Brayden Elliott & TheMusicLicence
Rider, rocker, rising star – how motorcycle racer Brayden Elliott soundtracked his way to the British Superbike Championships
As you can imagine, superbikes are loud. So loud that their riders have to wear earplugs while on the track for their own safety, and as such have no communications and no music playing while they race. Yet rising star of the superbike scene, Brayden Elliott, swears by his pre-race playlist. Sponsored in his debut British Superbike Championship race by TheMusicLicence, Brayden explores the impact of music on his racing career and his mindset, and what it tells us about music, motivation and adrenaline.
Introducing Brayden Elliott
Australian-born Brayden has been riding bikes since he was four years old, and earned his first podium, placing second in the Australian Dirt Track Titles, at age seven. “Racing was initially just a fun hobby to do every weekend with family, but it wasn’t my only passion,” he admits. “If I wasn’t at the racetrack, I was playing the drums in a band with my schoolmates, or teaching drum lessons.
“By 18 I’d won a lot of Australian championships and state championships, and I was at a bit of a crossroads on whether to keep playing the drums and pursue a career in music, or put my head down and go racing – I couldn’t do both. In the end I chose to race and set my sights on Britain and the world stage.”
The drumbeat hasn’t left him, though. Music continues to play an important role in Brayden’s journey across the world to international racetracks, underpinning all his training and getting him in the zone before races.
How music makes the wheels go round
“I think it’s probably overlooked how much athletes and in general life people can use music to benefit them physically, mentally, or competitively,” Brayden says. “It’s a great tool for anyone and it’s been key for me. I use it to motivate myself in training, and to visualise my goals ahead of the race season.”
Brayden’s training regime is gruelling; exercising twice daily, five days a week, to keep fit for the racetrack. On race day you might think Brayden uses music to psych himself up and boost his adrenaline for the race ahead – but that’s not the case. While music can help you get pumped in the gym or before a sports game or a party, he prefers to use music to regulate his adrenaline rather than spike it.
“A race is a crazy event,” he explains. “I always hear the fans in the stands in the 15 minutes before a race starts, especially if they’ve got air horns. You can feel your heart rate suddenly increase. And in that sort of situation, generally, I’m not looking for any more adrenaline. If anything, I’m trying to stay calm and relaxed.
“I put my headphones in about an hour before the race, and play music to chill me out and take a few really deep breaths to get myself under control. I’ll only take them off to replace them with earplugs when my helmet goes on.”
Brayden swears by music both on and off the track, and suggests five ways we can all use music day to day:
- To distract – when you’re struggling to see a clear outcome, play some music to distract and realign your thoughts.
- To motivate – following the BPM, you can use music to build up adrenaline.
- To focus – chill music can slow you down to concentrate and calm down, aiding in focus when you need it.
- To make you happy – music can take some negative situations and give them a positive spin by allowing you to focus on the tunes and find solutions. Good music will also boost your mood.
- To calm stress – when you’re stuck in your head thinking about a stressor, you can use music to take you away from it mentally.
A soundtrack for success
For Brayden, it took a lot of planning, motivation, and passion to get him to every next step of his career. And he went through all those stages with a killer soundtrack, powering his journey with music for drive and motivation.
On arriving in England, he set up his own team to establish himself in the UK, taking him to 4th place in the National Superstock Championship. He joined the official Kawasaki team “DAO Racing” in 2023 and debuted in the British Superbikes Championships at Oulton in September.
Brayden credits his success to the almost endless training he does to keep physically and mentally fit for the track. “Even when the tracks were closed due to COVID-19, I took up other things, and I set myself goals for more gym-orientated workouts, but I also got into push bike riding and road cycling. And again, I had my headphones in for every rise and every workout, visualising my goals and pushing myself to reach them.”
Brayden’s love of music also earned him his sponsorship from TheMusicLicence from PPL PRS. The company joins Brayden in being a powerful advocate for music as a tool to support people in every walk of life.
He says: “I’m really excited to have joined forces with TheMusicLicence for this year’s racing season. I think music is something that can be overlooked in sports and everyday life for what it can be used for. It can have so many different effects on people, I use it during training, while preparing to race, to help relax and often to help sleep! I’m proud to be representing something that helps so many people in so many ways. Having previously been in a band playing the drums music is definitely something I am passionate about so I feel it’s a great fit to be representing one another.”
Greg Aiello, Commercial Director at PPL PRS said of the partnership: ‘We enjoy working with people who understand the benefit of music, and sportspeople use music to help with their focus before an event, and during training. We are excited for Brayden’s campaign in the 2024 British Superbike Championship, and look forward to cheering him on as he continues to build a career here in UK motorsport.”
Leicester based music licensing company, PPL PRS Limited, have signed a new partnership agreement with Leicester