Brayan Cesar Rojas Arronez, known better as "B-Rather," is a 22 year old producer and mashup artist based out of Argentina. He primarily focuses on groove, tribal, and house but has a self-proclaimed weakness for old-school progressive house tracks. His journey as an EDM creator started with publishing mashups which garnered support from DJs such as Dannic, Tom Tyger, Nicky Romero, YVES V, HIIO, Thomas Newson, and Ralvero among many others. He's now working on original tracks which will be coming out soon.
How long have you been a creator?
I started doing this 5 years ago and I always try to spend as much time as I can, since it is something that I really love and enjoy, until now every day at least a few hours I can dedicate, although when I start university time is less.
What started it all for you? Walk us through the journey that inspired you to get the software and equipment to start creating.
I vividly remember that everything started for me after I saw Tomorrowland 2013, especially the Hardwell set. That set inspired me to start mashing because I wanted to recreate one of the mashups that he played, "Eminem & Rihanna vs. Krewella & W&W - The Monster vs. Live for the Night". So I began to do reboots of his mashups and some from a few other DJs, but I realized I wanted to start creating my own ideas and mashups. I downloaded FL Studio and started to learn how to use the software to make more professional sounding edits. I got pretty good at making mashups and was comfortable with FL, but when I started getting into production I had to go back and read more on music theory and watch videos on production techniques so that I could master this side of FL as well. In my opinion, there is no better way to learn than to go about discovering things for yourself and in my experience this far I would have to say I've not been wrong about that. As far as my equipment goes, I've had the good fortune to have supportive friends and family which has helped me improve my collection of instruments over time.
Where'd the name "B-Rather" come from?
When I first started doing reboots and mashups, I don't know much about the world of music worked so I was just using my first name, "Brayan." For me, I didn't really take my work seriously and thought of it more as a fun game or hobby to do on the side. When I realized I wanted to take my work to the next level, I started to make my official Facebook page and realized that I needed to use a more artistic name. I didn't really know how to go about doing this so I used the first letter of my first name and tried to combine it with my last name, Rojas. After trying to put them together in a few different ways, I eventually came up with "B-Rather." I didn't like it too much at first but I thought it was good enough. I even thought about changing it again until I heard Nicky Romero say it out loud when he played one of my mashups on Protocol Radio. After than, I convinced myself that B-Rather was who I was going to be from now on.
What is your process like for making your mash-ups? Walk us through that.
The process that I use to create mashups varies from track to track. Sometimes it'll just come naturally to me, like I'll be listening to a song and I'll know instantly which other track or acapella would go perfectly with it. Other times, I'll come across a track that sounds pretty good but would probably sound even better mashed up with another track. In some cases it'll only take me a few minutes to find the perfect compliment but it could also take a few days to find that match. As just a general rule, I'll only release mashups that I feel really sound excellent; I am quite critical of my work. I don't want my mashups or edits to just be a couple tracks mixed together, I want them to almost sound like a new track with some familiar elements in them. I think that many DJs and producers have realized how powerful a good mashup can be and they'll play them on their podcasts and live sets. It's always great to hear a big name DJ play a fantastic mashup because I think they're important to keep EDM inclusive and diverse.
How do the mash-up packs you make come together? Talk us through the process of getting those released.
The mashups packs are generally for special occasions like the Amsterdam Dance Event, Tomorrowland, Ultra Music Festival, New Years, etc. It's a great opportunity to collaborate with some of my friends who also make mashups, we can all work to create some bomb-ass edits together and make people dance. Also for me, it's just easier to group my releases together for these packs rather than spreading them out and promoting them all individually. In the end, what I'm trying to create is a package where DJs can find all of the freshest mashups to play at parties or events and where average listeners can find new editions of their favorite songs to put onto their playlists.
How did Hammer Network and Hammer Recordings come to be?
Hammer Network and Hammer Recordings are two of my most ambitious projects right now. When I started doing mashups, I had no idea of the reach that my music would have or the amount of support I was going to get. I was also surprised me was the amount of people I've met over the course of doing this. So two years ago, I had the idea of launching my own network which would help new other producers, remixers, and mashup artists. I got together with my friend Elvidami, who is half of the Massive House duo, and we created Hammer Network. We were both shocked by the amount of mashups and remixes we received to and published and by the support of the people for our project. Producers were also getting on board and chose to release some of their new music on our network. We were so proud and grateful for all the support we've gotten and we'd like to publicly thank Aviale, Dave Ruthwell, FABV, Juando, Hexon, Laureano Sanchez, Loic Lass, Motion, Mute Cake X Adnor, and Whispers for having the confidence to launch their music with us. I would also like to call out and thank a few other people who have been important to Hammer Network: Jose Esquivel (Whaler), Jonathan Villacis (3l3ctronic) and Mark Pridmore.
A few months ago I decided that Hammer Network should only focus on mashups, remixes, and bootlegs because the original mixes should have their own place which gives them the importance, security, and attention they deserved. Thus Hammer Recordings was born and I couldn't be more excited about its future. The first release was "Live" by DJ Wenix which received a lot of amazing support and is available in all the virtual stores. We released that last month but we'll be releasing some new stuff soon so keep an eye on all our social networks!
How do you feel about the Soundcloud community in general? Do you have any strong opinions on the platform or the way people operate on it?
I have no doubt that Soundcloud is the best platform for reaching a lot of people with your music. There are so many users that no other platform can really compete in this field. I've gotten pretty comfortable using Soundcloud but my biggest complaint is about their copyright policies. People looking to release their mashups for free can find themselves being punished and given strikes by Soundcloud even if they've significantly changed the original song. I think this could frustrate a lot of aspiring creators and dissuade them from using the platform. If Soundcloud made some changes to be more friendly to mashup artists and remixer, I think they would see a huge surge in their user base.
What have been some of your proudest moments on your journey so far?
So far in my career, the greatest pride has been all the support I've received. Without a doubt, the moment when I find out that a big DJ has just played some of my work in one of their shows just fills me with great joy. Beyond that I'm so grateful to the listeners and fans who enjoy my work, download, share, and are there for every release. Each one of them is a very important part of what B-Rather is today and I just have to thank them all so much for helping me fulfill my dreams.
What was it like to get your first major DJ support?
The first big support was from the legend Yves V, who played the "I Need U Paradigm" on his podcast, V-Session. I made that mashup with my friend, Dimitro and Dimitro was the one who sent me a link to the podcast and I just could not believe that a producer as big as Yves V played something of mine. It was really a dream come true.
Who do you look up to? Inspirations?
Without a doubt, my current inspirations are, Steve Angello, Kryder and Tom Staar. They are great references to what I want to achieve in sound and style so I follow them constantly. I would love the chance to know them and create some memories with them.
Who's releases do you always look forward to?
I love all sorts of electronic music so I follow all the releases from Sosumi, Size, Protocol, Biblioteque, Staar Traxx to name a few. I also love receiving demos and promos of different styles and just hearing what people are making.
Where do you hope to go from here?
Well, as I mentioned before, I am very dedicated to producing more of my own original tracks. I'm looking forward to sharing some of my new music with all of you in the future. I hope that I get at least a fraction of the support like I get on some of the mashup packs I've released. Of course I always look forward to releasing more of those as well. I also hope that Hammer Recordings continues to grow and receives demos from well-known artists looking to release their music with us.
Any big projects you’d like to talk about that are currently in the works?
Last year I started my podcast series, "United Radio," where listeners can go to enjoy an hour of fantastic tunes selected by me or guests that have been on the show such as Divolly & Markward, Pessto, Tom Tyger, Frank Nitty to name just a couple. I really enjoy this project because people can discover a lot about a person by listening to their musical selection. It's also made me closer to many producers who send their promos to be played on the show, which makes me very happy. So stay tuned for the next episode and look back over the previous episodes if you missed them!
What do you do outside of making music and running Hammer?
I'm currently a college student studying Public Accounting so that demands a lot of my time, but I still make a big effort to hang out with my friends and work on my music.
What are some other things you’re passionate about?
I really love a good book because reading even just for a few minutes is enough to distract me from my daily problems and responsibilities. I also enjoy movies, like I'll watch all kinds of movies and TV shows. Without a doubt, what I enjoy the most is spending good times with family and friends. They can make you happier than the most expensive thing in the world; there's just no comparison with anything else. I love my family and friends and they're a very important part of my life.
Any strong world views?
I think that the world is going through really difficult times. If you pick up any newspaper around the world you'll surely find news of murders, robberies and other horrible crimes. It's just something that doesn't seem to get better in the short term and it's very sad bear witness and live this reality. Unfortunately, I think that even though people talk about stopping these sorts of things, nothing ever really changes. Although it's difficult, our leaders need to tave a good look at everything that's facing the vast majority of the population and work towards taking steps to fill the world with peace and tranquility.
Anyone you want to call out?
Over the course of five years, I've met many amazing people, colleagues, and fans. There have been very few that I have known that have given me bad vibes. Even if they do, I just brush them off and eventually they'll disappear. I'm so lucky to be where I am and I'm very happy of what I have achieved so far. I am still the same guy I was when I started, so when someone asks me something, I might respond late but I'll get around to it when I can. I will never be of those people who thinks they are better than others; I don't think that sort of attitude gets you anywhere and you'll just get a lot of hate along the way. I'd like to end by giving the best advice I can give right now:
Never stop fighting for what you want and dream. Be humble, because that will make you stand out from the rest.
Big thank you to B-Rather for answering our questions! Go follow him and his label on social media to be in the know on what he's up to and be up to date on all the new releases!
Check out his latest mashup pack below!
And latest Hammer Release!
Chris W. Lao
DJ, writer, and student
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