Matt Brevner
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Matt Brevner

Richmond, British Columbia, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

Richmond, British Columbia, Canada | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Hip Hop R&B




"The Canadian invasion continues with Brevner"

There has been a small wave of Canadian artists that have caught our attention over the past few years. Lead by Drake’s rise to prominence in the music industry, acts like Justin Bieber and Tory Lanes have found their way into the American music mainstream. Next in line is Matt Brevner. A Vancouver native, Brevner is representing a city that does not have many Hip-Hop acts to claim. After making some noise within the Canadian underground scene, he is looking to make his presence known stateside.

Brevner released his debut album, Magnum Opus in 2009, which received airplay on Vancouver’s Top 40 radio station. His second indie release, Blissful Ignorance, help him land his a feature on Bass Nectar’s album Cozza Fenzy, which opened up a whole new market and fanbase for him. It was in 2012 with the release of The Bushido Project that Brevner caught the attention of radio host, and purveyor of the Hip-Hop culture, Sway Calloway. Soon after he was anonymously submitted in the Hot 97 Who’s Next competition and made it to the final round but had to forfeit because of a late submission. Brevener credits his style to his Japanese and Trinidadian roots. With over 2 million streams on Spotify and being in the Top 10 artist streamed in Canada, Brevner is has also been placed on Spotify’s global playlist. He has cracked the code to becoming a globally recognized artist. His growing success and progression in his career is attributed to his consistent hustle and work ethic.

Not only does Brevner make music he also runs a production company, bsharp Productions. Through his production company, Brevner produces, and directs music videos. He has directed award winning videos for artists such as French Montana and the late Chinx, as wells as himself. A jack of all trades, Brevner is a multi-talented artist that is coming to leave his mark at this year’s A3C Festival during the This is My Year showcase presented by the Swisher Sweets Artist Project. - A3C Festival Artist Review

"Brevner sets an example for Vancouver’s new wave"

Vancouver, BC – Even if you weren’t previously aware of the boutique denim shop that Matt Brevner was set to perform at this past Friday for the release of his upcoming EP, walking down any direction on Cordova and Cambie Street that night it was apparent that something deviant was going down in the ‘hood. Outside Dutil stood a few smoking crowds and a small lineup. The vibe was inclusively exclusive, where stating your name at the door meant the difference between witnessing a unique event first hand or watching from the outside, peering through a pair of large glass windows.

Brevner sets an example for Vancouver’s new wave -HipHopCanada

Cool indigo lighting took over the inside of the Gastown heritage space painting the walls and high ceilings a blueish purple tone. By 8:30 the cleared out denim shop was filled with the company of artists, DJs, rappers, supporters, press and family. Hustling through the mob to the back of the shop got you a cold beer but making the trip through the impressively swollen crowd was task for the most ambitious.

By 9pm members of Brevner’s band – Braeden “Withinroots” Vanderzalm and Nico “NDT” DeTorres set up in the two windows on either side of the shop’s entrance. Shortly after, Brevner was introduced from above the doorframe, overlooking his audience – “There are a lot of people here who don’t know me at all…and a lot of people who know me really well”. His vibe was warmly aware making the room resonate with a vibe that can only occur through connecting like-minded people in the same space. Brevner has the ability to bring a feeling of harmony to a spot, and certainly on this particular evening. From the bat, it was a show very unlike any other Vancouver has seen.

He started off with a track called “Chico” from his upcoming release BREVNER EP with Withinroots and NDT on the keys providing an undeniably chilling intro. With one of the first in his set, this song was also one of the rawest and more real – both lyrically and compositionally. The track started off slow and delicate then perfectly contrasted with verses progressing into something grimey and undisguised – “Nice guy with a dark past / hard work made me humble, never lost class”. In all honesty, it was haunting and although this was just the beginning it was hard not to immediately pick favorites with this track.

With BREVNER EP’s debut single “All We Know” being released that same week, dropping it in his set was a no-brainer, and effective because with a good view it was easy to witness a large portion of the crowd singing along to the “gettin’ money” hook. Brev has been a little more blatant with his villainous tendencies lately while managing to maintain a low key nice-guy balance but when he dropped “Give A Fuck” (which will feature Rome Fortune on the EP) that bad-boy shit was really working for him. Black t-shirt, dark denim and rounded out shades with his hair tightly braided, his image was definitely fresh and to use his own words, very “Young Jap-black Frank Sinatra”.

He closed the 20-minute set with a cover – Kanye’s “Roses” – which he mentioned he didn’t want to do but considering the track meant a whole lot to him since losing his Grandmother and “best friend” late last year, he felt it was an appropriate homage. It was perfect. Most people knew the lyrics, and almost all of us could relate to the pain of losing someone.

Whether collecting a room on one solid vibe of creating and supporting good art was his goal or not, he certainly maintained just that. Brevner also showcased his growth as an artist and came into his own in front of his community. A tastemaker and rare Vancouver visionary making dope art and encouraging his peers to join him in doing and supporting the same; it was a beautiful and compelling thing to witness. - Hip Hop Canada

"Interview: Brevner Leads A New Wave Of Vancouver Hip-Hop"

Brevner is making a lot of noise on the West Coast. The Vancouver rapper formerly known as Matt Brevner is ushering in 2016 with a name change, a new EP, and a take-no-prisoners attitude.

It’s a new era for Brevner, and one in which he has no interest in staying quiet. He recently sparred with Bob Ezrin online after the producer’s comments on Kanye West ignited the Internet, and he aired out his troubled history with Swollen Members and Battle Axe Warriors co-founder Madchild on one of the most savage diss tracks to come out of the beef that shook Western Canadian hip-hop last year.

With a new name and a new self-titled EP—boasting features from the likes of Project Pat, King Louie, Rome Fortune, and the Peach Panther himself, RiFF RAFF—Brevner is ready to let the past be the past, and focus on the future.

We caught up with Brevner and chatted about his new EP, Vancouver hip-hop, his relationship with Chinx Drugz, and his beef with Madchild.

Your new EP is your first effort as the newly minted Brevner. Why lose the “Matt”? Does the name change signal a more significant change for you as an artist?
Growing up, my friends always called me "Brevner" or "Brev." Creatively I felt the need for a fresh start, and although the name change isn't drastic, it represents the beginning of a new chapter in my life and my story. Everything has come full circle in the past couple years, and now more than ever, I'm happy with who I am and where I'm from. To my understanding, there are currently less than 50 Brevners in the world. It's a pretty unique last name, and I'm proud to bear it.

One of my favourite cuts on the new EP is “Last Call.” Fembot killed the hook. What does that song mean to you?
When Frances [Fembot] sent me her demo vocal, her words immediately made me think of two angles. At 2AM after a night of partying, there are two types of people most of us would call—either a fuck buddy or your drug dealer. Everyone is chasing a feeling of acceptance in one form or another. We all have a hole in our chests. Some people attempt to fill that hole with vanity, pride, materialistic things. The fillers most commonly sought after at 2am are substances and lust. "Last Call" is quite literally the story of my experiences with filling needs, and longing for something more all in one night.

There are some crazy features on your EP. Project Pat, King Louie, Rome Fortune...and RiFF RAFF. I’m curious to know how that one came to be.
A good friend of mine, a rapper from Calgary named Deezus, is a part of Riff's Canadian management team. Over the years when I would be touring through Calgary, D was always on some good people real hospitality shit. When the album was still in the production stage, I knew it needed a brighter track to bridge the gap sonically between "All We Know" and "Last Call." Last year when RIff came through Vancouver, D hollered at me to extend some tickets, and I reached out about working together on something. A couple days before the show, my homie Sonny Parmar and I started sketching song concepts that we thought might be a good fit for Riff and I to both do our own thing on. It was just a simple loop and the hook at that point, but when I sent that demo with a couple others, “Jane DOE” resonated with him immediately. Fortunately, the homie Lazee has a studio spot almost spitting distance from the club. It was a total alignment of effort to make it happen, between arranging everything and finishing it. It’s the colour that the album needed.

It looks like NDT produced many of the beats on the EP. What’s your creative relationship with him like?
NDT is one of those low-key geniuses. Definitely a diamond in the rough, but I have a feeling that's about to change. We definitely learn a lot from each other. Not just on the music shit, but generally. He's like a sparring partner and we definitely push each other to be great.

You’re half Trini and half Japanese. How do your roots influence what you do?
I'm very close with my family and I am definitely a product of my environment. So, it contributes to everything, from my visuals, to work ethic, and the relationships I have with the people close to me.

What’s the deal with you and Bob Ezrin?
I know, right?

I thought your critique of Ezrin and his recording school, Nimbus, was pretty on point. I imagine that detail resonates with you, based on your brief tenure at The Art Institute.
To be frank, it was never my intention to critique the school. Everyone has their own path to take. There is no set way to be an entrepreneur, especially a creative one. In terms of The Art Institute, I signed up for a four year program and realized fairly quickly that it just wasn't for me. It was too expensive, and that just added much more stress and unneeded pressure on my dream. It didn't feel right. It's kind of unfortunate that it was spun in a way that made it seem like I was shitting on higher learning, or Nimbus specifically. My point was simply that it was ignorant to say what he did without acknowledging that a fair size of his student body grew up listening to Kanye records.

How did you feel about his response?
To be honest, it felt like a cop out. Like, "Oh shit, this punk kid is gonna cost me money, so I better make it about the kids." He didn't even really respond to me, he just said "Leave the kids out of it." Oh well. Que sera.

It was tough hearing about Chinx Drugs’ passing. Can you talk a little bit about your relationship with him, and what his memory means to you?
My brother Rick Steel originally asked me if I was interested in coming down to kick it in Far Rock for a bit with the intention of shooting a video for Chinx. I was always a fan of the Cokeboys movement, and the opportunity to work with Chinx was a dream come true. After seeing how he operated, how much people adored and loved him and what he meant to Far Rock, it was crazy inspiring. He's like a superhero to his neighbourhood. My manager and I flew out and ended up shooting a video for him and French Montana, which could be its own interview altogether. Anyway, I learned a shit load about the music business in New York in a short period of time. Rick and Chinx were some of the first people to really put me on outside of my city. For that, I am forever grateful.

What’s happening in Vancouver hip-hop right now, beyond Brevner? SonReal is in the mix, Evil Ebenezer, LNDN DRGS, Tre Nyce...what can you tell us about the scene right now?
There are some people making real noise out here, man. And there are some solid kids that are about to start. As long as I've been doing this shit I've never been so excited or proud of my city and our scene. I mean, there are so many cats making great music and power moves right now. Snak of course, Merk, Caspo, Tommy Genesis, Vials, D-Kay, Stevie Ross, Tom Macdonald, Kai Skywalker (RIP), Lazeevil, NWD, Neph, Ghost, So-Loki, Dave Fields, Seth Kay, Golden, Immerze, Spotty, Gerry Scope, Emotionz, Heatwave, Creed Taylor….so much talent. What I can tell you about the hiphop scene in the V is that it’s extremely eclectic. We're coming to take what’s ours, and we're not expecting any handouts.

For those that don’t know… What can you tell us about “Waterloo (The Jitters Story)”?
It was a forced deposition in the court of public opinion. Something that myself and Vancouver needed.

What would it take for you to, excuse the terrible pun, bury the hatchet with Madchild?
I no longer hold any malice towards Shane. I got it all out of me. I can't imagine he feels the same way about me, but fuck it. At the end of the day, he has a lot of kids who look to him as a role model, and I hope he can be healthy and be a good role model for them. The stakes are too high. - Complex


Still working on that hot first release.



Brevner was born and raised in New Westminister, BC, and currently resides in Long Island, NY. He is an ecletic mix; Canadian-born, half-Japanese, half-Trinidadian, and living in America. Before his actualization into a full-time artist, Brevner completed an internship at Creative Control and Blu Roc in New York City, working as a production assistant for Curren$y, Mos Def, Ski Beats, Stalley, and Peter Hadar. Brevner recruited photographer Alex Yelizarov and producing peer Sythe, and together the talented entrenpenurial trio launched bsharp Productions. The label has filmed and produced for many high-profile hip-hop talents, most recently committing to the release of Chinx Drugz track “Feelings” featuring French Montana. bsharp Productions is responsible for all three of Brevner's major self-made releases, and will handle the upcoming album “The Ronin Project” in the fall of 2014. His debut album, Magnum Opus was released in 2009, shortly before bsharp Production's genesis, and its immediate radio success foreshadowed its self-reflexive greatness. “I'll say on record that Magnum Opus is a classic,” stated Ryan Ventura of Class and Crime. Tracks “Never Going To Be My Friend” and “Up and Down” were hugely popular on Vancouver's iteration of “Top 40,” the Beat 94.5. In 2010, “Up and Down” went on to be recongized as January's Hip-Hop Song of the Month by, while “Never Going To Be My Friend” was featured on MTV Canada, Much Music, and Global TV's “Peak Season.” Many fans still consider Magnum Opus worthy of its namesake, representing a beautifully crafted catalogue of highly-personal tracks. Blissful Ignorance was released in 2011 and was met by a rabid reception, selling over 12,000 copies within its first two weeks. Brevner's cutting lyricism refuses to pot-shot, firing instead in flurries throughout. Blissful Ignorance is intentionally rap-heavy, begun with visions of “bars, bars, bars,” delivered over obtuse structure and production flavoured with electronica influence. On his website, Brevner describes this album being much darker than his debut. Blissful Ignorance's amorphous complexity offers a glimpse of the deliberate approach and talent Brevner brings to his music. “He has the swagger, the lyrical ability, the production abilities, and the work ethic,” says Ryan Ventura of Class and Grime. Brevner went on to release “The Bushido Project” in 2012, playing heavily into the Japanese warrior aesthetic. “Bushido” literally means “the way of the warrior.” Using Metric, Black Sabbath, and Thom Yorke originals, Brevner wades into the world of gritty, sample-based hip-hop and experimental half-time percussion styles. Finely-honed, Brevner's lyrics are sharp as ever. In “FCKSWG,” Brevner wields ruthless originality as he launches his offensive, slicing swathes through contrived “swag culture.” Scatter-shot kick drum crashed down alongside trembling digital note drops while Brevner rakes the track with cutting rhymes and deft syncopation. The music video release features Brevner on stage in black studded leather locked in zen performance. Wearing a stylized chonmage topknot, samurai steam-punk Brevner feeds off the energy of a frenzied crowd with a tight call-and-answer chorus.  “The Bushido Project” received critical acclaim for its innovative approach. Even with his low-profile indie production style, Brevner's talents have been undeniable, both by his peers and the music industry. Tech N9ne, Madchild, SonReal, BassNectar, and a scoring gig with MGD's international Ad Campaign represent only a handful of Brevner's collaborators and co-workers. Brevner has opened for the likes of Juelz Santana, Yelawolf, Bun B, and Three 6 mafia in his short career. He has played in Tokyo, Osaka, Hong Kong, Macau, and Shanghai, and toured Canada with Moka Only, Bone Thugz-n-Harmony, and Madchild of Swollen Members. His collaborative production work with Madchild and Dutch Robinson of the Ohio Players on “Jitters” in 2012 triggered a rush of accolades. Brevner was nominated in 2013 for the MMVA's Music Video of the Year Award and Juno's Hip Hop Recording of the Year, and won the Leo's Music Video of the Year Award for his role as creative director. The YouTube release of “Jitters” earned over 200,000 hits within the first week of release. The single eventually reached MTV US #1 on Much Music RapCity charts, catapulting Madchild's Dopesick album to #1 on the overall Canadian iTunes chart, and #6 on the US iTunes hip-hop chart. The enormous response led Madchild to invite Matt on his 44-date Dopesick tour of Canada in March of 2013. 

Band Members