A world class globe-trotting DJ, a recording artist, a sought-after remix producer, and head of his own record label, Saeed Younan has excelled as a true artist in the global dance scene.
Following the success of a string of chart topping singles, and being elected as #13 on the Top 100 American DJs List, Saeed found the time to sit down with Curvve for an interview on his life, career and upcoming remix, “Magic.”
Q: Where did you grow up? Please tell a little about yourself.
A: I was born in Iraq but grew up in Washington D.C lived here since I was 11 years old.
Q: Do you think the area you grew up had a big influence your musical taste?
A: Yes, the early 90’s rave days were big influence on me. D.C had a great clubbing scene back then. And had a chance to catch a lot of good DJs growing up.
Q: When did you begin producing music?
A: My first production was in 1992 right after I graduated from high school. It was with Gossip Records and YoshiToshi.
Q: What started off your music career?
A: I guess it be that gossip record and Yoshi releases, and things really picked up when I started my own label Addictive Records in 1995-2004
Q: What is a piece of equipment you cannot live without?
A: Logic and Ableton Live.
Q: What music genre would you like to experiment in?
A: I love Drum n’ Bass and dub Reggae. I’ll probably produce some in the near future. But house music will always be my specialty.
Q: Do you have any big projects coming up in the near future?
A: I just released an e.p Called “Port Saeed”. All 4 tracks made the top downloads on beatport.com. I have a remix coming out on Ultra for Austin Leeds and Starkillers. I’m also Working on a new mix comp which will come out early next year on Younan Music. And few other solo original projects.
Q: What past tracks do you feel really showcases the direction that your productions are heading?
A: My new e.p “Port Saeed” has 4 tracks that showcase the style I lean toward these days.
Q: How did you end up deciding on a direction for your remix of Magic? Was there a specific sound that you were trying to achieve?
A: I just wanted to produce a fun and sexy remix. I also like to stray away from the obvious. And take a different approach all together. And I feel that I achieved that.
Q: Was there anything special about this song or vocal that really made you want to remix it?
A: I like the vocals and thought be nice to make them sound more hunting and reversed them in few parts.
Q: What gear or software was influential in the making of this remix (and maybe your sound in general)?
A: I used logic for this project, with some elements from LIVE to chop up vocals and loops. I also used the Albino 3 for the bassline. And lots of drum kits with manipulated sound effects.
Q: Are there any bands or artists out there who influence your sound?
Not really, I kinda go my own way. But don’t get me wrong I listen to a lot of different type of music and artist and I’m sure a lot of the stuff I do has been touched by other genres or sounds.
Q: What countries do you enjoy travelling to ??
A: I enjoy playing in S.America a lot. But I also enjoy Canada and Eastern Europe has a great scene.
Q: How do you feel about the European culture and it’s influence in today’s music?
A: I think it’s great. We can defiantly use some of their influence here in the states especially with radio and T.V
Q: What has been an unforgettable gig for you?
A: Summer Dance Festival in Colombia is amazing I played there for 2 years straight and it was one of the best events I’ve done.
Q: Is there an interesting fact or piece of data about your that most people don’t know?
A: Some people don’t know that I’ve been making music and djing since high school. I started back in 1988 (when I was in 9th grade) and been at it ever since.
Vinny Troia’s ‘Flow’ once again continues to turn heads, this time receiving massive support from Tiesto. With sultry vocals from Jaidene Veda and a stellar remix from Gareth Emery, the track has withheld the test of time by continuing to re-appear in sets of the world’s biggest DJs.
Along its already large list of accomplishments, Flow reached #1 on Beatport and #24 on the Billboard Hot Club Play charts. It was also featured in Armin Van Buuren’s ‘A State of Trance 2006’ compilation, several of Paul Oakenfold’s ‘Perfecto on Tour’ Sirius Satellite Radio Shows, Markus Schulz’ Global DJ Broadcast, Matt Darey’s ‘Nocturnal Radio’ and Paul Van Dyk’s ‘Vonyc Sessions’.
To continue the long line of support for Flow, Tiesto has featured the song at #5 on his Beatport Summer 2008 chart. The video below shows a live clip of Tiesto playing ‘Flow’ at a show in Pheonix, USA.
Fine Taste has once again waved their magic wand to and delivered a stunning remix of D:Fuse and Hiratzka’s “Breathe In”. Originally released on their “Skyline Lounge” album, D:Fuse and Hiratzka’s version was mellow, downtempo, and most of all, sexy. Fine Taste was selected by Curvve to remix the project because of their unique production perspective on progressive and electro house music. If anyone could completely re-design a 100bpm track, Fine Taste would be the one to do it. So it comes as no surprise that their remix has been making its debut on several high profile radio shows including Matt Darey’s “Nocturnal Radio” and Paul Van Dyk’s “Vonyc Sessions”.
During our interview with Freek Geuze (one half of the Fine Taste duo), we asked him his secret to producing such a massive remix. “80 pushups before each studio session … and I always wear my Van Basten ’88 shirt”. He was also quick to mention that he prefers a PC to Mac, but “KFC any day of the week”. A man after my own heart!
Led by his artistic edge, Freek also creates astounding music under the guise of “Smartminds”. He adds that it contains, “some summerish proggy happy tra-la-la tunes like ‘Glitter Glamour’, but also banging techy stuff like ‘Tissues For Your Issues’. I just have a broad (and Fine) Taste.”
The other half of this exceptional talent is Johan Vermeulen, who lends the duo a darker side to their music. His productions have been signed to labels Baroque, Anjuna, and Little Mountain.
Whether Freek is eating his favorite food of shrimp baked in garlic or listening to hilarious jokes during production, he, along with Johan, delivered what has already been deemed their finest production to date.
One of the things we found most interesting about Freek was his devotion as a Chuck Norris fan, and ability to quickly recite random Chuck Norris facts. He also claims to have a secret obsession with Polar Bears, claiming that his remix of “Breathe In” reminds him of “a polar bear in the middle of Tunesia”. Since the conversation took such an interesting turn, we couldn’t help but enquire about his name. “Freek is actually a common Dutch name”, he replied, “ The ‘ee’ is pronounced as the ‘a’ in Cake”.
For more information, please check out Freek’s myspace project at www.myspace.com/smartmindsmusic
Click here for audio samples or to purchase the release.
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Excerpt from URB Magazine
“Following their successful first release with Heartache, Emjae and Mashtronic, OMG! Recordings deliver another club banging EP. Don’t Stop has been coined “the most beach friendly EP since Fred Falke’s Music for My Friends.” Featuring artists Lifelike, Kris Menace, and Island9, this French Touch release is playing favorites with Surkin, Boys Noize, Don Diablo, Basement Jaxx, and Les Petits Pilous! “From front to back, OMG! has delivered the blog house anthem of the summer!”