Brina Knauss takes center stage in the contemporary electronic music realm, presenting us her path as a DJ, producer, radio host, and label owner of EMPATH.
Born in Slovenia, this stunning artist has carved a fascinating evolution behind the decks and performing all around the world alongside Zamna Festival and many other top-notch events like Awakenings, EXIT, Tomorrowland, DGTL Santiago, Exit Festival, OCASO, to name only a few.
Her musical emphasis is not just on the stage but on her dynamism and irrefutable creativity; as a clear proof, we have her latest productions, "We Know" EP and enigmatic single "Euphoria," both released on her own imprint.
]Her impressive background in music showcases her commitment to pushing boundaries in every aspect of her career.
Watching her development as an artist these past few months has been such a buzz, so we won't entertain you anymore and will let Brina tell us what is in her pocket.
Welcome Brina to our Mixmag cover! We are so happy to have you! How have you been doing? What have you been up to lately?
Hey there! I've been doing fantastic, thanks for asking. Lately, I've been touring lots, playing many gigs.
Originally, you come from Slovenia, a stunning place surrounded by nature and lovely architecture. What's distinctive about the place you grew up in, and how did it shape your artistic vision?
Slovenia gave me a real, authentic, and deep relationship with nature. Whenever I return home, I love getting lost in the valleys near my hometown, walking around, and feeling connected. This is my innate Slovenian trait.
On the other hand, my country also gave me a strong desire to explore the world. Coming from a small town, I always wanted to discover new places and parts of myself.
What is fascinating about "We Know EP" is its great connection between the atmospheric vibes, a sort of old-school trance and melodic techno, something more diverse than your previous one, "Births". Tell us, what did you consider when you started the production? And How long have you been working on it?
"We Know" was a journey and a natural body of work that I am super proud of. Especially as it is more diverse and different from my previous releases.
It all came together relatively quickly once the melody was down and just came into its own.
"Arpeggio" is so good! It delivers a mixture of sounds of the past, present, and future; we are curious about this composition because it is totally different than 'We Know,' which has seductive vocals. "We Know," besides its vocals, gives us a feeling full of emotions. Last but not least, we have "Days of Glory," a song that conveys a new era for you; what is the story about this one?
The entire project of “We Know EP” had to do with the connection between us and nature.
So, each track symbolizes this, which is why they seem very different, but they are still super connected and tell their own story.
“Slovenia gave me a real, authentic, and deep relationship with nature. Whenever I return home”
On the other hand, “We Know” has been released on your imprint “EMPATH”; what can you share with us about the musical vision of your label? And how important is it for you to show different sounds in your work?
The essence of “EMPATH” lies in the belief that music can bridge gaps and cultivate understanding and compassion.
To catalyses empathy, encouraging individuals to engage with music as a means of self-expression, catharsis, and unity. Which is why it's important to show different sounds.
You started in music as a multi-instrumentalist and a former band member in your hometown. How would you describe the development of your career from then to now?
It's been a bit of a journey, that's for sure. No regrets; it's been a great ride, and honestly, it still feels like it's just the beginning.
I was super excited to close the previous year out strong and start this 2024 with a bang.
Eventually, you moved to Milano to pursue a modeling career and then had your first date with electronic music. What would you say are some inspirations that perfectly embody fashion and music?
Fashion is an important part of my past, although it does not directly influence my music; by the way, I strongly believe that as a form of expression it’s deeply connected to music too, especially in recent years and I’m glad for this.
In which way do these two passions portray the best of your personality?
They are one and the same for me... they are both arts I love and love to combine, and I love how I can express myself through my music and fashion.
“The essence of ‘EMPATH’ lies in the belief that music can bridge gaps and cultivate understanding and compassion”
Speaking of good music, we fell in love with “Nightfall,” released via Zamna Records, a festival that we know means a lot to you. What can you share about your landing at Zamna and this sultry track?
Zamna means so much to me, I’m so proud to always get to play at their festivals and to have released music with them! The essence of Zamna truly inspires this track.
Also, you remixed “Eagles” by the fabulous Italian duo Glowal. What elements of their style inspired you to remix the track?
I really enjoyed working with Glowal, remixing their track “Eagles”. All started from their spontaneous request based on mutual esteem and respect.
I felt this song very close to me, with vocals and synths. This gave me the chance to put my best in it.
Recently, you released a stunning remix of Arty’s “HOPE”, how was your musical approach to him? And, What does the word “HOPE” mean for you?
Working on this track was amazing! It has an intense energy evolving in its synths in crescendo. I really like to put a fluid approach in it.
“HOPE” for me is something we always have to keep in our hearts and minds, it is a magical tool.
And, before ending 2023, we were mesmerized by your single “Euphoria”, an extremely explosive piece. Tell us more about it, what was your inspiration? and What was the reaction of the crowd when you played it?
Since the early production stages, I wanted to offer with “Euphoria” a profound exploration of the euphoric dimensions within electronic music.
When I started playing it during my sets, seeing how people would feel involved in this concept and discover their true euphoric self on the dancefloor was amazing.
“‘We Know’ was a journey and a natural body of work that I am super proud of. Especially as it is more diverse and different from my previous releases”
Last November, you visited the region by playing at DGLT in Santiago Chile, what can you tell us about its crowd and what is your impression about the festival?
Playing in Santiago, Chile was an electrifying experience! The energy and passion from the audience were absolutely contagious. The crowd's response to the music was nothing short of amazing – a true celebration of music and unity.
They know how to party, and the enthusiasm on the dance floor was unparalleled. The connection with the audience was surreal, and I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to share the beats with such an incredible crowd.
What's the best way to decompress after a tremendous season in Europe and South America? How important is it for you to raise awareness about mental health in the industry?
It’s super important to look after yourself after the crazy gigs, hours, and travel. I go to the gym, do physio, and treat myself to facials to unwind.
Did you think young Brina would one day perform in the most iconic dance music festivals?
It’s been surreal, especially the past few years., but the most surreal part is that I know there is still so much more to come.
Is there a country or place you still need to play that you would love to discover?
Maybe… Iceland? It would be amazing (and freezing, too).
What is next for you in terms of releases, travels and guilty pleasures?
I’m working a lot in studio right now to set up new tunes. I hope to release new music later this year and have another big round of gigs as it was in 2023.
“‘HOPE’ for me is something we always have to keep in our hearts and minds, it is a magical tool”