[Exclusive Interview]

 Saeed Younan

by Stephanie Piedrahita
Closing out 2017 as Traxsource’s #17 Top Tech House DJ, Saeed Younan had an amazing year as he performed around the world at massive festivals like EDC Orlando, Ultra Music Festival and BPM. We got to sit down with him at EDCO 2017 to discuss the progress he’s had since he first picked up a vinyl.
When did you first start developing an interest in electronic dance music?
My main interest started back when I graduated high school in the early 90’s, 91’ or 92’. I was always into new wave and nu disco but full on electronic music became my favorite around that time. Just going to Tower Records and looking through hip-house vinyl records was exciting to me. Would you still play with vinyls if you could? Well, I started out with hip-hop doing battles so vinyl is a big part of my life. So, yeah if you throw on two turntables right now, I’ll rock it!
That’s a pretty interesting shift, so how can an aspiring artist find their sound the way you did?
I basically heard other DJs, everyone has to start somewhere. For me to find my kind of unique style, I had to hear other people and bring my own feel to it. So for example, when I dived into dance music trance was big. That’s where I first began…I loved percussions, I loved bass so I thought about sow I could incorporate that and move that into something more that I feel. So that’s when I started incorporating tribal and percussion grooves and basslines to electronic music, creating something that is mine. So basically, trying a little bit of everything until you find something you’re comfortable with? Yeah, absolutely. Anything that feels right for you, you know? Don’t chase the flavor of the month. “This is hot, I’m gonna do this and that”, that’s the wrong way to go about it. It’s almost like a passion to find what you like. You sound has to be your passion.
How do you hope that the dance scene evolves in the next five or ten years?
It’s almost like the stock market, you can never predict where it’s going to go. Like, I love what I do with tech-house and techno, I love how festivals like EDC are bringing in massive tents and showcasing that sound. It didn’t happen before, festivals of this size used to be exclusively “EDM” or pure dubstep, bass music. Now, techno and tech house artists are getting their own stages so I’d like to see that further evolve in the next few years.
Intimate club setting or massive festival venues?
Both are two different animals. To me, I love intimate venues because the energy that grows in a room is unbeatable compared to a festival. Then again with a festival, you can experiment a little bit more. You can open up more doors and try different things. People always go for it! It’s almost like comparing apples to oranges in a way, but if I had to pick between the two…I always gravitate more towards intimate venues.
You’ve had the honor of playing alongside Carl Cox and other techno legends. How does the techno community differ from the typical EDM crowd?
Playing with Carl is always such an amazing thing, he’s a great pal, he’s a great mentor to me and not just to me but to a lot of DJs. There’s a lot of love between the artists in this scene. When it comes to the fans, not to say this in a bad way or anything, to me is seems the techno/tech-house crowd–they’ve been in it longer. They’ve done their research. Like I said earlier, everyone starts somewhere but it depends if you want to dig deeper or not. You want to see how far the rabbit hole goes. So, to me, the techno crowd have done their homework and they are where they are because of that.
What projects are you working on currently? I know you also have a very active label, Younan Music, and events like Join The Tribe. Tell us more about that.
Join The Tribe came out of and is labeled under Younan Music, it’s the party associated with the label. Now we get all our artists and hit the road, host the party and it’s been amazing. The label has been doing amazing, we’re releasing a lot of stuff, signed great new artists, just hit our 150th release and celebrated our ten year anniversary. For a digital label, you would think it’s lifespan would’ve been short. As for my releases and production, I just released a new track on Moon Harbour Recording which is Matthias Tanzmann’s label, working a couple of remixes and also just releasing on my own label to keep the momentum going.
https://soundcloud.com/saeedyounan/edc-orlando-saeed-younan-live-nov-2017 ]]>