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Music

12.11.2019

Premiere: "Nirvana" by Brahny

Inspired by his culture and Chinese heritage, Toronto-based producer and musician, Brahny’s soulful, compelling music comes with a blend of various genres such as RnB, Jazz, and Folk. He recently put out an EP titled Moon with an offering of six stellar, spellbinding tracks paired with stunning, dreamy visuals. Through this release, he brings forward the euphoric feeling of  self-proclaimed “suspension.”

Milk spoke to Brahny about his beginning roots, his creative process, and his brand new visual for the single “Nirvana.”

Tell me more about your artist name Brahny. Does it mean anything?

Not really, it was just a name my girlfriend made up to annoy me that my friends picked up. It’s oddly endearing and hilarious every time I hear it.

I read that you started classical piano lessons from a young age. What other instruments did you pick up on? Did you study music in school?

I picked up guitar in high school so I could play green day covers. I also played saxophone in a jazz band. I dabble in a couple of others but those are the instruments I’m most comfortable with. I also never went to music school because my parents wouldn’t let me but I definitely wanted to!

How has living in Toronto influenced your music, if at all? 

Mostly it gets really cold and stays really cold for a long time so it’s easier to get sad. Toronto is also super multicultural and the people are very kind. There’s a feeling of acceptance in and around the city that lends itself pretty well to creativity and collaboration. 

You mentioned that one of your main goals for visuals is to bring out elements of your Chinese heritage. How do you ensure this comes forward in your art?

The most important thing for me when bringing out elements of my Chinese heritage is how to reinterpret it in a way that is supplementary to the music that I want to release. I want to showcase Asian art that I find inspirational but in many cases, it has nothing to do with the way I want to sound. I try to ensure that the visual element is cohesive with the music so that the visual and music are stronger together than they are separately. I’m definitely still figuring out how to do it seamlessly but I think I’m improving! 

The video for “Nirvana” had the most beautiful lighting —  were you involved with the lighting and technical aspects? 

I worked with my friends Simon Tesfay and Mary Chen on the lighting of the project. We came up with the overall look, placements, and movement of the lighting together. The technical aspects were all Simon though! 

You mentioned you want your EP Moon to create a feeling of suspension. Can you tell me more about the intentions of this album?

I want the project to feel kind of like being stuck floating in space with no idea where to go or how to get down. Not in an entirely unpleasant way, more in like an “I’m not really sure where I want to go or how to get there but I’m ok with it” type way. 

What’s your creative process like? How else do you get into the mindset to make music?

I usually start with something that inspires me. If I find sounds or visuals that really hit me, I try to build off those feelings and create something that evokes similar emotions. The process after that is pretty flexible. Sometimes I start with the writing and sometimes the production. Although recently I’ve been trying to finish writing before starting any production – it seems to result in more cohesive music. 

Who are some of your favorite artists? Any dream collaborations?

Oh way too many to name! Spotify says I listened to a lot of Nick Drake, DIIV, Alfa Mist, Nicolas Jaar, Portishead, Meitei, etc. this year. I think collaborating with Nick Hakim would be so cool. 

How do you spend your time outside of the studio?

I watch a lot of movies and read sometimes. I’ve also been playing too much Mario Kart Tour on iPhone – It’s such a great game.

What’s in store for your listeners in 2020?

I’m constantly writing and producing new music so hopefully, lots more of that to come. I’m also writing and producing for some artists that I’m really passionate about so hopefully some of that will surface in 2020!

CREDITS:

DIRECTION + PHOTOGRAPHY: Mary Chen
STYLIST : Bulgun Bulia Puteeva
SET DESIGN: Claudia Dall’Orso
GARMENTS PROVIDED BY: The Wandering Wit / MAD mfg.
MODELS: Oscar Chiu, Rui Fu, Tiffany Wan, Zhongqi Liu

Stay tuned to Milk for more music moments. 

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