Some of you may know him as Tito, others know him as Tito Tito. We found out his real name is actually Yehia!
Known as the bohemian baggervance of the club world, Tito is the man behind (probably) the coolest underground club nights in Egypt, Nacelle. He has built a brand where loyal music loving hipster lemmings will follow him where ever he may go. Continually putting the spotlight on local talent, as well as bringing in international DJs, he never stays static for too long. Always moving to new venues, starting afresh and taking his loyal followers with him, Tito is basically the head of a cult movement. We caught up with brother Tito as he talks to us about music, the trials and tribulations of Nacelle and his thoughts on the Ikhwan…
Why do you choose venues that are kind of off the radar for Nacelle nights?
We pick our venues based on the space. Yasso the space is cool, Opium the space is cool and, likewise,Stiletto and Stage One are both very cool. They’re off the radar for other reasons – because of the marketing, because people don’t go there, shitty crowd. This has nothing to do with what we do. We go around and change everything, we just try to control the vibe. I can take over a cabaret if I wanted to, and it’ll still be a good night.
Why do you think the crowds follow you wherever you go?
I started to learn the tricks of what people want. I pick an empty night. Yasso on Fridays, for example, was nothing at the time. We fuck up a lot, but I think what makes us successful is perseverance and determination.
What is Tito? What’s your real name?
Yehia is my real name.
But it doesn’t even have a T…
My parents call me Tito. I grew up hearing that name more than my real name.
What’s your background?
My background is in computers. I was a computer geek and worked in the computer world. I was born and raised in Montreal and moved to Egypt about three years ago.
How did you move from computer science to what you do now?
The origins of my DJing come from house parties back in Montreal. But I came to Egypt without a plan. I had just come from Berlin and had a tonne of vinyl records and went to Stiletto, gave it a shot and they liked it! I found that you can’t just go to Cairo Jazz Club or Tamarai and just say I want to play my music weekly. They have their crowd. So I found myself having to justify my business to the less popular places and found myself as more of a promoter.
What does Nacelle mean?
It’s the name of the engine on a space craft or airplane. I needed a name on the first night and I called my friend. She’s a super Star Trek geek, and she suggested Nacelle. I told her you’re a loser, but after 5 minutes, I was like, OK.
Would you ever have sex with an engine?
No, I am the engine!
How do you decide who is allowed entry into Nacelle nights?
Anyone who is respectful. Obviously, at the door we might make some judgments, but as long as you’re respectful, it’s fine. I didn’t even have door control for the first year!
So would you say, to quote certain Twitter people, that clubs that have a very strict door policy are “elitist fascist cunts”?
I definitely have seen how it works. Even the coolest people are suckered in with the whole exclusivity and selectivity thing. There’s always this ‘what do you mean I can’t come?!’ thing, but we don’t try to play that angle too much. We are not as selective as some clubs. We get a mix of cool people from everywhere, and we’re not big on guest lists.
What do you want be when you grow up?
I am grown up. I’m 37.
Are you scared of the Ikhwan suppressing you, especially considering the nature of your business?
I’m scared of any power monger. We were ass raped before the revolution too – we were pretty much bankrupt. It’s not about any industry, there are much bigger things at stake. If there’s a no alcohol policy, whatever, but don’t mess with women’s rights for example. They have to go up, not down. That’s what scares me from the Ikhwan, not the no alcohol. I can always change fields. There’s always something to do, business-wise.
Favorite track of all time?
If I had to pick, there’s a particular track that defines the beginning of Nacelle. The Jimmy Caster Bunch – Potential. It’s an awesome track from the 70s.
If someone requests that you play ‘Call Me Maybe’…
*After he listens to it*: No. I go on Youtube and I see these songs and I’m like, what? 150 million? Oh wait… actually…no. Still no.
What’s your next gig?
I’m playing at Wake & Bake in Sahel next weekend. Then we’ve got the Nacelle closing party at Opium on Monday.
How is the world going to end?
It will just stop one day. Anti-climatic for sure. Oh, and I was lying the whole time. Our door selection policy is based on an underground list held by the Ikhwan.