Though it’s been a month since Ultra dropped down in Miami, things continue to heat up in South Beach thanks to celebrity nightspot LIV and its resident DJ, Mednas (born Mehdi Nassiri). VIBE touches base with the city’s hottest producer (and we mean that both figuratively and literally) to get an inside look at what it takes to open for some of the industry’s hottest dance acts.
How did you become LIV's resident DJ?
There are steps you start out with, like small bars and clubs, and then you gradually build up. You can't go directly from your bedroom to resident DJ.
Who have you met while DJing at LIV who has inspired you?
Erick Morillo, Steve Angello, Tiësto, Calvin Harris - all these guys have inspired me with their production while some have inspired me with their technical skills.
So who has rolled through that you found really has the best nights?
Erick Morillo has a good following; his parties are very good. Also, Calvin Harris has a good draw. Both parties are CRAZY.
Do you drop your own productions? Or is it open format?
I drop my own productions, but it's only house, not open format. Like deep-tech, progressive-house and electro. Every time I put on one of my tracks, I know what to produce to get the crowd going. I'm trying all the time to drop some of my productions to see how good the reaction is.
To help a big DJ setup, do you drop their productions? How do you build the night for them?
I always stay away from their style. My opening sets are always different depending on the DJ I'm opening for, and I always give them a lot room to start off their set.
Some openers will just bang it up because of the headliner. This just screws up the whole night, because people are into the high-energy tracks, and once the headliner comes up he has to follow with banger after banger - this is not good for the night. So as an opening act, you always have to start slowly and build your own set. Just don't bang it up before the headliner, and never play their own productions.
Where do you see yourself over the next year or two?
I'm working on my productions and trying to do more gigs worldwide. I’m traveling around and seeing what kind of music other people have, and gain more experience from it. You're always learning, so there's no point where you get to say, ‘I know it all’. I'm trying to make great tracks and get booked all over the place.
How would you describe your style of production?
What I'm producing now is main room. I'm trying to stay away from trance-like synths, because it's overplayed. So now my tracks are club tracks, but groovy…something that makes people dance.