A voyage between inspiration and music with Brina Knauss
Travelling around the most creative urban districts of Europe for the launch event of neubau eyewear, in Italy we met with Brina, DJ of the evening at Killer Kiccen, Milan.
Musician, singer, and model with a simple and modern style, Brina was born in Slovenia, transplanted to Milan, and travels continually with her music between Ibiza, London, and Italy where she is a very popular trendsetter of fashion and lifestyle brands.
We like creative and multifaceted personae, those who draw their inspiration from the world and are a constant source of inspiration for others. So we decided to have a chat with her to find out more.
You began as a singer and model, now you embody a spokesperson and above all DJ. Brina, which of these titles suit you best?
It’s difficult to choose one over the others. On every occasion, I try to be myself. I tend to always choose situations and collaborations that allow me to do so without having to make difficult compromises. If I should pick one though, I would have to say that certainly behind the console is where I can allow myself to express my feelings in total freedom, with no restrictions. I believe that music is the instrument that lets us express who we are with the highest number of facets possible: there is the sound, the atmosphere that is created, visual and emotional contact with many people at the same time, body language, aesthetics. Yes – being a DJ probably allows me to tell and convey who I am, creatively, with no filters whatsoever.
Working as a DJ, you find yourself travelling around the world experiencing the music of different countries, sometimes even multiple times in just a few days. Which cities do you feel most at home in and what inspires you most on a creative level?
Having just spent an unforgettable summer season there, I would have to say Ibiza. But I have to specify: everyone thinks of Isla as the temple of clubbing and excesses, where night and day are mixed and confused and anything goes. Over-the-top is a must. But its essence is made of intimate sunrises, simple and spontaneous people, a perfect climate in every season, a Mediterranean diet, and a splendid seaside. Berlin instead is the city where creativity and innovation meet, in an urban setting that is always stimulating and brimming with inspiration. But many European capitals and others are acquiring these characteristics, especially thanks to artists and young people who travel and spread the culture of sharing.
What differences do you notice in the people in clubs when travelling to different countries? What do they have in common and how are they culturally distant?
The differences in their response, the level of engagement and interaction with the public vary — noticeably — according to what I have identified as musical culture. In northern European countries, especially in London, where I have had the opportunity to play at the Beat Club, they prefer more sophisticated and underground music. The club is not only a context of entertainment, but also a place where people go to enjoy a show, as if it were a concert or a theatrical performance. In this context I feel very much at home and I can get more intense feedback. In other cities where clubbing is perceived more as a way of having fun on Saturday night, commercial music dominates and they wait for the latest big hits before hitting the dance floor. The second approach is not very “me”, so I have to work even harder: in the end, it is a stimulating challenge.
You were born in Slovenia, you live in Milan, but you also work in London and Ibiza. As we have said, you travel lots, living in many cities and different cultures. Which city do you think suits you best for your life as an artist?
It would be nice to be able to make a mix: vitality, the public and the essentially unlimited offerings of London, the musical culture, creativity, and humane and liveable dimension of Berlin, together with the warmth, beauty, and endless nights of Ibiza. Milan, between the design district, Brera, the Navigli, and Porta Nuova is becoming a hotbed of inspiration and picture-postcard views. But many cities of Eastern Europe and ex-Yugoslavia fascinate me tremendously for their street art trends, their simplicity, and their cultural meeting places.
Which cities would you like to perform in next year?
Certainly I would still like to get back to London for a more intense and continuous experience of its culture and atmosphere. I feel like I could contribute a lot in terms of energy and inspiration. Then my dream is to fly overseas more often to the United States, to learn how people different from Europeans would react to my music. In October I played at Provocateur in New York. It was a unique experience that I would like to follow up on.