Brevin Kim: The Brotherly Duo Breaking Sonic Boundaries

It’s 2003 in North Attleboro – a suburb of Boston – and Chingy’s “Holidae Inn” is playing on repeat in the Paulhus household. Just like the rest of the U.S, Cal and Bren – 9 & 10 respectively – couldn’t get enough of the track. Though unbeknownst to the pair of adolescent brothers, this moment would be the bedrock for a fervent music passion. For Brevin Kim, it more or less all began from a blank green sheet of construction paper. 

“I can’t even explain why, but we were obsessed with it. (“Holidae Inn”) Shortly after that I wrote the first bit of music, a track called “Green and Gold,” on green construction paper. [Laughs.] No beat, nothing like that. After that, we really started to write damn near every day. He (Bren) started to take guitar lessons and that more or less was the beginning of it all,” explained Cal. 

As with most rap fans in the early aughts, Eminem had taken over the brothers’ airwaves and thus influenced the initial sound. “Out of all of the early influences we had, Eminem’s sound around The Eminem Show was definitely there. We were into our lyrical-miracle bag,” Bren explains through a laugh. But as the two brothers grew, so did their sound and influences. 

Cal & Bren - Brevin Kim
Photo by Alex McDonnell

Now back from an extended stay in Los Angeles, Bren and Cal – aka Brevin Kim – are taking a quick breath and appreciating the release of their first full-length project, no less than three. Just like their day to day lives, sonically, the album is a fucking rollercoaster. To describe it as unpredictable, daring, and pleasurable all in one would barely be doing it justice.

Partially released in two-track segments prior to its full debut, no less than three highlights Brevin Kim’s uncanny ability to make the obscure palpable – and thrilling at that. From the soulful pop croons of “Manzanita St,” to the mosh inducing “!holyshitohmygod!” – it’s clear the two know how to maneuver successfully through a variety of different soundscapes. “It’s pretty dope when people hear two of your songs back to back and assume they’re from different artists,” Bren adds with a laugh. 

Arguably the most impressive and noticeable production throughout the album – and Brevin Kim’s entire discography for that matter – would be the heavy affinity for autotune and reverb that pulse throughout their music. “Interestingly enough, we used to hate that shit. (autotune) But now we lean into it – the more obscure and experimental, the better,” Cal says. 

While some artists fear experimentation if there’s a chance it might not appeal to their fan-base, Brevin Kim have always ran towards it.  “We’ve always leaned into never giving a fuck about what people thought we were as artists,” Cal & Bren both explain, nearly in unison. “On that note it’s also nice that we haven’t boxed ourselves into a particular sound. That way when we drop a folk song, no one will really be surprised,” Cal adds. 

While the two brothers have an unwavering bond, their latest album no less than three emphasizes the additional – and equally as important – bond the duo shares with their fans. “None of this is possible without the relationship and energy we share with our fans. Having the project truly be a three person experience is our ultimate goal behind the music,” Bren explains. 

Despite navigating the throes of a global pandemic, the connection between Brevin Kim and the audience has been achievable. “We’ve done virtual shows and whatnot, but what’s been most interesting is the Discord group we started with fans. That shit is a great way to connect,” Cal emphasizes. 

While the world fiends for normalcy, Brevin Kim have made the best of the situation. “We’re just happy to be here man,” they remind me in unison. 

Even through my cracked phone screen, the close-knit bond the brothers share was unhindered. Brevin Kim are here to stay. 

Stream their latest project, no less than three, below & check out their latest video for “exhausted,” out now!

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