after some personal blockades held him back during his young pivotal years, bryan miraben is one of a few musicians who bloomed in the local miami scene later in life. aside from being a devoted father with a good-hearted, warm soul, he prides himself on being a transparent artist who keeps it real by sharing his personal life with fans through social media and delivering heart-pounding and bass-heavy, yet blissful tunes. he works as a professional dj known by the moniker, leyva, which holds homage to his mother’s maiden name.
having a mother as a pianist and a father with a vast collection of vinyls, bryan was constantly surrounded by music as he grew up in the rough neighborhoods of newark, new jersey. he learned to play instruments like the congas, timbales, bongos, and guitar throughout the course of his life, and is currently studying the piano. with influential vibes ranging from hip hop to reggae and salsa to classic rock, bryan describes his flexible musical tastes like the cuban expression, “arroz con mango,” which translates to how mango and rice don’t really go together, but somehow in the end, they work. after moving to miami during high school, he found himself interested in animation and leaned more towards graphic design, acquiring collegiate degrees in both fields. although he’s always been one to “grab life by the horns” and embrace music as a broad part of his life, bryan had to put everything on hold in order to raise a family.
residing in little havana and among the rich latin culture has always stimulated his senses in unconventional ways, like waking up to the tribal rhythms blaring from the cigar shop’s speakers across the street. he nurtured his passion for music by occasionally djing house parties, and under the relentless pressure of his close friends, he decided to go pro. nevertheless, his career has recently started to take a full leap with multiple wmc bookings and gigs across venues like trade, nikki beach, heart, space, tba in brooklyn, and even internationally with performances in mexico. he’s takes nothing for granted and has remained humble throughout his short career, realizing that he’s had the ability to play in venues new dj’s could only dream of.
the passionate artist describes his sound as “like a traditional nyc or chicago underground warehouse with an original house vibe that miami sort of lacks,” which tends to be shaped by everything techno and “all black everything” at times. places like nyc, chicago, and detroit don’t change because the house music culture will never get lost there, but you can still seek out that authentic house music vibe here today with local artists like roland and jesse perez. “in my opinion, electronic dance music is not truly organic music – it’s all blares. it’s so important to me to get that house sound back. I love and appreciate techno, but it’s taken a stronghold. it’s the new edm.” the old-school deep house guy appreciates legendary house artists like roger sanchez, todd terry, felix da housecat, erick morillo, and harry romero, and especially savors strong songs that have vocals since they bring everything together, for “people can communicate with vocals like nothing else.”
it can be disputed that whatever you eat, drink, read, and breathe shapes you as a person for the better or the worse. if leyva had a chance, he’d go back to relive hip hop in the early 90’s. “back then, it was rough in the streets, but at least you were able to turn it around. now, they celebrate the negativity. every song sounds the same, and there’s no lesson in hip hop anymore. it’s also odd to hear how so many people hate on house music, usually because they’re in favor of hip hop. they seem to forget that house originated from hip hop, so they share the same roots.” even so, he’s a firm believer that as long as your music taste is phenomenal, he doesn’t care how you play your music, whether that be usb, laptop, cdj’s, or vinyl. the selfless character ventures to help anyone make it and get through the barriers in this industry, even where under a sunny city full of shady people, it can be very hard to trust others who vie to get their piece of the pie and make it to the top.
within the next few years, leyva hopes to be recognized as a key figure in the scene. through his active role in social media, the free-spirited musician connects with his supporters on an intimate level through instagram, snapchat, and facebook. “I want fans to know who I am. studying graphic design and animation has helped me control my image from the beginning and portray my authentic self as a musician, father, and human being.” with the help, advice, and push from his manager, juan fonseca, he plans on releasing his first few tracks by winter music conference in 2017, and is currently working on expanding and taking his sound beyond state lines more frequently. “I’ve been very lucky to be in a day job that supports me and the dreams that I’m chasing.” the well-loved dj and producer has had support from the very beginning, and finds that every step forward is a small victory. although the busy dad has a side job in the corporate world, he manages to hold everything together through balance, stating that even through all his versatile roles, “the hardest job is raising a good kid in a cruel world.” you can catch the dj perform at american social in brickell every friday night and weekly at coco.fm. support the fresh artist through his personal site and social outlets of instagram & facebook.