101 with Massaï

Massaï was born from a French father and an Afro-Brazilian mother in the ’90s. Drown into music since his early age, he developed a strong interest in electronic music after moving to London in 2012. He quickly got into the city’s underground scene and experienced his first raves. His passion for records came from his parents who are real music connoisseur's. Since then he is on a mission to collect rare and groovy gem's… This leads him to play in some of the most recognized venues in London and Europe (Fabric, Rex Club, Macarena Club, Studio 338…) alongside artists such as Dan Ghenacia, Shonky, Laurine & Cecilio, Molly, Priku and Traumer just to mention few.

In 2016, with his fellow inspiration and partner Josh Rawl, he decided to create their own imprint Sentaku. The record label aim is to design a platform where up and coming talents from all around the world feel free to express themselves. 

What was the funniest / most bizarre request you’ve ever had while playing? 

I think like every underground Dj, I have been requested to play super commercial stuff that had nothing to do with the vibe! One of the worst I recall was a track from Celine Dion, I was quite annoyed hahaha but most of the time I was asked to play some Rihanna or Beyonce tunes not that I don’t like R’n’B but not in this atmosphere, please! 

Can you describe your studio setup for us? 

My studio set up is pretty easy. I play with 2x Technics Mk2 and Allen & Heath 42, I’m currently saving money to get my hands on the Condesa Carmen V, that’s what I called a real beauty! 

Could you tell us the story about your first gig? 

Funny question, I actually don’t remember my first gig ever but I have a funny story about one of the firsts. I was studying management of the arts at the university and I remember one of my exams was about creating and producing an event, which I did but I actually turned it into a party and my teachers and friends came, it was actually one of the best night we did at Number 90 in London. 

Name three artists that currently inspire you.

There are so many but I will say my friends Loop Exposure, Robin Ordell and Unaï Trotti, they are a true inspiration and some of the best producers of their generation!

Recall the worst experience of ‘killing the vibe’ in the club. 

Well, we all have different influences and sometimes DJs want to spice up their set and play something really different which can be hit-or-miss. I remember playing one of my favourite hip-hop track at the end of one of my set once but the track was in French and super slow and people didn’t really match with it. I thought I was left alone in the club haha! 

What do you do before and after your set? 

I don’t have any particular ritual. I just smoke a bit of pot and stay sober to be as focused as possible. After the set, it is something different haha! I would say that I enjoy the rest of the night by meeting new people, listen to music and probably go to an after party.  

What’s the worst job you’ve ever had? 

I don’t think I’ve had any bad jobs. I need to do something I love otherwise I'm not very efficient so I quickly shifted into the music industry, one of my first jobs was in a record shop which was a great experience! 

What are your favourite labels at the moment? 

I would say Cartulis sick record label and collective from London, mine and my associate Josh Rawl imprint: Sentaku and last but not least Spiritual Records, a record label from Italy that has a huge amount of great release if you dig a little bit.  

Imagine a cold winter, a fireplace and two glasses of wine—what song would you play?

Depends on my mood. If I'm tired after a gig, in this situation I would probably play this tune from Ultramarine called Panther. 

Last but not least. What's the best advice you've ever received?

The best advice I received so far was definitely from my actual boss Nico. He taught me that in life when you believe in something, in your own dream or in pretty much anything you would like to achieve if you put the means, you will always reach your dreams and objectives. 


By Saša, edited on 14 December 2018