Each month, our Residency Program brings an intriguing artist, and we’re always excited to get to know a little bit more about them, their history, and their craft.

While the city of Denver might be very familiar with option4, we’re guessing there are a fair number of you who are unfamiliar with this Mile High City icon. We’re going to change that right here, right now. Crack open a cold one, grab a bagel, and get to know Mr. Brennen Brylarly.

TMN: Let’s kick things off by talking about your upcoming releases, if you can speak about them.

O4: Right now, we’re in a different process now with everything option4. Last year, I came out with all those releases, and before I knew it, I had put out 16 releases. Way too much. I got caught up in that remix world. I needed to pay rent.

I wasn’t really focused on option4 as an artist. I was touring and working on these remixes, which are fun, and I like all of them, but it wasn’t really stretching myself as an artist, per se.

I went on a hiatus and got in the studio. I started working on original records. We’re doing it all proper this time – shopping toplines, shopping labels. To me, it doesn’t matter if I have another record come out for the next six months. I know that when they come out, they will be released correctly with the proper PR. Hopefully, people appreciate them.

A lot of time and effort has gone into these records. They are ready to go. I’m not going to tour at all this summer. I’m going to play HARD Red Rocks this summer and Bisco, and that’s it. I’m going to spend the rest of the summer in the studio.

TMN: We’ve had the pleasure of hearing some of the new stuff. A lot of it feels like it has…a lot of soul. It has emotion. Why is that important to you when you go into recording something?

O4: Right now, my main thing is – I’m just trying to do what I enjoy. Last year, I was making all these big bassline records. They’re really fun to play out in the club, but I feel like everyone is doing that. That sound is rinsed, at the moment.

Last year, there was an explosion of big bass line driven house. Single melodies draped over single note basslines, going up and down. That was cool, and it was fun. But, somehow, that became “Deep House.”

Everything is going two different ways. You have what everyone is calling Deep House from the past couple of years. You have all these EDM kids who think EDM is stupid, which, we’ve been saying forever.

They feel that way now, all the sudden, so they want to go into this thing. So, the people who were making a little bit more mature beats at the time – they’re going different routes. One way is – they’re going a lot heavier, more monotonous, darker, repetitive beats. I want to go the other way. I love techno, but I want to make music that is emotive, but is still based upon the bass and the drums.

Soul records are timeless. Who doesn’t want to listen to Ray Charles at any given time? The guy is a genius. That sort of vibe…I want to create these records that can last longer. I want them to last longer than blasting out some bassline house remix with some hip hop vocals sampled over it to try and top hype machine.

That’s why I’m going that direction. I don’t want to go to Devil Techo quite yet. (Laughs)

TMN: We’ll save that for next year. You touched on something back there, regarding the division in the industry right now. One thing you didn’t mention was live instrumentation. The Porter Robinsons. The Kygos. With you doing something so soulful, do you feel like that’s something you would add into your live performances?

O4: I would do live singers, for sure. The thought of that is interesting to me though. No offense, I look at Porter and all these people who are doing “live performances,” and to me there’s not much difference between hitting a button on a CDJ, as opposed to letting Ableton play everything, and you’re just triggering a sample and hitting a drum pad.

A lot of these “live performances,” aren’t live. What they do is have all kinds of backing tracks, and they trigger something that’s already quantized when they hit a stick on a drumpad. To me, that’s not a live set. If they have a full band, and there’s room for mistakes, that’s a live set.

TMN: Maybe Big Gigantic or Pretty Lights would have been a better example.

O4: Yeah, I could see something like that being very interesting. For me, on the economical side of things, I could do local shows that way. But, to tour that way is just so expensive.

Like, you look at Todd Terje. That stuff is amazing. That, right there, is a live show. That is a completely different ball game. But, Todd Terje can only come to America and play three cities. It’s so expensive.

That’s something to look at down the line, if I get big enough. But, to me, I love small clubs and DJ booths where everyone can see exactly what I’m doing. I go ham.

To me, that’s just as fun as being on a big stage in front of a 2,000 cap.

TMN: You’ve had the chance to play around the states. For you coming up, having played the club scene, to playing red rocks for close to 10,000, what does that mean to you.

O4: My stage presence looks like I’m Autistic. I feel bad for playing clubs because I am so unbelievable animated and I get so into it. Truth be told, I get scared by the crowd if I don’t know the vibe or I haven’t felt the room out. I almost don’t look up. I just get in my own world and start dancing as hard as I can.

Playing at a festival, or a stage that big, that energy transpires over a lot easier. People want to see something more than the DJ just sitting there.

At a small club, I might intimidate. I’ll pry be dancing harder than they are! (laughs)

But to me, there’s no difference. I’ll play a 150 cap room in Detroit as hard as I would 10,000 person venue in Seattle.

TMN: Being in the Denver dance industry, in numerous different avenues, what does it mean to you to be playing at Red Rocks this summer at HARD?

O4: It’s an honor. I’m honored to be on the bill. It’s going to be a fun experience. I’m not geeking out about it too hard, yet. It’s a little ways away.

I’m sure I’ll have a different attitude 30 minutes beforeI get on stage! (Laughs)

TMN: Let’s dial the clock back a little bit. We’ve heard a story about some sort of MySpace discovery? Talk to us about that.

O4: Oh, man! It’s so dorky. I hate to even talk about it…

I didn’t realize what it was back then, but I had produced this bootleg that was kind of crappy. I love it still to this day. It was a cover of the Cranberries “Zombie.” It was back in 05 or 06, living in New Orleans. I had my baby sister who sings, who is one of the few human beings to have perfect pitch, record the vocals. I wrote this raunchy, Deep House version of the track though and it started going viral.

I was scared because I thought I had done something illegal. I didn’t know the rules! I got hit up by Girl Talk, who wanted the track for one of his mixtapes. It started getting more traction because of that, then three months later, Diplo hit me up for it.

Their careers went crazy a few years later. (Laughs) Thinking about that later though, made me realize that there was a possibility of me making music for a living.

TMN: Were you going under the moniker of option4 back then?

O4: Yep!

TMN: What does it mean?

O4: I was a little kid – 17 years old – and my mom had a lot of trouble with the law. So, I had this guy that looked after me. His name was Dave, Dave Matthews, actually! Pretty funny. He was the coolest guy. He was 23. I was 17. He was a friend of the family.

He would pick me up from high school and take me out to the parties. He was good looking, super nice guy, everyone loved him…he was the man. He showed me how to be social.

Then, he started dating this girl…who I hated, at the time…and I felt threatened. He was my best friend. We had a little crew of four of us, with all of us in his room one night.

He was going through some relationship trouble with her. He said,”I have four options here. The first, I can just marry her. Second, I can do this. Third, I can do this..”

So, option four was to break up with her, and we’ll all just stay single and party forever.

I was like, “Option Four is the greatest option of all time! We’ll party forever!”

Two days later, the dude was engaged. (Laughs)

TMN: No way!

O4: He’s a great dude. Still a great friend. I actually love his wife now. Anyways, it’s a stupid story, but it’s stuck ever since.

The funny thing is, I’ve told other people and they’ve said, “that’s a very humble name.” As if there are always three better DJs than me (laughs).

TMN: Love it. Let’s switch it up with some personal questions. What was your very first job?

O4: I used to do voiceovers as a kid. I lived in Francisco and was the voice of a lot of commercials. My parents made a crapton of money off me. To me though, at 11 years old, the only thing I cared about were baseball, basketball and football cards.

“Two more hours today, and that’s a new pack of Fleer Ultras.”

TMN: That is, hands down, the coolest response to that question. So, we know you’re a bagel enthusiast. What is the best bagel in Denver, and what bagel combo do you usually go for?

O4: I am so basic. Everyone talks about Rosenbergs. It’s okay. No offense to them, but I like my bagels kinda plain. My favorite bagels in town right now are the ones I make.

I take light cream cheese, on my everything bagel, then dice up cherry tomatoes, then salt and pepper the crap out of it.

TMN: So, just bagels from the store then?

O4: Yeah! Thomas’ are in the cupboard right now.

TMN: For a guy who talks as much about bagels…

O4: I know! Even if I go out, I ‘ll get one plain one with cream cheese and one with just butter. I’m basic. But, I do eat my fair share.

TMN: We keep a running tally next to our computer. We know how many you eat. (Laughs). What are three things that are always in your fridge, no matter what?

O4: Bottled water, sorry California. Definitely eggs. Butter. I use butter to cook everything.

TMN: Dream collab, dead or alive?

O4: To me, my dream collab, would either be Todd Edwards or Daft Punk. I love that camp so much. Or Four Tet. If I’m in a rut, I can throw on Todd’s, or Four Tet’s soundcloud and get so much inspiration from them. They are so smart.

TMN: If your music were an animal, what would it be?

O4: Easy. A sloth. Just because they’re dope. And they’re a little rapey. (Laughs)

No, I actually just like sloths. If I had a mascot, it would be a sloth, and it’d be all up in that grill.

TMN: If you were on a deserted island, with an ipod full of one band/artist’s discography, who would you choose?

O4: Led Zepplin. They just have an unbelievable catalog of music

TMN: Last one. If you were on death row, what would your last meal be?

O4: Alligator cheesecake from Jacque Imo’s in New Orleans. It’s the best bite of food anyone can put in their mouth, ever.

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