Morroccan-born DJ and producer Mednas has spent over a decade familiarizing himself with the electronic music scene by spinning around the world. He sat down with Joonbug to discuss house music over some hookah on Lincoln Road, and gave us the scoop on how he came to be resident for LIV Miami, one of the world's most lucrative nightclubs.
How long have you been DJing and producing?
Mednas: I’ve been DJing for almost 16 years now, since ’96. Producing, for the past six years.
What kind of music were you into when you first began producing?
Mednas: When I got into DJing I was listening to all kinds of music, which is good for house music because house is a combination of all kinds of music. It's still house, but you can incorporate different sounds from different styles—disco, funk, whatever you want. I go with the crowd.
What do you find to be the biggest difference in the DJ world compared to when you first started spinning?
Mednas: Basically, the radio is doing the job that DJs used to do before. Although now dance music is becoming really big, especially here in the US; now the DJs are producers too, who make the tracks which get played over the radio. So it’s a back-and-forth between the DJ and the radio.
Only a couple years after moving to Miami, you got a call from world-famous artist Erick Morillo asking you to come play at Arkadia and LIV. How did that friendship spark?
Mednas: We met before but never talked about business, and then when he decided to open his party he needed a fresh DJ, the new guy in town, and that happened to be me at that time.
LIV is one of the world’s top nightclubs and the dream club of many DJs. What do you like most about working there?
Mednas: Everything. The staff, the people I work with…it’s like family. Everybody does his job as an entertainer. I’ve worked in clubs where the managers were very cold with the staff and vice versa, and that creates a bad environment. But at LIV everybody is into it, doing their job and partying at the same time. That’s how it should be.
With EDM becoming so big in America, what are some trends you’ve been noticing among different crowds and artists?
Mednas: The young crowd likes a really noisy sound, which is why you have these new producers like Zedd, Porter Robinson, Nicky Romero…their sound is very aggressive. DJs now have become like rockstars.
Would you consider yourself a new-school or an old-school DJ?
Mednas: I prefer vinyls but now it’s difficult to have them. Now I DJ with a USB but I still use the decks to beat-match. I still feel like I’m DJing with vinyls, just carrying less stuff.
What do you do in your off time?
Mednas: When I’m not DJing I’m producing. I barely have a day off…if I take maybe one day off I try to do nothing. But mostly I’m in the studio or DJing.
Who is your biggest critic?
Mednas: Mostly the fans. Those are the people that follow you and support you. Also artists that I look up to—Eric Morillo, Swedish House Mafia, the big guys that I DJ with.
Do you ever get jittery before a show?
Mednas: Never. My first event was playing a music festival in front of 30,000 people. I thought I was going to get very nervous but when I got onstage I got this adrenaline rush—I was so excited and happy jumping with the crowd that I wasn’t intimidated. You get into it and you keep on going.