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Feature: Haze-M [Interview]

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Hailing from Tunisia, Haze-M has been leading the wave of nu-progressive producers this past year and has been dominating the Beatport charts in the process. His ideas are fresh, bold and exciting, which has lead to support from the worlds finest DJs. We caught up with him for an exclusive interview on the cusp of his Beatfreak Recordings debut.

Hi Hazem, thanks for joining us, tell us a bit about yourself, how did you discover electronic music and what led you down the path of wanting to be a producer and DJ?

Hey, thanks for the invite!

First of all I’m a computer geek. I did not come from any music background. I grew up listening to Arabic music, R&B, rock and roll, the usual. When I was young, I would try out any computer software I could get my hands on. The first experience I had with music software was on FruityLoops. (FL Studio). I didn’t know anything about electronic music, its styles or genres. I was just experimenting and making ideas. I was fascinated by the software, I had the ability to create sounds from my fingertips — it felt awesome! Really, that’s how it began. I didn’t plan to be a DJ or producer but it happened naturally!

Tell us about your record collection, where do some of your early influences lie?

My collection has a little bit of everything… funk, traditional arabic, rock music and of course the music I play for my events. When I started DJing & producing, I was really into Nu Disco. It’s what moved me at that time. I can definitely say I was very influenced by Nicolas Jaar and Stimming and enjoyed listening to their discography for personal enjoyment and inspiration in my production.

Your sound has gone through change the last couple of years, from deeper more tech house minded productions to something much more progressive minded and melodic, was this something that just happened naturally? What do you attribute the shift in sound to?

I think I had gotten bored with what I was doing then. In 2014 traveled to Russia to play at a music festival called Midsummer Night’s Dream. I had the opportunity to see Guti perform. I liked his energy and what he was playing— it inspired and changed me. I knew then it was time for me to try new things in my music. It took a few years for me to develop myself from tech-house genre to the progressive melodies that I produce now. I go with what I feel, and constantly challenge myself to try new things with music. It’s always evolving.

What do you want your music to convey to the listener and has that changed in the last few years?

When my listeners hear my sets or releases, my main goal is to move them. I want my listeners to find freedom and happiness from within. If they are at my event, I want people to dance, connect with me, connect with each other, and vibrate on the universal language of music. Nothing has changed in my music’s message. There are many people who have followed me my entire career and have grown with my music taste in performances and productions.

Tell us about Tunisia, how has living there shaped your sound and career?

Tunisia is a special place. I’ve spent all of my life here and its beautiful. It’s a simple life. It has allowed me a lot of free time to practice a hobby of my interest! When I first started out, there really wasn’t any local scene. This gave me the freedom to start a project from nothing.

You have an amazing new remix of Citizen Kain due out on Beatfreak, walk us through the production process on that one, how did you approach the remix?

When I hear an original track, it’s got to be a bomb for me. Citizen Kain is one of my favorite artists and I enjoy playing his music in my sets. When I heard “Bareknuckle” for the first time, I knew it would make damage on the dance floor. It’s a secret weapon for any DJ and I will definitely use it in my sets. I wanted to mirror his original mix with a track that is just as progressive and a bit dreamy. For me, the remix is like being in a movie. When he sent me the project, the first thing I loved was his solid baseline — and I took it from there!

What criteria to do look at when deciding on a remix project and what made this one you had to do?

I have to like the original track, a bombastic beat you can dance to, a melody with emotion, and a bit of unpredictability. The track has to move me and I want to it to give me a feeling to remember. When I heard “Bareknuckle” it was the groove and the bass that grabbed me. Citizen Kain’s original mix is definitely original. His productions have a very special and unique sound.

Most artists come across creative blocks from time to time, how do you break through when you get stuck on a project?

Music should be simple, something that comes naturally. When you get stuck with something simple, you should move on. Sometimes I delete things and start over. Sometimes I have to cancel remixes because I just don’t feel them anymore. My best tracks come with the least effort and are produced with my emotions. I believe producers must master simplicity.

You’ve performed all over the world, Ibiza, Russia, Romania, Germany, Turkey, Egypt, Netherlands, USA and more. What gigs hold the fondest memories for you looking back on everything?

Amsterdam was the first gig I ever had internationally, so I will always remember this one. I was just starting out when I played in Berlin… it opened my eyes and inspired me as a fresh artist.

Midsummer Night’s Dream in Russia is a huge highlight for me (as it influenced the change in my music). Flex Cop and I opened the festival’s ball, it was my first live set I ever performed. For the first time I had the opportunity to get a behind the scenes look and meet other famous artists.

I play in Romania, Turkey and Egypt frequently – and the crowd is always welcoming and gives me at “at home” feeling. They like me and I like them.

Really.., every location and event has special memories to me!

What country would you love to play in that haven’t had a chance to yet and why?

I don’t know… I like to travel, I want to do all of the countries in the world! But mostly, at this point in my career, I would love to play an event in India. I have been heavily influenced by India’s culture… I have gravitated towards using Indian vocals in my latest tracks. I feel the universe has naturally started to call my soul to that part of the world.

ADE is fast approaching, where can people expect to see you this year?

I will be playing on Beatfreak showcase at Club NL, alongside Betoko, Wally Lopez, D-Formation and other established artists. Otherwise I plan to revisit Russia and Egypt before the year’s ends.

What new music can we expect before the end of the year, anything you can share with us?

I have two upcoming EPs with Betoko. “Addictive Cycle” set to release on Beatfreak Recordings, October 8th, with remixes by Nick Muir and Morttagua. You can catch “Rebirth” on Zen Records on September 28th.

I am excited for my debut on Stil vor Talent and will be releasing “7 Days in Persia”, a collaboration done with Rafael Cerato, also on September 28th.

Haze-M’s remix of Citizen Kain is out now on Beatfreak Recordings, you can purchase the release here: http://bit.ly/2zvizFd

Release Promo: http://releasepromo.com

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