We talk to one of Egypt's most successful Electronic music exports about his rise to the upper ranks of Spain's nightlife scene and what really makes a good DJ...
Last year, Abu Samra walked into a small garden of a well known party organiser and joined a group of 20 or so hollering, fist pumping and feet shuffling party animals that barely stopped a second to enjoy the summer sun, worried they'd miss a beat. The dance orgy lasted for about 14 hours straight and ended in an ovation.
We since have had to wait long periods of time for our ear to get another whiff of an Abou Samra set. Unlike many an Egyptian deck dazzler - who do the rounds of all the clubs we know in Cairo and then fizzle out of existence - he has managed to make a name for himself abroad, flying the flag for our House music scene. Following his move to Barcelona, Spain, he delved deeper into diverse world that House music in Europe had to offer "leaving the days of trance behind," as his bio reads, and finding a home in Tech and Deep House mixes. This eventually culminated in a recent gig at one of the city's biggest clubs, El Row 14, and he hasn't looked back since, becoming a resident for ByGanz and lining up a host of summer gigs in Spain. Check out our interview with the after hours hero below...
What are you doing right now!?
Still doing my bachelors degree at the European Universtiy Barcelona.
How did you get into DJing?
I've love House music since I was a kid and always wanted to be a DJ, I always had good music and was the one putting the music on wherever we are until late 2007 when I decided to play to my friends only but in a better way than just playing it from an iPod.
Do you remember your first gig?
My first official gig was the Teadance with Jean Claud Ades but I have been mixing for seven years anonymously.
How would you describe your sound?
Soul reaching or inspiring...
What gear do you use mainly?
I used to use Pioneers all my life untill I went to Barcelona and then I moved to Traktor.
What do you think sets yourself aside from other DJs here in Egypt?
I'm not sure how to answer this question because in the end it's all about opinions. But I would say how you feel the crowd is the most important thing; not by looking at them and smiling and dancing, but feeling just by your heart, if you know what I mean...
How did you manage to get into the club scene in Spain?
I have been trying to play somewhere since 2012 and I played in a couple of clubs in late 2012 and early 2013, but didn't feel or like the crowd so I was waiting for the right gig untill I got to play in an after party where there was some very important people who really pushed me.
What's the biggest difference between Djing here and in Spain?
After playing there where which is what I really wanted ever since I landed in barcelona, I have to say that DJing in Cairo is very poor.
What's the weirdest thing that's ever happened to you whilst spinning?
It was in Hacienda when all the electricity cut off in the whole place we were at, except the socket that the DJ set was plugged in to! What a coincidence...
Most memorable gig and why?
Very recently on March 30th when I played at El Row 14, Barcelona. The club was ranked #17 worldwide in 2012; the best night club in Barcelona by far.
Who are your favorite DJs Internationally and locally here in Egypt?
Internationally it would be LUCIANO and with no doubt locally, it's Aly Goede.
What music do you listen to when you're not DJing?
Same shit, I practice when I'm at the gym and when I'm traveling. Exploring what these other DJs are doing.
Do you have any special rituals you do before you get on stage?
Hahaha, no no.
It's 2AM the crowd is going crazy at it's peak, what track do you play to pick it up a notch?
Depends where I'm playing of course but a track like The Unexpected would rock a club anywhere.
It's 6AM, the sun is coming out after a euphoric night on the decks. What track do you play?
After taking the dance floor to a really high level I would mellow them out with a track like Rise of Angel.
Do you produce music?
Yes, lately I started but still need some time to get as good as I want.
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
Working with my family while producing in my studio
Follow Abou Samra on his fanpage here