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BKAYE Speaks With Us About Being Introduces To Music, Fun Facts, His Influences & More!

BKAYE is surely a name to keep an eye on. The talented DJ and music producer is set to conquer dance floors and stages all over the world with his refined and tasteful sound and style that has already received the support of industry heavy-weights like Diplo, Steve Aoki, Louis The Child, and Crankdat to name a few, and with more than tens of millions of streams across major platforms, BKAYE is here to share his passion for music and his remarkable talent with each release his puts out.

His official remixes for artists like Gryffin, Lost Kings, The Chainsmokers, Anne-Marie, and SHAED already surpassed 30 million plays on Spotify, putting his name high on the list of artists to follow. We invited BKAYE to talk more about his background, his beginnings as a DJ and music producer, and his hopes for the future.

Hi BKAYE, how are you?
Hello, I’m doing very well, thank you! I’m excited to get to share more of my story a little bit with you today and to talk about the exciting music I can’t wait to put out, starting with ‘Wanted More!’

Can you tell us more about yourself? Where are you from and what do you do?
My real name is Brian Kelley, so I think you can guess where the BKAYE name came from! BK was my nickname from elementary school all the way through college haha. I’m originally from the Bay Area, south of San Francisco, and I am an electronic music artist, producer and DJ residing in LA!

How were your first introduced to music? Did someone guide you or was it a personal discovery?
I was raised by my parents to take pride in always trying to learn new skills and although they were never big music listeners themselves, they encouraged me to learn an instrument! I tried piano for a few years, then electric guitar, and then picked up the trumpet which I played for about 10 years all the way up to advanced Jazz Band in high school! I think I credit those times playing the lead trumpet for building my sense of melody, even though I didn’t know it at the time! When I got to college, dance music was exploding from Europe, artists like Avicii, Alesso, and Kygo were making huge waves on Soundcloud and I quickly dropped any old-school instruments and downloaded FL studio to figure out how they were making what they were making! After a year or two of dedicating all my free time to learning music production via YouTube, I started sharing my remixes with friends and things started to move pretty quickly from there!

Who were your biggest musical influences growing up?
This is a very loaded question but I think it ranges all over the place haha. I definitely remember being sucked into the punk rock scene in middle school and was obsessed, but at the same time I could not stop listening to Eminem and 50 Cent who were by far my favorite rappers! Music was so melodic at that time, from T-Pain, to Chris Brown, and the music scene in general was super genre divided compared to how it is now, but I think I pretty much pull from everywhere when it comes to the music I make now! In high school, I found Mac Miller’s first music video and was instantly hooked by his voice, and I discovered a chill pop/rap band called Aer that made the most timeless music I’ve ever heard still to this day, those guys still influence me a lot for sure!

How and when did you realize that you wanted to become a music producer/DJ?
I think it was my Junior year in college! I was getting pretty serious into music production and I put out a few remixes that went pretty viral at the time on Soundcloud! It gave me a lot of confidence in myself as a person and in my ability to potentially make a full-time career out of music. I was studying a wide range of subjects at a liberal arts college but none of those classes got my as excited as sitting down and creating music! I saw other DJ’s exploding onto the scene and started getting asked to play at other colleges besides mine, which opened to the doors for me in terms of what was possible!

Can you tell us your top 3 favorite songs ever?
That is so hard haha! In no particular order, without getting stuck and thinking about this for days on end, I would have to say “Walking On A Dream” by Empire Of The Sun, “Gimme Shelter” by the Rolling Stones, and “Wake Me Up” by Avicii, probably my most listened to EDM song on Spotify and a legendary DJ R.I.P.

What would you say is your biggest achievement so far?
I think recently it was picking up the camera and starting to put myself out there on TikTok and finding success with it! I’ve always been an introverted person, it was very hard to watch myself on camera, record myself, talk into a camera, etc so to face that head on and do it consistently and get better at it month after month is something I’m really proud of! My goal is to hit over 100k followers next year, I’m almost half way there right now! Whenever I work with other artists I often get complimented by my output and quality of my videos on there, and I always laugh and tell them it does NOT come naturally at all haha, but it is nice to see other artists appreciating the effort I’m putting out there and I hope it inspires more artists to face similar fears. TikTok has opened a lot of doors for me and I know it can for more artists who just haven’t made that step yet!

Which track from your releases would you recommend to start with that best describes your style?
Honestly, my sound has shifted over the years so it’s hard to pin point one song, but I would have to say my next release ‘Wanted More’ feels like the truest representation of me as an artist and where my sound is heading! I’ve always been enamored by vocals and vocal chops, vocal atmospheres, etc., it’s always been a staple of my productions whether in Future Bass, House, or somewhere in between. But ‘Wanted More’ walks a special line between being emotional and uplifting, which is ultimately what I love most in electronic music and this track is setting the stage for what is to come!

Can you tell us a fun fact about yourself?
Yes! My sister and I both have red hair but our parent’s do not! Many people are confused by it haha but essentially what happened is my great-grandmother on my mom’s side and my great-grandmother on my dad’s side had red hair and carried the gene but no one really knew because the pictures back then were in black and white! This recessive gene on both sides of the family was passed down every generation but never showed until me and my sister!

What’s in store for BKAYE for the coming months?
So many exciting things! 2023 is going to be huge year of new music! I have enough songs done to at least drop 1 single every month, which will turn into an EP or two next year! I’ve also been in the studio working on some very exciting collaborations with other electronic artists that will come out next year as well as a huge feature from a pop artist which I can’t share just yet, but I am so, so, stoked about!

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