International electronic artist and producer Sevenn, aka Kevin Brauer, teams up with Turkish producer Ilkay Sencan and singer-songwriter Patrik Jean on “Blind Side.”
Talking about the track, Sevenn shares, “When I first heard the vocal for ‘Blind Side’ after Ilkay sent it to me, I immediately fell in love and started building a structure around it, giving it a deeper and more dramatic vibe. Curiously, I did a lot of the work using only laptop speakers while in my laundry area, just to get a different flavor creatively. The song mixes progressive deep house vibes with a new kind of sound and a syncopated lead that carries you into a sonically fascinating world. We’re thrilled about our first collab and can’t wait for release day!”
Along with a bunch of new singles in the pipeline, Sevenn is ready to launch a production class this fall on 789ten.com. Sevenn will share his experience and knowledge with emerging artists.
Sevenn burst onto the music scene with the release of “Colors of the Rainbow,” an instant hit amassing millions of streams. He followed with a remix of System of a Down’s “BYOB,” a collaboration with DJ Alok, collecting more than 60 million streams. Sevenn then teamed up with Tïësto on “BOOM,” which debuted on the main stage of Ultra Music Festival Miami. The “BOOM” remix with Gucci Mane took the 14th spot on Billboard’s Hot Dance/Electronic charts, gathering over 700,000,000 streams.
Recent releases include an authorized remix of Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” again in collaboration with Alok, as well as “Pum Pum” with Showtek, “Chupa” with Blasterjaxx, and “Angles” with Jonas Blue,
In 2021, Sevenn introduced his signature sound via his EP, Hybrid Techno, which soared up Apple’s Music charts. Sevenn has performed at the world’s elite music festivals, like Tomorrowland, Lollapalooza, and Creamfields.
Tattoo.com caught up with Sevenn to find out more about the person behind the music, the inspiration for “Blind Side,” and how he got started in music.
What three things can’t you live without?
First would be a gym. I can’t go too long without exercising or I start getting rambunctious (I’ve always wanted to use that word). Second, definitely can’t live without dried bananas. I fking looooove dried bananas. I eat kilos every week. And wine is kind of essential. Something about the depth of old rotten grapes plucks out the roots of creativity that have been seeding in my soil-less soul. If that doesn’t make sense to you, you might be low on potassium, which is supplied by dried bananas.
What inspired your new single “Blind Side?”
There was a darker jungle mood that I felt while working on it in the exceptional acoustics offered by the laundry area in my apartment, so I wanted to give it that deeper, more dramatic vibe. The lyrics also factored into the overall arrangement since this is ultimately a love song. Love gets me going. And Patrik Jean’s voice just blew me away–so authentic and vulnerable.
Where and when did you first connect with Ilkay Sencan?
Earlier in January this year, Ilkay sent over the WIP and I knew right away I wanted in. Unfortunately, we haven’t met in person yet, but we’ve been following each other’s work for years now and finally, this opportunity came up to put a track together. We’re pretty crazy about how it turned out and can’t wait for Friday, July 1, when it gets released!
How did you get started in music?
I was a wee rapscallion (yes, we’re going through my R-words today) when I started singing in Christmas choirs and then playing in a country-rock cover band at bars and restaurants. But really since age 7 or 8, I was lucky to have access to professional recording studios and incredibly patient, old-school musicians who were happy to share their knowledge with me. Plus, my older brother Sean was a massive influence, teaching me the ropes in electronic music production and the mysteries of CDJs. He saved me from ruining my life with a law degree, which I was halfway through before I called it quits and knew music would be my life. Honestly, I feel music chooses you, and it’s such a core part of my identity at this point that it’s disorienting to even contemplate who or where I’d be without it.
Where are you from?
My documents say I’m the boy from Ipanema, but I feel most at home in extradimensional hyperspaces.
The question is complicated because my mom was from California and my dad was from São Paulo. So, I was raised in Rio de Janeiro although neither parent was from there, and we lived in the boondocks with a bunch of expats, so it feels weird to say I’m a Carioca though I grew up bare-footed and received most of my hydration from coconut water.
Did your hometown impact your sound?
Brazilian funk actually influenced some of the deeper bass sounds and peppy beats you hear in a lot of the tracks. I remember these cars outfitted with ridiculously beefed-up sound systems used to park near the beach where we lived and open their trunks to blast this stuff out, resulting in impromptu parties along the coast. That definitely influenced the direction things took, which you can hear pretty clearly in songs like ‘BOOM’ and ‘BYOB.’
Which singers/musicians influenced your sound?
I get asked this question a lot, and the answer is always Bjork. When in doubt, turn to her for answers.
More recently, I’d say Solomun is an inspirational guiding light, along with legends like David Guetta, Avicii, and Papa Tijs.
If you had to explain your sound to the uninitiated, what would you say?
If you have to explain a joke, it probably isn’t one. I think the same applies to music, which should speak for itself. Doesn’t matter what kind of music you like or if you can’t even articulate your preferences: at the end of the day, we all want to listen to good stuff and know it when we hear it, so that’s the goal. I use the best technology I can get my grubby hands on and stay on top of music theory (thanks YouTube!), then blend so many different styles and influences–but what matters most is that it’s pumpy and positive. Even if the track is a little slower or more contemplative, it’s still got that uplifting feel to it. I would say it involves a lot of weaving and layering, but without any special pretentiousness or ulterior motives. If your great-grandmother isn’t dancing along, something’s wrong.
Did your sound evolve naturally, or did you deliberately push it in a certain direction?
In the beginning, I feel like I was more all over the place, experimenting inconsequentially with blends I now admit went a little past the boundaries of listenability and had crossed into the land of artful noise. Brazilian Bass was a lucky accident that emerged out of the Sevenn project, but the new Hybrid Techno stuff is more premeditated in that sense. I knew it was time to venture out and design something new and spent the better part of the pandemic carefully considering where I wanted to land.
What inspires your writing? Do you draw inspiration from poems, music, or other media?
I take it all in, this busy kaleidoscope of impressions and insights from walking my timeline and exploring around. The team and I are constantly sharing things we come across, from trippy psychedelic clips to more obscure ethnic chants and dances. It’s all fuel for the Sevenn fire. So much talent out there is accessible thanks to social media, it really keeps me on my toes.
What can you share about your writing process?
For writing lyrics? The process involves a lot of waiting for rare planetary alignments and other such celestial events. A lot of sage gets burnt. Dumbbells get lifted off the ground before being placed back on the ground. Planes are boarded, planes are deplaned with hopefully none of my worldly possessions left behind in the process. I hug hundreds of fans and colleagues and buddies before at some point I find myself again alone at home, sitting at my desk on the same ratty chair I’ve worked at since age 15, scratch pad in hand and wielding a Bic pen I probably stole from the front desk of my apartment building during an absent-minded package handover. Whatever comes out, comes out. I’m honestly not super picky about lyrics. They’re there to enhance the track and should allude to the track but not constrain it with too much clarity.
You’re launching a production class soon. What can you share about it?
It’s a production class that’s launching soon, that I can’t wait to share!
In all seriousness, we’ve got a date reserved to shoot it at Mosh Studios in São Paulo, run by a couple of musical gurus who have recorded just about every Brazilian hit album I’ve ever seen in stores–several international bigshots too. They really know their stuff and hanging out with them is probably what some people go skydiving for. I’m busy prepping the material for the course so I have stuff of my own to share and am already learning so much in the process. Best way to learn is to try your hand at teaching it.
Do you have any other projects coming down the pipeline?
Please. The one thing Sevenn can always guarantee is more projects coming down the pipeline. Not all of them are showing up clearly in my crystal ball yet, but I do want everyone to get very excited about them. I certainly am.
Also, August 2022 is approaching (fingers very crossed!).
Do you have ink? If so, how many, and which is your favorite?
Zero. My body is a blank slate. Actually, I’m the only kid in my family who doesn’t have any. I get asked this all the time, too, and people think I’m hiding them. Sometimes you find yourself in a position where you have to rebel against the rebellion, just to balance things out.
Which artists in your opinion are killing it right now?
So many. There’s not enough time to listen to them all! But the ones I think are killing it and still seem to be flying under the radar are Polo & Pan, Goom Gum, and Space Motion.
What can your fans look forward to over the next six months? New material? Live gigs?
So aside from the music production class with 789ten.com, I’ve got a ton of demo tracks that need some attention before they get released into the wild. Those are just lined up and waiting. And the back-to-back shows have been insane, taking me up and down the Americas. In the upcoming year, I’ll be hitting Europe. And Australia, take note: I’m coming for you hard in early 2023.