Pulsating. Sensuous. Groovy. Widely respected house music DJ and producer, Saeed Younan, releases his long-awaited new studio album, MORPH (Younan Music) on May 28th, 2021. The album shows a maturation of the accomplished electronic musician, both as a man and as an artist. On MORPH, Saeed Younan’s production skills shine. The album takes the listener from the dancefloor to the inner landscape of Younan’s mind, a voyage through his prolific career. A sought-after remixer for many years, Younan’s production skills shine as he travels from his signature percussive rhythms to meditative soundscapes.
We got the chance to ask Saeed some questions about his journey, the album, & more. Check the Q & A and a little teaser of the album upcoming!
“I spent so many years as a touring DJ. It wasn’t until the last few years that I started to take the longest journey, the inward journey.” – Saeed Younan
Q & A
EDMSauce: It’s been about four years since we spoke with you and we’re excited you have a new artist album coming out shortly! Tell us about the new album?
Saeed Younan: MORPH will be my first true artist album. I've done albums in the past which included remixes and edits by other artists. The main difference with this one is that all the tracks are written and produced by me along with some featured singers and collaborators. This album is also my first to include music of genres that aren't only dance music. It's more of who I am right now.
EDMSauce: We got a sneak-peak at the album cover and it’s really arresting. Dark, sort of jarring, but beautiful at the same time. It almost makes me think of a Francis Bacon painting. What was your mental state like, when recording this album?
Saeed Younan: Healthy, I hope! [laughs] The album cover reflects my career as it morphs and changes in its present time, along with the changes that are currently happening in my life and career. Mentally, I wanted people to hear what I'm all about, that is why I comprised the album with genres I love. From my signature dance, tribal and percussive grooves, to downtempo and chill drum-n-bass. You get to know me, musically, on a personal level with this album.
EDMSauce: Musically, can you walk us through some of the key tracks off the new album, MORPH? You’ve got some really intriguing descriptions, like when you refer to “Endless Soaring” as akin to “an afterhours party inside a genie’s bottle.”
Saeed Younan: “Church of Bass” is all about the dancefloor and the classic hip-house style vocals. “Endless Soaring” pretty much speaks for itself. The downtempo track “Buddhi” was created using real field recordings; all the sounds you hear in the background are actual nature sounds I recorded while walking in the woods early in the mornings. “Exist” is another track where I got to experiment with vocals by Robert Manos; it's got a bit of a ragged vibe but also haunting and beautiful at the same time. I urge everyone to listen to the entire album from beginning to end as it offers a journey within itself.
EDMSauce: Tell us more about your alias, The Deepart Project. Why is that project so personal for you? Why does it hold special importance for you?
Saeed Younan: I started the alias, “the Deepart Project,” a few years ago. I'd been producing music for yoga and meditation for a while but I never thought about releasing the music under my real name. I just thought it would confuse people. The demand was there. I was getting requests for more music from meditation teachers and yoga instructors from all over the place. That's when I decided to create my alias. I created a sister record label called Deepart Dynamics as an outlet to release this laidback, chillout type style music.
EDMSauce: You’ve been a world-traveling DJ and producer since the mid 90’s, and you were still going strong right up until COVID-19 clobbered the globe and made touring totally stop. A lot of touring DJs – at all levels of success – had a tough time with the mental health aspect of being under mandatory lockdown. Did your decades of experience give you a special perspective that you think maybe the younger DJs today don’t have? How did you weather the lockdown, personally? Professionally?
Saeed Younan: The lockdown was a blessing as much as it was a curse. First, it got me to slow down and really appreciate everything I have. It gave me time to reflect inward and do some inner-engineering. It also gave me time to think outside-the-box and get creative. One example is that I launched a Patreon account and one of the things I offered was studio tutorials and production tips ‘n tricks. I never thought of myself as a teacher. I don't tend to share a lot of my secrets, but I felt that I had to during the pandemic and also try to generate some lost income. I polished up my MORPH album and filmed tutorials on how it was created.
EDMSauce: You’re an O.G. in the world of house music! What are some things you’d like to see changed with the way the electronic music scene is, nowadays? What are some things you hope will never change?
Saeed Younan: I would love to see more young DJs understand and appreciate the role of an opening DJ. Unfortunately, it has become a lost art. It is so important that we go back to the roots of it all and fully understand how DJs work together to hand-off a set to one another. It's not about “banging it out.” It's about creating a vibe from start to finish. I hope this lockdown/pandemic will never change the way we used to party and gather to enjoy music and dance together, whether it's in a small, dark room somewhere or at a big outside festival.
EDMSauce: In terms of seeing beauty in darkness, what are some of the most valuable lessons you’ve learned in your decades as a professional DJ/producer that you wished you’d have known 25 years ago? What wisdom would you go back and tell your younger self, if you had the chance to?
Saeed Younan: I wish I can go back and tell my younger self to fully understand how the music business works, before diving head-first into it. From reviewing contracts to publishing and licensing deals. I just wish I knew more, and I would've definitely avoided many pitfalls that I'm still paying for today.
EDMSauce: What is it exactly about house music that, you feel, resonates so deeply with people? How is that different from other sub-genres of electronic dance music? Do you think house music, as a sub-genre, is the most durable of all electronic music styles? What gives house its longevity?
Saeed Younan: House music is the foundation for all electronic dance music in its current form. Without a strong foundation nothing will stand. That is why house music resonates so deeply with people. It is the root that everything grows from and expands outward, bearing the fruits of sub-genres.
EDMSauce: What’s the core of the story you want to tell with MORPH? Can you name one of the most challenging experiences you’ve had to go through, that in hindsight, you’re glad you did survive? Why was that experience so valuable to you?
Saeed Younan: The core story for the MORPH album is to share with people that I'm not just a one-trick pony when it comes to creating music. This album is a perfect example of where I came from and where I'm heading as an artist and as a music producer. One of the most challenging experiences of my life was escaping Iraq (when I was about 10 years old) in the middle of a war with Iran, fleeing the country undercover to come to America and start a new life with my parents and sisters. If we hadn't done that, most certainly I wouldn't be here right now typing these answers to your questions. So, I'm very grateful to my parents for doing what they did.
Follow Saeed Younan online!
Saeed Younan's album can be pre-saved at the following link on all platforms – MORPH
Tracklist for MORPH
1. Unexpected Paradise
2. Tribal Heart Percussive Soul
3. Church of Bass ft Born
4. Do That That
5. Ma Hauz
6. Exist ft Robert Manos
7. Who You?
8. Drifting Under
9. The Shuffle Is Real
10. Endless Soaring
11. Cittaa ft The Deepart Project
12. Buddhi ft The Deepart Project
13. Cruising The Four Twenty Ave