Bryan Kearney: Next Level
Irish Trance titan Bryan Kearney has established himself as one of the most respected artists on the scene, with his unique style, relentless energy and ability to keep the crowd on their toes. Now Bryan is due to return to the O2 Academy in Leeds to support Gareth Emery on his ‘Drive’ UK album tour, so we took this opportunity to discuss his thoughts on the event and plans for the rest of 2014, amongst other things…
Hi Bryan! Hope you’re well. First things first, how are you feeling about playing at the O2 Academy Leeds next month as part of Digital Society Presents Gareth Emery: Drive Tour? Am I right in thinking it’s been over two years since you last played at this venue?
Hello, yes I am very well thank you. It has indeed been two years since I last played at DS, funnily enough I think it was the last time Gareth played there at the beginning of 2012, so that’s definitely a good omen! I closed the main room that night and what sticks with me was the amount of people still there at the end of the night, proper diehards, respect! Hopefully this time will be just as amazing, I’m sure it will be. It was an honour to remix U for Gareth and I’m delighted to be part of his ‘Drive’ album tour.
Can you give us a bit of an insight as to what to expect from you on the night?
A wide variety of power and energy would be the best way to describe it. I’m not entirely sure which way it will go at the moment, but I’ll have a better idea on the night. There will be a varied mixture of all the sounds that are doing it for me at the moment, as well as the odd surprise track. I’d say dropping my remix of U would be a must!
What have been your favourite moments of this year so far?
My favourite moments of the year so far would be Mandarine in Buenos Aires, WMC week in Miami, Exchange in LA and ASOT 650 in Den Bosch. All amazing experiences so far for me and it’s still early in the year! I have got so much to look forward to over the next few months.
I had the pleasure of attending the Subculture gig in Argentina last year, where you closed; listening to ‘Exactly’ while watching the sun rise and feeling the energy of the crowd gave me goosebumps! Would you say it’s moments like these that make all the hard work seem worthwhile?
It’s becoming a cliché answer at this stage with regards to Argentina, as every DJ says the same, but the reason they say it is because it’s 100% true. Argentina is next level when it comes to experience. That night in Mandarine was absolutely incredible, there are certain nights that affect you emotionally and that certainly was one of them. I had tears in my eyes at the end of my set. Unbelievable. I cherish those moments. It’s one of the few countries where I can play a fully extended set of five hours, I can take the music into different directions and the crowd retains an open mind throughout. An absolute pleasure to perform to a crowd like this.
You’ve taken your sound in a different direction to a number of other Trance DJ’s, a bold move but no doubt one which has paid off. What provoked you to do this?
To be honest, I don’t feel like I’m doing anything differently to what I’ve always done. I have never really been a strictly trance only DJ, I’ve always played other styles and sounds in my sets right back to when I was starting out. I have always stayed true to myself, to the music that I love and to what I have a massive passion for. The reason it has all paid off is because I have a desire to succeed at what I do, I’m determined to do it in the right way and I follow through on what it is I’m doing. When the faster / harder stuff was apparently fading away, I stuck with it because I loved it and I still do. I have incorporated new sounds and styles over the past few years, not because it’s the ‘cool’ thing to do but because it’s music that I like. The music I make and the music I play is primarily for myself, and I don’t mean that in a selfish way; it’s a way of expressing what I want to express and doing it truthfully. I’m doing what feels natural to me, that’s why it has worked, because I’m not trying to doing it, I’m just doing it. The only person you should try to be in competition with is yourself.
Which DJ’s, old and new, do you have the most respect for and why?
Mauro Picotto – Still a huge influence on me and. I think I’ve still yet to encounter a DJ with the amount of stage presence he had when I started clubbing in 2000/2001. All of the BXR Italian DJ’s would be people I have a huge amount of respect for.
Carl Cox – Because he’s Carl Cox and the amount of energy the man has. Carl is the only DJ that should be allowed to use a microphone when playing. Fact.
Ferry Corsten – The man’s discography speaks for itself, it’s legendary. His modern sound isn’t really my thing, however you can’t but respect everything he has done throughout his career.
Also add the likes of Paul Van Dyk, Armin Van Buuren, Marco V, Scot Project and Chris Liebing, all guys that have had a big influence on me musically.
Sneijder – An absolute gent that has worked his (excuse my language) bollocks off to get to where he is through hard work, determination and talent. Always willing to lend an ear to help out with suggestions for my own productions as well. Massive talent.
Aly & Fila / John O’Callaghan – Leading the way in terms of high-tempo music and continuing to progress all the time with their music & brands, pushing a sound that I firmly believe in.
Giuseppe Ottaviani – Half human / half angel. He’s always willing to help out and provides great advice and suggestions for music, plus he’s given me a lot of help with regards to sound treatment of my studio. He has always been a massive influence for me and I have the utmost respect for him.
Solarstone – One of the funniest people I’ve ever met in my life.
John Askew – No words needed.
Kearnage Recordings has been going from strength to strength, and 2013 was certainly a pretty successful year for the label! What can we expect for the rest of 2014?
Yeah Kearnage had a massive 2013 and I have some amazing releases lined up over the next few months from Nick Callaghan, Craig Meichan, Sam Jones, Will Rees, Adam Ellis, Jase Thirlwall, Lostly, Warren Adam and of course, myself. Kearnage will continue to go from strength to strength operating on its policy of quality over quantity.
Any collaboration plans for the near future? I heard some rumours about Coming Soon…
My collaboration with Sneijder entitled Next Level should be released within the next few months on Subculture. That track has been huge for me so far this year. On the Coming Soon rumours are they true? Maybe, maybe not… I am also working on a vocal track at the moment, which will be something I’ll be using for the summer months with an absolutely amazing vocalist.
What else is on the agenda for this year?
My summer is already looking jam-packed with festivals and appearances all over the world. I can’t go into too much detail, as they are yet to be announced, but they are all huge gigs. I will also be fulfilling a lifelong ambition by playing twice at Cream in Amnesia this summer. I was on the dance floor with my mates for last year’s opening party and I’m playing this year’s one, so progress has been made! The rest of the year is looking top-notch and I’m extremely excited about it all.
You can catch Bryan at Digital Society Presents Gareth Emery at O2 Academy Leeds on May 25th Bank Holiday Sunday as part of the ‘DRIVE’ UK Album Tour. Tickets are available at : Digital Society Presents Gareth Emery & Eddie Halliwell tickets from Skiddle.
Words: Milly Day