Over the years, Adham Zahran has carved out a niche for himself in the world of electronic music with his unique blend of genres and innovative soundscapes. Zahran’s evolution as an artist can be traced back to his early releases on labels such as Galaktika Records, Mood Music, Space Breaks, Neovinyl, and Oh! Records. With each release, he has continued to push the boundaries of deep house, incorporating elements of Chicago house, Detroit techno, and jazz.
Adham Zahran’s new deep house sound is making waves in the wider electronic music community and in the rising popularity of deep house in Egypt. With his unique blend of genres and innovative soundscapes, Zahran is pushing the boundaries of what deep house can be. His ability to seamlessly fuse different elements creates a genre-bending sound that is truly his own. “Space Dance” cements his status as one of Egypt’s rising electronic music talents.
Hey Adam, it’s great to catch up with you and understand you’re speaking to us from your home in Alexandria, Egypt? What’s the house music scene there like in terms of fans, clubs, radio etc and does your hometown inspire your music?
Yes I’m currently based in Alexandria, Egypt now where I’ve been based the last few years. The music scene here is really non-existent in a way as there really isn’t any clubs or parties as Alexandria is very small city.
You’re about to release your new album “Space Dance” and for those that don’t know your music how would you describe it in terms of sounds etc?
The album is really a homage to Space, synthesizer music, Analogue and Deep House where every track tells a story in some way. It focuses more on classic 808 and 909 drums and raw analogue sound design.
A rising star of the deep house scene, who are your major musical influences and how have they informed your music making?
As a huge fan of deep house I like a lot of producers who are making true deep house. Artists such as Max Graef, Glen Astro, Soundstream, Kyle Hall and Steve Julian.. All these DJs and producers have really inspired me with their sound in some way or another.
You’ve released on labels such as Galaktika Records, Mood Music, Space Breaks, Neovinyl, and Oh! Records and also under the alias Relic & Rarity, and do you have any favourite releases and what makes it so special?
My favourite release is the 12” of the “Paddington EP” on Space Breaks. I’m a vinyl fan and it feels good to have something tangible. Also it was my first ever vinyl record release and it has such a nice deep, jazzy vibe to it.
When and how did you first get into making music and then the industry and who and what were your early inspirations?
I first got into house music in the early 2000’s when I used to listen to early minimal, progressive and house music. My early influences were James Holden, Sasha, John Digweed, KiNK and Lovebirds. I then got into DJ-ing and producing a few years after that when I discovered Ableton and decided to teach myself everything. It took me a few years later to craft my sound evolving into the Deep House world.
What was the first House record you ever heard and who clued you up to House music and when?
My first ever record that really influenced me and made dig more into house music was “Good Life” by Inner City. That’s when I truly fell in love with House music.
What was it like growing up in Egypt in terms of clubbing, big records and classic moments you can share with us? Do you have a favourite memory and tune of that time?
Growing up in Egypt was a bit difficult as we just had a very small scene in Cairo and even less in Alexandria. One of my favourite moments was playing all night for 5 hours in a really cool club called Vent. It’s so special to be able to take people on a journey through music and raise emotions.
What was the very first track you worked on and was it in a professional studio or someone’s home, and who with?
The first track I worked on was “Dream Weaver” which came out on Sasse’s Mood Music. It was produced at my home studio using just a PC and few Plug-ins and also at that time my brother Hisham helped with it too.
What is your most memorable studio session and who was it with and where was it and and which track felt the most exciting while in the process of making it?
The most memorable time in the studio is when I bought my Nord Lead A1 synthesizer. I was alone and the exciting ‘Peculiar Galaxy’ track came out of my first session featured on my 2017 album “Space Consciousness”.It was especially exciting as it started very melancholic and then completely changed at 2-3 minutes in to a serious funky house track.
What have been the pivotal moments in your career so far in terms of releases and other game-changing moments?
One of my most pivotal moments is when I released my 2017 album “Space Consciousness”. It became real from that moment on,
Also being able to play a closing DJ set in Cairo with the Retrogroove crew from Lebanon. It was the first time I played a closing set and the energy was incredible.
2023 sees you busier than ever and talk us through your year so far in terms of tracks and highlights.
So far this year I’ve released the “Grain Galaxy” EP on vinyl on Umanuto from Prague in the Czech Republic. I also have a few VA tapes on the DOBRO label from Russia. Right now I’m excited to see the reaction to my new album “Space Dance” which is getting some good feedback from DJs and in the house scene in general.
Adham Zahran releases his new album ‘Space Dance” on Friday November 24th on JuJu Muzik.