We catch up with Student DJ Program finalists Yousef Niazi & Seif Bibars ahead of their knock-out round at the decks tomorrow night and let you decide who has the better answers...
Every week until the big Student DJ Program final, we’ll be brining in the two DJs set to battle, ahead of their gig at Fairmont Nile City rooftop, for a special quick-fire interview of some interesting (but mostly ridiculous) questions. The rest is up to you! Let us know who you think has the best answers then go and cheer on your favourite.
Tomorrow, Yousef Niazi goes head-to-head with Seif Bibars in the sixth knock-out round of the Student DJ Progam at the gorgeous Sky Pool to see who will make it to the next round. But not before Amr Mohey and American House heroes Climbers show them what DJing is really about, and setting the standards for the evening with slick warm-up sets. We got the budding DJs together to stir up the competition with our quick-fire questions, but before we get on to that, let’s introduce the contenders:
“Music has always been part of my life,” says 25 year old Yousef Niazi who only recently got in the DJing game on a professional level. Though he tried to resist the urge that’s been pulling him to the dark side, he finally gave in when he got a mixer as gift from friends. It was Fat Boy Slim that introduced him to the world of Electronic Dance Music but now he lists Kolombo, Hot Since 82 and local heroes Tamer Auf, Baher Eid, Hisham Zahran and Misty & Hafez among his favourite DJs, while you’ll find him waving his hands in the air at Nacelle and Audio Damiana. Having begun to dabble in production, Niazi draws on his experiences from house party gigs, as well as a couple of stints at Otium and Kempinski’s Jazz Bar. “The Student DJ Program has given me the confidence to play in front of bigger crowds and taught me how important it is to connect with them,” says Niazi who works in his family’s private school business by day.
Seif Bibar’s musical journey hasn’t been without its ups and downs, having attempted learn drums and guitar during his school days and, in his words, “failed miserably.” That didn’t turn him off his love of music though – as he got older and began going to clubs and parties, electronic music began to pique his interests and after being introduced to a rudimentary mixer at an after-party he never looked back. “It’s ok though because right now, guys with guitars aren’t as cool as boys with toys!” he says. His first gig was in 2011, at a rave in 6th of October and it wasn’t long before he was offered residency at Rush in Dahab. Coming back to Cairo, he began his Go Sailing… series of parties, getting everyone whose really into music interested in his unique, captivating House mixes, though he’s not a fan of the mainstream nightlife scene in Cairo. “The original Rave scene is about love, unity and peace, not pretentiousness,” says Bibars who adds that he does, however, admire Ahmed Samy, Amir Farrag, Hisham Zahran and Tamer Auf’s contributions to the local scene. The 25 year old sees DJing as a long-term career, hoping one day to play at Coachella.
OK, got it? Now let the games begin:
What did your mother say when you told her you wanted to be a DJ?
Yousef: She did not mind at all because she’s open minded.
Seif: She hoped it would work out because I’m not good at anything else!
What was the most important thing you learned at Bootcamp?
Yousef: Scratching and using a capellas in existing songs.
Seif: That Gouna is filled with elitist, cocksuckers. If I wanted to hang out with those kind of people, I’d go to Manhattan. In terms of DJing, I learned that no matter your style, you can still amaze the crowd.
Describe your musical style in three words?
Yousef: House, Disco, Deep.
Seif: Sensual, seductive, above –average (with a hyphen so it’s just one word).
Who are your musical influences?
Yousef: Kolombo, Sharam Jey, Karmin, Jamie Jones, Hot Since 82.
Seif: Damien Lazarus, and Ahmed Samy.
If you could DJ with one animal, which would it be and why?
Yousef: An elephant so everyone can see me.
Seif: A monkey. I’ll teach him to beat match, we’d have a biological sync button.
Finish this sentence: I want to be a DJ because… a) Bitches, b) Fame, c) Orangutans or d) Generic answer like ‘I love music’.
Yousef: Generic answer: ‘I love music.’
Seif: Generic answer: I love bitching about music.
If you could only listen to one track for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Yousef: You wish by Nightmares on Wax
Seif: Paradise Circus by Massive Attack
What’s your secret weapon for the battle?
Yousef: It’s a surprise!
Seif: My mojo. My charisma, like interacting with the crowd and making people feel what I feel.
Who do you think is going to win the Student DJ Program overall?
Yousef: Uncertain. It’s very close and things could change in a way that will surprise people.
Seif: I think we’re all winners. Actually fuck that, I’m winning this bitch!
See Yousef Niazi and Seif Bibars go head-to-head at Fairmont Nile City from 10.30pm. Make your reservation here. Keep up to date with everything from the Student DJ Program on their Facebook page here and follow @StudentDJProg.