When it comes to making a mark on the scene, the 22-year-old Malaysian Hard Trance Artist & DJ Yusef Kifah shows no signs of stopping, slowing down, or shying away.
Despite show and tour cancellations during this whole pandemic, Yusef Kifah persevered with virtual sets and his monthly Evolution Radioshow alongside charting thrice in the Beatport Top 100 charts in 2020 with three separate releases on acclaimed international labels.
While the majority of electronic music artists were affected by the lockdown last year, Yusef continues to receive support from many DJs across the globe in radio shows and podcasts with his releases; Evolution, a remix of Manian's Ravers Fantasy, and Bass Agents collaboration World.
Now with a fresh new track released (23 July 2021) on highly acclaimed UK label Tidy Trax's trancie-ier imprint Tidy Two, Energy (Feel What I’m Feeling, Yusef is hoping to reinvigorate his listeners’ spirits to always remain proactive. With the pandemic still overshadowing the nightlife and events scene here in Malaysia, Yusef wants to inspire people to feel what he’s feeling, Energy, “the key to keeping things going no matter what, as there is only one way forward”, as he puts it.
Tidy Two has been an inspiration to Yusef’s early days of being an artist. He’s always loved the releases from artists like Technikal, Nicholson and NG Rezonance since his teenage years, now feeling accomplished to be a part of the label with his latest release.
We take some time to catch up with Yusef just as the release is confirmed and in anticipation of the next episode of his EVOLUTION Radio Show.
You've been in the scene for more than a decade since you were barely into your teens. Where and how did you start this musical journey?
I used to play the guitar when I was much younger and went on to produce my own electronic music at the age of 11 with Garageband. This was after I was exposed to the timeless dance classic, "Ravers Fantasy" by Manian aka Tune Up!.
(Ed note: Congratulations. You've now even officially remixed the track. BRAVO!!!
Why did you choose this genre, how do you deliver it, and what is your vision (global) and mission (local) as a Hard Trance artist?
Hard Trance has always been the subgenre that speaks to my soul. Trance music as a whole has always been about the journey and flow of a track, though my signature sound has always been about more energy, edge and euphoric elements. My vision is to reintroduce and redefine the Hard Trance genre to appeal to the younger generation of electronic music lovers. I also hope to collaborate with more local artists and solidify the community here in Malaysia.
Where was your first appearance and what was it like?
While I’ve played for several high school shows before I turned 18, my first professional gig was in 2017 at KL Live for Vision. It was definitely a great experience to play at such an iconic venue and to share stages with major Trance acts.
When did you start recording music? What was your first release and how many releases have you had so far in this last decade?
Making music was merely a hobby until I signed my first record deal when I was 13, which was when I decided that I wanted to pursue this full-on. This was in 2013 with a Trance tune titled Vortex. To date, I’ve had many releases across the spectrum of Trance, Hard Trance and Hard Dance.
How have you been coping this past year and a half?
I truly enjoy making music and content. While the pandemic has impacted my usual shows at clubs and events across the country, it was important for me to stay active in the scene and to consistently communicate with my fans. With my triad of releases last year, all three hit the global Top 100 Beatport charts, which was awesome.
We've heard something about your Mirage Tech campaign with Inquisitive and Toshrock from Singapore and Kild from Indonesia. Tell us more about it.
Bridging cultural gaps is the way forward. I am proud to represent Malaysia in this campaign among influential artists that share the same vision as me. Fashion and electronic music are opening more doors to endless possibilities. This synergy creates more creators, talents and creative people to coexist in the entertainment industry and I think Good Vibes Festival is a great example.
With your new release, what inspired you to release Energy?.
While the word “Energy” resonates a lot with who I am as an individual, Energy (Feel What I’m Feeling) is a culmination of what I want listeners to feel, mainly to keep being proactive no matter what. I feel that it's important to seize the day and live the moment at your best, in which I hope the track translates sonically to listeners.
Your Radio Show EVOLUTION has been going for 31 months now. How did it begin and what were your original intentions and objectives when you started it. What was your inspiration?
EVOLUTION Radioshow started out as an idea by my manager to give listeners tastes of what a Yusef Kifah set sounds like. This developed to become a platform for local and international artists to showcase their sounds, focused on the genres of Trance, Hard Trance and Hard Dance. I’ve always enjoyed Tiesto’s weekly Club Life podcast since I was young, especially with how his style diversified over the years.
What can we expect for the upcoming show?
The 32nd episode of EVOLUTION Radioshow will be nothing short of pure futurism, energy and euphoria. As always, we will be having yet another “Extra Dose”, another hour of a guest mix from a selected guest artist, totalling two hours of music. (Just confirmed, KILD will be guest).
What next for Yusef Kifah, for the rest of the year?
As I was pretty occupied with completing tertiary studies in the past months, I'm now finally done. So with that, expect more Hard Trance and Hard Dance bangers, exciting social media content as well as live sets. Let’s see how things go!
Next up on E32, to be broadcast on Sunday 1 August 2021, a special guest mix comes from KILD (Indonesia). Check out Yusef Kifah's youTube.
You can also find Yusef Kifah on all other social media platforms
Apple Music: Yusef Kifah on Apple Music
Beatport: Yusef Kifah on Beatport