[INTERVIEW] Michaël Brun Discusses His Hit Collab, 'Charge It', Performing At Coachella, And More

Michaël Brun, Charge It
| May 10, 2023

It has not taken long for genre-fusing artist Michaël Brun to rise to musical stardom. This innovative Haitan-born producer is known for his abilitiy to weave infectious elements of dancehall and R&B into his originals, while embedding his Caribbean roots. Hot off his recent set at Coachella, we chatted with Michaël about his latest single, "Charge It", his upcoming tour, and other thrilling aspects of his project.

Check out iEDM's exclusive interview with Michaël Brun below.

 

Michaël Brun, Charge It

iEDM: Which artists did you look up to the most throughout your childhood and how have they affected your signature style of music?

Michaël Brun: The two most impactful as of now would have to be Daft Punk and Pharrell. They both were influential because they incorporated a lot of different components in the ways that they approached music. Daft Punk did a lot of creative sampling and Pharrell interpolated and fused sounds from the funk and disco era with hip hop and punk sounds.

 

iEDM: How do you infuse your Caribbean background into your production? If you had to pick one, which of your songs best reflects your cultural heritage and why?

Michaël Brun: I try to incorporate all kinds of different Caribbean elements but the most obvious one would be the drum rhythms. We have extremely percussive and energetic music in the Caribbean. If I had to pick a song that reflects my Haitian heritage, specifically, I would say “Bayo”. “Bayo” incorporates parts of the Kone which is our traditional horn instrument but then also has Kompa guitar chords which is a genre of music that’s very popular in Haiti. That song is really special to me. 

iEDM: What was the toughest obstacle you had to overcome when first launching your music career and getting your name out there? How were you able to persevere through this?

Michaël Brun: The toughest obstacle is promotion. That is always something that artists have to balance. You create this thing that you love and you want people to see, but then you also want to make sure that it is done in a way that is consistent with who you are. That has been a constant challenge for me. Social media can be a blessing and a curse because now you have the most access ever, yet it is important you are doing things that you will be happy to look back on ten years later.

 

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iEDM: What inspired your new collaborative single, “Charge It”? How did each of you come together and showcase all of your musical identities within the track?

Michaël Brun: “Charge it”, my new single, started as a beat that I was working on in New York with Spencer Stewart, this amazing multi-instrumentalist. We were vibing on some stuff and I liked his piano so I chopped it up, reversed it, and began crafting the beat around it.

From there, I played it for Jozzy when she was in town one time, and she made the hook. And then I took that to Masego in LA and we did the verse for his part a couple of months later. Finally, I was in Kingston and I met Bayka and played him the song. We wrote his verse a few months after that. Clearly, the song traveled all over the world and I think you can hear it in the song too.

iEDM: What were your favorite parts about working with Masego, Jozzy, and Bayka on “Charge It”? Did you learn anything new about yourself as an artist or just in general while making this song?

Michaël Brun: I love the fact that all three of the collaborators on “Charge it” were so open-minded to trying something new. They had never done anything like this before and they all approached it uniquely to their artistry. The process of getting to meet everybody, working in different cities and countries, and trying something out of our comfort zones was super cool. I genuinely appreciate that as an artist you get to push the limits and express yourself in new ways.

 

iEDM: Why do you think the instrumental and lyrics overlap so smoothly in “Charge It”? Which component of your production in the dance hall anthem do you feel delivers the most energy?

Michaël Brun: Everything flows together so well in “Charge it” because all the artists that were involved are so talented. If you are using good ingredients, you cannot go wrong. You can just adjust things to taste. I always had a general idea of the vibes I was looking for in that song and I wanted it to feel driving with the beat while simultaneously smooth. This is why I wanted to work with these artists specifically.

I thought they had a nice balance between something that was more traditionally dance hall or traditionally Jamaican. However, they also had elements of a lot of other songs globally, such as “Coupé-décalé”, and even electronic and hip hop elements. 

 

iEDM: Which scenes or visual elements in the music video for “Charge It” stand out to you, and why?

Michaël Brun: I love the beach scene in the music video. It’s fun and the transition into nighttime was pretty cool. Both of those were great and Savannah did an awesome job representing the song and the visual.

 

iEDM: What wisdom would you share with producers that are having difficulty blending genres to forge the sound that represents who they are?

Michaël Brun: I would say to any producer that's trying to blend genres, “it is all about being authentic to yourself”. Because everyone is influenced by different things, the way that you interpret these things is going to be different from the person right next to you. And part of the beauty of blending things is you never know what it’s going to end up like. You just have to try and as long as it connects with you, it will connect with somebody else.

 Michaël Brun, Charge It

iEDM: What were the highlights of your recent performance at Coachella’s Do LaB stage? Which songs do you think received the top crowd reactions?

Michaël Brun: The Do LaB set was so much fun. I’ve been playing a lot of Jungle recently and fusions between Carnival music from various parts of the world and electronic stuff that I have been into lately. This set was one of the first sets where I was incorporating a lot of the songs from the project.

The reaction was epic; I was so happy because a lot of people actually did not know who I was yet and at the beginning of the set compared to the end of the set there were thousands of people. I was hyped to try that. I think probably the best reaction was during the Carnival section. Additionally, I have this new song that is going to come out soon with some really cool collaborators from the Caribbean. That track went crazy.

 

iEDM: What is your optimal outfit to wear during a festival set and what draws you to it?

Michaël Brun: I feel like as a DJ you have to wear something that you feel good in, that you look good in, and that you stand out in, but also that feels authentic to you. Recently, I have worn a lot of Caribbean and African prints and things that feel like you are getting transported to a vacation somewhere. I like that style right now.

 

iEDM: How does it feel to be signed to Astralwerks? What does this accomplishment mean to you?

Michaël Brun: I love the Astralwerks team. They have been such great partners, believe in what I am doing, and have been empowering all of these bigger picture ideas. Once you see the full scope of what this project is, it will make a lot of sense. I learned throughout my life that anything great takes many people. It is truly a collaborative effort across the board so I am grateful to have a really strong team in Astralwerks. We are looking to make history.

 

iEDM: In what ways does your artistic vision align with that of Astralwerks?

Michaël Brun: Since the beginning, in the conversations with Astralwerks we both wanted to create something that was representative of what is happening in the world today musically. So much of that is just fusion. There has never been as many individual stories around the world of successes, whether it’s Latin music success, African, Caribbean, pop, hip hop, or grime. There are so many stories now and so many spaces around the world, like what is happening with K-pop and India.

It is truly the most global-sounding industry of all time. Many cultures make up who I am, I wanted to incorporate as much of those as possible, creating sounds that feel consistent with that and what the world is today. Astralwerks is 100% on the same page and that is why we are working together.

 Michaël Brun, Charge It

iEDM: What are you most looking forward to in regard to your Bayo Block Party Tour? Can you explain your partnership with PLUS1 and the importance of this joint initiative to you?

Michaël Brun: I am so excited for Bayo to be back because these shows have been happening for seven years and the growth from day one to now is insane. I never thought we’d be playing at MTELUS in Montreal, it’s such an amazing venue. And SummerStage in New York. To me, being in Central Park is iconic and something legitimately I never imagined was even going to be possible. It is a huge honor and the artists that are going to be involved are incredible.

I think for anybody that has not been to my shows, this is such a great one to come to because we fine-tuned this show. Also, PLUS1 has been really crucial to me throughout my career as I create music and as I’ve had more and more spotlight on myself as an artist. PLUS1 takes a portion of the ticket sales for organizations that are doing great work in Haiti. I am grateful to be in this position and feel a responsibility to give back to my country.

 

iEDM: What goals do you aim to accomplish by the end of 2023? How do you plan on reaching these objectives?

Michaël Brun: By the end of 2023, I definitely want to have fully finished the project I am working on, even if it comes out a bit later. I want to have a whole idea of what the project means for the people. The public will understand what is coming and this will continue to grow as I am touring. There are some really amazing production things that I have worked on for other people that are going to be coming out throughout the year.

I went into this year wanting to make things that nobody else has heard before. I hope that by the end of 2023 people understand the scope of everything I have been putting so much time into. Through witnessing my music, my shows, and other components I have been working on, I hope people love my project as much as I do.

 

 

Photos courtesy of Michaël Brun

 

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Connor Phillips

CONNOR PHILLIPS

Fueled by his passion for EDM, Connor’s life revolves around dance music and its ability to bring people together. Raised in upstate New York, Connor was deprived of festivals and raves until he attended Florida State University, where he was instantly hooked. Fast-forward to today and Connor has become a house and melodic techno DJ, an avid EDM-based interviewer and writer, and has worked PR for the likes of Matroda, Bleu Clair, and other new-wave house icons.

Outside of music, Connor loves pretty much any sport (huge Knicks, Yankees, and NY Giants fan), going on hikes, traveling, and food. Based in Florida, there’s a good chance you will eventually run into Connor at one of the popular festivals and clubs throughout the state.

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