The career of option4 is a testament to how putting in work and keeping it real can take you to stages across the world. Time and again he’s navigated the twists and turns of the industry, proving that his success as a DJ, producer, promoter and label owner did not happen by accident.
option4 staked his claim in Denver nightlife when house heads had no refuge in the city. Around the same time his parties emerged as a bastion of no-frills dance music locally, breakthrough records garnered him international acclaim. Now in a position to extend those opportunities to a generation of up-and-comers, he’s set out to prove that talent will beat out hype in the long run.
Everyone in Denver knows option4 A.K.A. Brennen Bryarly for his event brand, TheHundred Presents, and his label, Hotboi Records. Only a select few know just how long ago the seeds of his love for house music were sewn, though.
Born in Colorado Springs and raised between there and the Bay Area, Bryarly pursued electronic music before he was even a legal adult. He bought turntables and learned to beatmatch at age 17, frequenting Colorado Springs record store Mole 33 to build his four-on-the-floor repertoire. His friends didn’t share his passion for house music, however, so without peers to encourage him he cut his first foray into disc jockeying short.
He instead spent that time honing his music production skills. Adopting the alias option4, which was inspired by an inside joke among friends, he began uploading tracks in the mid 2000s. Two of his early productions went viral on MySpace Music, catching the ear of artists like Girl Talk and DJ Kemistry. More importantly, their positive reception gave him hope for his own career in music.
By the end of the 2000s, option4 grew tired of not getting booked in Denver where commercial EDM and heavy bass music had come to reign supreme. He founded TheHundred Presents in 2011 out of a simple desire to see more representation for the music he loved. Many others shared his tastes, it turned out. He put on 13 shows at Beauty Bar in his first year as a promoter. All but one sold out, and things began moving a lot more quickly in 2012 when his events became a weekly affair at NORAD Dance Bar.
Further elevating his profile as a promoter was the 2014 release of his breakthrough track on world-famous house music label Nervous Records. The calculated dissonance of “Love Like No Other” caught the ear of tastemakers in nearly every corner of the underground. The name option4 began to appear on a lot more marquees outside Colorado, and he grew selective about the gigs he accepted in town.
2015-2016 brought with it another run of profile-raising releases for option4. Sydney label Sweat It Out gave a home to singles like “Vibe On,” “Activate” and “The Rise of the Catlord,” bolstering his credibility overseas and introducing his music to even more markets. Now an international commodity, option4 had set the stage for the final piece of his music empire to fall in place.
In 2017, option4 launched HotBoi Records, a label dedicated to all things house with a brand aesthetic inspired by ‘90s culture. After debuting with a compilation titled Heat Seekers, the imprint made a lasting impression with “On The Train” by Will Clarke, option4’s own “Lifeline,” and “Dances With White Girls” by Huxley. Big names aside, the label quickly built a reputation for platforming up-and-comers on the merit of their sound alone.
Where others cut corners, option4 has grown his operation organically with a tireless work ethic coming through when all else fails. He’s never made the same track twice, worked with an artist he didn’t believe in, or otherwise compromised his vision. Two decades, thousands of parties, and a dozen sold-out venues around the country later, he’s showing those discouraged by the industry that sticking to your guns pays off.
The music world changes by the day, but option4 is determined to stay one step ahead of the game. If nothing else, you can rest assured that he’ll always dance to a different beat.