In just over five years, American artist/producer Kevin Brauer has exploded onto the international electronic music stage as SEVENN. Sevenn’s first release, the collaboration with Brazilian DJ superstar Alok entitled “BYOB,” gained over 50 million plays virtually overnight and was followed by “Colors of the Rainbow,” another instant hit that led to an influx of bookings and tours all around the world for club and festival performances.
Shortly after, the massive collaboration with Tïesto entitled “BOOM” debuted on Ultra Music Festival’s Miami mainstage with the Dutch legend himself. In 2018, the “BOOM” remix with Gucci Mane hit #14 on Billboard’s Hot Dance/Electronic charts, with both versions amassing 300,000,000 streams on Spotify alone.
More recently, Sevenn released an authorized remix of Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” in collaboration with Alok, as well as “Pum Pum” with Showtek, both of which are still racking up millions of plays every week. Sevenn makes regular appearances at some of the world’s most celebrated festivals, such as Tomorrowland, Lollapalooza, and Creamfields, and is set to reach the highest levels of global success as an electronic music artist and producer.
WHAT OR WHO INSPIRED YOU TO GET INTO MUSIC?
Growing up in a missionary community, I was constantly surrounded by music, musicians, and studios. As early as five I was in studios recording vocals for kid's songs, so I guess it kinda happened accidentally.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE OF MUSIC AND PERFORMANCE? HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PHILOSOPHY AND STYLE AS AN ARTIST?
I’d say the idea behind Sevenn came from a place of desperation, anxiety, and a sense of urgency. I’m hoping to reflect those emotions in my music style and performances. Life is so damn precious, you know, so I play each set as if it were my last.
WHAT DRIVES YOU TO CREATE, AND HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS FOR YOURSELF IN MUSIC?
I have a terrible addiction to creation, I can't stop and never get writer's block. I’ve made everything from Disney metal to reggaeton, because it’s fun, but also because it keeps things interesting. Over the years I’ve come to the conclusion that output is better than input, creates more opportunities, and keeps things spicier than 10 habaneros covered in tajin. To be fair though, it has turned me into somewhat of an antisocial socialist hermit -- I’ll end up choosing a glass of wine and 12 hours of isolated studio time over friends and family. I honestly couldn't define success…either having someone tell you your music changed their life or being able to live off my music.
THROUGHOUT YOUR CAREER, WHO HAS HELPED YOU THE MOST IN GETTING TO WHERE YOU WANT TO BE, AND HOW DID THEY HELP?
Besides my mom believing in me, I’ve had the extreme luxury of father-like figures who’ve taught me in the studio since I was 11. Also, my brother Sean (formerly part of Sevenn) was and is the biggest influence in my life when it comes to electronic music. He’s taught me everything I know and is the last line of defense when it comes to approving or disapproving my ideas.
SOMETIMES BEING IN THIS BUSINESS CAN BE REALLY OVERWHELMING. DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR MAINTAINING PERSPECTIVE AND COMPOSURE?
The hardest part for most musicians/DJs is to realize that this is not a normal job. You have to put in the hours, and by hours I mean easily 80-hour weeks.
On the plus side, you’re working for yourself so the more work you put in, the more you’re gonna get out of it (output vs input). Bonus tip: at least 5 sober days a week.
WHAT IS YOUR PROCESS WHEN LOOKING AND REACHING OUT TO COLLABORATORS FOR A NEW SONG?
Honestly, most collaborations have happened by reaching out through Instagram. Good music will speak for itself, so if you have something you think the other artist will like, it will get heard.
YOU'VE PLAYED AT QUITE A FEW FESTIVALS INCLUDING TOMORROWLAND, LOLLAPALOOZA, AND CREAMFIELDS - WHAT'S THE MOST REWARDING PART OF PERFORMING AT A FESTIVAL, AND WHAT'S THE MOST DIFFICULT PART?
The most rewarding part is all the people you meet, I think it’s the reason we do what we do. The connection, the experience of playing your music for thousands, the food, and experiencing the country itself, opens your mind like an old book.
The difficult part is trying not to run into the crowd and going on a three-day bender with the rest of the attendees.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR ARTISTS WHO ARE JUST STARTING OUT?
Work as if someone is trying to steal your job from you, and again good music will speak for itself, so never hesitate to reach out to artists/labels. Bonus tip: don’t quit your day job just yet -- making music is like selling hamburgers next to McDonald’s, you either have a really good burger or you get lucky (most of the time a combo of both).
WHAT'S NEXT FOR YOU IN 2021 AND BEYOND?
The plan is simple, try to take over the world (plays pinky and the brain theme song). Just kidding. The pandemic has taught us all to be really grateful for the life we live, so my intention now more than ever is to make gloriously epic music, tour like I never have before, and share experiences with all the beautiful people I meet.
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