Image: Samuel Finzi
Interview by Maya-Rose Torrao
“A producer’s producer, a kind of rare genius.” – DJ Mag
Brooklyn-local Brian Cid is the name on everyone’s lips in the underground techno scene. Flawlessly flowing between melodic techno, deep house and progressive house, Brian’s tracks always hold a certain unique and infectious pensiveness to them, setting this multi-talented producer apart from the rest. With a career already so alive with possibility and a history as a multi-platinum audio engineer, it’s no wonder that Brian scored a DJ Mag nomination in 2017, for Best Breakthrough DJ in their Best of North America awards.
Always pushing for the next innovative project, Brian has recently launched his Endangered project, both a record label to showcase only the best contemporary electronic cuts as well as a series of exciting events focussed on blending music, performance and art. Brian has also just announced the release of his debut full-length album, ‘Meteorite Man’, set to be released 7th December, via seminal record label Balance.
Listen to a preview of the much-anticipated new album from Brian Cid, below.
We caught up with Brian Cid and chatted about connecting with fans on a personal level, empowering people with music and his new album.
Hi Brian! Before we dive in, set the tone for us. Why the arts? Why music?
Art is the ultimate form of human expression and within the art world music is the most powerful one. Music has the power to change your energy immediately. Music tells you stories without words, without limits in language or conditions. As I chose music, music chose me. It became the tool for my greater purpose. This is just not about creating music, is about empowering people, bringing love, acceptance, joy, unity, peace and building relationships with all kinds of people around the world. My purpose in this is beyond my own understanding and the effect of my art further than the imaginable.
Which usually comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea?
The sound. Something needs to spark my creative fire. I don’t believe in planning. This is actually why is hard for me to collaborate with other artists in real time. It’s impossible to plan when that creativity will hit you. This can’t be scheduled. My approach is to let it flow and then build from there. It’s all about what am I feeling at the moment. It’s the only way it can come out pure and genuine.
You’re about to release your debut LP ‘Meteorite Man’, congratulations! Tell us a bit about the process of putting the album together.
Thank you!… it’s been 3 years or so since I started the process. As I kept creating music I started to collect powerful tracks that really stood out, especially in my shows. Each one very powerful on their own. I created these in different parts of the world and it became a true mental and spiritual journey. It was all an expression of the evolution I was experiencing inside. My most personal project yet and one I am extremely proud of.
Can you tell us about a specific track on ‘Meteorite Man’ that means a great deal to you?
They all mark key stages in my life where I went through great changes, but if I had to choose one I’d say ‘Limits’. This is because ‘Limits’ is the pure expression of hope and self-empowerment. It’s the push and inspiration I needed in order to start building a new life coming all from within.
You’ve been playing a great deal of exciting shows this past year, all over the world – tell us about a country or a city that really stole your heart in 2018.
It was incredible to go to Amman, Jordan and feel so much love and appreciation for this music. It’s people are so beautiful and the energy felt was superb. But it’s not fair just to mention one. Places like India, Argentina, Eastern Europe… love rules earth and that’s a fact.
And one of your favourite shows this year? Why was it great?
At the Brooklyn Mirage for Cityfox… it’s always a blast to play in my hometown and feel the genuine love of all my friends and fellow New Yorkers… I can never get enough of it… the production, the vibe, the feel… All top notch… I can’t wait to be back in NYC.
Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage.
It is very important for me to keep eye contact with the people on the dancefloor and really feel them. Establishing a connection with them in a personal level. My mind travels to the dance floor and my rhythm locks in with theirs. This to me is essential. It’s all about giving them an experience and I take that very seriously.
What do you keep close by while you’re playing a set?
I never know what I will be playing so it’s important to have all my sets of USB with me. I also like to have people around me dancing. I love to turn around and feed off them. Give them hugs and big smiles. Cheers and enjoy the party as much as possible.
Take us through a day in the studio.
My studio days are just regular days for me… I jump in and out the studio as the day passes by… I never lock myself in… I make it be as part of my day, almost like jumping in and out the living room or the kitchen. I sit whenever I feel inspired and then I leave when I need a mental break. I never force myself to create. In between my session I also write emails, talk on phone, take naps, go for walks, read the news and keep my head wondering around. It actually increases my work flow and better music comes out.
What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound?
All sorts of techniques to ensure my last song doesn’t sound like the next. My sound keeps evolving although you can always hear my signature sound. I try different drums, synths, basslines… One thing that remains the same is always the touch of darkness and the journey built.
Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”?
After spending my teenage years producing as a hobby, right before stepping into college, I already knew I wanted to take this path to the next level and make a living of music. It was very clear to me. I never considered anything else.
What’s on your current playlist?
My playlist is filled with my own unreleased originals. Tracks that I’ve created that nobody has and most likely never will be released. They are only used for my shows. This is how I am able to give the people a new fresh experience. A unique journey.
Any emerging/unknown/upcoming artists on your radar that the world should know about?
New York based Justin Marchacos is one to look out for. He is also signed to Endangered.
Any side projects or collaborations you’re working on that you can tell us about?
For many years I’ve been slowly working on a project called Theory of Light with my good friend Hólmar, formally from Thugfucker. We intend to slowly finish it at some point… It’s a lengthy but amazing project.
You’ve been in the music for many years now! How have you refined your craft since you entered the industry?
Of course. I am always trying different things keeping it interesting and fun. I can get bored easy so it’s important to keep learning and give the craft a different flavor. The interesting thing about music is that you never get to learn it all. As time passes by the way you perceive music changes as well. This is what keeps it interesting.
Break down the news for us: what can we expect from you in 2019?
Expect an amazing musical project on my label Endangered. A very forward-thinking sound. Tracks that will be making quite an impact, especially in the melodic techno world.