We catch up with Student DJ Program finalists Karim Diwan and Saleh Amin ahead of their fierce battle 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, 15th May, the Fairmont Nile City roof will be bought to its feet when Karim Diwan and Salah Amin go deck-to-deck in the second knock-out round of the Student DJ Program competition. The fierce battle will be ended with a set from German Deep House legends Teenage Mutants, as well as tantalising mix from local hero Shaggy. Before you make your reservation to go and see whether Diwan or Amin will reign supreme, let us introduce you to the younglings before you judge their question-answering abilities:
Influenced by Nile FM DJ and close friend, Deeb, Karim Diwan began messing with music back in 2007. Using Deeb’s decks to get acquainted with the art of DJing, Diwan quickly got into the groove and out of Deeb’s hair, getting his hands on his own equipment. Until now, he hasn’t played any big gigs, limiting his audience to his close friends and their house parties. “It was actually a friend of mine who told me about the Student DJ Program and forced me to apply!” he says. Now specialising in Funky House, for a while, Diwan didn’t like electronic music at all, but it was James Zabiela’s unmistakable sound that had him coming over to the dark side. Even though he has little experience, Diwan is dreaming big, hoping that one day he’ll get to play in the legendary Space Ibiza. “Winning the Student DJ Program will give me the exposure I need as a newcomer,” he explains, before adding that we should listen out for the unique, crazy effects he applies to his mixes, that are certain to give him an edge.
Getting his own equipment at the age of 18, Saleh Amin hasn’t looked back since. Though he currently works at his family’s material dyeing business (“If my music was a dye, it’d be dark blue”), DJing is clearly his passion and he’s already played at the likes of O Bar in Cairo, Gouna’s Loca Loca and Jalouse and Boujis in London. How did he manage to get gigs at London’s coolest club? “My friend used to date the promoter!” he admits, but even friends with benefits can’t negate the experience he got playing at this level. Applying to the Student DJ Program as soon as he heard about it, Amin prides himself on his ear for interesting beats and unique track selections, dreaming of one day to collaborate with Sasha. “I’m hoping this competition will put me on the map and help me book gigs. Either way, it’s been loads of fun!”
Got it? Now let the battle begin:
What did your mother say when you told her you wanted to be a DJ?
Saleh; She thought I was crazy and that playing music is related to drugs!
Karim: I never told her!
What was the most important thing you learned at Bootcamp?
Saleh: How to scratch and loop.
Karim: How to wake up at 9am after a night of partying!
Describe your musical style in three words?
Saleh: Twisted, dirty Funk.
Karim: Deep, Tech, Funky.
Who are your musical influences?
Saleh: John creamer, Sonique and Adam Freeland.
Karim: James Zabiela.
If you could DJ with one animal, which would it be and why?
Saleh: A black panther. It’s sexy, beautiful animal.
Karim: An elephant because I’d like to see how they’d get it up there!
Finish this sentence: I want to be a DJ because… a) Bitches, b) Fame, c) Orangutans or d) Generic answer like ‘I love music’.
Saleh: Because I love music.
Karim: All of the above!
If you could only listen to one track for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Saleh: Rennie Foster - Devil's Water (James Zabiela More Umph edit)
Karim: That’s a hard one. I get bored easily. If it was on artist, I’d chose James Zabiela.
What’s your secret weapon for the battle?
Saleh: My track selections.
Karim: It won’t be a secret if I tell you!
Who do you think is going to win the Student DJ Program overall?
Karim: Can I say me?
Yes you can.
See Karim Diwan and Saleh Amin 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.