DJ Said Mrad is kicking off the new party season in style at Bushido
Time Out Bahrain staff
You are playing at Bushido this month – have you played in Bahrain before? Well, Bushido is just the trendiest place for a night out in Bahrain, for sure. I’ve played at a lot of events and gigs in Bahrain, like the F1 after party for the Torro Rosso team in 2006, and the launching of the Red Bull race team in 2005. So how have you been spending the summer? Where else have you been playing? It feels like I’ve been playing non-stop – Qatar, Jordan, Egypt, both in Cairo and on the north coast, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and also Paradiso in Amsterdam, Deja Vu in Cologne, and Gallery Louise in Brussels. I’m also scheduled for September to play in Cyprus, then Aqaba in Jordan, and Egypt and Amsterdam again.
Sounds like you travel a lot. How often do you get to work at home in Lebanon and play there? You could say my home is an aeroplane. I do travel a lot, but that doesn’t keep me from producing. I can always find time for music – I’m actually managing the Square Lounge rooftop at the Mövenpick in Beirut.
How would you describe your music? Sure, it is dance incorporating well known Arabic melodies and rhythms, but is there more to it than that? Well, my music comes from the everyday rhythm of life. I like dance music and what comes with it as percussions and sounds, and it makes you feel happy and helps you not to feel down or desperate.
And what have you been working on recently? Any new recordings or remixes? I’m working on my new album – it’s the seventh one. I haven’t decided on the name yet, but it has Oriental dance and remixes, as well as some chill-out tracks and house. I’ve also collaborated with a few people, like DJ Steve, DJ Undertaker, DJ Gaby and Axess.
Playing your music within the region, where it draws a lot of its influence, must be one thing – but how is the reaction when you play elsewhere, and perhaps to people not as familiar with the sound? When it comes to dance music and the fusion between occidental and Oriental music, it is a little bit easy on the ears, and people are partaking in an international language. I find that the Oriental music is well appreciated in Western communities.
You have many imitators – is that a compliment or an annoyance, and are there any that genuinely impress you and maybe came up with something you haven’t? I don’t call them imitators. Music is a blessing from God – I know that I created a trend of my own, but it is good that someone is doing the same because that makes you want to do better every time you produce, and still everyone has their own signature when it comes to music.
What music are you listening to at the moment? I usually listen to a lot of chill-out – ethnic, jazzy, blues and fusion.
What can we expect from your set in Bahrain? Will you have any new material or anything expected for us? How do you usually plan your sets? You can expect the unexpected. I have made several tracks that are still exclusive and not launched in the market yet that I would love to try in Bahrain, and hopefully by the time of the gig my new album will be in the market.
Are there any DJs you admire? Do you have any special tracks currently for when the crowds stop moving? I admire all DJs, as they are the kings of dance music. They can make you smile, dance, jump or sweat. I always have bullet tracks for the non-movers, and that is normal for any DJ, but I think this time the bullets will be my new tracks.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever spotted from the DJ booth at a gig? I can only see from where I stand the people dancing, and that’s my aim at the event. I don’t recall anything special, but sometimes when I play certain tracks I can see some of the people acting crazy.
In one line, why should people come and see you perform? To hear new dance tracks from all over the globe, dance and have a blast!
Said Mrad will play Bushido (17 583 555) on Thursday, September 8. Doors open 8pm. Ladies free, gents BD10 after 10pm.