In just a few years, Brillz has seen two albums break the top 10 on iTunes’ Dance Chart, issued releases on the likes of OWSLA, Mad Decent, and Slow Roast, and unleashed mad house sets upon some of the biggest festivals nationwide—including this year’s Ultra Music Festival which featured a Big Sean X Bowie mashup. Collaborations with the likes of Diplo and airtime on BBC’s Radio 1Xtra have also contributed to Brillz’s reputation for prolific trap-flavored bass productions. We caught the man himself during the Smog vs Firepower showcase at MEKKA Miami just before a grimy, trap set that put him on the decks with fellow Twonk Team members and a special cameo from Snails.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: When did you get here?
Stacked? Or Mekka? Or Miami? or Earth?
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Earth. When were you birthed?
This life? Or past life? I was told that in a past life I was a king. A psychic told me that. She also told me that Michael Jackson helps me with my dance moves.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Can you moonwalk?
Yeah, I can actually. Thank Michael for that.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: What are you going to do tonight that you’ve never done before?
Good question. My set is not planned, so I’ll probably do some mixes and play some songs I haven’t played.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: what do you usually incorporate that you want to be remembered by?
I incorporate more of a live performance atmosphere. Super twonked out crazy vibes. There are never rehearsals. It’s more memorable and adds extra secret sauce to a DJ set. Gotta have secret sauce.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Have you ever really messed up?
Oh yeah, all the time. There have been some people on twitter that I’ve read some comments about that didn’t like a certain thing, you know? But being an artist isn’t about perfection, it’s about authenticity and a lot of times imperfections can be authentic. We’re all, including you guys, allowed to make mistakes. Even people that criticize also make mistakes. Can’t win ‘em all.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: I want to talk about MD Boat Party
I’ll be there next time.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: For Twerktanic?
For Twonktanic. I’m excited. I’m a good swimmer. I’m not going to go overboard, but I’d be alright.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: What are you most excited about for MMW?
I’m really excited to see all my friends. It’s like, if we were on twitter right now I’d say too many acts. I can’t name them all.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Who is your best friend?
Clancy. He’s not a DJ but I love him and am glad to see him. He’s my number one. You know what, I’d probably be doing something in music, but I wouldn’t be sitting in this specific spot right now without this guy right here. It’s the honest truth. The real story is that before I ever DJ-ed a day in my life, this guy called me up and said come down to the agency because I want to do something with you. I’d still never played and they believed in me.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Did you always have this aesthetic?
No I didn’t. This was created in the process. I’m not a natural blonde.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: I’ve heard that your wife is friends with Katy Perry. Would you ever consider going outside of this element and working with someone like that, a pop superstar, in some capacity?
Yeah, but only if it happened organically. I’m still always going to want to do what I do, so if there’s a pop singer that’s into that and I’m also into what they are doing, then why not. I’m kind of focused on doing my thing and when it comes to pop, you have to deliver their thing. That’s what producers do in the pop world. They are artists, but they aren’t creating their own thing. They hand over work for the someone else. That’s kind of what the art of producing is.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?
Dead or alive? John Lennon. Maybe Bob Marley.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: John Lennon? What would a Brillz x John Lennon song sound like?
You didn’t say Brillz! You just said if I wanted to collaborate. You know what I mean? We would write the ill-est song ever that would give you all goosebumps. Then, maybe I would take it and do a chopped and trapped version and change the game.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: What would the cover art for that track look like?
I mean if John were still alive, I would just have to see what his vibe was or what our vibe was. Maybe it would be a black and white photo. Maybe it would be some psychedelic thing. I don’t know maybe we could get him twonked out.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Where do you find music? You sample a lot of diverse tracks.
So, Snails and I did the “Crazy” bootleg, which is a Lil Boosie song. We just did that, because we aren’t going to sell it. We just wanted to do it and play it in our sets and give it out for free. If they contacted us and were like “You need to take that down,” we would and we’d just play it out live. But we’re kind of in different worlds, so we’re off their radar and we aren’t sitting here making bank of it. I don’t really sample other people’s music. I create everything myself. I create all my sounds and if I do use a sample, it’s something I’m allowed to sample through creative commons.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Do you play mostly your own songs when you DJ?
Well today at Stacked I did like a 30 minute Brillz set, and then I had to keep going because we were waiting for the next DJ and then it becomes a mix. Usually I play a mix of like half my music and half stuff that I’m really feeling right now.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: What is Brillz' spirit animal?
I have three. My first is a falcon. You have to look up falcon if you want to know why. My second is my dog Magik, a Pomeranian-Chihuahua. He’s on Instagram. @theadventuresofmagik.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: We’ll plug that.
Yeah plug that, because he’s dope. He doesn’t follow anyone though. He’s just there to share.He likes to post about himself, but he doesn’t like to know what anyone's is doing.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Your third spirit animal?
My third spirit animal is actually this extra terrestrial half-deer, half-wolf, kangaroo thing. It was channeled to me in a meditational moment. I saw this thing and I knew it was an otherworldly spirit animal.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: This is getting to be a spirit menagerie, here.
Some extra terrestrial ménage-à-trois-gerie.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: What kind of sound would that animal make?
It’s the craziest sound that even if I made it, your ears wouldn’t be able to hear it. You can’t even comprehend. It’s a sacred sound. We’re here in Miami partying and doing all this shit, so we really can’t do such a spiritual sound. That would just be sacrilegious.
AUTHOR CREDIT: ALEXANDRA BLAIR PHOTO CREDIT: ALEXANDRA BLAIR INTERVIEW CREDIT: AINSLEY ASHTON, ALEXANDRA BLAIR, KIMBERLY PHAN