World class globe-trotting DJ Saeed Younan can do it all. From owning his own record label (Younan Music) and producing his own music, Saeed has been nominated one of America’s Top 100 DJs entering America’s Best DJ Top 50 Poll five years in a row.
Saeed recently was scheduled to play Digital Dreams but due to weather cancellations, and commitments for another festival, Escapade in Ottawa, he couldn’t reschedule his performance. Though Saeed still played at the Digital Dreams after party at the Sound Academy on June 27. Saeed continues to play all over the world and we had the chance to chat with the talented DJ and producer! Read our interview below!
This culture of music is continuously growing, and there seems to be a lot of producers/DJs out there. What do you think makes you stand out?
I’ve been doing this for over 20 years, and it makes it a bit easier to stand out. I’ve also stuck to a sound and style for years with subtle changes. A lot of DJ’s and producers spend their entire career chasing, “the flavor of the month” sort of to speak. Changing their style and trying to fit in with what’s hot at the moment. This is a sure fire way to kill the longevity of you career.
You were born in Iraq, lived in Washington, been all over the world. Do you have an opinion on the music scene in Toronto? Does it differ from other parts of the world you’ve been to?
The scene in Toronto is one of my favorites. Canada in general is one of my favorite countries to play. The fans are super nice and responsive. They really know their music, and you guys have some solid after hours.
You play House music, but in mainstream EDM, there doesn’t seem to be too much house music anymore. Would you agree/ How do you feel about that?
I actually play house, tech house and also dive into some techno when the vibe allows. For me, EDM is EDM. House is House. EDM is pretty much a genre now-a-days. So, comparing it to house, is like comparing apples to oranges.
However, I do see house and techno making a huge impression in EDM dominated festivals. You’re starting to see techno and house artists and stages being added in mega festivals like EDC, ULTRA, and more. So, it’s a good sign for people like myself, and also a great sign for the kids that want to educate themselves beyond the EDM bells and whistles.
Just going off of that, when you first started out compared to where you are now, what are some of the major changes you see in EDM ?
I see big corporations coming in to take their share of something they had no part of to begin with. EDM has become big money and all the big players want a piece of the pie.
You also own a record label, Younan Music. You also do a lot of different things, produce, DJ, etc. Is there one role you prefer more than the other?
I started DJing in 1988, when I had just started high school. DJing has and will always be my first love. However, I do enjoy the business side of music. So, I love running my label and producing tracks so I can play them out. It all comes full-circle.
How do you manage your time?
Ahhh, good question! I definitely need better time management skills. Between running a label, producing music, and traveling on the weekends. It leaves little to no time for personal life. I try to step away from the computer by taking long walks, biking or even mediating during the day, so I can keep myself focused and freshly energized to tackle all tasks.
We’re all about The Xtra Mile. How would you say you go The Xtra Mile?
I’m a perfectionist. Some see it as a bad thing, I see it as a good thing. It does take me a bit longer to finalize new production than most producers, but I firmly believe if something is worth doing, then it’s worth doing right.
Any last words for your fans? What’s next?
Just want to thank you guys for this great interview, and I want to thank everyone who has supported me and my sound in the last 20+ years. In return, I like to offer you some live sets and free downloads at Soundcloud.com/SaeedYounan and make sure you like my music page Facebook.com/OfficialSaeedYounan to view some great pictures and videos from my live shows around the world. Plus get all the updates of where I’ll be next.