’The Music Ninja: DJ AA Guest Mix (Deep House)’
’The Music Ninja: DJ AA Guest Mix (Downtempo)’

Frequent followers of the Chill Dojo will have seen the name of DJ AA popping up a lot recently, and for good reason. After his sensational bootleg of No Diggity and Bondax charmed us with its soulful style, his brand of super chill edits have been a regular feature in the weekly playlist. As downtempo production continues to evolve and audiences begin to crave these sounds more and more, he’s shown he’s got quite a good ear for quality chill music, and that’s something we can definitely dig. He’s put together two exclusive mixes for The Music Ninja to prove just that, so hit that play button and read on below as we formerly introduce you to DJ AA.

TMN: Let’s kick things off with a bit of an intro, tell me a bit about growing up in your home town and early music influences.

AA: Growing up in Oman in the Middle East I was always surrounded by unbelievable nature from beach to mountains to sand dunes, we have it all. I have always been obsessed with all kinds of music but it wasn’t till around 2003 when a good friend of mine exposed me to house music and everything changed. Songs like ‘Madan’ (Martin Solveig), ‘Summer Moon’ (Africanism) & ‘Your Body’ (Tom Novy) made me want to become a better DJ.

TMN: What were you doing before music, what made you take the step to take it up as a career?

AA: I started DJing in highschool (very poorly, with 2 discmen and a mixer – just pressing play and cutting in the next track), eventually I got myself a set of proper decks and mixer and really started to learn the art of mixing. When I got to University in Boston I would make mix CDs for friends and eventually I had an opportunity to play at a club. When I moved back to Oman in 2009, I stopped DJing completely – Joined my family business and became “serious” in life. I would share some mixes online every other month but that was the extent of it. At the end of 2012 – a hotel in Oman, The Chedi Muscat, approached me to help change the music at the property. I used to mix mostly electro house but my tastes had changed and by the time I started working with The Chedi I was mostly into Deep House and some Downtempo Chill music. I still work with my family business and I am doing music on the side.

TMN: So what is the music scene like back home?

AA: Oman is a small country and we have never had access to big DJs or artists. People have to go to nearby cities like Dubai to be able to see big artists, however, thanks to the internet and social media people are aware here and are craving a better nightlife scene. At The Chedi Muscat we are trying to improve the scene by providing a venue that plays unique music.
TMN: Tell me about some of the venues you’ve played at, and your favorite one.

AA: I have been lucky enough to play at some great venues like Amika & Aura in London, Prive in Mumbai and Manre in New Delhi, however, my current residency has to be my favorite – The Long Pool Cabana at The Chedi Muscat. The pic below should be enough to explain why.


TMN: What’s been the highlight of your journey so far, and what’s a current goal you’re working towards?

AA: The highlight for me has definitely been the response I have been getting for my mixes, its unbelievable for me to hear some of the comments people have been making. For me its all about sharing music that I love and knowing that the people listening love it just as much as I do! I will be going to Singapore this weekend to DJ at Bacchanalia for F1 Weekend, I will also be DJing at a Media Suite on the track which is definitely another highlight for me. A goal I am working towards for next summer is to be able to play at beach clubs in Europe – somewhere like Ibiza, Marbella or St Tropez would be great!
TMN: What is it about chill music that you love, and which artists are you watching closely?

AA: Pop music has become all about the Bass, and there is only so much you can take in normal life! Chill music is the only escape – I think that is one of the reasons people enjoy my mixes. I love two different kinds of chill music – there is the downtempo kind (that takes its style from funk/soul music or even hip hop) and the chilled out deep house that I play in my late lounge mixes. For downtempo chillout I love the work of Akshin Alizadeh, Kygo and ofcourse Bondax. For my late lounge style – its all about the sax – Bakermat & Robin Schulz are definitely high up on my list of great producers, also I think EFIX is good name to look out for in the future he has some fantastic productions – his latest track ‘Wild Boy’ is being premiered in my deep house mix for The Music Ninja and will be released next week.

TMN: Alright, so give us your top 3 chill tracks. One from this year, one from the past 5 years, and one that will never get old.

AA: For this year – Open (Ryan Hemsworth Remix) – Rhye

’Rhye – Open (Ryan Hemsworth Remix)’

5 years ago – You Got The Love (XX Remix) – Florence & The Machine

’The XX – You Got The Love (Florence And The Machine cover)’

One that will never get old – Breathe Me (Mylo Remix) – Sia

’Sia – Breathe Me (Mylo Remix)’

TMN: Ok now for some quick fun questions.
You have to come up with a unique genre name for your style of music, what is it?

AA: This is a tough one – At The Chedi we have been working with labeling our downtempo mixes that are featured mostly at The Serai Pool as “Serai Chillout” and our deep house mixes that have been playing at The Long Pool are being labelled as “Late Lounge”

TMN: You’re stuck at an airport for over 3 hours, what do you do to pass the time?

AA: I would make a 3 hour mix for my Soundcloud page!

TMN: What’s the one song that you would never attempt to remix?

AA: I would never attempt to remix my own remix! Everything is fairplay – I love music and my favorite part about making mash ups is making two or three songs that you never imagined together work together.

TMN If you could bring back one music artist from the grave to work with on a new track, who would it be?

AA: Bob Marley or Notorious B.I.G. – both of them had amazing lives but one can only imagine what they could have done had they lived longer.

TMN: What’s the one food you miss the most when you’re away from home?

AA: I am a big foodie, love trying new things when I am in new places – so I don’t really miss the food from home.
TMN: Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions, and we look forward to what you come up with next!

Stream the mixes above and check out the rest of his handiwork on Soundcloud.

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