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March 14, 2023

Mafia B Talks About New Party Brand DECODED

Making changes in both his DJ career and the underground techno community, Bryan Fein, better known by his artist name Mafia B is known for pushing boundaries and staying original. He always stays true and his goal is to continue to create quality and make an innovative impact in the music scene and community. 

Listen to the full Artist Interview: Mafia B

For the first time in his music career, the DJ and producer created an event and party concept DECODED. Providing a sense of community for both guests and artists is a meaningful project for Mafia B. As a beginning artist, it's difficult, especially these days to make a name and stand out from the rest of all the DJs. DECODED will provide that chance and opportunity for those who have been waiting for their moment to perform and be seen.

“I wanted to create a sense of community within the dance music community, especially locally first. I'm trying to create something where the artists, DJs, even the people, and the attendees are more engaged with each other, rather than just going to an event, or going to a party, I want something more engaging. Let's put a light on the X first. How can we make them feel like A-list, right? How can we put a spotlight on them and make them feel like there's somebody rather than like, oh, you're DJing tonight and no one knows? I'm working to develop something where they feel more appreciative of the art. If the person is spending X amount of time, their hours in their studio, and putting their heart and soul into this craft, why not feel like there is somebody when they're DJing? And when it comes to the attendees, how do we make them feel like this is just more than an event? How can we make this more of an experience, an interactive experience? And that's what I and my team are currently working out at the moment into creating that experience for both ends of the spectrum. Yeah. So when I talk about community, my goal is literally to have everyone say, have you been decoded? And are you decoded? And use that verbiage interchangeably. Yeah, that's my goal for that. And at the end of the day, it's all about music. So maybe later down the line, it might turn into a label, but at the end of the day, as I said, it is about the music, playing good music, and the overall experience of being part of Decoded." 

Mafia B takes the underground scene to a new dimension with his own party brand. He is touring different cities throughout the TriState area with DECODED displaying his passion and talent in new realms. He will be taking over a secret location with his DECODED concept this Saturday, March 11

DECODED has already launched last month and is already becoming a huge success with sell-out rsvp and packed nightclubs. DECODED isn’t at one location, each night a different location throughout the New York metropolitan area. Giving more insight into different dance clubs and building and creating its community.

“I do see a sense of community, especially with the dance music culture, because as you go out every week to different types of dance music events, whether it might be house music or techno, there is a sense of community there already. Because you might most likely see the same people there, and they know you by your first name, which is amazing. Every sense of genre of music will have its sense of community. And the reason why I gravitated more towards the dance music scene, is because I started out playing house music, and that was way years ago when I used to partake in martial arts. And my instructor was a DJ and a promoter. And for every class that we took, he would play house music."


THE BEGINNING:

Mafia B cover photo
Mafia B cover photo

been influenced by Hip-Hop, Rock, and Classical Music. He developed a unique sound as he continuously release original music in his studio or on the streets of the city he lives. Brian has played at the top nightclubs from across the country and the globe. “So I was training to house music, and I was like, how do I get into this? I downloaded the software so I can make my own mixes. That's how I started. I love dance music. I love dancing. I love music in general, and it just kind of snowballed from there”. 

From first playing at underground parties and after hours, he quickly gained a following of popularity from performing at elite New York City dance clubs. Forming and experiencing techno and house music rhythm and sounds, Mafia B generated himself as a well-known local. In his earliest years, he dabbled with both house music and techno with different upbeats and down-tempos. His energy feeds off the crowd as an artist and DJ performer, whenever experiments with new music or plays some of his early and old tracks. He quickly then moved up to perform at upscale clubs at the age of 18 being one of the youngest DJs playing at 21 and over in New York City nightclubs.

“I remember playing one of my tracks, and the first time I played it out, and I didn't know how it was going to react, and once the drop hit, I just heard, oh, I was like, all right, cool. This works. Even though that track is not the best, at least in my eyes, I'm my worst critic. But when I heard, oh, and I'm like, yeah, okay, cool. It feels good."

Mafia B has opened for numerous artists such as the legendary DJ and producer, Erick Morillo, and other techno heavyweights and local favorites. In addition, Mafia B has played at infamous clubs around New York City including Marquee, Cielo, Output, Analog BKNY, Highline Ballroom, Sankeys, and more. His first record released was signed to Elektrobeats Records and was also part of The Techno Compilation which landed on the number one spot on Traxsource.


Listen to Mafia B's debut album, 'Perception'


INSPIRATION:

Creating killer beats in his new Brooklyn studio, teaching classes to up-and-coming DJs, Everywhere he gets inspiration, from old classical music to classic dance music and life experiences. To make a name as a DJ and producer in this competitive industry, every artist must stay original and continue the momentum Plus, use every aspect of general life, and constantly release music. Let everything inspire the artist and use to it expand the creativity.

“Everything inspires me. I would say I think as an artist, we just absorb different things in our lives and we kind of put that in a capstone, figure out how can we take that emotion from whatever inspires us and make it our own, right? That's the beauty of being an artist hearing that and oh, that inspires me to do something. So for example, I think the last couple of songs that I'm currently producing is, okay, I like the sound of Heavy Metal. And I'm thinking in the back of my head, what happened if the bassist in my song, he's like a metal head or something, and this is what's happening in the back of my head. And it's like, what if he's a metal guitarist? How do I kind of translate that into my techno song? So like I said, anything and everything inspires me when it comes to creating a sound or creating music, new songs, anything. I just enjoy the process of doing that, creating, getting something that inspires me, and spitting out something that I could call that's mine.”

Most artists have so much unreleased music it’s because they are uncertain if the public will like and approve of the track. Feeling nervous about losing fans and following, a true artist will face that fear and release everything regardless if they may think it’s bad the true fans will still follow and support. “Just because as an artist, you're allowing yourself to be vulnerable because you're putting a lot of effort and soul into your craft, then that's your vulnerability, and then you put it out there in hopes that you can make an impact to at least one person. Right? I remember at one gig, it was a random gig actually, and I was just DJing, this girl comes up to me and she's like, oh, can I request a song? I'm like, oh, no. Why? But she showed me the song that she was requesting. It was one of my songs. And I was like, yeah, I'll play that. That's cool. And obviously, that one song that I released years ago made an impact on her. It may not be made the number one on Beatport, but it made an impact on somebody for them to come to my event and see or hear me play a particular song that she liked”.

“So when it comes to releasing, yeah, there's a little nerve. Okay, hopefully, somebody likes it, or at least the label likes it. But at the end of the day, if I like it and I believe this is the best I can do, and this is what it is, I'm going to release it in hopes that people like it and keep moving forward, keep moving on."

The world and the city that built his DJ career, Mafia B has explored different realms and ways for more inspiration. Eating different foods, running new trails in New York City, or experiencing new nightclubs for DECODED. Generating new ways and ideas for more creativity as an artist and producer. 

“I used to run Central Park all the time in the morning, and I kind of use it like a metaphor for life, because I'm running to a particular destination, which is I'll go from 60th, which is the entrance to Central Park, to the reservoir, and that's my goal. But as I'm running it, I see people on the left and right of me, and there are people in front of me, but I'm not in competition with any of those people because they have their own goals. If I were to follow one person, whether he or she gets off the next exit, then I'm losing sight of my own goal. I'm following one person. Because that's their goal. I don't know what they're doing. So I think as long as you know where you want to go and just keep going in that direction. And it's okay too, if you're running and you're getting tired, maybe you start walking down a little bit. As long as you keep moving forward toward that goal, then you will reach there. It takes time. If you're okay telling yourself, it would take me five to 10 years to be somebody or to reach a certain level and this craft. And if you're okay with that, then yeah, you'll be all right. But if you expect to be a hit overnight, which is an anomaly for sure, but if you expect to be a hit overnight, but you haven't put the work into it, then you can be discouraged every single time."


Artist Goals: 

From establishing his own studio and party brand, DECODED within a matter of a couple of years, Brian constantly sets new goals for himself to maintain the energy he quickly built from the very beginning. “There's going through this journey and just hitting these little milestones are signs of success. Even the average human set mini goals, not big goals, you just set your set. There's a difference between you're going to be frustrated if your major goal is to DJ Ultra, right? But you haven't produced a track yet. So set small goals, but okay, the first goal is to learn how to do this. Learn how to do this. Or the first goal might be to release one track. What's that look like? Releasing one track can be a sign of success. So the more you make these little goals and be consistent will ultimately have this huge pyramid of milestones. And before you know it, you might be in front of a large crowd at EDC or Ultra, whatever it may be, whatever your North Star or goal may be.”

Besides setting and completing goals, the music industry quickly grew into a life passion. Making new music, performing at nightclubs, and growing the party brand, Decoded all that excites him the most. The positive vibes from the crowds each night demonstrate why he entered the scene in the very beginning.

“One is being a DJ and a producer. I just love being in front of people. I'm a people person, so I love being in front of a crowd and seeing how they react to certain songs. I purposely make my sets unpredictable, and I love to see the reaction of crowds. And that excites me because I like to see people have fun, seeing people enjoying themselves.”


On The Horizon:

DECODED is taking off at a successful rate, and Mafia B still has the time to create some new music. His studio is his favorite place in the world its where he can expand his mind to different realms of creativity. “I'm turning out some EPs. I already have one EP done. I'm just setting up feedback before I send it out to labels. So one EP is done, working on a second EP at the moment. That's going to be sent to a feedback phase, and then I'll send it out to labels. So hopefully sooner than later, we'll have some new music out, some Mafia B stuff.”

The process for every DJ and producer is different, some can make an album within days or years, and some decades. Everyone is different and everyone has different ways of processing their creativity.

“I like to work in collections. In terms, of what I mean by that is, okay, either I'm going to turn out an album or an EP, and the process is different every single time. Or the length of developing a project varies from project to project. I can't say if it takes long because that's relative. Right? But typically when the project's done, it's done. Usually, that takes a couple of months, which I'm okay with. I wanted to give it my best, the best, and give it my all. At the time of my current skill set. Right? So it takes time. And yeah, I'm looking forward to multiple releases this year and seeing how people react to it.”

Would there be an album anytime in the future, or? “I love albums, but not a lot of people make them anymore. Unless you're an A-list artist like Skrillex, or Deadmau5, or who could be anybody. I think at that level it is a little bit easier to release albums because here's a collection of 13 songs and 15 songs and sure. Then go on tour. But as you're a developing producer, I think that releasing either singles or EPs.” 

“Yeah. And having people recognize your name. That person does this type of music. I've released albums and albums before. I think I would love to do an album. This is the vibe and theme of this album, and just kind of focus on that and release it. But definitely, I would never rule an album out."


GIVING BACK:

“It's approved by the masses. When I get into the studio every day, I just love being in this room, constantly learning about my workflow, constantly figuring it out. That's my job as a producer, is to figure it out. I just love solving puzzles that excite me. You just figuring it out because no one knows anything. Just pick one thing and figure that out. And I pick music and I'm figuring it out as I go every day, and that excites me. There are no DJ schools, no DJ universities."

“I have students that come into my studio once a week, and I teach them, and it excites me to see them going from learning nothing to having tracks. Right? And that excites me. I'm like, wow, I gave so much value to this person, and they took it and they create something out of nothing. It amazes me. And I didn't have that. I did have a mentor, but teaching somebody kind of cuts all of the wrongs turns if you will. Although it is inevitable to make your own bad decision and learn from it and come back to stability if you will. But yeah, teaching students excites me. Being in this room excites me, and playing in front of people excites me. I love music”.

When he’s not DJing or creating original music, he strives to make the New York City house music and techno scene better and give back to the community. In his off time, he teaches DJ classes, these days everyone wants to DJ or learn how to. There is no school or Univerity for that kind of learning in the states, most people are self-taught and grow from the experience and keep getting paid gigs. Mafia B launched his DJ class at his studio, the moment he began his classes he quickly fell in love with it and gained more respect for the community. Through these teaching classes, he found more of a purpose and one of the ways to give back and pass along the greatest knowledge ever. 

Teaching classes and focusing on expanded Decoded, creating new realms and possibly a festival or label. DECODED continues to rapidly grow with constant sell-out tickets, and the culture and movement continue to grow and expand, each month by taking over different new and different nightclubs plus secret locations. 


FINAL THOUGHTS: 

If you are first starting or taking one of Mafia B’s classes or considering becoming a DJ here are some wise words from an experienced DJ and producer. 

“Hard work, not giving up! Consistency is key, right? It's okay to take breaks here and there, but I think that as long as you keep moving forward, that's all it matters. It takes time. If you're okay telling yourself, it would take me five to 10 years to be somebody or to reach a certain level and this craft. And if you're okay with that, then yeah, you'll be all right. But if you expect to be a hit overnight, which is an anomaly for sure, but if you expect to be a hit overnight, but you haven't put the work into it, then you can be discouraged every single time.”

Be sure to catch one of his sets and experience the new party brand, DECODED. Each weekend a different location and artist lineup. Follow the link for all the information and free rsvp.


Article written by Meagen Surowiecki

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