Breaking Boundaries: The Unique Sound of Clan Brude


Join us as we sit down with Clan Brude, an artist whose music seamlessly blends different inspirations and influences, to create a unique and captivating sound. In this candid interview, Clan Brude shares insights into his musical journey, from his early days experimenting with a Tascam four-track recorder to honing his signature style that fuses VST instrumentation with live recordings. With a deep-rooted background in music and a penchant for experimentation, Clan Brude’s story is one of passion, creativity, and a relentless pursuit of musical excellence.  

Hi Clan Brude, how are you? 

Very good thank you. I’m just getting back into the routine after some enlightening new year trips to Berlin and Cape Town. 

How did you first get interested in music production and what inspired you to start making Electronic Dance music? 

I’ve been interested in music production since I was 16 and had a Tascam four track recorder that I borrowed from a friend. Good for experimenting, less for quality. I progressed through to Cubase and finally onto Ableton Live (via Logic Pro). Clan Brude really took during Covid, where there was plenty of time to develop higher level skills and hone a signature sound. These days I generally use Ableton Live for Clan Brude and defer to Logic Pro for live instrument mixing which I do for friends’ bands from time to time.  

Can you tell us about your background in music and how it has influenced your production style? 

I started learning acoustic guitar at the age of about 11 then moved onto keys, although I was pretty set on guitar being my instrument. I got an electric guitar (knock-off black Telecaster!) at the age of 16 and start a band with school friends. We had the school music room booked once a week. I think I also picked up bass around then as well. We had our first gig in a local pub! The sound was not professional, but we still went for the wall of sound effect – basically it was very loud. I continued playing for most of my adult life and was still in a band in Shanghai (ska-punk). All this is an aside from Clan Brude but all fed into my music essence as well as really helping with general music theory that I could apply to Clan Brude. 

What was your first piece of gear or software that you used for music production, and how did you learn to use it effectively? 

I mentioned the Tascam earlier, but in terms of Clan Brude, the first decent piece of hardware I had was an M-Audio MiDi keyboard that I used in combination with Cubase. This was my first journey into electronic music production.  

Can you talk about any notable collaborations or mentors that have influenced your sound and style over the years? 

Going back to my 16-year-old self, my partner in crime at the time and I spent a lot of time learning guitars. This really pushed me onwards. Also during that time I had a friend very much into music production from who I learned some of the basics. Fast forwarding few years and I was playing with a band very intent on live performing. We were playing most weeks, which allowed me to become much more comfortable with that element of the music spectrum. More recently I have worked with a highly prolific songwriter and multi-instrumentalist and we have a two song EP coming out within the next month or so. Watch out for that. 

What was the first track you ever produced, and how has your production process evolved since then? 

The first track I ever produced is definitely not release-ready! Actually, I struggle to think what it is. It is probably an epic 220 bar loop! The early days are definitely for experimenting, honing and development. Even when Clan Brude was born there was still a lot to develop and work on. Since then I have honed a certain way of producing, encompasses a few more short cuts into the workflow which makes working more professional (as opposed to early days trial and error).  

How did you develop your signature style, blending elements of house and future house with VST instrumentation and live recordings? 

Again, this is something that arrived over time and with experimentation, particular in terms of sound design and then when bringing in live sounds. For instance. I have several go to bass synth sounds that I have tweaked over time. I tend to beef these up with a layer of sub sine-wave bass. I have brought in bass, guitar, sax, field recordings and vocals into my tracks. These are more complex to work with I find to have them sit right in the mix, but when you get it right, you have something really unique. 

How has your experience living in Shanghai influenced your music and creative process? 

Shanghai was and is a lot of fun. The club and love music scene is vibrant and perhaps easier to break into than other major cities (although that may be changing with increasing interest and visa policies for foreign musicians). In case, during my time there I was playing a few times a month on the live circuit. Clan Brude was still in infancy then but I had chance to integrate some of my experiences into Clan Brude, particularly on the production side as I was involved with mixing and producing other musicians.  

Can you talk about any challenges or obstacles you’ve faced as an independent producer, and how you overcame them? 

The main one is just getting heard, especially at the beginning. You might be juggling marketing side with the job or learning quality production techniques which takes a lot of time in my experience. It was somewhat fortuitous that in essence we had such a long lock down in Shanghai as it allowed me to overcome that lack of time. But even once having the quality needed to release, trying to find exposure is hard. But with some perseverance (i.e. a lot of pitching) I had my first track played on BBC introducing (Something Cut Me Loose) which was nice validation.  

Can you tell us about any upcoming collaborations or projects you have in the works, and what we can expect from them? 

The main project I am working on currently is a two track EP in collaboration with an ex-bandmate of mine. I’ll be bring in a some freeform instrumentation to the progressive house style I’ve been working with up to now. It’s sounding really tight so looking forward to release of that. 

What advice would you give to aspiring producers and DJs, both in terms of technical skills and career-building strategies? 

I think if you DJ and produce (well) then you have a head start in a sense in that the DJing gives you exposure to build a platform and a buzz for releases. Technical learning doesn’t really stop and there are a lot of really cool techniques to be learnt, weeks of it are on YouTube of course. In terms of career, I think this depends on what you really want to gain from it. It usually doesn’t come overnight so keep plugging away and look for platforms for your music, maybe social media (via influencers), label radar for label connections and even ads on Instagram can connect people to you that might like what you’re doing.  

We thank Clan Brude for his time sharing more insights into his background story, beginnings and experimentarion to craft his unique sound and style. As he continues teasing new releases and projects, we envision a bright future for this talented Producer, make sure to follow him on social media to remain updated on his latest releases and news. 

Clan Brude Online 

Website | Beatport | Instagram 

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