AnDONUT: Jordanian DJ talks tracks, gigs, and creative process

A DJ and music producer, AnDonut a couple of new tracks and EPs in store for the upcoming year. (Photo: Handout from AnDonut)
A DJ and music producer, AnDonut a couple of new tracks and EPs in store for the upcoming year. (Photo: Handout from AnDonut)
AMMAN — Local producer and DJ AnDonut, who is set to release a flurry of tracks and EP’s this year, describes his music as tech-house blended with fragments of Arabic culture and nostalgia.اضافة اعلان

Whether it’s sampling nostalgic movies or plays, or incorporating the exciting sounds of Arabic percussion instruments, such as the tabla/darbuka, into classic four-on-the-floor tech-house grooves, these elements come together to shape AnDONUT’s signature sound.

A DJ and music producer, AnDonut a couple of new tracks and EPs in store for the upcoming year. (Photo: Handout from AnDonut)

“When I was seven or eight I used to listen to Um Kulthoum a lot on my stereo, and I used to know the tracks by heart. The Arabic influence mainly came from that. I also admire the Arabic language and that is why I like to include it in a lot my work” he said.

He was also a big fan of Amr Diab and Mohammad Munir as a kid.

As a teenager, AnDonut was listening to a lot of rap and R&B and started out making hip-hop beats, before studying audio engineering in order to become a music producer.

He moved on from making beats for rappers and vocalists to eventually working solo on tech-house music, which he says allows him to have full control over every track he puts out both sonically and thematically.

When asked on what drew him to use Arabic samples and sounds in the very western genre of tech-house, he said it really starts with his aim to create a sound that is unique to him, not to necessarily create a new genre.

“I tend to sample the things that are nostalgic to me, that I grew up on and influenced me, things that I consider part of my culture.” He said. The process involves a lot of trial and error and trying to find what samples work best and sound right.

AnDonut latest releases include two EP’s with two tracks each that were released under well-established Spanish record labels “Cream” and “Tanta Music.” The two EPs are available to stream on all major music platforms, and can be downloaded off of Beatport and TraxSource.

A track on one of EPs, called “Blazed,” contains various sound clips from a 1985 movie called El-Keif by Yehia Al-Fakharany.

While listening, you can make sense out of the samples used, which add up to create a narrative or story that resolves in the end.

AnDonut said he aimed to be playful with this track, and that he wants listeners to either find it funny or just be perplexed by the combination of samples in the track.

In another track called “Got Talent,” he samples a hidden camera show episode featuring Shaban Abdelraheem.

AnDonut also spoke about the best DJ set he’s played during his career. “Definitely has to be the opening night for CLSTR season three where Emmanuel Satie was playing after me. I remember watching him the past two seasons, and playing alongside him was huge and very rewarding for me since I had been looking up to him and enjoying his work leading up to that night”

“With DJ’ing I think the most exciting thing, what I became a DJ for; I’m a raver and have been to festivals all around the world, the satisfaction from having both myself and the crowd dancing to something I’m playing is huge for me, and the appreciation I get after the set is very rewarding, it gives me so much energy and motivation”

AnDonut added that doing any kind of music for yourself, rather than for money or fame, “is the most important thing. It keeps you motivated when you’re doing it because you love it.”

The DJ’s upcoming tracks include one called “Zeina” due to be released in November, which incorporated a lot of sound from 1980s Egypt.  

“I have another EP in October, and what I can say is I have 12 songs that are ready to be sent out to record labels, a lot of my music that is out right now represents who I was last year,” he said. “What’s coming next is a more evolved style where I try new things, including a couple collaborations with local artists.”

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