By Vanessa B
BREGN is the brainchild of independent, DIY singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jonas Mikkelsen, hailng from Denmark. As a musical entity, it was conceived through a love of vintage sounds, layered vocals, tape saturation, and analogue gear, as well as influences like The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Velvet Underground, Elliott Smith, and Nirvana. Jonas began writing and recording music at the age of 14 and has been honing his craft ever since, settling on the adept alias in 2018. Cerebral and intangible topics such as personal empowerment and mental awareness are some of the topics of focus of his songwriting that he deftly approaches in his songwriting. This is demonstrated well in the seasonably titled recent single “Summertime”.
The release follows the success of his melodic and warmhearted lo-fi indie-folk lullaby, Dreaming, which shares a glowing tenderness that is just as evident in this single. Dulcet, richly intimate and delicately complex in its instrumentals, the song melancholically muses on the dissonance and multitudinous emotions that can arise between and within us in spite of shimmering summertime settings.
As Jonas revealed:
“This song is dedicated to people with summertime sadness. Despite the pain you want to be loved anyway. So this song is about asking for love when sad which is pretty hard to do when everything should be great and fun in the summertime.”
We caught up recently with BREGN for a QuickFire Questions interview, which you can check out below, along with Summertime.
How did you come up with the moniker BREGN?
There is so much focus on what is visual: having the right look, right appearance, body shape and so on. The moniker BREGN is about our senses but also very much about the brain and mind – our perception, ideas, and understanding of our lives. With BREGN I want to focus on some of the more invisible sides of our lives. Just because it is not physically present and obviously visible it might still exist in our minds. Just because I look happy it might not be the case or vice versa. I love that a liberating thought or a dreamt-up idea can change lives for the better. The mind can be really limiting sometimes but the mind can also lead to incredible creations with a positive impact on our reality. We can do so much in our lives. Every day is a fresh start on wonderful things. With the moniker BREGN I want to empower the listener. What could a fan of BREGN be called? If you got this right it is empowering:-). BREGN is also the first part of my name BREGNHOLDT – it is the head of my name, LOL.
Can you briefly describe your creative and recording process? Do you have any habits or rituals when creating new music?
I have a habit of creating music every day. The magic is that I don’t follow a specific recipe. It is like: “making sense of the big nothing – music is moving air in a beautiful way, right. My creation just happen but with a purpose at least in the process and I believe quality comes with quantity. It doesn’t matter how it starts. I try to catch ideas as they come. It could start with a sentence, a guitar chord, a piano chord, a feeling, or a sound. My ideas often quickly disappear so my job is to catch them fast and present them as well as I possibly can.
What are your plans for the summer?
I plan to have a peaceful time with my family in our primitive cabin in the Swedish woods away from day jobs and never-ending hamster wheels:-)
Who would you most like to collaborate with?
I would so much love to collaborate with Rick Rubin. I like his approach to songwriting and art. Rubin seems like he is kind of detached from the current contemporary art and at the same perfectly living in the very presence of it. He empowers people to create great art which for me is something to lookup up to.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
“Your practice is what matters. Your reasons and efforts in changing lives for the better are what matters”. I guess that is my current revelation in a most condensed form. It came from reading Seth Godin’s “The Practice”. Within this lies also another great piece of advice I once received: “Shine on the things you want to see growing”.
What changes would you like to see happen in the music industry?
I wish more musicians could live off their creative works. However, I see creativity and music creation as a luxury I cannot afford to miss in life, even though I have to have another day job to support it.