Interview: Abou Samra

Abou Samra is a DJ/Producer who has had a really strong 2017. With numerous gigs internationally and regular appearances at the Elrow parties around the world, he is becoming a name to be reckoned with amongst the scene. Now with an upcoming release ‘Aspic’ on Go Deeva, we sat down to talk about the release, and talk more about his exciting year…

Introduce yourself and give us some background for those who might not know.

My name is Ahmed Abou Samra, 26 years old, I am an Egyptian DJ that was born and raised in Egypt where my first interests in music came to place. We are a very percussive country, drums and dancing are an essential part of who we are from. Drumming on our school desks when we were kids to using drum synths as an adult, it all originates from the same place in my heart.

I moved to Barcelona 5 years ago and that was a changing point in my life. Back home I used to play private parties and after parties to experiment and find my direction and groove but moving to Barcelona made everything fall into perspective. Now I’m also helping the scene grow in my country and hoping between here and there.

Seeing legends perform live such Luciano and watching shows like elrow, really showed me how much you need to work on your technique and details to be a successful artist. Since then I’ve been working hard and learning and getting inspirations that led me to many places and cross paths with many artists around the world. Thankfully I’ve been able to perform at many of the stages that once were only an objective and a dream for me.

How has your year been, what’s good, what’s bad? What sticks out in your mind as a highlight?

This year has been great, from hosting Elrow here in Egypt for the 4th time to being able to play at Pacha Ibiza, Movement Festival in Croatia last summer and many other gigs internationally, I really cant ask for more. Plus all of that, I’ve had some of my music released on Go deeva, Lapsus, & Elrow … So yeah a lot of things are to highlight this year 🙂

Tell us about the track you had on the elrow compilation. Was it made to be heard at an elrow party? Do you work that way?

Elrow have always been an inspiration to me and it’s quite a privilege to be able to release music on their renowned label. I’ve always been astounded by their productions and vibe and when I was asked to make a track I automatically knew the direction. So you might say I was inspired by that, when in the studio. I usually look for inspirations within me for my music and releases, so finding inspiration for this one was easy as I know the vibe by heart.

What gear do you use in the studio? Hardware or software and why?

I love most of the ​Rolland Stuff, I use my Roland TR-8 rhythm composer for my beats along with Ableton Live as my DAW. As for the rest of my setup, sound wise I just upgraded my krk’s to the 3-way Adam a77x Studio Monitors and​ the​ Motu soundcard. It took me years to develop my ears. I listen to other producers and ​read plenty of tutorials on​line​, there is also a​ ​lot of trial and error involved.

You are formally trained on certain instruments right? Does that help you at all when making dance music?

No, but lately I’ve been taking some courses for some instruments and I’m working on to pushing my abilities as a producer and artist to the maximum and to do that you must be able to push boundaries with instruments and not just software and synths.

You played at elrow a lot. What is it like playing such a colourful and carnival like party?

Simply THE BEST.​

You also have an EP coming up on the Go Deeva Records label right? What inspired or influenced the tracks on that one?

Yes, really excited for that.

I have been lately moving towards a more groovy and ​percussion​ direction, because of the sound played recently in my Anthems night. ​I’m positive a lot of inspiration came from that. Other than that, I am also very pumped to see Stas Drive and Vidaloca remix tracks on the release 🙂

We see that your Anthems night in Egypt is really making some headlines there, Can you tell us about that ?

With Anthems, we present our own Audio & Visual concepts to take our guests on a well prepared musical and conceptual journey. It mainly takes place at smaller venues to keep the experience intimate and special and it’s my way of conveying my directions to the fans and feeling them talk back through their reactions on the dance floor. This season we’re changing the strategy a bit and inviting DJ’s from many different places.

What else have you got coming up/are you working on?

We’re planning a middle eastern tour the end the year, I will be playing at Lebanon, Jordan, Dubai and more. Also I’m really glad to be ending this year with 2 really special closing sets alongside Damian Lazarus and Nic Fancuili with Egypt’s #1 event organizer ByGanz.

Other than that, I’m working on much more music for 2018. So stay tuned!

Have you been a good boy? What do you want for Christmas?

I try my best to be a nice guy. It’s been a busy year and I’d like to spend some time with my family and friends this Christmas as I have not been around lately, plus an iPhone X would be nice (Thanks Santa) or (Any of my friends reading this).. 😉

Abou Samra’s ‘Aspic’ EP is out on December 11th on Go Deeva. Preorder here.