Wonder DJ and uber-producer Michael Brun has always sparked conversations in the music world, whether it’s for his prodigy-skills as a turn-table spinner, or as the founder of Haiti’s much-talked-about beachside festival at Wahoo Bay, or his impressive resume that includes production work for some of the world’s biggest musical acts. Now, he’s getting folks buzzing again, this time about Haitian Heat, his playlist partnership with music giant Spotify that highlights Haitian music and Haiti’s artists. Brun credits Spotify’s Austin Kramer with making the initiative a reality. Join your fave chick Kreyolicious as we get into the workings of what has got to be one of the best promotional opportunities for Haitian music ever. Michael Brun speaks on Haitian Heat!
Kreyolicious: This joint venture with Spotify is more than a major push for Haiti’s music. How did it come about?
I’ve been working closely with Spotify over the last year and they showed a lot of interest in developing some of the projects I had been working on in Haiti. They brought up the chance to create the Haitian Heat playlist and I know it would be an amazing way to promote Haitian culture on an international scale. Also, very importantly, it was a step towards establishing an artist economy around music streaming as Spotify is the largest music streaming service in the world.
Kreyolicious: What has the response been so far from the artists involved, Spotify users, and Spotify itself?
Very strong! I’ve gotten really nice messages from some of the artists on the list and that’s been cool to see. Spotify is a big reason for where I am today as an artist so to be able to extend that opportunity to the rest of the Haitian community was very special to me. The fact that the playlist was created, and that it’s the first of its kind as a country specific playlist on the service, is a huge statement from Spotify. This is a testament to their support of Haitian culture.
Kreyolicious: You’ve got so many things going on. You travel and perform a lot…not to mention your responsibilities as owner of Kid Coconut, your own record label. How do you stay grounded and keep a cool head?
I spend a lot of time with family. I also try to remind myself constantly that everything that I’ve received in my life is a gift and that I have to pass on that energy to the people and places around me. I genuinely believe that every action counts and that creating community is the way forward.
At the offices of Billboard magazine!
Kreyolicious: Where do you get your unbelievable drive from?
I think it was a combination of my family, going to military school, and the feeling that I have a responsibility to my country to represent it in the best way possible.
Kreyolicious: What are your parents’ thoughts on your career thus far?
They’ve been extremely supportive of it all and I’m thankful for that.
Kreyolicious: You launched your own beachside festival in Haiti this year. What do you have in store for its return next year?
The first edition of Wherever I Go Beach Fest was amazing and aside from it being my favorite show I’ve ever played at home, we created 33 scholarships for the Artists Institute. We have some really exciting plans for next year that are in the works and I’ll hopefully be bale to reveal more soon.
[Photo Credit: Yasi]
Kreyolicious: What role do you think music can play in Haiti’s tourism sector?
Music is one of the main ways that Haitians have expressed themselves over the course of our history, so I think that developing the culture and arts sector of the country would give us more opportunities to express ourselves in unique ways and share our culture with the world.
Kreyolicious: Do you see Haitian Heat expanding to bigger things?
Definitely and it’s already happening! Stay tuned!
[Main photo Credit: NAFT Photography]