DJ UNSEEN Covers IMT Magazine’s Festive Edition.

IMT: Hello UNSEEN, please tell us about yourself.

DJ UNSEEN: This is DJ UNSEEN, International professional DJ and music producer, I'm Lebanese, passionate about music from different countries and different genres. 

IMT: Tell us about your journey, how did you start and how long have you been producing/DJing?

DJ UNSEEN: My DJ career started when I was 18 years old, I was working in a small club in my area and I had a chance to start learning and practicing on the equipment we had at that club, after I became a professional DJ I attended a music production school and learned how to create my own music. In summary, that is 13 years of Djing Experience in different types of clubs, and 4 years of music production. 

IMT: How did you come about the name DJ UNSEEN?

DJ UNSEEN: Well this is a funny story, I got invited to play at an event that have a lot of politicians and powerful people, so for security reasons they put me in a room away from the crowd and I was totally Unseen, to be honest I wasn't happy with that at all and I remember that night when I got back home and started telling the story to my friends, and how they started making fun of me and calling me DJ Unseen, I was so angry of that nickname in the beginning but now I thank them for that. 

IMT: For many people who don’t know, who are you behind your brand DJ UNSEEN?

DJ UNSEEN: Behind the crazy DJ Unseen, you will find a very calm person who likes to spend his free time chilling in a calm atmosphere listening to chill music.

IMT: Describe a typical DJ Unseen show or performance in three words?

DJ UNSEEN: Energetic, crazy, innovative, full of chemistry and engagement. (well, that's how my friends describe it) 

IMT: Why did you choose to work as a DJ?

DJ UNSEEN: Because it's the best job ever Man! Ok, beside that I'm passionate about music, DJ is the controller of the whole event, the event starts when the DJ takes over and it finishes when the DJ stops, you decide the mood of the event, you control the people, you make them dance, you make them move, vibe, have fun... you give them what they come for. 

IMT: How did you learn to DJ?

DJ UNSEEN: I learned by my self, I was practicing on DJ equipment every day after my work as I mentioned before, plus watching a lot of videos of DJs playing music and I was attending many events and my only focus was on the DJs how they play, the creativity they use to make a crazy set. Later on I started making connections with other DJs who also helped me with a lot of information and skills.

IMT: What kind of things are inspiring your style and song choices at the moment?

DJ UNSEEN: A good DJ on stage should know exactly what his crowd like and what makes them feel the vibe, so what inspires my choices is to see my crowd going crazy, dancing, reacting to the song I'm playing during the event. 

IMT: What do you personally consider to be the incisive moments in your career?

DJ UNSEEN: My focus now and especially in Nigeria is to share my mixes, my music and my DJ performances all over the country. I believe that making my playlists, and my music reach everyone, will make them and me happy and satisfied!

IMT: What’s your creation/creative process in the studio or when you're cooking a mix?

DJ UNSEEN: When I'm preparing a mix, I imagine myself taking the listener to a music trip starting with a low beat music and start increasing the mood slowly using my own mashups and creative mixing skills. You know life is a rhythms of ups and downs, so is music. 

IMT: You are a great Dj in Lagos, Nigeria, what brought you here? Could it be your love for beautiful Nigerian ladies? lol.

DJ UNSEEN: Last year in 202, one of my old colleagues moved to Nigeria as a manager in a club and because he trusts my work, and he knows that I'm an international DJ who is familiar with almost all the music genres, he knew that even if I'm not Nigerian I will do good with Nigerian vibes and that's what happened! 

DJ UNSEEN: To be honest with you I'm not looking for love now, I'm focusing on my career but Nigerian ladies are beautiful, kind and lovely, so who knows maybe one of them will steal my heart.

IMT: What was your introduction to Afro music when you first came to Nigeria?

DJ UNSEEN: I was playing Afro music before I even came to Nigeria so I was familiar with it, but when I came here, Nigeria gave me a chance to meet and listen to more local artists and helped me more to know what Nigerian people like to hear, and what makes them happy during the show. 

IMT: How did you spend your lockdown/pandemic time and what’s the most surprising thing you realized  during lockdown period? 

DJ UNSEEN: I was doing online live performances in a lot of platforms and social media, so the surprise was that I didn't imagine someday I will be entertaining people from my bedroom! 

IMT: What did you accomplish before the entertainment world began to open up again?

DJ UNSEEN: As I mentioned before, I finished my production courses almost before the pandemic in 2018, and I had the chance to produce my first official track I called it ''The Rise''. It's a deep house music and after that I did a Remix for the famous music track ''The Lonely Shepherd''.

IMT: There’s so much music out there, is it even possible to build meaningful long-term relationships with a particular track or album? 

DJ UNSEEN: Absolutely! And this is why till now as a DJ whenever I change my music playlist there's a lot of songs, I never removed old songs from the playlist and till now we do oldies night events, and there's a lot of music produced these days trust me you will keep listening to it even after many decades.

IMT: What’s your main DJ set-up and why do you use that? Anything you’ve added recently?

DJ UNSEEN: When I'm DJing I like to go old school, using my hands and my ears only. 2 CDJs and separated mixer, no visual things at all, this is the original set up for professional DJs, but unfortunately here in Nigeria, DJ schools are focusing more on teaching DJs using laptops and DJ controllers because it's easier and you don't need a lot of session to teach that, so DJs are not using their ears anymore, they only see the tracks and follow the tags on their laptops. Now, I have to play on these controllers because no one knows how to use the professional CDJ equipment. 

IMT: What was the scene like in the country where you grew up?

DJ UNSEEN: I grew up in a country that never sleep, alot of entertainment places, and different music genres, Electronic music for sunset, deep house music on the rooftops, RnB house and local music in Clubs, and techno for the after party so the  nightlife in my country is like a music trip. 

IMT: What do you have planned, musically, for the near future?

DJ UNSEEN: I'm planning to start my own DJ school to teach DJs and make them professionals, teach them how to make their own music and create their own vibes. 

IMT: What is it like where you’re living? How do you spend most of your free time?

DJ UNSEEN: I lived in a country that the sea is so close to the mountains so I spend my free time chilling at the beach or in a tent with a fire at the mountain. 

IMT: Are there any rules when it comes to producing or DJing?

DJ UNSEEN: Almost all the songs with their different genres have the same rules for  example, every song has an intro, verse, pre chorus, chorus, bridge and outro. Even if the song is just Instrumental or vocals. You need to follow these rules when you're producing a song and you need to use these rules while your mixing. For example, when you're mixing two songs you need to use the chorus of the current song to mix it with the intro of the next song so you keep your mix on the same level, clean without noises and cutting. 

IMT: What is your current afro music vibe or what genre are you feeling currently?

DJ UNSEEN: Now I'm focusing on Amapiano music and soon I will drop my first Amapiano track. 

IMT: What’s your main studio set-up? Any secret weapon that contribute to your sound?

DJ UNSEEN: In my studio I focus more on Softwares, because nowadays with technology all the sounds you need are in softwares like Ableton, FL Studio and Logic Pro, these are music production softwares and inside these softwares you can link a lot of VSTs softwares that provide you the sounds you need for your music, so you don't need to go and record the sounds by your self anymore for example if you need a bird sound you don't need to go and record it, you just need to get the right software for these sounds, and for the instrument sounds, you just need a keyboard midi controller to play any instrument you want. 

IMT: What is your vibe like when you're playing in front of live audiences? 

DJ UNSEEN: It's the best feeling ever, hundreds of people surrounding you, dancing singing and vibing over the music you're playing, your adrenaline become so high and whenever the audience is engaging on what are you playing, you become more energetic and you want to give them more and more. 

IMT: What are currently your main challenges as a DJ? 

DJ UNSEEN: A lot of people in our community don't believe that being a DJ is a real job, and they don't believe in the continuity of this job for your future. I faced this in my community, so my only challenge as a DJ is to keep doing this as I'm getting older, because it's something I love to do, and I don't feel like doing something else at all.

IMT: How do you stay up to date with the latest music trends?

DJ UNSEEN: Today, with all these social media platforms, you just need to follow the artists and the right pages that provide the music you want, so you get notified whenever someone is dropping a new song or a new hit, that's simple.

IMT: What techniques do you use to engage listeners?

DJ UNSEEN: Always surprise your listeners by giving them what they like to hear, in a creative and energetic way. 

IMT: You’re a producer and a DJ, where do you feel most comfortable? In the studio or on stage?

DJ UNSEEN: Well it's completely different situations, because when I'm in the studio I'm not live, so the stress is less, you can take your time by preparing and fixing mistakes, but on stage the situation is harder, you're live you have to think quick and act quicker, no time for mistakes. But for me, I like to spend more time on stage even if it's more stressful. 

IMT: What do you usually start with when preparing for a set?

DJ UNSEEN: Well, first of all I set the full image of the mix, like is it one genre mix or party mix including different genres, then I try to define the full time of the mix and in the end, I start preparing the playlist I need to use for the mix.

IMT: What have you learned since you started out as a producer/DJ?

DJ UNSEEN: Djing and music production give you a lot of knowledge in technology, you discover almost all the languages, and by the time, you know what people like to listen to in different situations because in every situation you face in your life there's a specific music for that. 

IMT: Name three records that have influenced your life musically, and tell us why?

DJ UNSEEN: "Flux & lola - Romance"

This is one of the records that makes me say I want to be a musician and music producer, the violin sound with the beat makes me love music, and that song made the Violin my best instrument and if I regret something, I regret that I didn't learn how to play this beautiful instrument. 

"The last of the mohicans soundtrack" 

The performing and the story of this soundtrack makes me realize that music in the answer to everything in this life. 

"The lonely shepherd soundtrack"

The first thing I wanted to do after I learned music production is to create something related to this soundtrack and I did it. I made a  tropical house version of this track. 

IMT: What skills do you think producers/DJs need to be successful?

DJ UNSEEN: The only physical skills you need for Djing is to have fast hands, because you're dealing with an equipment that have a lot of buttons and you need to use these buttons every time you mix a song, and you have a short time for that. And for music production, you need a big knowledge in softwares and instruments because every song is a mix of many other instruments.

IMT: Are there any producers/DJs on or off the scene that you look up to or who inspire you?

DJ UNSEEN: When I started my career I was obsessed in DJ Tiesto and I used to watch all his videos while he's performing, he inspired me back then to go with this career and to learn more about DJ and music production. 

IMT: What would you say is one of the most important skills someone must have to be a good DJ?

DJ UNSEEN: To be a good DJ you need to listen and discover all the music genres, because every music genres teaches you something about music in general, and if you stick with one genre I don't think you will be a successful DJ 

IMT: Where do you see yourself heading next with your hustle? 

DJ UNSEEN: Since I came to Nigeria, I discovered something new here and I liked the experience and this good experience makes me want to go and discover more countries and more music. 

IMT: What advice would you give to your past self?

DJ UNSEEN: Believe in yourself, do what you love and not what others want, because it's your life not other's life. 

IMT: When not making music, where can we find you?

DJ UNSEEN: Chilling on the beach or camping in a top of a beautiful mountain. 

IMT: Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to be DJ?

 DJ UNSEEN: Go for it, take your time with it by learning practicing and discovering new music, and the most important thing, find the best school or the best teacher who will make you Professional. 

IMT: Thank you so much! We really appreciate you spending your time to share your story and hustle with us.

 DJ UNSEEN: You are welcome always. Thanks!

Follow DJ UNSEEN on instagram: @djunseen

Listen to DJ UNSEEN mixes: 

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Cover star: @djunseen

EIC: @anovibes

Editor: @chisom_olivia

Photos: @djunseen

Graphic Designs: @imtmedia

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