From mixing homemade beats in his father’s studio to performing on Ultra’s Main Stage, Michael Brun, a Haitian-born DJ who lives in Miami, stands out for not only for his quality music, but as a testament to how far hard work can take you.
In just two years, Brun skyrocketed from a small-time DJ to a notable artist, remixing the work of artists like Tiesto, Alicia Keys, Calvin Harris and Armin van Buuren and working with big names such as Dirty South, the Serbian-Australian DJ and producer.
In fact, Brun described to The Miami Hurricane how he received an email from Dirty South inquiring about getting him signed. At first, Brun did not reply, thinking at the time that it was some sort of joke, that there was no way Dirty South would show interest in him. It was only after receiving another email that Brun finally realized that it was a real offer.
For Brun, the music is always his priority.
“My focus is on delivering really quality music, and stuff that I love and believe in that has soul,” Brun explained. “Kind of different from electronic music right now.”
Raised in Port-au-Prince and born to a musically inclined family, Brun and his siblings were all brought up learning to play instruments.
“My brother plays the piano and violin, and my sister the violin,” said Brun, who began learning violin and guitar at age six to supplement his singing. “Yeah [we’re a] musical family, always been; [that’s] the way we grew up.”
Both his parents enjoyed playing music in the house. His father even had his own studio. It was in that studio that Brun got his start, using the program Virtual DJ.
Two years later, 16-year-old Brun began performing live. His first show was a benefit thrown by some friends called Wild Obsession. Brun estimated that there were between 400 and 500 people in attendance. He played the entire show off his laptop.
That same year, he left Haiti to attend a military boarding school, and from there he earned a scholarship to Davidson College in North Carolina where he studied as a pre-med student.
However, Brun felt that in trying to balance both music and the rigorous classes, he was getting the worst of both worlds. He decided to take a year off so he could dedicate his full attention to his music.
Brun is putting the time off to good use. In 2013, in addition to remixing several notable artists, he also released an EP, entitled “Gravity.” His tracks “Rift,” an original mix, “Your Heart” and “Burn Forever” topped the Beatport Chart, a website dedicated to DJs worldwide.
At just 21, Brun is already playing steadily at notable venues, such as the club LIV. He will also be performing on Ultra’s Main Stage this year and was recently announced for Coachella.
He explains that his work ethic and consistent focus on goals have helped him not only to achieve success, but to stay grounded.
“To get results you really have to work hard,” he said. “I didn’t get into the career to get acclaimed, I didn’t do it for people to tell me good job, I did it because I wanted to do it and I wanted to produce music. I enjoy it, but it’s not my focus. I focus on getting the music as good as possible. You put in the work, making songs that you hope will resonate with others.”
However, Brun wants to be seen not only for his music, but for the causes he advocates. Volunteering in Saint Damien Pediatric Hospital, the only pediatric hospital in Haiti, played an integral role in shaping Brun into the community-conscious man he is today.
He was particularly touched working with children whose parents had abandoned them due to economic circumstance. These circumstances forced parents to leave their kids for anywhere from one month to indefinitely. Yet Brun saw working with these kids as a true gift.
“I got to be a friend,” he said.
Brun sees himself in the Haiti’s pediatric field, giving back to his home country. When asked what one of his goals was, he said he wanted to create a better image of Haiti.
“I realized that so much good has been in my life,” Brun said. “I believe that when you receive, you can’t just keep, you have to give what you’re getting. It’s a constant flow.”
Despite his increasing notoriety, Brun knows that he has a lot more to offer than just his great music.
You can check out Brun’s EP, “Gravity”, at soundcloud.com/michaelbrun/sets/gravity-ep-1.
Brun will be playing at Ultra’s Main Stage on Sunday.