#MusicInTheAir Podcast hosts this week :
New weekly Podcast, yet another new artist who joins the orbit of Villahangar’s MusicInTheAir. Today we have an artist from the United States: Saqib, DJ and producer born in the United States in Washington DC and raised in Pakistan. He moved back to the United States in 2005, he is in Brooklyn, New York, since about 2013.
He tells: “You can definitely, without a doubt, hear the influence of Pakistan in a lot of my DJ sets, style and my productions, for example the EP Lahore”. To get an idea, here’s his Spotify:
Since his first EP in 2013, Saqib has put out more than 35 releases consisting of more than 75 originals and remixes, hitting Beatport #1 in the genres of deep house, tech house, organic house, and minimal/ dub techno. These releases go alongside widely supported edits of Pink Floyd, Billie Eilish, David Bowie, The Doors, Dr. Dre, and more.
Concerning his musical style today, he tells: “It’s hard to define it. It’s basically a spectrum. It goes from very deep and opening type jams to groovy housey and fun music to a darker, edgier more techno/late night sound. I collect music and I have a lot of it that I love and I’m passionate about. So, it depends on where I play. The one sound / place I like playing the most is the high energy, late night / closing sets with attitude, a little bit on the harder side….”
About musical genres that influence him the most, Saqib adds: “My background before dance music is that I grew up playing guitar and bass in heavy metal and death metal bands, and I think that still very much influences my style as a DJ and a producer on a subconscious level. And then I guess different things about different genres influence me… like I love the rhythms in metal, and the drums and accents and soft sounds of jazz, and the vocal cadences and movements in hip hop… And I guess I’m taking something from each of them all the time”.
He worked with labels such as Flying Circus, Sol Selectas, Magician On Duty, Cenote, Dream Culture. Speaking of most recent releases, Love Life for Abraadabra, with which he has more tracks in the pipeline. In addition, he is working on signing a couple of new releases he can’t quite talk about yet but he will can soon.
He is affiliated with Blond:ish’s Abracadabra and NYC’s ebb + flow. Named one of 1001 Tracklist’s top 100 producers of 2021, Saqib is a dancefloor instigator with a unique musical background and singular ear for music.
Original resident of NYC’s Member’s Only, he got his start playing records week in and week out from 2013 sharing the decks with Lee Burridge, Audiofly, Behrouz, Dixon, Blond:ish, Bedouin, Francesca Lombardo, and more. Over time, Saqib left his mark over NYC dance floors, playing for CityFox, Bespoke Musik, ZERO, House of Yes, Output (now closed), Cielo now closed), Knockdown Center, and so many more.
For the present and the immediate future, he has a couple of remix projects and tracks coming out over the next year. He also has some shows coming up around North America in the next few months including Seattle, Toronto, NYC, Miami, Burning Man and some more cool things. This week he is at Brooklyn Mirage in NYC and in Toronto at Sub-Division.
At the moment he has dj set planned mostly in North America/Canada, trying to get out to Europe though.
About his Podcast for Villahangar, he says: “These are some tracks that I am loving lately and playing out quite a bit in my shows. It ends up in the late night / dark kind of vibe with the attitude that I was talking about earlier. I hope you enjoy it!”
What music do you listen to when you take off your DJ headset?
Jazz, hip hop, and a lot of random things I grew up to. I am always trying to find new vocalists and sounds to sample so I try to hear new things, like I’ve been into this Turkish singer Nukhet Duru. I also love Ravi Shankar, Amy Winehouse, Nina Simone, The Doors, and a lot of random music.
Your artists / DJs / producers of reference?
Producers who I love right now include Pezzner, Maceo Plex, Kino Todo, Chaim, Jenia Tarsol, Nine Toes, Mihai Popoviciu, Lubelski and so many more!
What can you tell us specifically about Sol Selectas and Abracadabra? What about your experience with these labels?
I had a great experience with them both. Sol Selectas are really sweet, professional, they get shit done, and they are very on top of all the aspects of their label management. I can say the same for Abracadabra 🙂 I have been working with Blondish over the last year or so listening to demos that come in for Abracadabra. That has been cool, listening to so many different artists and styles from across the world.
What can you tell us about the edits you made?
I started doing these edits as a tribute project to my elder brother, Ali who passed away in September 2018. These are all his favorite songs, like for example Another brick in the wall by Pink Floyd and David Bowie’s man who sold the world. I have also done edits of Billie Eilish, Dr. Dre, and so many more. It is a many years long project. Right now, I am reworking on a remix of Amy Winehouse’s song back to black. I think my favorite moments of this project were seeing Another Brick In The Wall get played on Robot Heart and Disco Knights at Burning Man by Blondish.
What do you think about the Brooklyn music scene? What do you think are the differences with Europe?
I moved to Brooklyn specifically to play electronic music in 2013 it had a pretty solid underground house/techno scene compared to the rest of North America. The pandemic kind of slowed it down a bit for two years but it’s back now and in Brooklyn the electronic music scene is growing at a very fast rate. Right now, there is a very high concentration of artists / DJ’s, event producers, lighting/sound, marketing and other professionals who are growing the industry in NYC and pushing the boundaries. As a result, there is a very consistent = high quality electronic music scene in all of the different sounds/ sub-genres/crowds. To be honest, I haven’t spent enough time in Europe to say anything meaningful; BUT I hope to change that very soon! And I can say that I love so much European music and play it all the time so I can only imagine that I would love it.
What evolution do you think electronic music is experiencing on the international scene?
It has grown immensely, into the biggest genre of music in the world over the past decade, it is quite remarkable!
01. Middle Sky Boom – Netzach (original mix) / Darkroom Dubs
02. Luca Lozano – Fire on Fire (original mix) / Gottwax
03. Jamiie – Contessa (original mix) / Monaberry
04. Yuksek – Beirut Ma Bet Mout (original mix) / Partyfine
05. Reude Hagelstein – Shai (Adam Ten remix) / Duat Folklore
06. Roderic – Horizon ( Sebo K remix) / URSL
07. David Hohme, Essence of Time – Queen bass ( original mix) / Way of House
08. Kotapsi – into the groove / Haus of Love
09. Cosmosolar – estrellas y fantasia / Nein Records
10. Badwolf, Soff – Dame mas / Phisica
11. Nala, Ardalan – old habits die hard ( damon jee remix) / Pets recordings
12. Saqib – ID