BRENDAN FALLIS INTERVIEW

August 20, 2014 4:02 PM

Canadian import BRENDAN FALLIS has made a name as a recording artist for himself with the incredible taste in music and coveted style in the DJ community.

BRENDAN FALLIS has been making music for some of the biggest events and campaigns worldwide during the last few years. His latest single, “Day And All Night” featuring KATE MOSS, which has gained worldwide attention in the short time since its release.

BRENDAN FALLIS has been featured by publications such as GQ and MR. PORTER, and what is more, he is included in “Best Dressed” lists for Vanity Fair and StyleCaster, among others.

 

Let’s start at the very beginning. You were born in a small town in Canada. How did you find yourself in New York?

While stopping through New York on my way back from a backpacking trip in South East Asia, I stayed with a good friend of mine who had just founded a new company called Launch Collective.  I had plans on returning to Toronto to become a commercial real-estate broker but he saw otherwise. He asked me to come in and meet with his company. They hired me shortly after and I went back to Canada to regroup and was back here 2 months later.

You seem to have successfully found a marriage between fashion and music in your career. How did this happen?

I don’t know if I would call it a success but it seems to be working so far.  I’ve always been intrigued with fashion and music, so it’s really nice to be able to work so closely with both.  It happened organically through my network while I was building my DJ career.  Because I had a few great connections in fashion, I would ask them to keep me in mind if they had any events coming up where they needed help with music.  From there, I networked my way to get more and here we are.
 

You’ve DJ’d everywhere from Vogue parties to Cannes Film festival, Coachella and at Whitney Studio parties here in New York - do you have a favorite place you prefer to play at?

There isn’t a place that lands as a favorite for me.  I find pleasure in a ton of places and it all depends on what is happening at the location that makes it an all around amazing experience.  There’s many times where I walk into a very drab atmosphere but if the right people attend and the music hits the spot, it could turn into the best time for all. 

When you’re on tour, how much do you cater your music and playlists to the country you’re in?

I don’t usually go too far off the style of music I always play.  You need to stick to your brand within reason, but there are definitely some songs that are fun to slip into a set appropriately based on location.  As long as you’re educated in what’s hot in each country and do your due diligence before arriving, it’s not too hard to make it work.

Being in the industry that you’re in, you must get to meet some influential people, do you ever get starstruck? Additionally, who’s the most interesting person you’ve met so far DJing?

I’m not one to get very starstruck.  In my mind we’re all just humans, some achieving things that others aspire to achieve, but we all come from the same place.  The one time that I was surprisingly starstruck was when I was DJing an intimate birthday party that was pretty star-studded. All of a sudden, Sting walked in, or floated in as it appeared.  I listened to The Police a lot as a kid and never thought I’d actually see him in person, but after playing one of their songs shortly after and receiving his nod of approval, I felt fulfilled.  I recently hung out with Calvin Harris and he was so humble, polite and nice that I found myself pretty inspired by someone so successful as he is.  Always great to meet people whom you think would see themselves as bigger than the world, but they end up asking you more questions then you’re asking them.  There’s something to be said about that.
 

You’ve been described as “a hard worker - but one of the nicest people in New York”. How do you keep yourself grounded in such a notoriously hard city?

Well that’s nice to hear, it’s definitely something I strive towards.  That is, being nice as well as working very hard.  When I came to New York, everyone was telling me that it’s a very harsh city so be prepared, but I’m a strong believer in treating others how you would want to be treated in return.  That philosophy has worked very well for me so far and I plan on sticking to it.

 

Since being in New York, you’ve also begun managing Brooklyn based rapper Theophilus London, as well as design duo Dee & Ricky. How do you find juggling being a manger and having a manager yourself? What attracted you to managing these guys in particular?

I find it interesting to work with people and projects a little outside of your experience range.  It allows you to work extremely hard to get up to speed and then keeps you interested as you continue to grow within the project. Both of these projects have an ever changing landscape and a great growth pattern. I feel really lucky to work within that environment.
 

You’re not only a DJ and manager, but also an entrepreneur, a partner in Waiola Coconut Water and shopping site NMRKT. How do you keep balance in your life?

I think balance is one of the toughest parts of working vs life, as we all know, but when you truly enjoy the work you do, that balance becomes less difficult.  I love all the projects I’m working on, and luckily have built my portfolio to only contain things I’m deeply interested in.  But further then that, I try to power down each evening and spend time cooking as well as exercising each day to allow me to get rid of my stressors.  That, companied with a balanced diet, and treating my body as if I was an athlete for a full tank of performance gas, allows me to tackle the days appropriately.  Oh, and a daily nap, that’s my little secret.

I read that you credit networking with your success as a DJ. How important is it to be based in New York for you?

Yes, without networking, I’m not sure where I’d be today. I’ve been a lot of places in my life and I have yet to find a place with the energy and drive like I do in New York.  People are beyond energetic in the workspace and love to connect and be connected.  I feed off the energy of this city and New York is a great place to call home for this reason.
 

Away from all the multi-tasking, what do you do to unwind and relax?

I love to cook, travel, and sleep.  Sleeping might currently take rank as number one.
 

How would you describe your personal style? Do you like to wear anything particular when you DJ?

My style is more classic and conservative.  I don’t wear any logos or anything too progressive.  I don’t wear anything particular when I DJ. I just like to keep it clean and classy. 

Where do you see yourself in five years?

If you asked me 5 years ago if I would be a DJ in New York, I would have said “Ha! That would be cool!”, so if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s to set short term goals, but leave the future open for opportunities you never imagined.  

What does success mean to you?

Success to me is happiness.  Happiness to me means a balance of love, life and freedom. If I’m able to continue to work on projects I love to work on and am able to succeed in how I envision each of them while also leading a great life of travel and love, then that is success to me.  


Who are you listening to right now? Do you have any guilty pleasures musically?

I’m all over the map with what I’m listening too right now as it’s part of my job to find new music constantly.  I have guilty pleasures of course…….like Genie in a Bottle; tough not to reminisce over that one!
 

Do you have any upcoming projects in the pipeline you can let us here at TWELV and our readers in on?

I’m working on my production side of things quite a lot.  It’s so time intensive so it’s pretty daunting, but I need to tackle it and put a few releases out in 2014.  Also flirting with the idea of a new artist to bring on.  If there’s one thing I hate doing, it’s talking about things that I haven’t committed to yet, or haven’t come to reality.  Nothing worse then people asking you about something you never put into motion.  Seems like an instant failure.

As you know, the magazine has a theme every issue, and this issue is smile. What makes you smile and why?

Great music because the feeling it gives you is like no other.  Compliment that with some direct warming sunlight and my smile will be as big as ever.  But for now….back to work!

 

INTERVIEWED BY: LUCY ROGERS

EDIT BY: SASHA TUAN

PHOTOGRAPH BY: KINYA OTA

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