I got an email from Dirty South’s label manager saying that they liked my stuff and were interested in signing one of my tracks. I sent them over Rise and got a really great reaction, and the release was soon after that. From there I got in touch with Dirty South directly and we got to meet up for Miami Music Week/ Ultra and hang out. Right before Miami I had finished up Synergy with Special Features and DS really liked it, so he signed it immediately. He’s been super supportive in pushing my tracks and I’m really thankful for that.
It’s not too often that we hear of house DJ’s coming from Haiti. How is the EDM scene there and has it grown much since your arrival to the genre?
MB: It’s growing. EDM came around to Haiti about 10 years ago but it was only until about 4 years ago that any big international DJs started playing. Since then promoters have taken notice and have put on some really amazing shows, and I’ve had the privilege to play alongside guys like Avicii, AN21 and Max, and Nadia Ali. Haitians are getting into the whole movement, and I’m seeing more and more new producers and DJs sprout up every time I’m back home.
Are there any major collaborations that can we expect this year or any artists that you’d want to work with?
MB: There are a few more collabs that I’m working on at the moment but I can’t announce anything as yet. They’re all sounding really big though and I can’t wait to show you all!
How does it feel to be so young and yet receive so much recognition for about every track that you’ve released?
MB: It’s amazing. I love making music and it just makes the experience more rewarding when I see that people love it as well. I get so many great messages from people on fb, twitter and email and I try to answer as many as I can. All the support keeps me motivated to keep improving and becoming a better artist.
Where did the inspiration for your collaborative Special Features, entitled Synergy, come about? The teaser video got us all pretty amped! And it’s gotta be pretty cool working with some other young talents.
MB: Yes it’s been great to get to know some other producers out there doing the same thing as me. I got in touch with Special Features over the summer and we both really liked each other’s work. We decided to start a few collaborations and Synergy was the first that we finished. We wanted to take the best parts of both our sounds and make something completely new and I think we achieved that with Synergy.
Your track ‘Rise’ is picking up MAJOR speed after its huge response in Miami with the Dirty South edit. How did this track come about and what’s the most unique aspect of the track in your opinion?
MB: I wanted to make a track that could really encapsulate the hands in the air moment that EDM is so famous for. I think thee most unique aspect is the chord progression. It builds up and drops off, and kind of mimics the idea of a roller coaster, which I think gives it a lot of energy.
We all know that ‘Dawn’ played a major role in your career and exposure as well. How did Hardwell hear about your track and decide to edit it himself?
MB: Just like with Dirty South, Hardwell’s label manager heard about my tracks and was interested in signing something from me. I sent over Dawn, and I got an answer from him within a few hours that he loved it and wanted to do an edit and release it on his label. You could say I was pretty pumped.
It’s pretty awesome that on top of becoming a rising talent, you’re also a college student at Davidson. How difficult is it to balance academics with producing and gigs? Also, have you ever DJ’ed any parties there? We know the South likes to rage.
MB: It’s tough but I’ve been doing my best to prioritize everything. I usually try and get homework done right after classes and then go straight into production mode.
And for parties, I’m actually in the Kappa Alpha fraternity at Davidson so I’ve DJ’d a few parties there. People at Davidson seem to be getting more and more into EDM and it’s awesome to see the community growing.
How would you describe your specific sound? It’s pretty awesome and all over from your remix of Childish Gambino’s ‘Heartbeat’ to your more progressive sounding remix of ‘Animal’ by the Neon Trees?
MB: I try to make music that has dynamic melodies and makes you want to dance so I guess that’s my sound in a nutshell.
What’s been the best experience of your DJ career so far?
MB: Being on stage with Dirty South at Ultra in Miami when he played Rise. I can’t put into words how amazing it was to see so many people going crazy for my track. Then later that night I played at Dirty South’s afterparty at Mansion with Thomas Gold and Tommy Trash