Music > Persian Musicians > SHARAM JEY: GERMANY'S TOP IRANIAN-BORN DJ BY SANAZ KHALAJ
As the Caspian Sea's fate lies in the hands of those who can't possibly be true Iranians, the diaspora forges ahead. Sharam Jey, Germany's top Iranian export and DJ, is a talented yet humble and well-spoken Iranian gentleman whose music is probably playing in every city's most coveted dance clubs. His hit song '4 Da Loverz', featured on a Ministry of Sound compilation received world-wide attention and praise since its release, deservedly so, as the track is addictive and repeat-button-worthy. Spinning at the world's finest of venues while running his own record label, this entrepreneur/producer/DJ is a busy bee. We were fortunate enough to catch Sharam during a quick respite from touring for the interview below. Enjoy.
Sanaz Khalaj: Where were you born?
Sharam Jey: I was born in Tehran, Iran. We moved to Germany when I was 10. I live in Cologne.
SK: How did you get into DJing?
SJ: When I was 14 I started as a singer in a school rock band and got a bit into deejaying at birthday parties and stuff like that - cause nobody else really wanted to do that. And it was mainly the 80's stuff, a mixture of rock, hip-hop and later house music. I really had fun so I wanted to do it more professionally.
SK: Do you have a DJ residency anywhere?
SJ: I toured a lot the last 10 years so I got to know lots of countries and many different clubs and so I do not have an actual residency. But I play a lot in my favourite clubs here in the area: Dirty Dancing in Brussels, Belgium,The End in London, Tribehouse, near Cologne and Funky Chicken Club here in my hometown.
SK: How did you come to choose your DJ name?
SJ: When I was in the band I decided to use my second name Nikjeh as an alias called Nick Jey. Then when I signed my first record deal my company wanted to change that name because there were lots of Nicks out there and Sharam was more remarkable for them. So it became Sharam Jey.
SK: How would you describe the current music scene where you live?
SJ: The sounds and the scenes are changing constantly. I think you should find your style and be true to yourself. The last 3 years I had fun playing a mixture of my background sounds which I grew up with like house, electro, 80s, hip-hop and rock.
SK: What do you predict for your music genre in the future?
SJ: After 15 years in the business I am just enjoing every minute, I do. Its about presenting the people [with] a good mixture of sounds which makes them run wild.
SK: Who’s your musical influence?
SJ: There are so many bands and musicians which [have] influenced me. Mainly from the 80s cause that's the era I grew up in. My music is mostly influenced by rock and hip-hop etc., not so much by other djs and producers of electronic music.
SK: How does it feel being one of the world’s “Top DJ’s”?
SJ: There are so many Djs which have been called "Top DJ". I am just happy that I got the possibility to make money with what I like and what [is] my passion. It’s a stressful job but it’s the one I always wanted to do.
SK: When did you start your record label?
SJ: Actually in 2000 but officially in 2001. The idea was to produce music from Djs for Djs and to make it a bit better than the companies I had worked with over all those years. So at first it was just my music that had been released. Now I have started to give new talents a chance to release their stuff. So it’s a bit stressy because you have to be there for your artists even when you’re on tour and on the other side of the world.
SK: How was it is growing up Iranian, in Germany?
SJ: I came here when I was really young so I did not have problems acclimating myself. I quickly got to know new people in school and when I started do my music thing it was absolutly the center of my life and the guys I used to hang out with were into the same things.
SK: What’s your favorite Persian dish?
SJ: As I don’t eat red meat I would say: jujekabab. But as cooking is my 2nd best hobby I like lots of different dishes as well...but I love all Persian food.
SK: How many languages do you speak?
SJ: Unfortunately just three. German, Persian and English. But I definitely will work on spanish and maybe one day japanese as I really like the country and the food.
SK: Describe your music in three words.
SJ: I am not able to describe it in three words . I would say it’s a mixture of house, electro, rock, hip-hop, breaks ... or Electronic rockin music.
SK: What’s the largest venue you’ve played?
SJ: I would say Loveparade in Berlin. 100,000 people.
SK: Who would you like to see in concert?
SJ: Actually I have been to a lot of concerts lately, but I am always excited about seeing people like Prince or the Beastie Boys.
SK: Any major collaborations?
SJ: I am going to release my new single with a collaboration mix by the Glimmers ft. Princess Superstar. She will also contribute new vocals to my song 'Monday Morning'. I did a remix for the boys in return. And I have a remix out for Shiny Toy Guns.
SK: Where did you spin last?
SJ: I just finished my world tour which began in April in Australia and got me to the US, Asia, Brazil etc. So now I am really focusing on my new album. I am just playing a few gigs at the moment. I played at Dirty Dancing in Brussels last week. They were celebrating their 4th anniversary. Great party!
SK: What’s next?
SJ: As I said there will be a new single out called 'Message To Love', it’s a track from my first artist album '4 Da Loverz' with brand new remixes from The Glimmers, DJ Kaos, Alex Metric and the LouLou Plöayers. Then there will be some classics remixed by some friends of mine. And the highlight will definitely be my new artist album which will be out next year. I havent been to my studio for a year now except for some remixes I did. So I am really excited about working and producing again.
SK: I had a dream, Sharam Jey & Deep Dish were headlining in Kish Island. A massive crowd of young Iranian attendees surrounding me as we jam to 4 Da Loverz and watch the sun rise. Do you think it’ll ever come to fruition or remain merely a dream?
SJ: I don’t know... unfortunately, don’t really think that this will happen in the near future. Hopefully someday the people in Iran will be able to enjoy music and parties the way we do [freely].
Listen to Sharam Jey's top hit song '4 Da Loverz' or visit his Myspace Page.