A Sit Down With DJ Bryan Kearney
Over the years, Bryan Kearney has honed his DJing skills by taking his experiences from the Dancefloor into the DJ box. His current demand is at an all-time high; this is evident from the diversity in location of his appearances. He has performed at massive events such as Electronic Daisy Carnival, Electric Zoo, Tomorrowland, Stereosonic, Cream Ibiza and many more.
"Appreciate what you receive and know that you have to earn what you get."
Describe your early musical background. What are some of your past influences, as well as current producers?
To be honest, I have no musical background with regards to learning how to play an instrument or anything like that. Basically, Ive learned my trade from the dancefloor as a clubber and taken what I think works into the DJ Box. Ive been clubbing for around 13 years and DJing for around the same. My biggest influences are Mauro Picottoand all of the Italian DJs from the BXR era, such as Carl Cox, Paul van Dyk, Chris Liebing, Armin van Buuren, John OCallaghan, John Askew and many more. Current producers that are really pushing my buttons would be Astrix, Coming Soon, Sneijder, Sonic Sense and loads of others.
What differences do you see in comparison for the preparation for a liveset?
Well on a compilation I can only use music that has been fully cleared by the labels whereas in a live set I have more freedom to play what I want.
You yourself are renowned for your remarkably technical remixes of some hugely successful productions. From your collection, do you have a favourite track that you enjoyed working on?
Probably my remix of Plumb - 'Need You Now'. I had a lot of fun transforming it from a Christian Rock track into a club anthem. It still gets requested at every gig I play. Digital Society was the first place I ever played the track out at, the May 2014 event with Gareth Emery. I've done my best to sort of phase it out from my sets but it seems to keep sneaking back in. How Many Times have I played that track? I've no idea at this stage.
Your time as a producer has seen you complete many fantastic remixes of original ideas, from the likes of John OCallaghan, Aly & Fila and Armin van Buuren. Do you have any plans to work with other artists on future collaborations and remix projects?
2017 is going to see the Key4050 project between myself and John O'Callaghan taken on to the next level. I don't really want to say too much more on it but it's something we are both extremely excited about. I'm always up for collaborations with the right people, where we can both bring something to the table rather than one person doing nothing and the other all the work.
What do you think of the whole trouse hype and the dance scene blowing in The United States? Is 'Who's Afraid Of 138?!' a statement for the more 'classic' sound of trance?
Obviously people have seen the commercial success that that type of music has brought to people performing in the US and they want a part of it which is completely understandable coming from a business point of view. Personally it's not my type of music, all the best to people who want to play it but it's not for me. With regards to statements for the more classic sound of trance I don't agree with this either. I think one of the main problems within the scene right now is the amount of labeling, segregation and general hatred that seems to be everywhere. Everything is given a label or a name and people seem to have lost touch that the music is meant to be enjoyed.
You are certainly very busy with your label, producing and live gigs. How do you relax so that you have the power for all this?
I get up every morning at 7 a.m and go to the gym for 90 minutes to start the day off in an energetic way. I then work up until 6 p.m and I dont do any music related work after that. Its important to try and switch off and be a normal human being instead of just being the artist.
You have been on tip of everyone's tongue in recent times as one of the hottest DJ's to watch and have become a valuable addition to most trance events, particularly in the UK. Can you describe what that's like and tell us your secret?
I'm don't think there's any real secret to my success really, I just have a lot of passion for what I do and I work extremely hard. I play a highly energetic diverse sound so I think that appeals to a lot of different people. I'm extremely happy that I've become quite a regular fixture at the big nights in the UK, particularly closing their events. My type of music really does work well at that time of the night/morning so maybe that's one of the reasons. I also record a lot of my sets as a way of seeing how well I performed on the night. This means that I can continuously analyze my performances, what worked well, how certain tracks worked together and indeed how I can improve in the future. I am always refining my sound, adding new sounds or tracks and also removing stuff that doesn't seem to work on the dance floor. To be honest I am really on the energetic trance buzz at the moment and I can see myself really bringing more and more of this to my sets.
You have traveled around the world with your music. Which country has the greatest crowds and most energy?
South America is my favorite continent to play in and Argentina is the best place in the world with the most enthusiastic, respectful, open minded and responsive crowds in the world. Every DJ says the same.
How many demos do you get sent and what is the process you go through to actually release a track?
A lot. I'd say I have signed about 1% of what I've been sent over the past few years. I've turned down a lot of tracks that have then appeared on other labels and that have done well, but I don't regret not signing any track at any stage. I know myself within two seconds if I want to sign the track. There have been times when I like something particular about the track and I will go back to the producer with suggestions on what to focus on. At times, I'll ask for the midi files for the main melody, work a little on it and send it back to them so they can take it from there. After I sign a track, I play it as I.D in my own sets for a while. I then send to a handful of people in advance of release.
Do you have any advice for any DJs planning on collaborating with other artists following your experience in this way of working?
Do it. Go in with an open mind. It's amazing how much you can learn from other people when you sit down and see how they work and do things in their own way.
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