He's been laying down the beats from home since June this year on a special celebration in conjunction with his 20 years of Djing. Along with many guests from across the Malaysian underground spectrum of electronica, Alam has already presented 19 different shows this year, all from the home studio setup.
Coming up this Saturday: Session 20. The Finale. Tune in this Saturday 19 December 2020 at a special time from 5 pm onwards. Please check Facebook for details, updates. More plus past gigs at https://www.youtube.com/
We catch up with Alam just before this Saturday's Finale to find out how the year has been for him .. how he's been coping with the year and what he has planned for the future, and what he may (or may not) let on about this Saturday's broadcast.
“This year has actually been somehow tough and challenging for me. I’ve been trying to keep myself busy with all kinds of music-related things to do,” Alam says.
“Throughout the year I was asked to construct a couple of mixes, I did one for Mixmag Asia, W Kuala Lumpur, and Don’t Panic Disco, which was my first ever all disco mix, while I still have plenty of other mixes that I need to complete soon. So apart from these podcasts, I’ve been spending most of the year focused on my livestreams that I broadcast from my home.”
How has the last six months been with your Live Sessions? What was your aim when you started these Sessions?
The aim was to celebrate my 20 years of DJing. Initially, my main plan was to schedule shows across the region with a 20 year's branded campaign. My partner Kenny had just started planning a tour for me in Asia, but unfortunately, COVID-19 began its worldwide pandemic. I came up with a totally new solution where I would invite a guest or 2 and host 20 live streams in conjunction with celebrating 20 years in the industry. It’s been really great and sometimes tiring too. I’ve been going at it since June this year right until now.
What can you tell us about the upcoming Finale for your Live Sessions?
Well, it’s a surprise for you to watch and find out haha. All I can tell you is that Effilex Productions will film the finale. The Effilex Crew have been involved in the nightlife scene for quite some time now, and they’ve done several superb videos for W Kuala Lumpur and The Iron Fairies, to name a few. They were also involved with the videography of last year’s infamous Circo Loco event. Therefore, this finale will not be filmed at the usual indoor console of my house; the shoot will take place outdoors with amazing scenery during sunset. Do watch Session20 on Saturday 19 December 2020, from 5pm-7pm (GMT+8).
What and who has been your inspiration in your music?
What inspires me is seeing newer DJs that have a very driven motivation in this music industry. It’s what keeps me going and enjoying what I do. I’m a very versatile DJ, I search for every kind of sounds and music styles that come from different corners of all sorts of genres, as long as I know the sound will fit in with what I play. Sometimes even when they don’t fit in, that’s what makes it more interesting when I challenge myself in combining these weird sounds to go well with any kind of genre. I get inspired every time I experience something new, it could be a newer DJ that gave his input on why he plays with a fast bpm, or it could be from a more experienced DJ explaining the importance of flow in a set, all of which I already knew all these myself, but it's when viewing it from a different perspective makes it much inspiring. All in all, its what you learn daily and what makes you realize the changes in yourself is the best inspiration I reckon.
Over the past 20 years, what has been some highlights as a DJ and with Ohrwurm, Substance, Kyo, OMP etc..
Some highlights of my 20 years as a DJ are the number of acts I’ve had the opportunity to play alongside, with names such as Joris Voorn, Dubfire, Stacey Pullen, Robert Hood, amongst countless others. Although it was the times when Seth Troxler, Jamie Jones, and Guti all complimented the warmup set I did for them, this was a true highlight for me for sure.
Other notable highlights include my feature on Mixmag Asia, Data Transmission, Frisky Radio, Kiss FM Australia, and for 2 years in a row, I was selected to represent Malaysia at Epizode Festival in Vietnam alongside some of the biggest names in the world.
Besides being a DJ, my other key moments were booking and showcasing artists such as Rebolledo, Michael Mayer, Amelie Lens, Robag Wruhme, Gerd Janson, Stimming under the Ohrwurm banner. Being able to book them and present their music here in Kuala Lumpur is definitely a major highlight.
What plans from now on for you? What can we expect from you coming up for the rest of the year and into next year?
I still have many more podcast mixes that I have to submit. I have a few unfinished music productions that have been on hold too. The live streams take a lot of time really, although it isn’t draining because every session keeps me more and more excited. The lineups make each week interesting where I have the challenge of playing beside different talents each week. People think that hosting live streams is simple, like just plugging in a USB and play; I do all the setting up myself, adjusting camera positions, connecting all tech equipment and cables, while conducting soundchecks before each show. I even design the flyers myself, promoting on social media and WhatsApp, monitoring the live streams while also monitoring the DJs in the console, basically everything from start to end.
How do you feel about how the CMCO is progressing regarding the music industry in Malaysia as a whole?
I think overall, the music industry is still connecting well with the punters. There are a lot of live streams, e-festivals, amongst others that are happening. Besides my live streams, there’s also Roshan’s Saturday Selects, while VoidRealm hosts their digital live show with visuals & DJs, Terence C with his Movement Control show on Mixcloud, elmnts virtual music festival, which is happening this 26 December and not forgetting the Malaysia Book of Records’ 228 hours live stream that took place not so long ago and many more to mention.