TURKEY

Your body and soul surrender to DJ Gadi Mitrani’s music

Have you ever been in a place where you find yourself with hundreds of people -as if you are all participating in a ritual- screaming and jumping along the escalating rhythm and even have a few tears falling down your cheeks? Let me introduce you to DJ Gadi Mitrani.
Selin SEVÝNDÝREN
Your body and soul surrender to DJ Gadi Mitrani’s music
 
Have you ever been in a place where you find yourself with hundreds of people -as if you are all participating in a ritual- screaming and jumping along the escalating rhythm and even have a few tears falling down your cheeks? Let me introduce you to a DJ, who is a member of our community and who brings out all these incredible feelings, rocks the dance floor and leads a huge group of fans…Of course, if you haven’t already met, yet. DJ Gadi Mitrani. In his DJ booth, he doesn’t just play other’s music, with his instruments, he creates electronic dance music in the form of an art.
 
 
How did you first get interested in becoming a DJ? How did this interest turn into a huge career? Can you tell us about your story? 
I was in love with music as long as I can remember. The first time I really felt this love was when my older brother Metin, who was DJ at a community youth center (Dostluk) at the time, started bringing home his LPs. Even though he hid the LPs from me, I used to go through his stuff and find them. Once I broke his turntable’s needle. When I was 15, a friend of mine called me and told me another community youth center (Yildirim) was looking for a DJ. That’s where I started to improve myself. At those times, there were not much hit pop songs. Turkish pop was not even in the picture. There was mainly house music. DJ Nisso Behar who for me was a master at that time, Vidal Itkin and my brother used to play acid and house music.  When I graduated from high school, I went to USA for college. I had the opportunity to listen to various types of music. I got familiarized with different genres. When I got back to Turkey, my brother had a surprise for me. He had bought me my first synthesizer. That’s how I started doing production work. Soon after, my brother and I was offered a live DJ job at Samdan (a popular dance club in the 1990’s-2000’s). We named our duo “GaMe” and started playing our own compositions. Then, I had an offer from Radio Dinamo. Meanwhile, I started performing as a DJ alongside DJ Baris Turker at Nu Club, inside Nu Pera. From that point on, I was performing almost in every club in Istanbul. 
 

What made you decide on electronic music? 
I can be more creative with this genre. Playing Hip-hop or 80’s music after a while can make you feel like you are repeating yourself. However, in electronic music, you have limitless creativity, since you can add a sound to a rhythm and make a totally new composition. You just need to be open to constant learning. 
 
Twilo, the famous night club in New York, has a special meaning for you, am I right? 
Of course. While studying communications, art, radio and television in Washington, Twilo was a totally different school for me. It expanded my vision. I learned the introduction-body-conclusion of a music set. I learned how to read the crowd. 
 
Twilo’s world-famous DJ Sasha has DJ Digweed, if there one, who is your person? 
Baris Turker! When I play with him, I go way beyond my own style. It is as if we are challenging each other. This challenge lifts us both up. He is a very good DJ. Before I play with him, I always prepare. He is taking me to another level, a level I can’t get alone. 
 
What is Radio FG’s role in your music career?
I joined FG seven years ago. I was a Saturday Resident. I had my own show on Saturdays at 9.00PM. My show was being aired right before the show of Birol Giray, the owner of Radio FG.  I started with a Sunday show. Birol has always supported me. Thanks to him, I was one of the three Turkish DJs performing at Cesme Electronica Festival. I was the prelude. Radio FG had opened many doors for me, in Turkey. 
 
 
There are different types of electronic music. Which one do you feel comfortable with expressing yourself? 
Usually, DJs do not stick with one genre. I play Progressive House, Deep House and Tech House music. These genres are interwoven, anyway. I mostly play melodic style because I love creating through my feelings. Also, once every 3-4 tracks, I always play a song with vocal. 
 
Why should people dance to electronic dance music, when there is a fun song such as “Despacito”? 
First of all, I must say that I, too, listen to pop music. I love Justin Timberlake and Pharrell Williams. However, I prefer playing electronic music, because the energy of electronic music is incomparable. I also find it more sophisticated. You can dance to Despacito a couple of times, but after a while it gets monotonous and boring. 
 
A DJ in simplest terms, plays other’s music in an order or adapts other’s music with different sounds and does remixes. The culmination of all these is creating his own track. And you are at that point. You are a producer as well as a DJ. How do you find your inspiration? 
I can say that my inspiration is soundtracks of movies. I listen to Hanz Zimmer (Interstellar, Dunkirk), Johann Johannsson (Arrival, The Theory of Everything) and Alexandre Desplat (Tree of Life, The Imitation Game. You should not always listen to electronic music, you should rest your ears from time to time. You should get your inspiration from different sources. Making electronic music is much simpler than composing a song. After all, I am not a musician. I combine a certain harmony with sounds. Having a good ear is very important. I make my mixes at Virus studios owned by Hande Yener’s (a Turkish pop singer) producer Umut Kuzer. Every time we work together, Umut as a musician himself, is amazed how I create my music, since I don’t follow the rules he expects me to follow. Frankly, I don’t have to. That’s the beauty of electronic music. There are no rules, therefore there is no limit to creativity. 
 

How do you create a music track? 
I, for example, can get influenced by a dialogue in a movie. I take that part and insert it piece by piece in the track. In Germany, I released a music track with the title “Key of Stillness” from a production company called Kompakt. I wanted to create something that could be used during meditation. I used a speech I found on YouTube.  I released another music track, “Ocean Breeze”, when I was in Maldives for a wedding. My melodies are mostly cinematic. My goal is to stick to a certain sound so whenever it is listened to, people could identify it as Gadi’s track. At the age of 40, I could only get to this level. When I was 30, I did not know what I wanted to do, let alone know what I was doing. Today, everything is kind of settled. I created my own style. 
 
Your name is mentioned alongside great DJs. How did you achieve this? 
My music track, which was released in Germany, was in Israeli DJ Guy Mantzur’s mix album. I also did a remix for the opening theme of Burning Man in Nevada, “Pachanga Boys-Time”.  I sent the remix to Guy through Facebook. He played it in Croatia at a New Year celebration. Through the record company of a friend, I sent my music track, “Drifter” to DJ Nick Warren. Nick played in in Ibiza. Sacha played two of my music tracks, “Amadeus” and “Change your life”. Digweed played “Seven”. 
 

You did one remix on a Turkish pop song, “More beautiful than you”. Do you have any other songs you did remix on? 
I remixed one of Aylin Aslim’s songs. Its name is “Waves”. It hasn’t been released, yet.
 
Where do you perform? For those, who wants to listen to your music, can you share with us? 
At La boom, Back Bar, Klein, Istiklal Terrace, Cesme Maia, Bodrum Nikki Beach, and Eva Klein.
 
 
Which club’s DJ booth do you love to see yourself, most? 

Maia was fabulous, since it lasted till the morning. I was the one closing the club. In winter, I like Back Bar, because it feels like home, to me. Also, Istiklal Terrace is very pleasant, these days. 

What is your dream?

My dream is to release new tracks from reputable record companies and make remixes for good names and make a name for myself, abroad. The country in which I want to perform the most is Israel. The progressive sound there is perfect for me. My manager Sefik Dolman and I are in contact with various companies in Israel. My biggest dream is to have my name written in bold and capital letters on the poster of a music festival, in Tel Aviv. Also, I would like to perform at Robot Heart in Burning Man.

 

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