Get To Know Songwriter and Producer BRYVN [Interview]

Ian Hansen

BRYVN has made a name for himself by producing and songwriting for some of the biggest artists in the world. He has worked with artists such as Travis Scott, Don Toliver, Kid Cudi, Juice WRLD, and many more. There is no sign of stopping for the Northern California native, so we thought we'd catch-up with him and get a glimpse of how he lives. Get to know BRYVN below.

Tell me about your music background and what got you into producing.

Of course I liked music from a young age. What got me into becoming a musician was my step brother used to play acoustic guitar. I just remember him learning a bunch of Nirvana songs. I used to listen to a lot of Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, and even Green Day. My background was rock, indie rock, and punk. I remember picking up his guitar and trying to learn too. I made my mom and step dad buy me a guitar and from there one thing led to another. I started learning those Nirvana songs, playing at churches, and learning to collaborate with other people. I would be a fill-in guitarist with other bands and would go on tour. That is what sparked the idea of producing. I went to school for music production and engineering. I took this internship at this studio. I’d help record these bands and this guy who owned the studio, I saw how he lives and how he worked. I went to another studio and went into the wrong room. They looked like they were living nice, and all they were making was beats. I went back home really thinking I wasn’t in the right thing. I didn’t really enjoy recording other people.

Can you tell me about your transition into hip hop?

I have always listened to hip hop. I remember being young and being a huge fan of Eminem, Dr. Dre, and all those guys. I remember also being a huge fan of Lil Wayne. Drake’s Nothing Was The Same is what really got me into producing hip hop.

You use synthesizers, a real keyboard, a guitar. How much do you value playing real instruments compared to clicking notes in?

We are in an era where almost anyone can be a producer. Things are very accessible, and there are so many cheat codes. I think it’s important when you start to take production seriously, to actually know how to play music. I think it’s important when you find success in a craft to really study and improve your craft. It’s important to know how to play keys, learn new progressions, and get better at an instrument. I also think it’s important to create new sounds.

You leave a session with a guy like Hitboy, what are you feeling afterwards? Talk about those sessions and what makes you feel inspired.

He was chopping up samples, and I’ve seen him chop up samples where I’m like, “Bro, what is this?” He turns it into something where you’re nodding your head and then making a hard beat. It’s like, what did he hear that I couldn’t catch? Dahi also programs his drums unlike anyone else. It takes time to develop. You go home and really analyze it. I’ll take your influence and turn it into my way and develop my own sound.

How do you balance catering to an artist’s sound while creating your own sound?

When you’re in a session with an artist, they will usually play a few songs they have done. You’ll be able to hear the direction they are going. It depends on the session. If you’re creating from scratch that’s amazing because at least you know there will be trial and error, and you know you’ll get one. If you press play, you have to hope what you have is good. You have to play stuff you wouldn’t expect the artist to get on. You just never know. I was with Jack Harlow and told him we should do Gorillaz type stuff. You always want to plant a seed and push an envelope.

You’ve worked with some big artists. What has been your favorite collaborations so far?

1. Mayday - Chase B (feat. Young Thug and Sheck Wes)

All of my collaborations are great, but one of my favorites was Mayday. I was coming home from LA and the Astroworld tour was hitting Sacramento. I bought tickets that same day. I was in line and saw someone with the Cactus Jack 1s and it was Chase B. I had to respond quickly so I hung up on my homie. I went directly to him. I hadn’t had any songs at that point. I was just in hope that Travis Scott’s dj would pass along some beats. I told him who I worked with and he was nice enough to give me his number. I kept sending to that number and was flooding him and called me and told me Young Thug and Sheck Wes did some stuff to my melody. That wasn’t supposed to happen. That opportunity led to so many more.

2. The Bees Knees - Juice WRLD

I was always a huge Juice WRLD fan. I remember I became a huge Juice WRLD fan after XXXTentacion passed away. The emotion behind it was amazing. I love how he got in a random melody of mine. The stuff I was pitching for him was nothing like that. I was pitching guitar and sad boy stuff. I didn’t think he would hop on something I made trying to recreate "Maria I’m Drunk". I remember Hitboy making that beat, and it was insane.

3. Way Bigger - Don Toliver

I remember Sonny Digital and I linking up late night at Chalice. I was playing him a bunch of stuff. I ran into him before in Houston, and I remember him texting me to put this melody on the side. I didn’t hear from him for six months after that. The song had been done for awhile. With "Way Bigger," Don and I got closer and closer, and I would just send him a bunch of beats and melodies to his phone. He told me to pull up, and I pulled up. I showed him the melody. The way Sonny flipped my composition was insane. That man is a legend. I remember playing it for Don, and he just started singing what ended up becoming the outro. He said, “bro, you are on the album.” He asked if I could record the outro of that melody and if I never pulled up, it never would’ve happened.

How do you balance the family life with the music life?

That is probably one of my biggest challenges with this. I love music, and I love my wife and kids. Sometimes you can get too caught up in music, and that has happened. Luckily, I have an amazing wife that is very understanding. Luckily, we are blessed enough where I can provide and bring enough to the table. We are always in the house so I see them everyday. When I travel, my wife understands I’m doing it to take care of us and understands it is a passion of mine. The balance is hard sometimes. Knowing when to stop and take a break can be hard. In the midst of a great idea, you don’t want to lose it.

How does having a family change your perspective on music?

When I started producing, my wife was pregnant with my daughter. But when my daughter was born, the drive is different. You have someone who literally depends on you. I used to work at USPS so I still had a federal job which paid me amazing. I remember letting go of the financial security in hopes of achieving a bigger one. The biggest drive I had was my daughter. I remember waking up at 7 a.m. for work and coming back at 7 p.m. and then spending 2-3 hours with family and then 2-3 producing, then sleeping for 4-6 hours. Getting my body adjusted was a nightmare. I did that every day consistently. I took zero days off with production. I want to give them the example of whatever you love, you can do it.

What kind of hobbies do you enjoy outside of music?

I travel a lot. I enjoy traveling. I love fashion and shopping. I like to collect shoes. In my free time I try to explore and adventure. I like going to water parks or playing video games. I want to go back to Italy. I love Milan. I also love Paris and London.

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