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The BPM Festival: Interview with Saeed Younan

On the beaches of Playa del Carmen, while the people of Mexico go about their day, the streets and beaches are taken over by The BPM Festival. For its 10th year anniversary, they celebrate in a span of 10-days. The restaurants, bars, streets, beaches are filled with techno-worshippers throughout the globe. The streets were flooded with BPM attendees, while we were at the BPM Media Lounge at The Palm at Playa, conducting an interview with the talented Saeed Younan.

Born in Iraq but living in Washington DC since the early 80's, Younan grew up listening to a variety of ethnic music. In result, his musical sound resonates with percolating beats and sonic grooves. His production has been dubbed “timeless” by top DJs and even referred to as a “change of heart for dance music.” His vision is clear, yet simply stated: “I just want people to enjoy my music as much as I enjoy playing it for them.” Saeed Younan is known as a world class globe-trotting DJ, a recording artist, a remix producer, and head of his own record label (Younan Music), he has excellent as a true artist in the global dance scene. Saeed Younan does not cease to amaze, and always looking to astound. As a DJ, Saeed’s live performances are renowned for his perfectly blend of a house and techno combination, leaving everyone speechless and wanting more. “When I got into it, it was more progressive house, it was actually a different genre from what they call progressive house now. Progressive house was actually more like tech house back then, we’re talking late 90s. What I got really famous for, my signature sound was incorporating progressive house with tribal, more percussive kind of stuff.” Enhancing his music into a warm and sexy vibe, while building momentum by allowing the music to deliver the message to his audience in the most profound way. Always a guaranteed good time watching and listening to Saeed work a room and build a vibe. “So, that kind of opened up a whole new door, so I started a label called Addictive Records. That was launched around 1999, and I was kind of championing that sound of tribal/progressive house. If you look up the tribal/progressive house, I guarantee you’ll see Saeed & Palash, which I and my partner formed back in 1999. That’s the music that I got into and I feel that’s still a part of me. What you heard today was very percussive, very bassy, just a good groove, you know.”

The BPM Festival holds a special place in all ours hearts, for some it was their first and for some, they’ve been going for consecutive years. “I’ve done it for seven years in a row, but this one is the best ever. I am looking forward to Intec Digital Artist Showcase at Blue Parrot, Cristian Varela, Jon Rundell and Carl Cox will all be playing.” 

Oh yes, I know that you also played in Ibiza with him during his last performance, how was it like performing there vs BPM? “It’s very different, first the people and the crowd, they love the music but it’s not like BPM where you can feel the love and passion everywhere. I played the 14th week, the 15th week will be the last. I’ve played Space many times, it’s amazing to do stuff with Carl. When he had a residency in Vegas, I was his go-to guy, so for two years, we played Vegas together, every three months. He likes the way I do things, so he likes me to set up the night for him. For me, closing Space, everything came full circle. The first time I ever played Space it was in 2001. It was Carl, me, Digweed, Sasha, and Steve Lawler, that was my first Space gig, so to close out Space with Carl, Digweed, minus Sasha, it’s still a special thing. It’s almost like coming full circle, my first gig was with him, my last gig was with him, so we have an amazing relationship. I stayed with him at his villa, he’s an amazing person to be around, his energy is unbeatable.”

As the new year is upon us, what's on the horizon for Saeed Younan? “I’m at a point where every thing’s aligning, as far as my sound goes, as far as the people I’m working with, labels that I’m working with, so 2017 looks just perfect. I’m excited about the future, about my label and my production work. I wake up every morning and ask, what is going to keep me going? What can I do that nobody else has done yet? What’s next?”

Later on, that night was the Intec Digital Artist Showcase at Blue Parrot with artists Carl Cox, Cristian Varela, Jon Rundell & Saeed Younan. The BPM Festival took full force during the artist showcase, each and every DJ played to the fullest. It was the first time ever seeing Saeed Younan perform live and it was epic, now a mission is to see Saeed Younan as much as possible during 2017. Saeed Younan is a true artist, being able to blend house and techno are the most perfectionist way imaginable. A true definition of an artist, until next time.

Listen to Saeed Younan's set from Intec Digital Artist Showcase at Blue Parrot

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