The American spinner’s career was kick-started by the legendary DJ George Morel before he went on to grab the attention of industry bigwigs Roger Sanchez, David Guetta and Erik Morillo, which has taken him all over the world. And now, party goers will get a chance to groove to his tunes at club night Fashion Overdose at Armani Prive, Armani Hotel, in Dubai next week.
Soundbites caught up with the electronic music powerhouse to talk music, top clubs and fashion.
You can play the guitar, bass, drums and piano but yet chose to become a DJ. Why?
Well music always came quite easily to me. And I have always been a true rocker. DJing was something that kind of happened by accident. I never really woke up one morning and said: “Wow, I’d like to become a DJ.” I always loved music more than most people can say and electronic music always fascinated me. It always found a way to speak to me especially while I was working as an engineer in George Morel’s studio in Miami, he had this room filled with more vinyl then you can imagine, and two turntables. So one day, I just grabbed a couple and started attempting to mix them both, and sure enough with a little practice I got the hang of it. Then after my first year in Ibiza I was given the opportunity to open for George in his residency at Privilege Ibiza, and after that, I was hooked, and I haven’t stopped since then.
What’s it like knowing DJs of such calibre as Erick Morillo, Roger Sanchez, Swedish House Mafia and Mark Knight back your work?
It’s always been a dream come true, to know that I can create something from nothing, and have some of the biggest people in the game take a liking to it. These are guys who play for thousands of people, and to know that they are rocking a club, and making those thousands of people go crazy to something I was able to make is the biggest high for me — very few things can compare to it. And getting to know these guys in person and having them tell you how great they think your work is just puts the biggest smile on your face. I’m thankful every day that I’m able to do this job.
As a resident DJ for some of the top clubs how do you keep fresh?
The scene keeps changing, music is always evolving. At the end of the day it is important to do what makes you happy for this makes the crowds happy and this is what I try to do day in day out.
We live in a time now where there is so much technology that we can make a DJ session new and completely original so I’ve taken my sets to more of a live show. Using midi controllers and drum machines, I can take songs from other artists, cut them up, add more effects, drums and other cool sounds and turn it into something else completely new. So this is where I’m headed now and I couldn’t be any happier.
Tell us about your label 07800 Productions.
My label is something I was able to do with my good friend and fellow DJ/ Producer Pablo Kopanos. We made the label so we could release what we want when we want and have complete total control. Lots of times, other labels can sit on a record they signed with you for months, and the track won’t see the light of day for a while. There is lots of dishonesty now in this business, so we decided to start our own label to have control over this and have this happen as little as possible. I still have lots of new material coming out with other labels but we keep our label going by releasing stuff by some really great producers, and we’ve been getting amazing feedback and support from the top guys, so we’re happy about that.
Do you think the electronic dance music scene is saturated now?
Sometimes I think that but other times I don’t. What seems to upset me now is that everyone wants to be a DJ and now talent isn’t enough. So many people are out there playing tons of gigs but don’t even have one bit of musical knowledge, or know how to work a crowd, or even know how to mix two records without pressing a button. So these things are a bit frustrating. It’s all about image now, and talent doesn’t even seem to be a factor anymore, and this is quite sad.
You will be performing at the McLaren Fashion Overdose. What do you think is the relationship between fashion and music?
I am pretty excited to be playing at this event. Fashion, music and film are all forms of art, so the relationship between them is very important. They are forms that one can express themselves with. Some people don’t have a huge voice or know how to express themselves verbally, but with music and fashion this is a true form that one’s inner voice can be heard. Music is a universal language. One we all can relate to, and feel something.
Is this your first time in Dubai? What can we expect?
I’ve been here before. Each time brings something new and fun. But what can we expect? Well good and fun music — true house music, the kind that makes you swing from side to side with a smile on your face, the kind that makes you wish the party will not end. This is what I strive for in each of my gigs.
By Yusra Farzan
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