We sit down with Moroccan DJ and tastemaker Amine K. With yearly appearances at Burning Man and Oasis Festival as well as running his own Moroko Loko label, he is considered to be a national treasure in his hometown. We find out more about his musical upbringing, his inspirations, stature in the Moroccan community and more…
Hi Amine, pleasure to speak with you. How are you?
I’m amazingly great, hope it’s the same for you 🙂
You just returned from Burning Man. How do you find playing there, is it a highlight for you?
Well I always said Burning Man is the best place on earth, it’s not a festival, it’s a life changing experience, and of course playing there adds a special flavour to it. This year was quite special, in addition to playing some of my favourite places there, I got to play at Robot Heart on Tuesday morning. I heard about Robot Heart in 2011, but it was only in 2016 that I had the chance to witness it in person. Since then I have spent almost every post sunrise at Burning Man dancing in front of this love bus. Thanks to the Robot Heart crew, I had the honour to play on that 7am slot, I have dreamt about this moment many times but I never thought it would be so insane.
Do you play every year? If so, do you find it becoming more mainstream or different to how it used to be?
I’ve been playing there every year for the past 3 years, there are indeed more and more plug & play camps and people who don’t really get the sprit but let’s not forget it’s a city of half the size of Manhattan and there’s 70000 people so you don’t really see those people unless you go looking for them. As I said earlier, Burning Man is still the best place on earth 🙂
You’re due to play Oasis festival as well. Is this quite a special gig to you with Morocco being your country of origin?
Oasis Festival changed the game in Morocco. While I have been working on the scene for the past 11 years, I never thought we could be able to get such an amazing line up and I’m really proud to be their ambassador and play for them every year, the sets that I do there are always a highlight of the year.
We hear you are one of the few DJs to come out of Morocco. What is the scene like out there, it can’t just be you keeping it alive?
When we started we were alone, but now you have dozen of amazing promoters who are doing quality parties all around Morocco, you have more than 50 Djs and a few great festivals. It’s a burgeoning scene that is growing really fast, many things have changed but the vibe of the crowd is always the same, they are very receptive and open minded to the music, they scream, they shout and they give you all the love they have.
If one was to travel to Morocco, where could they find clubbing or house and techno experiences?
Morocco is not a club destination, meaning we don’t really have clubs who are dedicated to underground electronic music, however, we have tons of great promoters who do one off parties here and there. The best way to know what’s happening is to go to the many specialized electronic music events facebook page.
Were you always musical growing up? What drove you towards DJing, producing and the sound you play today?
I’ve always loved music, my dad actually bought me my first vinyl when I was 8. I started djing while I was 14 after witnessing my uncle playing at one of my mother’s party, the fact that he was putting a smile on people’s faces just made me realise that I wanted to do the same. I grew up listening to old French music, blues, jazz & soul but I started djing Hip Hop. It was only in 2001 that I really discovered Electronic Music and from then I just dedicated my life to it. Back in the days I was playing progressive and Iberican sounds, I slowly shifted to minimal and techno only to get back to my first love a few years ago which is percussive and melodic. One thing that never changed is the way I play, always trying to create a journey through emotions and playing different styles in one set. My music has always been a bit dramatic, cinematic and epic. People need to be lifted to another dimension 🙂
What is your relationship with Sol Selectas? You just had a great EP come out with Sabo.
I have always been a fan of Sabo and Sol Selectas, I do believe that Sol Selectas is one of the best labels out there right now, it’s fresh, its diverse and it’s super quality. 3 years ago, I met Sabo in Tulum, since then we developed a friendship that has grown into a musical collaboration and our EP was born. We’re planning on releasing another EP next year and we have launched the first Sol Selectas journey in Morocco that we are calling Sol Sahara (www.solsahara.com).
Tell us about the CNN documentary. How did that come about?
African Voices highlights the continent’s most dazzling trendsetters who create their own subcultures in areas such as travel, fashion, art, music, technology and architecture (Taken from CNN Website). They did a feature on Morocco and they contacted me out of the blue, I was really surprised and honoured, we shot the feature in 48h. My biggest surprise is when I watched the documentary, they actually told a story that I wasn’t aware of.
How does it feel to be a monumental figure in your own community?
Well I didn’t invent a moroccan sky rocket, I’m just a dj, however it feels really amazing to receive so much love and inspire so many people in my own country. As I said earlier, moroccan people are very dedicated and passionate when they love somebody, so the amount of good energy that I receive from my compatriots is a fuel for life and pushes me to be a better person and a better artist and also raise the moroccan flag wherever I go.
What is your favourite place to travel?
There’s so many! Asian tours are always a highlight of the year as I’ve been touring there for 11 years now and the vibe there changed my life and the way I see things. Now I’m digging more and more central and south america and looking forward to start playing the US.
What do you do to unwind outside of music?
I have two daughters so I try to spend as much time with them as I can when I’m not doing music related stuff.
What are your top 5 records right now?
Bog – Jahar (Mathias Schober Remix)
Timujin – Katana
Djuma Sound System & Western – Kawagi (Fakemood Remix)
The Organism – Reflection
Freaks – Conscious of my conscience (Henrik Schwarz Remix)
What does the future hold for Amine K? Any further goals or ambitions yet to achieve?
Releases on BAR25, Souvenir and Kindisch, new festivals in Morocco, traveling the world as much as I can and putting a smile on people’s faces.
Tiniri EP is out now! Buy it here: https://www.beatport.com/release/tiniri/2314201
Artist FB: https://www.facebook.com/djaminek/