It’s not very often you find an artist that cares as much about giving back to the the people who have helped build their career as they do about their music. Michael Brun, up and coming EDM DJ and producer, however, is such a person.
Coming from a humble Haitian household, Brun had plans on making his mark within the industry. At the young age of 16 Brun was faced with a major life decision, stay in Haiti or attend Culver military school, a private boarding school in Indiana. He had always planned on attending college in the states, although the opportunity he had in front of him was one that he could not turn down. From Culver he moved onto higher education and attended Davidson College in North Carolina. While attending classes and studying pre-med with aspirations of one day attending medical school, Brun was also producing music on his spare time. He started with mashups, working on software like virtual DJ and fruity loops, he would take two songs that have similar BPMs (beats per minute) and layer them on top of each other to create a whole new track. From there, he went on to take multiple top 40 tracks, remix and give them his own touch.
Electronic music has made waves in the industry over the past decade. The emergence of artists from around the globe within the U.S has made the genre the fastest growing sound in the country. Artists like Avicii, Calvin Harris, and David Guetta have claimed their stance as the super producers behind the spark. Brun has remixed the likes of many of these artists, although it wasn’t until one faithful night when he uploaded one of his first remixed tracks that started his musical career. The song was Big Jet Plane by Angus and Julia Stone, and he posted it to The Hype Machine. Overnight his remix went viral, hit over 30,000 views and later that week was picked up by Phazing Records under one of the biggest names in the game, Dirty South. ‘I woke up the next morning the same as I would any other day, I went to all of my classes, and it was until I got back to my dorm when I realized that my track had gone viral.’
Shortly after, Brun would take the main stage of the USA’s most coveted festival, Ultra in Miami. He had the opportunity to play on the main stage alongside artists such as Afrojack, Hardwell, and David Guetta. ‘I remember my manager called me and asked, when can you be down in Miami. I had a huge Chemistry test I couldn’t miss, so I was booked onto the first flight right after the exam.’ Within the next six months, he travelled playing shows and festivals in cities across the country. While on tour, he released several other tracks under both his own label as well as other major music labels such as Hardwell’s Refune Records as well as Steve Angello’s Size Matters.
In early 2014, Brun decided that he wanted to start his own record label, and so he did. The name of the label was Kid Coconut, an old nickname from his early days of DJ’ing.
He uses his label to release his own tracks, and on July 7th, 2014, Brun released Zenith, a progressive house track that turned the heads of many major producers.
‘If the opportunity doesn’t knock, you build the door.’ His intentions are simple yet admirable, ‘I wanted to be the label that I always expected. I’ve had this idea of what a label should do for their artists, they should not only establish them, but they should foster their talent as well.’ Utilizing his newfound fame and presence in the EDM scene, he now scouts up-and-coming talent through various means of social media as well as a direct e-mail that he uses for artists looking to get their tracks in the right hands.
Brun has made it a point to go back to Haiti and give to those who have helped build his career. He is currently working with APJ, a charity that works with artists for both peace and justice in Haiti through the arts. This past December, he hosted a seminar where he took over a class at one of the local audio institutes and created a live remix using the stems from one of the students’ current projects.
When asked about the experience this is what Brun had to say, ‘I’m always trying to give back to my community. They’re doing such great things out there, putting out such great music and by being there in front of them I felt like I was letting them all know that you can do it too.’
The 22 year old is also utilizing his record label to give exposure to artists from his home country. Giving back doesn’t always need to come in the form of a check or making a guest appearance. Brun plans on building more than a brand, more than a label, he envisions a family of artists that work on supporting one another and building their individual dreams.
By Fardad Sabzevari