There’s something about the fresh air on the South coast that brings out the best in upcoming talent and Brighton is no exception. Enter, Safari resident DJ, Masso (Iraj Massoumian). The 20 year old techno producer from Brighton has already stacked up an impressive number of appearances at clubs up and down the country. Playing at the likes of Fire in London and Concorde 2 in Brighton alongside his residencies on Trickstar Radio and Brap.FM, it’s easy to see why this cutting edge producer is turning heads within the techno scene.
We caught up with Masso to find out a bit more about where it all started and what challenges him as an artist?
When did you start DJ’ing and what or who were your early passions and influences?
I started at 18 years old. I got a MacBook, DJ controller and monitor speakers for my birthday. At the time my influences were people like Skream, Benga, Scuba, Coki and Sir Spyro. Ever since the age of 12 I’ve been into grime, garage and dubstep. It’s all I ever listened to. But as I grew older and the scenes and music were changing I followed everyone’s progress (Skream’s progress into the house/disco scene and Scuba into techno).
What has been the high point so far in your career, what really sticks out to you?
Joining Safari. It’s great to be in the same circle and team with a bunch of lads that share the same love for music as me. We’ve got so much to look forward to and we’ve really grown into a family.
What’s the biggest challenge you face as a producer?
Mind blanks. There’s nothing worse than being sat in front of the screen knowing what you want but it’s just not happening. I’ve got so much zooming around in my head all day, everyday, but when it comes to getting it all down I sometime’s struggle to. I’m more of a hands on person. I hate being sat in front of a screen, but it’s got to be done.
How do you normally go about preparing a set? What influences the track listing?
I don’t. In the early days I used to panic and get some tunes together and go over and over the songs. But I don’t do that anymore. I literally chuck some tunes on a USB stick and turn up to play. I look at the venue, crowd and vibe. Then I play to suit that.
Where does the name ‘Masso’ come from?
I couldn’t really think of a ‘cool name’ but wanted my ‘DJ’ name to have meaning behind it. So as you know my surname is Massoumian. Well, I took ‘MASSO’umian. So that’s basically it. Because no one can pronounce my name properly and I wasn’t having ‘Iraj Massoumian-Montano’ on a line up. It’s too long and no one knows how to say it.
The worst thing that has happened to you whilst producing / DJ’ing so far?
Turning up and my USB’s/laptop not working. Or the equipment failing on me. I now without fail travel with a back up. I turn up to places with 3 USB’s all the same just in case one fails on me. It’s happened before. I’ve traveled all the way to a club, then something’s not working and I can’t play.
What is one sub genre you think doesn’t get the attention it deserves?
Hard, stomping, monstrous techno. If that’s even a sub genre? People seem to hate it. But I love nothing more than the basic hard kick, hi hat and weird sounds and loud noises. That 130+BPM stuff.
What is one track that never gets old for you no matter how many times you hear it?
George FitzGerald – Thinking of You
Heard this at Global Gathering. Still sends shivers down my spine.
What is one track that got popular that you can’t stand?
That ‘Freak Like Me’ song. It’s way too overplayed.
If you like what you’ve heard from Masso so far, follow him on social media and check him out at one of these venues across the UK this Summer.
31st April – CT1 festival, Kent
May 7th – Source Bar, Kent
May 8th – 93 Feet East, London
May 14th – SHIFT at the Shak, Portsmouth. And for Safari, in London (Venue TBA)
May 28th – Safari prison rave (Venue TBA)
June 11th – Safari at Brighton (venue TBA
June 25th – Safari tunnel rave, Chatham
Twitter – @IrajMassoumian
Instagram – @IrajMassoumian__
Soundcloud – Masso