Spotlight: Ahmed Fahmy (Interview)
When you think of a dj, I use to personally think how hard could it be, I mean seriously how hard is it press play cue, then use some automated software to do a beat match and done a DJ is born, all that is missing is just him having a good PR Agent. But apparently I am wrong there is more to being a DJ than cue and cross faders. So i caught up with Ahmed Fahmy of electrum records, one of the judges in Student DJ battles and a producer himself to see what he look at into djs.
1. What separates a good dj from a great dj?
A good DJ will master all the mxing basics, beat-matching, smooth, seamless mixing, a great DJ will
1- set and engage the with crowd different moods during tne course of his set and is able to take the crowd in and out the moods wihtout loosing them,
2- create unique moments during his set, using effects and other elements, always surprise the crowd with unique drops and breakdowns accepalla mashes, shuld have his own arsenal of reworked tracks, bootlegs and samples that are unique to him , he also should be a creative mixer, which is basically using the effects at the right time, some scratching & looping.
2. When you are judged the competitors, what were you judging based, how were you assigning the points?
We have 6 criteria on which we base our verdict:
1- track selection,
4- beat matching and mixing,
6- crowd engagement.
3. In the competition there is a rule of no samples, no auto sync, etc, so it ensures that the DJ would be fully capable of mixing etc. But what about outside of the competition, if one dj uses auto sync, and another uses manual, how can one as a regular know the difference, does it end up boiling down to song selection?
We don’t allow auto mixing because beat matching this is the most basic skill that we need our DJs to master, after all technology is not always perfect and a DJ will have to rely on basic mixing techniques in specific situations during his set, we allow samples if it is used creatively to enhance the set. Generally, in real situations there is no harm in using the auto sync funcions in the new pioneer nexus series or on computer based systems such as traktor however, this presents a new challenge to the DJ who is using this funcion,using auto sync functions should enable a DJ to use other creative skills such the use of effects, looping ..etc since his hands and mind are free to concentrate on being creative in mixing.
4. A question outside of the competition, in the coming summer where do you expect the music scene in Egypt to head towards, in winter it seem it took a quiet steep turn to DEEP house, do you think summer will still be in that direction or we would see a change?
Generally there are always one or two tracks that hit big during the summer and sort of define the sound of that summer. I don’t think any will be on the deep side since summer anthems are always faster and bigger in sound than Deep. I perosnally like deep since it exhibits some sort of musicianship that is not present in other genres, there are real composition lines, real instruments and melodies. I see that generally deep house is moving towards the NU Disco/IIndie dance genre since is is brighter and higher in energy.