Exclusive Interview with DJ Ali

19 April 2017

DJ Ali is without a doubt one of the brightest local talents in the musical industry. He has performed all across the country and even on international platforms such as Colombo, Dubai and Singapore. where his talent and skills have earned him a reputation as one of the best DJ’s in the country

We were lucky enough to catch one of his amazing performances, and before getting blown away by the force, power and melody that he demonstrated, we shared a few laughs and a meal with the smiling performer and asked him some questions.

DJ Ali explained how he got interested in the field and what inspired him, as well as the people that he wants to express his gratitude for bringing to where he is today. DJ Ali expressed his thoughts on the musical industry and what can be done to improve it within this interview. 

DJ Ali, thank you very much for granting us this interview. We would first like to know a bit about your beginnings. How did you get into this industry?
Yes, of course I am glad to. Ever since I could remember I have always been into music. I come from a pretty musical family and my dad was the first one who helped me to really get into this field. 
Before that I used to carry around, a huge bag of CD’s. And one day, I run into DJ Ivin and DJ Ashoo who were already working in the field and the CD’s that I had really grabbed their interest. And they offered me a chance to start Deejaying. MY father bought me my first ever console, I still have it with me as a sentimental memory.

Who are the best in the field for you today, in the Maldives? And also internationally?
Personally for me, locally there are a lot of talented DJ’s. DJ Umar, DJ Vifak, DJ Ivin, and DJ Ashoo are all super talented for me and are some of the best in the industry.
Internationally, I would pick Tiesto, He has always been an inspiration to me and I think that he is extremely talented. I also look up to others such as David Guetta and Hardwell, because you can only be the best if you watch and learn from the best right?

What kind of songs do you include in your mixes? Do you have any particular preferences?
No, I do not have any particular preferences, and even if I did I would not include them. For me, giving shows and performances are all about the dancers and customers. I try to choose songs that I think they would prefer. 
The first thing that I do when I arrive at a venue is, scan the crowd. I try to get a feel of their music and their ages. Because while the younger generations prefer the music of today’s artists, there are generations who prefer dancing to 80’s and 90’s music.
What are the best things about being a DJ?
First of all, I get to travel a lot, all over the country. I get to meet new people and start some very good relationships with people. I get to do what I love the most in the world in different places.

 The most difficult things about being a DJ?
Not having enough time to spend with my family. Also this is an industry that can be developed a lot. There isn’t enough support and appreciation for DJ’s in the country and a very negative image of them. And since I have to travel a lot, i don’t get much time to relax, and at the end of the day, it is very exhausting and energy draining.

Is it very difficult to find the equipment for your work?
Well yes and no. I bring most of my equipment from Singapore and while we face some difficulties on these equipment not being available locally, we do have the option of pre ordering things through some local companies.

Could you tell us how and what needs to be done to develop this industry even further?
Well for starters, I believe an association with fixed prices for our services is an important step. And also, we need to get rid of corruption and the negative image people have of DJ’s. I would also like to see the day when, there is more cooperation between the members of this industry to develop it even further.

What are some of your hobbies when you are not Deejaying?
I like to spend as much time with my family as possible. Even though I like to give amazing shows and make the crowd work, I like to think of myself as a very private and intimate person. I would love to spend every second of my day with my family, but it is not possible since I am almost always travelling.

What are your dreams and developments for the future?
The future is hopefully very bright. I have some very exciting and new developments on the horizon. I am working on some new solo songs in addition to developing new mixes. I feel very happy that I am going to have my own studio soon and hopefully be able to work on my own solo album then.

What would you like to say to budding new artists? Any words of wisdom?
I would like to advise them to maintain a certain standards in their work and behavior. Because in the end, this is a job or profession. And also to always explore new methods and keep entertaining the customers, since that is the whole purpose of our job.