DJ Shakir is a name synonymous with the music scene in Karachi. As one of Karachi’s most prominent DJ’s he has experience DJ-ing at a vast variety of events, be it summer soirees or a trendy spin class at Core. So we asked him to make us the ultimate playlist this summer. Scroll down to hear it, and get to know a little bit more about him while you’re at it!
How did it all start for you?
It all started for me when I was very young. I was inseparable from the first Walkman I had. But it was during my teenage years that I learned about DJing and mixing different tracks together. The rest, as we say, is history.
What are some of the most important pieces of gear for you?
It would have be my headphones ‘Pioneer HDJ-X-7’. Never underestimate the use of good headphones! Apart from that I would say a good DJ can use any type of gear they want, it doesn’t need to be fancy or expensive. It comes down to your music selection and how you put it out to your audience that matters!
What were some of the challenges you face as a DJ?
A challenge I faced was giving up the idea that I could play the kind of music I liked at the gigs I got. I learnt that one has to read the crowd or client and see what kind of music suits them, which could be Hip Hop, Bollywood or Top 40s. So you must be up to date on all kinds of music and be ready to cater to all kinds of people. Getting ahold of a good vendor was also a challenge. The sound must be of good quality as it will effect your performance and you need to make sure it is set up to the clients liking and on time. It’s also important that it doesn’t cost that much so the client doesn’t mind paying for it.
Where do you see the music scene in Pakistan heading in the next 5-10 years?
The scene in Pakistan has changed quite a bit. Before we only had a few bands and singers who were famous and there was only pop or rock music. Now we have all kinds of independent artists blossoming in our country. From rappers to experimental electronic music… Pakistan has come along way when it comes to music and I’m proud to say that our country has a lot of talent out there. However, our artists do not get the exposure they need to grow, as we have been very closed off from the international music scene. There have not been many international artists coming to perform in our country and there haven’t been many artists from our country performing on the international stage or at any big festivals. I am hoping that in the years to come this changes and we get the exposure we deserve so that the talent in our country gets a chance to grow and be heard worldwide.
What makes a good DJ?
A good DJ must be able to introduce new music to his audience and get them to like it even if it isn’t their taste. He must also possess good mixing skills which is blending two tracks into one another without having a train wreck, which is when the beats are totally off and sound terrible. Most importantly, a good DJ must be able to lift the mood of the crowd, get them to feel good and let loose on the dance floor!
If you could eternally be stuck in one year’s music scene, which year would it be?
I think the early 2000’s was a great year for dance music. That’s when music really began to evolve and continues to do so till today. Infact, it was a good time for all kinds of music apart from rock music.
What is one track that got popular that you can’t stand?
What is one track that never gets old for you no matter how many times you hear it?
Notorious B.I.G. – Hypnotize. No matter how many times I play this, I can never get sick of it and neither does my audience!