When I met Brendan two years ago now during fashion week. He was Djing for an up-and-coming designer’s after party at XIX in New York City. Instantly I was blown away by his weaving of songs to make a sonic masterpiece of the evenings festivities. Having dabbled in the music business myself for a while, mostly in management, I quickly realized the talent that I was hearing. But to be completely honest I was more excited that I did not have to leave yet another party early because of the DJ’s inability to understand the meaning of the word, “Transition”. We hit it off later that evening, discussed music, upcoming projects and exchanged information… His card reading only, Brendan Fallis – Music for Champions, I knew then it was only a matter of time.
Fast forward a few years later and Brendan is one of the most sought after DJ’s, playing events for major fashion houses, magazine parties by the truck loads and some of the best night clubs around. I sat down with Brendan to discuss where it all started, how he sees the DJ landscape changing and his Producing aspirations.
Where are you from?
The smallest town in the world…..not really but basically. It’s called Durham, and it’s in Canada…and has one stop light.
Where did it all start for you? How you got interested in music, how you started as a DJ and what gig sort of kicked it all off for you?
I used to freestyle ski competitively and we would travel every week for about 8 months all over North America and my only way to stay sane was music. It was my escape, my motivation and my medicine.
I Started DJing in New York when I moved here 3 years ago. My friend managed Pop Burger and it was a way for us to kick it together as he was always working nights. I’d head there every Monday and we would just play music all night and learn how to mix, as it was usually dead on Monday nights. One night Randy Gerber and Cindy Crawford were in eating and commented on how much they liked the music. Next thing you know I was moved to the weekends at Pop Burger, and then started to expand into the NY nightlife scene.
Have you or do you play an instrument?
I grew up playing the piano, then had a brief moment playing the trombone (mostly because there was a girl I wanted to meet, she was in band, so I needed to join to be able to go on the trips in the 7th and 8th grade), and then played guitar in high school.
What was your first impression of NYC?
I used to come down from time to time and I always remembered the energy this city had, and I have still yet to forget it. This city has something that I haven’t been able to find anywhere else. I would go home and always wonder why I wasn’t back in New York, and why the city I lived in at the time (Toronto) was so dull. That drove me enough to find a way to move here.
How would you describe your musical edit?
It differs from venue to venue, but in general, I like to play music that makes people move. From playing a Vogue party and seeing someone tapping their foot or leg because that’s all that will socially be allowed, to getting an entire group of people to get their hands in the air and dancing around like maniacs, whatever is needed, that’s what I like to play! Some hits, mixed with some old classics, mixed with forgotten about 1 hit wonders, to new classics that (according to me) you will know within 6 months. Classified as open format in the DJ world, it’s basically just mixing it all up.
YOUR SUMMER PLAYLIST
BY BRENDAN FALLIS
EXCLUSIVELY FOR SURF COLLECTIVE NYC (CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD)
1. Pussy Cocaine by Tiger Love
2. Dog Days are Over (Yeasayer Remix) by Florence + The Machine
3. Why Even Try (RAC Mix) by Theophilus London
4. Pharoahs by SBTRKT
5. Phantastic Phone Call by Alexander Dexter-Jones
6. House Of Balloons / Glass Table Girls by The Weeknd
7. No Diggity by Chet Faker
8. Til The world Ends by SALEM
9. Helana Beat by Foster The People
10. Something About You by Live Element
11. Big Jet Plane (Michael Brun Bootleg) by Angus & Julia Stone
12. Don’t Let the Man by Fatboy Slim
13. Still by JJ
14. Crave You by Flight Facilities
15. I Remember Being Young by Bikini
16. Dominos by The Big Pink
17. Skinny Love (Das Kapital Rerub) by Bon Iver
18. Hot Like Sauce by Pretty Lights
19. Stuck In My ID by Reptar
20. Humdrum Town byÂ Theophilus London
Where do you see music and Djing going over the next few years?
Well, it’s ever evolving and right now all the hype is on The Weeknd, which if you don’t know yet, get into it. It’s like a new wave of R&B, and addictive as hell. Â But with music in general, I think that we’re going to go hard into the computer world of production for the next few years, while people continue making sounds that become ever so clear and able to play at intense volumes and in complete clarity, but it will all come full circle and just come back to real instruments once that gets old. Classics remain classics for a reason and real sounds are just unbeatable. Take Auto-tone for instance, a prefect example.
Would you ever want to produce an album?
Would love to, and that is the dream. I’ve just started in the production game and am slowly working towards releasing a few tracks. Stay tuned…..
How do you see the relationship between fashion and music?
They fall hand in hand. Fashion is all about how you express yourself and your taste, just the same as music. A lot of the time, music also represents how you dress. In general, if you see a guy dressed as a rocker, they probably are. Just as if you see a guy wearing Under Armour and an Abercrombie hat, he probably still owns the Jay-Z / Linkin Park album. It’s all one big formula, but to each their own.
What’s next for you? Anything on the horizon?
Next, hmmm. Just trying to travel a bit and build my international presence, with music production being the next stage of my career. On the horizon, is a pretty big show coming up in October for me with a very well known DJ.
Long Board, Short Board, Asleep on the beach?
All three! Long Board for the more relaxing, just get some rides in, days. Short for shredding and keeping up with the cool kids. And asleep on the beach because if you live in New York, once you hit that beach you can’t think of anything else!