Tag Archives: hadiman

DJ Hadiman Keeps it Real

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Hadiman

 Hadiman’s one of the coolest cats in town. So cool that I thought he was Brazilian. Forgive me Hadi, ha ha ha…. Actually, he’s from Dubai but currently based in Toronto.  He blew me away with his banging drum and bass set at OM Festival in June, not to mention a killer turn at Bassculture. After hearing his name whispered with admiration on the lips of psytrancers , I decided to sit down and have a chat with the affable DJ to see what makes him tick.

F: Hi Hadi, it’s a pleasure running into you like this and I’d just like to ask you about some of your influences. What inspired you to become a DJ in the first place? 

H: I think my inspiration came from what’s in me. It really was just the idea I can go home and mix music that was just really, really interesting and fun for me personally. It all started when I went to school for sound engineering and I remember one of the first classes I attended, one of the teachers asked who was a DJ and I remember everyone raised their hand except me; I was the only guy who wasn’t, and that really sparked interest in me; just DJ’ing and mixing music in general, so a friend of mine lent me some records and I would just go and borrow people’s turntables and I just really picked up from there. People started supporting me and I did it in my own bedroom for three years without even telling people that I’m DJ’ing and I started getting small gigs here and there, so yeah, now I’m here. I do play a few very different things. One of which is drum and bass and I was influenced by the South American tropical rhythms. 

F: Like cumbia for example?

H: Cumbia, actually I love cumbia, especially the old cumbia. Cumbia and chicha and Afrobeat or Afro-Latin and all the subgenres of Latin music. And I’m not South American but I have really good appreciation for that music from the past 40 or 50 years ago. I think they made incredible music that we still listen to today, so I would hope to see more Brazilian or Latin drum and bass influences in music, and I think that at some point in the mid 90’s, there was a lot of Brazilian drum and bass. It’s not around anymore and I wish someone would start mixing Brazilian drum and bass.

F: Can you name some of your favourite Brazilian artists from that era?

H: I don’t really remember the names, but where we had records, we would go buy records that didn’t even say any name on it or not even the track; you know it would just come blank, what we’d get in a sleeve and we would put it on and it would be Brazilian drum and bass. So it was poorly advertised let’s say, in North America or in Toronto, and I may just not have enough knowledge about it. I started DJ’ing at a time when this genre in particular was dying so I didn’t pick up on it.

F: What about guys like DJ Marky?

H: DJ Marky is one of my favourite DJ’s, and it’s like he’s really one of the pioneers of drum and bass, and I wasn’t aware that he’s Brazilian. Is he?

F: He is.

H: Ok, now I know! DJ Marky…yeah, I’m a fan of DJ Marky. So many good liquid drum and bass that you could use, old and new and I love him, I love DJ Marky for sure, and I’d love to see him in Toronto if he comes.

F: Speaking of Toronto, in terms of the scene that Toronto has at the moment, where do you see it going?

H: Well I think we have a very good music scene in Toronto, and it’s only germinating right now and the vision I have is that it will really flourish in 10 years. I think Toronto is going to be one of the coolest cities in the music industry. What we have here is very eclectic and the multiculturalism is creating something new that not many people have. For instance all the art collaborations that are happening in Kensington Market; we have people from all over the world collaborating so naturally, and that creates you know, the future for Toronto and a reputation. And you go all over the place now, even in New York and you say you’re from Toronto, and all of a sudden they speak very highly of the music scene that we have cuz now we have more top artists in the world; they all come to Toronto very often so that’s a good sign that our music scene is very healthy.

F: Tell me more about some of these collaborations.

H: Well we’ve been doing the Pedestrian Sunday Collective day and what we try to do is something very interesting; collaborations between DJ’s and bands. We have a gypsy band, we have Brazilian percussion bands, we have just indie music bands and then you mix all of those bands together in a one day event and have an incredible event that keeps people really happy and people are talking about the event for a long time. I think it would have been different if they came and saw only one band at a time; it wouldn’t be the same as coming to see a bunch of bands, say 10 bands performing in one day in a very eclectic way.

F: Can you tell me whether you’ve worked on producing tracks of your own that you’ve released independently or are you signed to a label ?

H: I have worked with a lot of different music but unfortunately I never took the step to get signed. We had a band called Masala Sound Kitchen; you can check them on Google. What we did was really interesting. We actually were, just in a way, jamming and recording at the same time, and we made lots of world fusion music mixed with some electronic and that was one of my biggest projects but then I think I got sidetracked  by DJ’ing for a bit and hopefully I’m coming back to producing and it’s gonna be mostly electronic music, ambient and chill out music; downtempo.

F: On a final note, do you see DJ’ing as a career that you would like to pursue on a full-time basis or is it just more of a hobby for you at this time?

H: Well, it all starts as a hobby it’s becoming very, very serious for me, but I do think I’d like to focus on producing now, I want to create my own sounds and my own music. It’s been a pleasure mixing people’s music, but I think a good balance between the two, mixing your own and people’s music would be very satisfying for me and more interesting.

F: Great! Thank you Hadi.

H: Thank you.

Copyright © 2012 Frankie Diamond. All rights reserved. Excerpts of less than 200 words may be published to another site, including a link back to the original article. This article may not be reproduced in its entirety and posted to another site without the express permission of the author.

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OM Reunion Dazzles with Utopian Bliss

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OM Reunion Project is a gamechanger. Seriously. I don’t even know where to begin. It was absolutely fantastic! Without a doubt, ORP was one of the most beautiful festivals I have ever attended. Big ups to Tom for twisting my arm (read: non violent friendly persuasion) to come after I turned skittish and changed my mind at the last minute.

We spent one blissful week camping out in gorgeous Collingwood, Ontario, from June 19th to the 25th, in celebration of the summer solstice. I’d heard great things about OM, but refused to get my hopes up. “It’s like Club Med for hippies,” Tom postulated. Really now…I was a wee bit suspicious of hippie gatherings in the woods. After all, they might run out of food or something, right? I really didn’t think this was my kind of scene but decided to give it a whirl after it became apparent that two thirds of Kensington cool would disappear for a week.

After a scenic drive on a hot, sunny afternoon, we arrived at OM. As we pulled into the driveway, I spotted some rainbow children fresh from a swim, strolling about, smiling peacefully, while a naked bum flashed straight ahead to my left as its owner stepped into his pants. “Welcome to Om,” that act of casual nudity seemed to say. Indeed, nakedness was a natural state of being in these earthy surroundings. People were free to just let it all hang out without fear of reprisal or molestation. Though nudity was encouraged and embraced by the community at large, modesty prevailed throughout the festival. Why make things easier for the mosquitoes, eh?

With the help of our neighbours, Tom and I erected Chateau Bleu while rain threatened, thunder rolled, and bloodsuckers bled us in earnest. There appeared to be a few dozen tents with more to come on the weekend. Many had clever themes, such as “The Cozy Cactus.” Some revelers pimped their canvas to the max with handmade signs and coloured lights. One crew even built a treehouse for their tent, which made it easy to find ours from the main path. “Yeah, just turn right at the treehouse and you’ll see a huge blue tent with a ginormous tarp – can’t miss it!”

The beauty about spending a week at OM is you get the opportunity to explore acres of arable land, and bond with a community comprised of healers, teachers, massage therapists, ORP staff, psytrancers, hippies and ravers. All like minded souls seeking to transcend mundane reality through music, dance and psychedelics. As ORP’s welcome sign stated, “You Belong,” so I truly felt like I belonged to this colourful tribe of daytrippers. Seeing all the familiar faces from Kensington Market and the psytrance crew in this picturesque setting was like coming home. Pregnant mothers, children, families were all welcome. Different tribes from across the universe had all gathered here for this Lovefest. I left my cell phone in the car and never took it out again ‘til my camera ran out of juice. Time truly became irrelevant as seven daze and nights were compressed into one continuous stream of consciousness, ebbing and flowing to create one dynamic experience. Revelations became a part of my daily diet in addition to the vegan fare from OM’s kitchen. Although I’m not crazy about veganism, the food supply was adequate and I never went hungry. On the other hand, our carnivorous friends had to make the occasional trip into town for a steak as OM’s cuisine was seriously lean on protein. So for all you meat lovers considering a trip to ORP next year, make sure you bring along some beef jerky!

Ommmm the memories…of narrowly avoiding getting leeched in a murky pond, seeing the little bloodsucker swimming enthusiastically towards my leg as I bolted out, witnessing said bloodsucker flopping about on the mudbank, those rambunctious midnight drum circles, naked swimmers on a raft in sweltering 35 degree heat, river dipping with Sylvanna, Ian, Amy and Phil, getting drenched in a thunderous downpour while OMies hooted with joy and a naked hippie raced through the rain with a pack of delighted dogs, rusty orange skippers flitting through an early morning meadow, starting the day with a J and a brewsky watching the sun come up, the tantalizing taste of wild strawberries, strolling through superwarm woods at night without a jacket while music echoed in the distance. True, some nights were cold and challenging. Stumbling through the woods, stoned, with no flashlight is akin to begging for a blind date with a rock. True to form, I strayed away from the beaten path (illuminated with fairy lights, to boot) and took the road less traveled. Which meant I often found myself in a patch of inhospitable pine, batting away vindictive branches, wondering where the hell is my tent (by the way, those mini flashlights from Canadian Tire were a lifesaver – thanks Tom!). But nothing beats the sunrise viewed from a curtainless kybo overlooking the fields. Ahhhthe many blessings of OM. From the convivial generosity of joy dispensers to the carelessness of cavorting ravers, dropping goodies all over the ground, finding $20 was more than a stroke of luck. I considered it a just reward for all the hugs and smiles and good vibes shared with my fellow OMies. Hmmm…I could use it to buy one of Evil Wizard’s hellacious concoctions of dubious origin…. Actually, it went towards the purchase of, shall we say, medicinal mind medicine. Everyone unanimously agreed there was magic here in abundance. As a matter of fact, my volunteer shift date and time, which was inked on my wristband mysteriously vanished without a trace after my shift ended. So did Tom’s air mattress after a blissful afternoon by the pond…

Unexplained disappearances aside, OM is one of the safest, kindest festivals you will ever experience. It attracts an international audience, though the majority are based in Canada and the United States. Theft is rare as OMies sense instant karma wafting insidiously through the atmosphere. Don’t wanna mess with that. Stuff doesn’t really get stolen…just moved around, misplaced, borrowed, misappropriated. Wherever you come from, be prepared to lose something at OM, whether it be your wallet, inhibitions, or attachment to material possessions. Smiles are free and distributed copiously. Everyone smiles here. As a matter of fact, I smiled so much my face hurt. The beauty of the land and its gorgeous inhabitants provides plenty of room for the inward gaze. There is wisdom to be found in silence, especially at night. Anyone who’s been to the meadow and seen the fireflies winking in a fantastic display of bioluminescence can attest to that.

“If this is a dream, I don’t ever want to wake up,” I said to myself on Day 2. I thought one week was plenty of time to soak it all up, but Utopia soon came to an end in the blink of an eye. How could I keep this feeling alive in my heart? This feeling of peace, love and oneness with my surroundings? “Hold onto that feeling and don’t let go. Take OM with you and make it a reality,” said a wise comrade. If it’s one thing that OM Reunion Project has taught me, it’s that it is possible to create heaven on earth. Time to tune out the negativity and focus on creating sustainable communities based on harmonious balance with the environment. With just over 1,000 attendees, ORP embodies a gentle approach towards partying in the forest – eco-raving, if you will. This could easily be a much bigger event, but the cap on attendance ensures an intimate vibe is maintained throughout the festival.

Musicwise, it was a feast for the ears. During the week, there were drum circles and sporadic performances. I once spent several hours listening to some campers hopped up on shrooms giggling non-stop every minute (ear plugs are essential!). And then there was the “Untalent Show,” featuring a stellar line-up of, shall we say, untalented performers titillating the audience with bombastic displays of untalentness. Who could forget the off-key antics of the Ukeladies? Or the guy getting his pubes shaved (not to mention the dude who had a mankini skillfully sheared from his chesthair). And of course, the Shakespearean who made up for his “talented” recital by dropping his kilt upon request from the audience. What laid beneath was, like….super-talented. “You guys are a tough crowd!,” he exclaimed as the audience cheered its approval. A plethora of electronic sub-genres and live bands meant there was never a dull moment from Friday night onwards. Everything from dub, bass, techno, tech house, breaks, psytrance and more, ensured different tastes were all catered to. Outstanding sets by the likes of Brendan Lawless, Tom Kuo, Rollin’ Cash, Hadiman, Sara Dopstar, Transisco, Kadmon, d Boom, Soren Nordstrom, Gavin the Bass and more, made the weekend memorable. Catching Snappy Home Fry playing with an acoustic band at The Hive while I rolled around in the hay was sheer bliss. If you plan on attending ORP next year, I strongly suggest you go for a week (or longer) to get the full experience. You won’t regret it! When it comes to eco-raving,OM is where the heart is.  

Copyright © 2012 Frankie Diamond. All rights reserved. Excerpts of less than 200 words may be published to another site, including a link back to the original article. This article may not be reproduced in its entirety and posted to another site without the express permission of the author.