Interviewed by Natasha Lenart and Fatima Hasan
Written by Natasha Lenart
Featured Photo Credit: Rage God
“Dude, dubstep is rad.” – Bryan Gorecki
Chicago brothers Jon and Bryan Gorecki are the brains behind Birthdayy Partyy. As they say, “It’s always someones birthdayy,” meaning it’s always a good time to celebrate! This dynamic duo is known for their incredible ability to throw extremely diverse sets. Although they’re bass house artists at heart, the partyy doesn’t stop at house music, and neither do these guys.
We got the chance to sit down with the duo at Spring Awakening 2019 and got to know them a little better. We talked branding, production, and what’s really important to know as a DJ nowadays. Read on for the full interview with Birthdayy Partyy!
GMC: Well, first off, awesome set today! I really wanted to talk to you guys about the diversity that you threw in your performance. Birthdayy Partyy is considered bass house. But today, you guys incorporated dubstep, drum n’ bass, and other totally different genres. Why do you think that’s important for an artist? How do you read the crowd to know when to switch things up like that?
[Jon] So, first off, we’re going to play dubstep and drum n’ bass always just because that’s what we like. We love house music, we love making house music, but we also love listening to and making dubstep, dnb, and midtempo. We always want to showcase that in our sets!
[Bryan] There’s a sound that sits on the verge of a few different genres. The tempo doesn’t matter so much as the sound. So, if you can find something that’s funky, bass-y, disco-y, kind of melodic, good vibes, or even dirty bass – there’s a compromise and agreement between all those sounds that aren’t limited to one bpm. What we do to account where the crowd is at, we usually have an outline of what tempo ranges we want for the show. If the crowd isn’t feeling a particular tempo, we might play a few less songs of that sub-genre. Like, for our drum n’ bass part, we push it as much as we can if the crowd is feeling it because that’s tight. We’ll adjust our general outline by responding to the crowds actions.
GMC: How, as DJs, do you read a crowd? I hear the phrase so often, but never really understood what that entails in particular.
[Jon] It’s honestly just watching people and how they move based on different music we’re playing. Like, at Dom Dolla’s Spring Awakening after party, we were seeing if the crowd responded better to the groovier or heavier stuff, or even the more melodic stuff.
[Bryan] You have to understand that for different styles; the responses naturally vary too. Like when playing dubstep, the reaction will be more dramatic. When it comes to a chiller house section, we obviously don’t expect everyone to be hands up and headbanging. We just need people to be moving.
[Jon] It’s really about watching and seeing what they like.
[Bryan] The key is looking to the outskirts. We know the very front of the crowd is there for us and we know those people are having a good time.
[Jon] You have to watch for people wandering, and you want to try and grab their attention. Those are the people who might not know about us!
[Bryan] It takes one good crowd, one good set, one good reaction to turn someone from “I’ve seen their name,” to “Oh, yeah, I’m showing up for their set even if it’s early in the day.”
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GMC: Why did you guys decide to re-brand as a duo and form Birthdayy Partyy? How has that helped propel your career and move beyond the local scene?
[Bryan] So Hi Five and Who Cares was us trying to figure out where we fit in the industry and genre-space.
[Jon] And even just finding ourselves and what we like.
[Bryan] We realized we were on the same trajectory, we just got there in different ways. Jon progressed on the more business and DJing route, I was more on the industry/personal relations, and mixing/mastering production realm. We started doing collabs and playing sets together, and we decided that maybe it would be a good idea to focus our acts on one project together rather than two solo side projects.
[Jon] As soon as we decided that we wanted to do this, we spent a year and a half just planning before we even launched. We spent that time just planning out Birthdayy Partyy, doing our branding, and some “terrible” photo shoots.
GMC: Why wait to launch the project?
[Bryan] We waited to do Birthdayy Partyy sets because we wanted the project to develop and increase the hype. We just wanted it to be special and big. Birthdayy Partyy is a little less flexible than our side projects and we have a clearer vision for it. We want to play really solid support sets, festivals, and start headlining our own shows. That’s all we want to do in Chicago. We don’t want to do all the small shows here and there and wash out the brand in Chicago. We’re trying to do one show someplace else for every show in Chicago.
GMC: So where else have you guys been playing?
[Jon] Well, we just came from EDC Las Vegas – that was awesome. We not only played the Art Car set we were scheduled for, but we ended up hopping on the Corona Electric Beach stage to fill in for somebody. We just happened to be walking by and they were like, “Hey, somebody is going to be late – can you guys jump on?” We were like, “Absolutely!”
[Bryan] Pro tip: Always keep your USB on you, DJ’s.
GMC: Do you think a big part of how you’ve been able to branch out and find different ways to succeed is because of the network that you guys have built over the years?
[Bryan] There’s a difference between network and relations. We will outsource networking to people who can do it better. To me, networking has the implication of one goal of practicality and what you can achieve from that relationship. I think, honestly, that the most beneficial relationships are when people join together because you’re on the same wavelength, trying to accomplish the same thing. No one has any ulterior motives, opportunities to work together arise. Bottom line is, organic relationships will foster more success without you searching or forcing it!
[Jon] Relationships are way more important than just networking. A big part of the network we have is friends, we just have friends that are doing really cool stuff and are extremely supportive of us. We couldn’t do this without our friends coming out and bringing even more friends. We can’t do it without our team, and our team is our friends.
GMC: What is your goal as Birthdayy Partyy? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
[Bryan] We work together now at our normal 9-5 job. We do want music to become our full-time career. The big goal right now is being able to support ourselves through our music career. That would be the first level of “making it.”
[Jon] We would love to make this a career. We’re only a little over a year in. We want to do things right and even if we end up doing this for fun, enjoying it is ultimately the goal.
GMC: Anything else you’d like to add?
[Bryan] Create art. Make art. Support art.
[Jon] Go make some f*cking art, if it’s even for a couple hours a day. Put 10,000 engaged hours into your craft, and that’s how you become a master.
Thank you again to Jon and Bryan for chatting with us at Spring Awakening 2019. We have so much respect for this dynamic duo and it was an absolute pleasure sitting down with them. We can’t wait to see what is in store for Birthdayy Partyy next, but you can be sure they’re making big moves only! Check out their socials at the links below.
Connect with Birthdayy Partyy: