Adham Zahran is an artist from Egypt who has a fully formed, musical house sound that has landed on labels like Galaktika Records, Space Breaks and Neovinyl and picked up support from tastemakers like James Teej, DJ Nature, and Laurent Garnier.
His high quality locked grooves, melodic synths and old school flavours feature again in his latest release ‘Leaves EP’ on Trend Records. The ‘Leaves EP’ drops on the 14th May 2019 and is available to stream now.
1. Hi great to speak with you Adham, how are you doing today?
Hey guys I’m doing well thank you very much 🙂
2. You were born in Alexandria, Egypt. Can you tell us a little about your early musical experiences in your family home?
Well when I was young I used to listen to lots of 90’s music, my parents were really into old classic stuff like Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and ABBA.
“As I grew older I got more into deep house, disco and jazz like Jimpster, Max Graef and Move D.”
3. What were your biggest influences when you first got into electronic music?
When I first got into electronic music I used to listen to The Prodigy, Richie Hawtin, Kevin Saunderson and Frankie Knuckles, mostly house, minimal and techno. As I grew older I got more into deep house, disco and jazz like Jimpster, Max Graef and Move D.
4. Would you describe the differences between your Adham Zahran and Relic & Rarity aliases?
Well the productions in my name are mostly deep house, jazz and some analog house and techno. For my alias it’s a concept for the more niche and mellow side of house. It mostly contains lots of deep house and some jazz with vintage vocals and sweet chord progressions. It’s kinda for my calmer side of house music.
“Yeah that was sort of an idea that came up while I was connecting my charger. As I was working on the track it sounded really cool so I took it to the next level and said it would sound dope.”
5. We read an interesting feature on Scenenoise where you revealed a strange technique of recording clicks from your laptop charger for use in your Nervous Funk tune. Are ‘found sounds’ a common source of your inspiration?
Yeah that was sort of an idea that came up while I was connecting my charger. As I was working on the track it sounded really cool so I took it to the next level and said it would sound dope. So I recorded it and it turned out really nice. Usually ‘found sounds’ are not very common in my productions but that moment when it worked sounded special and turned out great.
6. Your forthcoming Trend Records EP has been announced for the 14th May featuring three of your originals. What is the story behind releasing on Alessio and Matteo Collina’s label?
I had just finished these and i sent them to Alessio and he really liked it, so we thought it would be great to be back on Trend with some dope deep house vibes for the summer. Alessio has a great ear for music so we instantly thought it would be a cool release for the label.
“In the studio for these I was thinking of making something really organic yet very raw with an old school approach.”
7. How did you tackle each track creatively in the studio, and was your approach different to previous productions?
In the studio for these I was thinking of making something really organic yet very raw with an old school approach. For ‘Leaves’ I wanted to make something housey with deep chord progressions and sound. As for ‘Monday Blues’ I wanted to make something really mellow and moody with an old school flavour, something to groove to yet also good for listening to at anytime of the day. ‘Rhode Funk’ is really stripped back and old school. I wanted to make something with a funk based theme which is mellow yet driving at the same time.
8. In October of 2018 you performed a live set at ‘Some Weekend Festival’ in Egypt. Firstly, how was the event, and could you also talk us through your live set up?
Yes the festival was cool not huge numbers, but good bookings. I played my live set on the beach that morning and it went down really dope. For my live set I use all original released and unreleased material, I use mostly controllers like Novation XL and Launch Pad with Ableton live. My setup is not that complicated, I tend to make things simple and focus more on the actual material that’s coming out of the speakers.
“When you’re playing for 3 hours or something it’s easier for me to play different styles. As for live, I tend to make the set smooth and condensed with a certain theme and concept.”
9. How does DJing compare to live performance?
Djing for me has always been easier firstly as you can really explore different territories. When you’re playing for 3 hours or something it’s easier for me to play different styles. As for live, I tend to make the set smooth and condensed with a certain theme and concept.
10. What are your essential pieces of studio gear, from plugins to hardware?
My studio is composed of an Alpha Juno 1, Nord Lead A1 and Korg monologue and some Plug In’s and a Focus Rite sound card. I don’t have that much gear but I always find a way to make good music.
“I’ve got some releases lined up for both digital and vinyl, an EP on Gent’s and Dandy’s records, another 3 track EP on Belguim’s Tentacle records, a VA vinyl on Lisztomania records and a future 4 track vinyl EP also on Lisztomania.”
11. What can we expect from Adham Zahran throughout the remainder of the year?
I’ve got some releases lined up for both digital and vinyl, an EP on Gent’s and Dandy’s records, another 3 track EP on Belguim’s Tentacle records, a VA vinyl on Lisztomania records and a future 4 track vinyl EP also on Lisztomania. As for playing live and djing I’m playing some gigs in Belgium in June and also London. Also, i’ll be busy as always in the studio making more tunes!
12. Is there anything else you would like to say?
Not much but thanks for the pleasant conversation 🙂
Adham Zahran’s ‘Leaves EP’ is available to stream now.