Interview: the Amazing Producer and DJ Brynjolfur

“I have always been into electronic music”

Faroese producer and DJ Brynjolfur is one of the most talked about names in the Scandinavian electronic music scene. This year he released the critically acclaimed EP “Glass Chain” and played amazing live gigs. Nordic Style Magazine talked with him about his first produced track, childhood in the Faroe Islands and the current state of the Danish club scene.

You grew up in the Faroe Islands – a country that is foremost renowned for music genres like folk and metal. How did you discover your love for electronic music?

I have been into electronic music as long as I remember. When I was 4 or 5 years old, I used to watch “Miami Vice” and I remember loving the music which mainly was composed by Jan Hammer. But I really got into electronic music when I heard the album “Music for the Jilted Generation” by The Prodigy. I was like 10 or 11 years old, and it is still one of my favorite albums.

When did you produce your first own track?

I started playing piano when I was 9, and I got my first cheap Casio keyboard when I was 10. I did my first own track when I was 14. At that time, I had just bought my first synthesizer Yamaha AN1X – I still have it – and a PC. I produced the track on a really bad version of Cubase, it was called Cubasis back then. I still have the midi files, would be fun to listen to it again.

So from that moment on, you improved little by little …?

I am self-thought. Back when I started producing music, there wasn’t any YouTube or tutorials around, and nobody else was producing electronic music in the Faroe Islands, so I just had to figure it out myself. I’m actually really happy about that because I gained a quite good deal of technical knowledge that new producers often seem to lack. Many new producers rely too much on tutorials and stuff, and forget to just use their own ears.

Photo: Kiva Brynaa

Photo: Kiva Brynaa

When did you DJ for the first time?

Actually not that long ago compared to how long I have been producing music. It was in 2007 at the famous G! Festival in the Faroe Islands. It was totally random – they just asked me if I wanted to give it a go and I did and loved it. I soon realized that I maybe should be more serious about making music. It took me a while though to get really serious because I wasn’t that much into record labels and how to get my stuff out heard. Many producers are really good at that, and I have always sucked at that. I think my production has been OK for many years but I haven’t had that much knowledge of records labels. With time, I have become better because of DJ:ing. Being a DJ, it’s pretty important to know your labels.

What was your biggest success so far?

2014 was I very good year for me. I played at the Roskilde Festival and at the DR Concert Hall in Copenhagen which is an amazing venue. Both were very good events for me.

You released your successful “I Love You” EP on the legendary Belgian label Eskimo Records. How did you get that record deal?

A friend of mine, Peter Visti, got us connected. He showed them my music and they loved it. The deal with Eskimo is an independent one, so I’m also releasing on other labels. But I think it was pretty important for me to get “I Love You” out on Eskimo. I still think that the track is great and fitted perfectly with a great label as Eskimo.

What musicians inspire you?

Mostly bands have inspired me over the years. When I was younger, I used to listen a lot to bands like The Prodigy, Underworld, Chemical Brothers, Aphex Twin and Depeche Mode. Nowadays I get inspired by all kinds of temporary things. But those bands still inspire me a lot. In my opinion, the decade of the 90’s was the golden age of electronic music because it was new and fresh but established enough to not just be a novelty thing.

Photo: Marco Ponti

Photo: Marco Ponti

Is there an electro music scene in the Faroe Islands?

It’s growing – even though it’s still taking baby steps. I’m really happy that more and more Faroese people are producing quality electronic music but I miss more club music. The club scene plays a huge role in the evolvement of electronic music around the world and I think we need more of that here on the islands.

What do you think about the Danish electro scene?

The Danish scene is huge compared to the Faroe Islands, but it’s a bit stale at the moment. Nevertheless I think we are at a turning point. There are so many talented people involved in the club scene in Denmark and it seems that people are anxious for something new to happen and it will for sure happen.

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