Up & Coming with
Co-owner of EMCY Records, 50% of Braaheim, resident at the Norwegian apres ski hotspot Laaven and the man behind Braaten. Does Martin Bråten ever sleep, you say? We can only confirm he has released no less 11 tracks on Soave Records in 2022 alone. And that number is still rising! Regardless of his busy schedule, this super-friendly musical mastermind was so kind to squeeze in this interview. And no. We checked this already, but he is not a vampire.
Let’s start at the beginning: you used to be a metal head, right? Some members of the Soave squad can appreciate metal’s level of loud guitars and heavy grunting. But it does make us interested in your music journey.
Yeah, that's right! I still do listen to a lot of rock and metal. Once a metal head, always a metal head! I started playing guitar when I was eleven, and from there I got introduced to some metal bands from a friend of mine. We started a band and were rocking it for a few years.
How did you go from metal to chill house music?
At fourteen years old, I discovered music production and things took a turn musically. I found it really interesting and a lot of fun to create music. Both recording my own voice and guitars, and create music from MIDI. From there I tried out very many different styles and genres. Ranging from rock & metal to dubstep (2010 I'm I right?). I also produced house in many styles at the time.
In the beginning of my producing career, I was already trying to create house with my own recorded guitars. It didn't sound too good then, haha! So, in the past sixteen years I have created many, many songs in very different styles and genres. But it was something with house that really got me hooked! I have always been a fan of catchy melodies and soothing sounds. I played the guitar until my fingers started bleeding! That is why I work with chill house so much. It has got everything I love about music and producing.
So you're not afraid to experiment with different genres. Cool! What do you feel is a key element that always comes back in your music - no matter the genre?
I have experimented with a lot of genres over the past sixteen years. In the beginning, when I started playing guitar, I played everything from 'Hallelujah' with Jeff Buckley to AC/DC. When I played in metal bands I was really into metalcore and thrash metal. I actually wrote a couple of songs with my band mates.
In my music production career, I have produced many electronic genres as well. Just to name a few: slap house, bounce, dubstep, drumstep, complextro, electro-house, glitch hop, drum & bass, orchestral soundtracks, metal in many forms, rock, singer/songwriter, blues and probably many more.
It should to be mentioned that many of these probably didn't sound very good, haha! But I actually had some great ideas at the time that I've incorporated in some of my recent tracks! What always has been a key element in my music is that I try to make them as catchy and melodic as possible. Even if it's a metal song or chill house.
No experimenting without a bit of failure. Can you tell us about an experiment that did not work out as you’d hoped?
Well, if you are a producer you have probably made some stuff that didn't work out as you first thought. A production that comes to mind is when I tried to make an AD/DC-kind of rock track into a house track. The idea was super cool but the song turned out really bad. But, I never think a production was a waste of time, since every track I have worked on has made me a better producer. So, never feel bad when you don't quite achieve what you are imagining, because it's all leads up to you becoming an even better producer. Christopher and myself, a.k.a. Braaheim and Chrit Leaf have worked on countless of ideas that didn't turn out as we wanted. But we never gave up!
Words to live by! What about the other way around? What’s the most positive thing that ever came out of your experiments?
As I mentioned, every song I have worked on have been important to me as a producer, because every production has helped me become the producer I am today. The most positive thing that came out of my experiments is that I have never been afraid to try out new things musically. This has helped me a lot in finding my style and sound as a producer.
Alright, let’s dive into your Soave releases. You’ve done quite a lot of them already! Can you tell us what your favorite is and why?
Yeah! I love to release music with Soave! It's the best. To be exact, I've released 42 songs at this label so far. With all artist aliases of course. And a lot more is on its way! It's very hard for me to pick one favorite, since every song I've released with you guys is special to me in their own way. But, if I have to name one, it has to be our cover of 'Big Jet Plane' with my bro Victor Perry. We had so much fun creating this one, and it became a cover song I'm very proud of! For my originals with Soave, I think 'Have It All' with Madism and Séb Mont is a favorite. It was so cool to work with these two very talented musicians, and we made a banger for sure!
Besides the Braaten project, you are also making music with Christopher a.k.a. Chrit Leaf under the alias ‘Braaheim’. Can you tell us more about your friendship and why you work so well together?
Christopher and me have always know each other, as we went to the same school in Trysil. But we became close friends after he tried to produce something on FL Studio in the school cafeteria and asked me if I could help him. He was an aspiring DJ that wanted to create his own songs and he had heard I was a producer in my free time. We started talking about working together in 2015. At this time, he visited me for the first time and we tried to produce something together as the duo EMCY. After that, you can say we have spent quite a few hours experimenting with different sounds. And the rest is history!
I think the main thing why we work so well together is because we complement each other on our strengths. He has become one of Norway's best DJ's and performed countless gigs. Christopher understands what people like to hear while on the dance floor. These past years, I have dedicated my life to producing and creating music. So, I've got to say we are like dynamite when we work in the studio. Christopher's got many clever ideas on what we can create and has also become a very talented producer as well.
Spoken like a true friend. But, back to you now! What defines a good Braaten song? How do we hear that on your recent Soave releases?
Well you tell me! I try to make a better track every time I work on something new, and listen very close on how I can improve my craft. As Braaten, I focus a lot on making songs that are melodic, catchy and solid in the means of production. The most important element of a good Braaten song is that the melodies are nice and, of course, the guitar is on point! Vocalists I have been working with on Braaten so far are the best, they bring life to my productions. So thank you all topliners!
We know you are not planning to quit making music anytime soon. And are very happy about that! What can you tell us about your upcoming projects? Any experimenting we can expect?
That's right! I will continue to make music for as long as I live! Christopher and me are working as hard as ever on new songs. So, you can expect many new ones from us in the near future! I'm really looking forward to my upcoming releases, because I have switched it up a bit and tried out some new sounds for Braaten. Very exciting! I hope you all like them as much as I do.
Knowing your track records, we are sure we will! What else would you like to share with us?
Well, I think I have said everything I had on my heart so far! 2022 has been a great year musically, and I hope 2023 will be even better! A big thanks to everyone who supports me and my music and sticks around for new releases. You are the best! And thank you Soave for handling our music the way you do. You are awesome!
Now we're blushing! Soave out.