The Jacksons, the Osmonds, the Hansons, the Carpenters and in some way I suppose, even the Mansons – all these families displayed the kind of musical talent in a single generation that some families take years to nurture in just one descendent. Some were super groups of their time, others famed for the infamy, but all talented musicians getting an early start at a career in music during a time when the group was still an essential formula to making new music. But what of today – what of a generation brought up on the idea of the solo artist and electronic music? Can families like the Osmonds and the Jacksons still exist in a time where music and djing is the sole pursuit of the individual? The answer is irrefutably, yes and the Bravo siblings are the finest example of just such a family today.
André, Dan and Jennifer Bravo are a new generation of musical family, one brought up on their parents’ record collection and a set of turntables. André Bravo, known for his residency at Jæger’s Mandagsklubben was the precursor to Dan and Jennifer’s introduction to the world of the djing, with each member of the Bravo family forging ahead in distinctive styles. Dan and André often step into the role of producer, with André appearing on Deep-House labels like Bogota and the name Dan Bravo should already be familiar to you, from his releases on Armada Music and Sony. Like the Osmonds and the Jacksons, each sibling in the Bravo family brings something unique to the clan, and while André and Dan look favour the deeper end of House and R&B respectively, Jennifer likes to dwell in the pulsing corners of the Techno genre.
The Bravo siblings are certainly a unique anomaly in electronic music and djing, but I wonder where it all started and how they all influenced each other on their path. So we sent over some questions via email to find out more about this unique family.
How did the Bravo family get into djing?
André: I got into djing through one of my best friends in the 5th grade. His older brother was a dj, so we used to borrow his records to play at the weekly youth disco in the 6th grade. We also got into it through watching MTV and later getting a hold of DMC Battle Video tapes and ITF Battle tapes.
Jennifer: And I was influenced by Andre`.
As the big brother, did you have the biggest musical influence in the house, and what were you listening to when you first realised you wanted to be a dj?
André: I think our father probably had the biggest musical influence, but at the same time I know that I have influenced my family just as much. I was listening too stuff, like Jungle Brothers, Wu Tang, EPMD, Prodigy, Shamen, Massive Attack, Stevie Wonder, Goldie, Aphex Twin, Orbital, Underworld. Grooverider. Q-Bert, Squarepusher , etc…
What do you remember of your older brother’s first sets?
Dan: Cool question! But I actually can’t remember, must be some kind of urban hip-hop set somewhere around Oslo city, maybe at the legendary hip-hop club Barongsai? I don’t know, but I would like to remember it!
Jennifer: I remember André and his scratch sessions at home. In the clubs, I remember that he played diverse sets – not everyone can mix from R&B to Braindance.
Besides big brother, what else inspired the younger siblings to dj?
Jennifer: The love for music inspired me.
Dan: I’ve been into music as long as I can remember, being raised with various styles of music playing from every room in the house – my brother, sister & dad constantly played music. So music got into me really early and it’s been a big part of my life ever since. After years and years of just being a “houseparty-dj” or “selecta” for every house party in my hometown, I finally bought some decks. My brother pushed me for years, so this was definitely all on my brother, but it felt natural as well since I was already the “party/music” guy throughout my teenage years.
When you guys started playing, was is it about following in André’s footsteps, or did you immediately want to start doing your own thing?
Dan: I’ve always believed I did my own thing when it comes to djing yes, but we did share a lot of influences at the start. When it came to Hip-Hop/R&B club music, he’s the one who got me into the urban club stuff, but after that I really just followed my own thing and discovered new sounds and genres that he didn’t and visa versa. So I think we both inspired each other at that point. Even though he showed me like early deep house stuff, jersey club, dubstep etc. I really just became a fan of the music so I followed my own sound, and still do, to this day.
Jennifer: It inspired me to follow in Andre`s footsteps, but I wanted to do my own thing, essentially.
Jennifer, I think I’ve asked you about it before, and you mentioned you are drawn more to Techno in your sets. What draws you to it?
Jennifer: The driving nature of the music.
And André, I know you’re quite eclectic from what I’ve experienced at Jæger, picking on elements of R&B, House and Techno. But what do you usually like in a track when you’re looking for new music?
Its not always the same thing with each track its more like different weapons of emotion that I can use to manipulate time. (Laughs)
Dan, what are your musical preferences behind the decks?
Besides getting you your first pair of decks, what role did your parents play in getting you into music and djing?
André: My mother helped me a lot with equipment and my father was a big musical influence. They both had a lot of soul in their music collections, like George Benson, Bobby Womack, Luther Vandross, Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, etc…
Jennifer: Well our father is very passionate about music, and we’ve been listening to his music collection from when we were very young.
Did you spend a lot of time going through your parents’ record collection?
André: Yes, and we still do on occasion.
I know Jennifer also dabbles in the visual arts too. Did you guys grow up in a very artistic environment?
Jennifer: Our family has been collecting and buying paintings since we were kids, yes.
Besides learning to dj, did you guys pick up any instruments together?
André: I don’t play any instruments. I’m still trying to learn the keys and chords.
I know André and Dan are also quite prolific in the studio, but what about you Jennifer – Any ambitions to make music?
Jennifer: Yes, there’s some ambition to make music in the future.
Dan, you just put out a track a few days ago on Soundcloud. Can you tell me a bit more about “Lost my Mind”?
Dan: My sister told me to do a Deborah Cox remix of a song that I’ve always liked and the acapella was online, and from that “Lost My Mind” came to life!
Dan, I’ve never really had the chance to hear you play. What would a Dan Bravo set sound like?
Hmm, I would say a mix between commercial and non-commercial dance music with Hip-Hop / R&B influences. Easy going house music, happy stuff!
Do you guys ever dj together when you get the chance?
We haven’t really been djing that much together but we should definitely do that some time this year.
Ever thought about forming a dj super group?
And the last question, if you would have to compare yourself to another musical family would it be more Hanson or Manson?
*André Bravo will be joining the rest of Mandagsklubben for our opening DJ marathon and you can see some of Jennifer’s visual works here.