[INTERVIEW] Boris Brejcha Takes Us Behind The Curtain Of His New Anthem, 'Vienna', Featuring Malena Narvay
With a storied music career adorned by triumphs, the mysterious yet alluring Boris Brejcha's forthcoming studio album, Level One, stands as a testament to his artistry. A gifted veteran in the EDM circuit, Brejcha's previous exploits include the meteoric rise of recent hit “Space X”, accompanied by a breathtaking music video shot on an Icelandic island. Additionally, his iconic Carnival-inspired mask and captivating live performances have earned him multiple “Top 100 DJs” awards, global sold-out shows, and over 140 million YouTube views.
Now, embarking on a mesmerizing journey through Brejcha's musical tapestry, we delve into the soul of his latest single, “Vienna” featuring Malena Narvay. As anticipation builds for Level One, “Vienna” marks another thrilling chapter in Brejcha's kaleidoscopic odyssey.
Check out iEDM's exclusive interview with Boris Brejcha below.
iEDM: “Vienna” showcases a captivating blend of your signature high-tech minimal sound and a unique accordion-driven melody. Can you share the creative process behind combining these elements to create a track that evokes the vibrant energy of Austria?
Boris Brejcha: That's a good question. I'm not going to sit down in the studio and know that I'm going to do a track like that. Mostly something like that comes up spontaneously. I was randomly searching for sounds and happened to come across the accordion. Somehow it stood out for me, and in the end, it fit perfectly into the song. It's always exciting how a song is formed from various coincidences.
iEDM: What production tools or techniques were pivotal in bringing this infectious and hypnotic anthem to life?
Boris Brejcha: In the end, it was partly the gimmick of using the accordion, but also only at certain points. Thus, it remains evenly spaced out and one looks forward to it. The main feature is definitely the synthesizer sound that builds up to the primary break and then becomes the main theme. I prepared this with a lot of delay to get a nice pure flow. As a result, the song became very driving and danceable.
iEDM: Collaborating with Malena Narvay on “Vienna” has resulted in a beautifully harmonious track. How did you approach the fusion of her vocals with your intricate sound design, and what did you hope to convey through her otherworldly singing?
Boris Brejcha: It was very relaxed. She has an exceedingly beautiful voice. And she gave me every freedom to use her voice the way I like it. The message was quickly clear to us. We want to get people to dance and that they secretly feel and live out of the music.
iEDM: The accordion, an instrument deeply associated with Vienna, plays a prominent role in the new single. What led you to incorporate this instrument, and how did it contribute to the song's sonic landscape?
Boris Brejcha: As already mentioned, the choice of the accordion came purely by chance. It has contributed significantly to the fact that this song sounds like summer and seems very light and beautiful. In combination with the vocals, it is a perfect summer anthem, to which everyone unintentionally starts to dance.
iEDM: Your music often combines mysterious elements with high-energy beats. How do you strike a balance between maintaining a shadow of mystery while also engaging your listeners on a visceral level?
Boris Brejcha: I think that's just my way of making music. I love the mysterious. And at the same time driving beats. Together it's a very nice combination, which has also influenced me over all these years. I think that also has a lot to do with my past. My songs frequently make you think and dream.
iEDM: What is your perspective on the contrast between red and white in the music video and its symbolic nature? What visual component or scene are you most drawn to?
Boris Brejcha: The color red is just a super striking color. The Joker mask is generally already very concise and the color red is emphasized again with it. I love such contrasts. But what I like most is the contrast of the two main characters. A quick, lively, and radiant woman who is brimming with self-confidence. And on the other side, the Joker robot who needs to be teased again and again, so he can fall under her spell.
iEDM: The music video for “Vienna” presents an imaginative journey through the Austrian capital, featuring Malena Narvay. What sparked the concept for the video, and what was the experience like filming in such an iconic location?
Boris Brejcha: The idea to shoot the video in Vienna came from the accordion instrument. This instrument was born in Vienna. Therefore, it was obligatory for us to shoot there. Vienna is an exciting city. It has a lot to offer and provides an incredibly beautiful backdrop. Especially because of its old, classical buildings.
iEDM: The Fckng Serious Bus Tour took you to notable venues and festivals across North America. How does performing in different locations and before diverse audiences influence your creativity and approach to your sets?
Boris Brejcha: Ah yes. The bus tour. What a great time we had there. Unbelievable. America is just an incredible country. So big and there is so much to see. You can't get away from being amazed. However, the different cities and places have not influenced us. I always see it this way: that we influence these places with our music.
We are all musicians who love to play our own songs. Therefore, you can not change too much. But that's not a bad thing at all because we want to show our fans our own songs, while bringing them closer and all having fun together.
iEDM: What were some of the highlights from your Fckng Serious Bus Tour? What cities did you really enjoy beyond just performing there, and why?
Boris Brejcha: Definitely Red Rocks was the highlight of the bus tour. What an outstandingly beautiful location. You rarely see anything like it. For anyone who has not been there, you have to experience it.
All the places had their own special charm, but on a bus tour, the journey is the destination. And so, for example, we were able to marvel at the complete change of nature during a 23-hour bus ride. From America all the way up to Canada. From warm weather to cold weather. It was very impressive. You don't see something like that when you fly.
iEDM: As you continue to evolve as an artist, what aspects of your sound and style do you feel have been most transformative from your earlier works to the upcoming album?
Boris Brejcha: It is hard to say. I think the biggest change is the fact that songs are approached much more precisely; how they sound, and how they are produced. That's cool on the one hand, but on the other hand, you lose a little bit of the childishness of producing.
With the upcoming album, I realized that and I was able to do a good balancing act between the old and the new. For example, “Level One” is such a typical Boris song from earlier times. I love it and I think that I will go down this path more in the future.
iEDM: The announcement of your forthcoming studio album in early 2024 has excited fans worldwide. Can you offer a glimpse into the themes or sounds that you will be exploring in this album?
Boris Brejcha: That's easy. Everything you can imagine is there, from techno to house. It will also encompass some minimal aspects and beautiful melodies. The album is exactly a mix of what I personally like best.
iEDM: Looking ahead, what main aspirations and goals do you hope to achieve by 2025, both in terms of your project and your impact on the electronic music scene?
Boris Brejcha: For me the most important aspect, playing fewer gigs. Not because I don't like it, quite the opposite. Over the years it has become more and more gigs and less and less studio time. I find this to be very unfortunate, especially because I enjoy producing so much.
That's why my goal over the next few years is to plan one more month of vacation or studio time until I have reached my goal of being on tour for 6 months and in the studio for 6 months without performing. I would like to continue doing this for years to come so that the stress can be reduced and the quality maintained at a high level.
Photos courtesy of Felix Hohagen Photography ; @felixhohagen on Instagram.