Brin Abel can literally feel the music. After moving here from Jamaica in 1990, he started producing effects for different music acts. These days he works at Basement Miami — a club in the basement of Miami’s Edition Hotel that features an ice-skating rink and bowling alley — orchestrating killer light shows for all of the DJs that come through.
While his son’s eating ice cream upstairs at the hotel, Brin is downstairs keeping the vibes irie with his team. CONVICTS sat down with this legend and got his word on bowling in Jamaica, seeing the color of music, and his philosophy of production.
Hey man. To start can you introduce yourself?
I’m Brin Abel and I’m the Entertainment and Technical Director for Basement Miami.
What are the best things about working at Basement?
One of the best things about working here at Basement is that it’s an empty canvas for a producer. We have minimal decor so we can change the attitude and vibes of the place. Every day a different thing is happening. I’ve done here hundreds of shows over the past three years — I can’t even count the number of shows that we’ve done so far — but this is by far the best venue to work in.
What mindset do you bring to your production?
To be honest with you, I have a philosophy: I’m playing the second role to the DJ. So basically I treat every DJ with the same amount of weight. It doesn’t matter if it’s a superstar or if it’s open-mic DJ, I treat them with the same amount of weight.
What’s special about Basement Miami?
Well first of all, we’re the only venue that has a bowling alley and ice skating. That appeal is so different than anything else provided. We also have a team that works really, really, really well together. I would describe this buzz as a kind of troll chaos. Very organized chaos.
What’s the bowling alley like?
I don’t even know if there’s a bowling alley in Jamaica, for real. People come for the first time and their expression is just priceless. It’s got Mario Kart vibes. When you get strikes all of the lights go popping off and do all kinds of crazy stuff.
Are you much of a bowler?
I have to tell you a secret. If it was for my bowling skills, I would not be able to work here. I am the worst bowler.
How important is it to have a good production team?
The first thing is to have competent teammates. I personally don’t micromanage. I like people to know what their roles are. Once their roles are set, I let them do what they have to do because I believe that they will be able to do it even better than I envisioned.
Do you have any kind of personal philosophy?
My thing is bless 100 percent. Bless is a term that we use in Jamaica a lot. We use that for hello, we use that for goodbye. It’s probably my favorite word. I say bless more than anyone I’ve ever met.
How long ago did you move here from Jamaica?
I moved from Jamaica in 1990, so I’ve been here for 28 years. Wow.
Does your family live here?
Yes, yes my entire family actually lives here. They live up in Broward, not so much South Beach. They’re not beach people, they’re church people. My son is here a lot. When I’m working, he’s upstairs doing his homework and eating ice cream in the market. He’s very well treated here. He gets a chance to meet a couple of stars here and there, so yeah he’s got a good life. Life is good.
Lastly, how do you work out how the lights and production come together with the music?
Depending on the energy of the song, the content of the song, I can hear and see the color of the song. That is how I interpret what it is I’m willing to do. I’m also a musician, so everything is very percussive. Everything is on time. Everything is on the beat.