Homegrown :: Hassan Alwan

From Abu Dhabi with Love… Next up for Homegrown Mr Boogie Box ‘Hassan Alwan.’

Where are you from?

I’m Iraqi and proud! Born in Baghdad, grew up in the UAE, before moving to Montreal and London where I spent the last 12 years of my life. And now I’m back in the UAE!

Why are you a DJ and why Dubai? Tell us a bit about you and your sound…

I can give you a long-winded story about why I’m a DJ and what inspired me. But I’m going to save you and the readers all that mumbo jumbo. I grew up in the UAE for 16 years, before moving to Canada for 6 years and then the UK for another 6. After spending so much time abroad, you feel the urge to come back “home”. I’ve been playing Tech-House and Techno for as long as I can remember, and have been incorporating some Deep-House and Disco over the past 3 years.

How did you start DJing, vinyl, CD’s or software? Do you think those without vinyl foundations are true to the craft? Do you think the artistry of Djing has been lost?

I started playing back in 2001 in Montreal; back then, I was only using vinyl. And on a student’s budget, I got broke one week into the month! Each record was $15…you do the maths! I think some of the artistry has been lost with the relatively new digital breakthroughs; now a days you don’t need to be able to manually match beats, just click the button and viola! I personally think, unless you are producing something extraordinary with your sets, you know, playing 3 tracks at the same time, effects, etc., then you should stick to vinyl and CDs.

Do you think DJ’s also need to be promoters these days or is that still solely the job of the promoter. Without local agents how do you promote yourself to venues and promoters/ bookers?

It’s definitely tougher these days. I do think there is an added advantage if you throw your own parties, but only if, you are giving the crowd something a little different. Anyone can throw a party, its what you do at these parties in terms of music, visuals, vibe, crowd, etc. that makes the difference. Thankfully, we have gained a loyal following over the past 3 years with our Boogie Box and Ele:mental parties in Abu Dhabi. We’re pretty excited about bringing the concept to Dubai at Trilogy this Friday!

What does Dubai have that other party capitals lack? Is their room for everyone here to stake claim and have a following/crowd?

Again, I think this ties up with what I said about offering something different. You need to define your own sound, have faith in it, and give something different. Anyone can jump on the latest bandwagon and play the big tracks that international DJs are currently playing. I think Dubai has come a long way. It’s got a strong local scene, and some promoters bringing in quality international bookings. It’s definitely a good time to be in Dubai!

Do you produce? If so tell us about your studio set up? What is your take on software production as compared to hardware and modular synths?

Yes  I do. I’ve got a Korg Radius, Doepfer, Roland MC 303 and a number of digital tools. Personally, these days, I do not think many people can tell the difference between analogue and digital tools. It really comes down with what you make with what you have…in the end, if it sounds good, then do it!

Do you think producers make good DJ’s and vice versa, or is it purely a new promotional tool to get DJ’s on the decks?

I don’t think that’s necessarily true. Some of my favorites producers are horrible DJs, and vice versa. But there are many cases where the opposite is true.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to for all the wrong reasons?

Tough question!!  I’m going to have to get back to you on that! ; )

Hassan plays Trilogy Club Dubai this Friday for iLL Communications. You can check out his sound here.

One Response to “Homegrown :: Hassan Alwan”
  1. Abdullah says:

    My mannnnn, keep it up

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