This Thursday, Gaser El Safty is set to go head-to-head with Nour Fahmy for the Student DJ 2014 crown – dramatic pause. The finale, which will also see Marc Wahba, Finnebassen and H.O.S.H take to the decks at the Temple, has been a long time coming (we’re currently in 2015, by the way) but the long road has seen El Safty come through as one of the standout contestants.
But this is no surprise to those that know the man; as one half of the Meteors Project, he’s no stranger to music and his no-nonsense approach to the mechanics of DJing has put him in good stead.
OK Gas-Man, how do you feel going into the Student DJ final?
Well, it’s been a long ride, mostly. It took a lot longer than it needed to; we started in October 2014 with the Boot Camp and it kind of lost momentum along the way, but it’s been a fun ride nonetheless. It’s been two months since the semi-final – that’s a long time and a lot of people lost some of the excitement.
But looking back, it was a good process. I came in with a lot of technical know-how to begin with, probably a lot more so than the other people. But it was a very good experience and the Boot Camp itself gave me the chance to really practice on a lot of equipment and gear that I otherwise didn’t have. We networked like crazy, met so many people that are good for us in terms of being performers and like-minded people who like music
Do you have a day job?
I am the Assistant Editor at Cairo 360. It’s fun; I get to review food and stuff my face for a living. Pretty sweet deal.
No way! I hear those guys are awesome! Anyway, what’s on your iPod right now?
Right now Midas 104, but it changes weekly. I always download new music so what’s on here today won’t be what’s on here the day after tomorrow.
Let’s move away from music most people haven’t heard of – what’s your guilty pleasure pop song?
NONE. I hate pop so much. I just can’t. My ‘guilty pleasure’ song definitely isn’t pop. I like some of the old bands, though. Back in the day I listened to bands like the Offspring and Sum41 a lot. I don’t listen to them so much now, but at the time I did. That’s probably the most embarrassing thing I listen(ed) to.
That’s not very embarrassing. I’m disappointed. If you could get rid of one DJ world-wide, who would it be?
Oh my God. Probably the entire Top 10 of DJ Mag. It goes without saying – David Guetta, Steve Aoki and anyone you’d hear on the radio. It’s just not my taste. I mean, some people like it but I really don’t.
I'm with you on that, but they do have nice hair. You’re involved in recently launched record label, BESWORX – tell me about that.
Well, it’s been about a year in the making. The team behind the label are good friends of mine – they’re both producers and they’re very savvy when it comes to the music scene. Right now, we’re trying to provide something that Egypt has been missing; good quality music that can be charted. By charted, I mean good music that can be played by other DJs internationally. So that’s been the main focus of the label so far, but the next step is we want to produce and send music abroad, for it to be played by people there and possibly remixed.
The label generally revolves around house and techno, but we do want to incorporate electronica - electronic music that isn’t distinctly a ‘four four layout’ (uhn tiss uhn tiss). Unfortunately, though, our clubbing culture and music scene in general – while full of potential – is very young and immature.
I hear you. If you could be any musical instrument, what would you be & who would you want to play you?
Well, my favourite instrument is the electric guitar. It was my first instrument. If I could be played by anyone? I’d have to say David Gilmore from Pink Floyd. Never has one guitarist been so influential to me; his entire body of work is incredible.
Even with DJing, I still play music. There’s just more room for DJs than musicians in Cairo. I found that DJing, especially if you want to make money and sustain yourself, is just a better option than being a musician. Having said that, I probably wouldn’t want to be a DJ full-time.
If you were going to go on Arab’s Got Talent for a talent other than DJing – what would it be?
*Laughs*. Probably sarcasm and snide comments – I do it so well. Also, stuffing my face. I’m good at that too.
Who would win in a fight, a shark with legs or a lion (on land)?
I’d have to say a shark; sharks are bigger and, well, just look at their teeth! What kind of legs does the shark have? If it had agile, wolf-legs it could run and out-maneuver the lion and then chomp down with its terrifying, terrifying teeth.
This is the most important question of all – what color did you see 'The Dress'?
*Laughs*. Honestly, the first time I saw it, I saw white and gold and it did not change colours, so I thought everybody was just being stupid.
Check out more of Gaser's work on his official Facebook page.