We catch up for a chat with one of our favourite up and coming artists, Navid Mehr.
Hey Navid, you were born in Iran. Tell us what it was like to live there and why you moved to Canada. What’s your opinion on the situation in the country and would you ever consider moving back?
Navid Mehr: Unfortunately there is a huge stereotype when it comes to media and how Iran is portrayed. I can guarantee that 90% of what you see about Iran in western media is not true, but having said that Iran has been a “Islamic” democracy for about thirty years. What is ironic about this democracy is the model is based on the American democracy but they also add religion in the mix.
I can say this with confidence that most of Iranian officials are corrupt and they are competent politicians, so don’t think they are religious fanatics they are just using that as a cover! It is definitely harder to call a holy man corrupt! As much as it is hard to believe, there is a liberal government in charge at the moment and I do see a better relation between western countries and Iran.
Moving back to Iran is always in the back of my head, it is truly a beautiful country if you put the politics and the religion aside, and I do love the nature there so you never now.
If you had to pick one track which solidified your love for electronic music early on what would it be?
Hard question to answer I don’t think there is only one track but when I heard Robert miles “children” on a music channel called channel [V] back in Tehran on satellite was the moment that I knew I discovered something cool, it also had a great video for its time.
You were a former member of Beat Syndrome with Hamed Safi. The partnership was really successful. What made you decide to go solo?
We had a good 10 year run working together as a duo and honestly there wasn’t any specific reason to go solo, stuff like this happens all the time between band members, but when we decide to go our own ways it wasn’t fair to the name and all the hard work we both put under Beat Syndrome, so I decided to produce under my own name and let the legacy of Beat Syndrome continue.
You’ve had 3 very successful releases on change audio with huge artists like Guy J and Hernan Cattaneo supporting the releases, alongside many others. How did it feel to get the support you did so early on as a solo artist? Can you tell us about the level of work you had to put in to achieve perfection on those tracks?
There is no specific formula that you can follow. Sometimes you might have a track ready in four hours or it could take four months. I personally had to put in the hours for those releases, but there is one thing for sure and that is when you put in the hours in what ever you do you will get results, but when it comes to creative work, there is a fine line between burning yourself out and getting the result that you want.
It was a great feeling to have the support of Hernan. The man is a true living legend! He has been huge influence in my life, I have been listening to his music for more than 15 years so it was a big deal for me and gave me a sense of accomplishment as a producer and confident that I most be doing something right. I can also say the same thing about Guy J I have a lot of respect for him as a producer there is always an emotional vibe in his production that lifts you up. That to me is what music is all about specially electronic music. I am always trying to create that vibe in my own production so to have his support is just truly amazing!
Do you think the change audio lives it’s name and mission to help new artists?
When I had my releases on change nobody really knew who I was and change gave me the platform to jump start my carrier as a solo artist. Never in a million years I would have thought that the releases would break in to chart as fast as they did so I have to give props to Change Audio and Mark for believing in my music and I hope they continue on their tradition on promoting new artists. We need more labels like Change!
What was your first and last DJ gig?
It was at this lounge called PAEEZ in downtown Toronto somewhere around 10 years ago, I think the management is changed now but that lounge is a birthplace of so many acts in dance music.
My last gig was at the after party couple of weeks back in Toronto again.
What was the first and last record you purchased?
Dixon remix of “before the sunrise”
Don’t remember the first dance record but the first album I purchased was on tape and it was master of puppets by Metallica. Yes I am that old!
What would you say is the highlight of your career thus far?
It actually happened couple of weeks ago, I signed an EP with one of my all time favourite label but that’s as far as I can say.
Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people?
I play this weird role playing, middle-earth board game with two D10 dices since I was twelve.
Who are some of the best undiscovered talents in your eyes?
Alejandro Arroyo , Kevin Rodriguez and James Gill to name a few.
Which producers consistently inspire you?
So many to mention but If I have to pick one, it would be Guy J at the moment. He is on fire!
What artist or track would you love to remix? and who would you love to be remixed by?
Would love to get in to the studio with Sasha or Hernan or both at the same time 🙂
A remix from Guy J would be awesome!
Which labels stand out for you at the moment?
Bedrock, Bpitch, Microcaslte, Lost & Found, Traum, Sudbeat, Stripped and last but not least I think Change Audio is going to do some major damage too.
What would you say is the best mix compilation of all time?
Global Underground series with out a doubt. Also enjoying Nick Warren’s Sound Garden compilation.
Food: Sushi and lots of salad
TV Show: Game of Thrones
Video Game: FIFA 2014
Album: If You Wait by London Grammar. She has a million dollar voice.
Track / Song: Before The Sunrise Dixon remix
Producer / Band: Arcade Fire
Record Label: Lost & Found
DJ: Hernan Cattaneo
If the final DJ/live set of your career was next week what would your last track be?
Blaze of Glory by Bon Jovi LOL! 🙂
Connect with Navid Mehr on Soundcloud https://soundcloud.com/navidmehrmusic