Not to be confused with singer-songwriter Michael "Mike" Brun, or the CEO of ClearTrial
Michael Brun (born (1992-05-19)May 19, 1992) is a Haitian DJ, record producer, and medical student. Known for blending EDM genres such as progressive house with native Haitian styles such as kompa and rara, he released one of his first singles on Hardwell's Revealed Recordings in 2011. He later went on to work with Dirty South, and Brun released his debut Gravity EP in 2013. The EP reached No. 2 on the Beatport charts, directly underneath Avicii.
He founded the record label Kid Coconut in 2014, which beyond Brun's solo releases will "seek to showcase and develop Haitian artists who would otherwise lack access to such exposure." Currently based in Miami, Brun tours frequently, performing at festivals such as Coachella. In 2014 he became the first Haitian to play at Ultra Music Festival, and also in 2014 he was nominated for World's Best EDM Artist at the World Music Awards.
Early life and education
Michael Brun was born in 1992 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, to a Haitian father and Guyanese mother. He also has Portuguese, Chinese, and French heritage. Raised in Port-au-Prince, he was exposed to music at an early age, recollecting that "I grew up listening to Caribbean Sextet and Tabou Combo. My dad was in a band called Skandal in the '90s. I'm influenced by everything that comes from home." While still young he also began learning violin and guitar. When he was in his teens, he began using Virtual DJ to make what he called "terrible mashups." In 2008, at age sixteen he began DJing as a hobby.
He also had an early interest in being a doctor, and in his teens would volunteer at local hospitals. He attended Culver Military Academy in Indiana through a scholarship program, with Brun stating in 2014 that "The stuff I learned there about discipline was so important to the way I work now. The schedule was so regimented. I have really kept that whole mentality up until now." He then earned a full scholarship to attend Davidson College in North Carolina. As a freshman he began working towards pre-med as a major, also working on music production.
2011: First singles
On June 29, 2011, Brun released the 4-track single Shades of Grey on S2 Records. Primarily styled as progressive house, Brun released "Dawn," on Dutch DJ Hardwell's Revealed Recordings on December 21, 2011. A version re-edited by Hardwell was released through Hardwell Productions as well. Wrote Billboard about the track, it is "an energetic big room number that earned support from top DJs and caught the ear of Australian artist Dirty South." Dirty South signed Michael Brun to his label Phazing Records shortly after, releasing Brun's next single "Rise" as well as many more in upcoming years. Brun also joined Dirty South on tour in Miami.
2012-13: Gravity EP and remixes
In 2012 he continued to work with Dirty South's Phazing Records, releasing "Rift" in conjunction with Dirty South, as well as the track "Synergy" with Special Features.
Brun released his debut Gravity EP in September 2013. The EP reached No. 2 on the Beatport charts, directly underneath Avicii. Also in the fall of 2013 he remixed tracks for artists such as Alicia Keys, Calvin Harris, and Armin van Buuren. In October 2013 he performed at the afterparty for TomorrowWorld, among other gigs.
2014: Touring, Kid Coconut imprint
In March 2014, he became the first Haitian to play at Ultra Music Festival. The Miami New Times wrote that "his main stage set channeled the energy of rara culture through the sound of progressive house." Within the next several months he had also headlined gigs at clubs in New York and Mimai such as Pacha. In early August 2014 he performed at the Moonrise Festival in Baltimore. That year he also performed at the Sahara tent at Coachella, and was nominated for World's Best EDM Artist at the World Music Awards.
In July 2014 he was asked to compile a playlist for Billboard Magazine, with Brun selecting EDM and Caribbean music from the catalog of his new record label, Kid Coconut. Wrote Billboard, beyond Brun's solo releases the label will "seek to showcase and develop Haitian artists who would otherwise lack access to such exposure." In August 2014 Brun released the single "Zenith," which was the first release on his new record label Kid Coconut. A month later, the single "Sun In Your Eyes" was also released on Kid Coconut. He continues to tour as of Fall 2014, and is scheduled to perform at the Halloween festival Something Wicked on October 25.
Style and equipment
Michael Brun mixes a variety of electronic dance music genres into his sounds, though he is primarily classified as progressive house. He has also referenced genres native to Haiti as important influences of his sound, for example kompa. Explains Brun, "Kompa is like the Haitian equivalent of salsa, a very dancey romantic music with a touch of zouk. The snare hits on a very specific beat, like ta-kata. All the islands have their trademark dance style, and that's ours." He also incorporates the native style of rara, which the Miami New Times describes as "rally music incorporating infectious rhythms, call and response, and simple, catchy melodies blown through homemade vuvuzelas and tubas."
As of late 2013, Brun lived in Miami.
Awards and nominations
Interviews and articles
"Michael Brun Is A Big Time Haitian DJ: Interview". Noisey. February 14, 2012.
"CODE Picks of the Week: Tiësto and Michael Brun, Bastille & MNEK, more". Billboard. 1 November 2013.
"Michael Brun On Helping His Homeland & Kid Coconut Label: Exclusive". Billboard. 10 July 2014.
"Haiti's Michael Brun Talks EDM Stardom and Launching Kid Coconut Label". Crossfade. 17 July 2014.
"CODE Guest Playlist: Michael Brun". Billboard. 18 July 2014.
"DJ Michael Brun put medical career on hold for music". Sun Sentinel. 24 March 2014.
"Michael Brun looks to the future with new label, Kid Coconut [Interview]". Earmilk. (August 7, 2014)
Michael Brun Discography at Discogs
Michael Brun on Facebook
Michael Brun on Twitter
Michael Brun on Soundcloud
Michael Brun on YouTube