Name: Brevin Kim
Hometown: North Attleboro, Massachusetts
Latest Project: PAIN MUSEUM
If there’s anything to take away from Brevin Kim’s contribution to our See You Next Year project, it’s that they deserve their flowers. The Massachusetts-born duo have been crafting hyperpop-adjacent music since before most of the subgenre’s biggest names were in diapers. OK, maybe not that long. But they’ve been around for a few years now, making sounds that they prefer to not define in categories, and they agree that credit is certainly overdue. With that being the case, it only felt right to give the brothers their moment to shine alongside the Synth God himself, Mike Dean, on our first compilation album.
Making “Chalice” with Mike Dean was a long time coming for Cal and Bren, who grew up inspired by his work. The anticipation was real when they found out he’d be mixing SYNY back in April, and the visit to his home studio did not disappoint. “It was one of those starstruck moments, which I’ve never been in until now,” Cal says. “By the time we left, it felt like we were just buddies with Mike, he was a very normal human being. Even though he is like an alien, he’s just a normal person. He’s a good dude.”
As Cal explains, Dean went above and beyond to help them—and other artists on the project—with advice and insight. For the BK boys, that meant the massive in-your-face outro that Dean added to their track. “He didn’t have to do any of this. He genuinely wants to help rising artists. He wanted to have that outro. Of course, we wanted him to have the outro on our song, too! But he took initiative on that. We asked if he heard anything else, and he was honest, he gave us good feedback. And he even asked us what we use on our vocals, which felt good. He does it all just because he loves music.”
Admittedly, it’s tough to put Cal and Bren’s flashy and disruptive music into any category as is, and their track off See You Next Year, “Chalice,” makes that abundantly clear. It’s bold and lyrically all over the place—the “hype track” that Bren says was exactly what they had in mind. “As the beat started coming along, I started recording vocals and just freestyling over it.”
While you’ll have to wait to hear it, we caught up with Brevin Kim to get an idea of how Dean added to the disruption of it all, the joys of 2008, and what else they have planned for this next year. Learn more about the See You Next Year compilation album and the other artists in the Class of ‘22 here. Pre-save the album here and stay tuned for music and more info on the release date soon.
Fill in the blanks: Brevin Kim is most likely to______?
Cal: Revolutionize. We’re blending a lot of genres and just making something that I feel not a lot of other people are making. We’re the most likely to pioneer a new sound.
What’s changed for you in the last year?
Cal: It’s tough to answer on the spot. But for me, right off the top, I would say I feel like we’re finally gaining some respect that we felt we deserved for being a part of pioneering certain sounds. I feel like this is the first year where all these years of work that sometimes feel pointless are finally starting to pay off. I see that people are recognizing us and that feels good.
What’s been the biggest lesson you’ve learned about yourself creatively in the last 12 months?
Cal: You gotta be patient. When we first signed a couple years ago, we had no idea what the music industry was like. You still gotta put the work in and can’t just expect things to happen. Above that, just be confident in your music. Because we’ve had times where we start to doubt ourselves. And when that happens, the listeners doubt too, because they can feel it. So if you don’t believe in it, nobody else is going to believe in it.
What’s been the biggest risk you’ve taken in the last year?
Bren: Always just sticking to what we do creatively. Sometimes the music we make can be a little too abrasive but I’d rather be different than just try to be regular mainstream artists that go by the numbers. So sticking to what we do, whether people need to catch up on our type of music or not.
What is it that you want to see in the world next year?
Cal: Less mass shootings and people getting along. Less haters on the internet. Everything’s so negative lately. Everybody just hates each other. It’s getting exhausting.
What’s the biggest goal on your bucket list in the next year?
Cal: Continue gaining that respect.
Looking back, what was your favorite year ever and why?
Cal: 7th grade, back in ‘08. I think he it’s when you first start liking girls and you’re not doing drugs or drinking yet, but it’s a great time. I miss the days when we didn’t know what rent and taxes were. Anxiety didn’t exist.
What’s the biggest secret you’ve kept this year?
Bren: This project! It was so hard not to post a picture of us going to Mike Dean’s house or a video of us working with him. Now we finally can. That’s about the only secret I’ve kept this year.