As iffy says “It’s not just love for music, it’s my passion. It goes beyond liking, and beyond a hobby, it’s about a way of living. Music is essential to my life”. Above all, he holds a passion for Trance and Progressive music. He is Pakistan’s first Trance & Progressive DJ and has Armin van Buuren as his mentor. While talking to The News Tribe (TNT), he talked a lot about himself and DJ industry too.
TNT: Tell something about your band and members.
Iffy: I am a DJ and a remixer/producer. Mostly DJs work single, when I am Djing, I am performing myself, but there are other members as well who make the remixing and production possible. In my team, I have Patrick Hegnaar, another famous DJ from the Netherlands. I and Patrick perform together in most of shows together. We launched the first ever Ministry of Sound party in Lahore last year, which received a great feedback from the Pakistani crowd. Besides performing solo, I am also associated with Aramada (a music label from the Netherlands), in which my main function is to produce remix versions of the tracks and albums which have been released under the Armada flag.
TNT: When and how you joined music industry.
Iffy: Everyone has a hidden strength, a hidden ability which only he knows and in which he or she is naturally strong. I discovered my passion for music when I was in college. I started playing guitar. In those days, it was all about soft rock. But the real thing kicked off when I went to Australia for higher studies. I made friends with a local DJ there in 1998, DJ Maxwell, who used to perform in a concert club in Perth. He taught me all the tricks about Djing and how that’s all been done. From that point on, I took on Djing as a part time job and I started mixing and early in year 1999, was my first performance ever in Metropolis concert club in Perth, for an hour. Since then, Djing has been an important part of my life. I started Djing regularly in Sydney (Australia) over the weekends during my university days.
Iffy: There are few issues we DJs are facing when it comes to the Pakistani local industry. Djing here is a relatively new field and we have a lot of performers, who play recorded tracks and mixes of other international DJs during their gigs. Also there are so many ‘Wannabe DJs’ who adapt this field part time, which is eventually giving Djing sort of a bad name. That is why, Djing isn’t really known in Pakistani music industry. Internationally, Djing is a very competitive and diverse field. A DJ has to prove and demonstrate his skills mostly live on different venues like radio, clubs and parties.
TNT: What is your biggest passion as an artist?
Iffy: My passion being an artist is to produce and present the best of music remixes to listeners. I personally believe that a track which unless is fruity to my own ears, can never sound sweet to my listeners. I try producing all my mix ups to the satisfaction level which I listen and see in my mentor and other peer DJs / producers. Music is my life, an essential part of my life. It goes beyond a hobby and liking.
TNT: Have you got any formal training from someone?
Iffy: I received my first training on DJ decks from a DJ Maxwell in Australia, who at that time was a paid DJ in Metropolis Concert Club in Perth. Maxwell showed and taught me all the essential lessons and tricks of Djing, and showed me how it has to be done. First I started Djing in R & B and Disco Genres. Then in early 2000′s, I decided to switch permanently to Trance & Progressive.
TNT: Tell something about kind of music you do and make.
Iffy: I produce and remix mainly in Trance & Progressive. It’s fun to mix trance, actually. It keeps a DJ on the edge mostly, demanding to mix a lot of variety, variations and keep it diversify to keep the passion alive among the audience and listeners. Trance is multi-layered genre, unlike other genres like R&B and disco, which involves more step and dub mixing. I find Trance & Progressive more attractive.
TNT: What is inspiration or influence on your music?
Iffy: During my twelve years of DJ career, many artists influenced me, impressed me and I try to follow their style, as well as bringing my own style in to mixing. Some of the great names in Trance & Progressive names are Armin van Buuren, who is also my music mentor, Paul van Dyk, Tiesto, Roger Shah, Markus Shulz, Dash Berlin and ALEX M.O.R.P.H these are some of the names which gives me a lot of inspiration to produce quality style music.
TNT: What is your message for readers?
Iffy: Never be afraid to show your real strength, no matter how hard you may find it to display. Always listen to your inner voices. They speak the truth about you. There are no short cuts to success. What you want to be, deserves a long and hard struggle. So put in your best and always Thank Allah (The Almighty) for all the blessings and talent he had endured you with.