B.Traits: “I want to feel that I have given my audience things that will engage their brains”
Brianna Price, better known under her artistic imprint B.Traits, is one of those blessed people with multiple talents. As much as she is a super talented radio host she is a producer and dj with a very own stle.
Interview: Thomas Venker
Brianna, what is your ideal space/place to listen to music?
In the car while driving long distances.
Please name female artists without whose music you wouldn’t be producing music?
Kemisrty & Storm: They represented raw female talent as DJ’s, and were respected by everyone. I looked up to them when I first began DJing.
Missy Elliot: Missy taught me that I could be weird as I wanted to be. The weirder the better.
Patti Smith and Debbie Harry: Two women who fronted bands, who were trying new things, new styles, and putting their own twist on it.
What is your favourite app/technology/instrument to create sounds with?
I am currently using a remote studio set up running between Logic and Ableton with very few pieces out outboard. I am working with a skeleton crew; the Elektron Digitakt, a Microfreak, and Roland’s voice transformer.
Brianna, we had first contact when you invited Lena Willikens, whom I manage to your BBC show as a sub resident for a month in 2018. Since then you left BBC after being with them for almost a decade. What did you learn from being a radio host in addition to the club dj world?
Yes! It was such a pleasure to feature Lena on the show!
I had been a club DJ and producer long before I had my big break in radio, and at first I found radio to be completely alien to me, it was an entirely different concept to playing music at gigs in clubs! In the beginning, I found talking over music very strange. Radio taught me to use my voice to accompany and compliment the music I played, to ride the rhythm and pace of the music to make it more appeasing to my listener. It also helped me to further explore creating moods for the collections of tracks I was featuring at a certain point during the show.
I met a lot of excellent DJs and producers while doing the show, it was a lot of fun, but I also found that it was extremely time consuming to curate three hours of brand new music and content every single week. I became unable to also focus on producing my own music which is why I said goodbye to BBC Radio 1 in 2018, so I could get back to being a producer an artist again.
Right now with all clubs and festivals on hold, do you miss having this artist platform to communicate with the world?
It’s a very uncertain time for all of us DJs, but I have been trying to use this time wisely and take some time to recalibrate. I have realised a lot of things during this lockdown, and will be changing a few things in the future. Before COVID started, I felt I was in some sort of rat race, on autopilot kind of, just moving from gig to gig. Time seemed to be moving faster back then, and looking back I wasn’t doing much actually ‘creating’ only sustaining what I had already been doing (touring!).
It’s interesting, this time has made me consider how I communicate with my audience in a live capacity at gigs and also on social media. I no longer want to pointlessly post empty content, I want to feel that I have given my audience or fan something more wholesome, things that will engage their brains, brighten their day, or consider a new idea. I think I have also decided that I will be changing the way I perform once we go back to gigs properly, I’d like to do less DJ sets, so that I can approach each one with a carefully considered idea, and I’d also like to launch a live & AV show for my Baby T project.
You are originally from Canada but living for a long time in London now. With first Brexit as a drastic political system change and now Corona as a medical-social crisis, how different do you experiende your adopted home from your country of birth.
I have never felt particularly patriotic to one specific country as I think under any microscope, especially if you dig into the history, you can find all kinds of issues. London has been my home for over ten years now, I do love it but I almost feel like my time in the big city is coming to an end. For the last year I have been living in the British countryside and have enjoyed getting back to nature. Where I am from in Canada is quite deep in the mountains, it’s very picturesque and quiet, and I do miss it from time to time.
You released three eps so far under the B-Traits imprint, „Fever” in 2012, followed up by „Still Point” in 2016 and „Basic Scenario“ in 2017. Whats the reason you did not follow up that route but instead first created an ambient outlet with Paciphonic (for the „Rest“ ep) and now release under the name Baby T.?
B.Traits had always been my main stage name, but over time I found that using this name became confusing to my audience when I wanted to make different types of music again. B.Traits is very much the front facing ego that I will now only use for presenting and the more commercial productions that I create.
Paciphonic is specifically an ambient & meditation project. I am also a meditation teacher on the side and I developed Paciphonic to bridge the gap between the healing aspects of music with meditation.
Baby T is a rather new alias that I am revisiting, my full DJ name was once Baby Traits (meaning baby features – I looked very young) but at a time when there were very few female identifying DJ’s I decided to abbreviate the baby to B so that the name B.Traits would be considered gender neutral.
Now, I am breathing new life into Baby T, this project enables me to get back to my roots and further explore the more underground sounds that I currently enjoy producing the most.
From the German perspective England is always primarly about London. But of course this is a stupid narrowing of the cultural landscape of the country. Which cities should we also have an eye on and why so? Where do you like to play out most within the UK?
There are so many great cities in the UK! Manchester has got to be one of my favourites, followed closely by Bristol. There are also incredible areas in the UK that I have fallen in love with; Dorset, Devon, and Cornwall, all almost make you feel like you are able to travel back in time and experience proper British history.
Brianna, thanks for your time. Highly appreciated.
This interview with Brianna Price is part of the ongoing photo-project “Electric Lights – Women in Electronic Music” by Hamburg based photographer Katja Ruge and Kaput co-publisher Thomas Venker focused on the role of women in electronic music.
Each photoshoot is accompanied by a short interview, based on a personalised questionnaire. The interviews will be published on the kaput website on a monthly basis, before finding their way into a book.