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Get to Know: Deus Deserto

Meet Deus Deserto, the rising star of techno hailing from Qatar. With his debut release "Explode" on Victor Ruiz's label VOLTA, featuring vocals from SwayDee and S.A.A.D, Deus Deserto is making waves in the global electronic music scene. Rooted in his Qatari heritage, his music blends Middle Eastern influences with peak-time techno beats, earning support from industry giants like Maceo Plex and Nicole Moudaber. In this interview, get to know Deus Deserto a little closer, discover the creative journey and cultural influences behind his unique sound and get ready to dive into the future of techno from the desert.

- Hi Deus Deserto! It's great to have you for this interview. Your debut release on Victor Ruiz's label VOLTA, "Explode," features captivating vocals from SwayDee and S.A.A.D, both prominent figures in Middle Eastern Hip Hop culture. Can you tell us about it, how did the collaboration come about, and what was the creative process like working with them?

Thanks for having me on, really excited for this interview. ’Explode’ is a collaboration

between myself and the Suwaidi brothers, we wanted to create something really original and a cross-pollination between genres. The guys weren’t that familiar to techno so when I introduced the idea, they were really intrigued and were as excited as I was to give this a shot. We’ve known each other since middle school and haven’t seen each other since we all graduated high school, I have been following both of them as they were honing their craft in rap and hip-hop. As we were catching up in their studio, Saad came about with the lyrics in a matter of 5 minutes after catching up and were ready to record the vocals. We really wanted to capture that energy of us sitting together in the studio within this track and that’s how ‘Explode’ came to life.

- Your name, Deus Deserto, translates to "God from the Desert," paying homage to your Qatari origins. How does your cultural background influence your music, particularly in the techno genre, and what elements of Qatari heritage do you incorporate into your sound?

Arabic music is generally groove heavy and that’s what really moves me when I listen to other techno tracks, the soul of the track usually lies within the groove. I try my best to make my music as groovy as I can as you can hear in my ‘Explode’ EP. In my first release ‘Amsy’, I have used many Qatari/Arabic elements, the track included the ‘Oud’, ‘Tablah’ (Arabic drums) and a Qatari poem. Since then, I try my best to incorporate as many Arabic elements or inspirations in my music as that track got supported by Nicole Moudaber, and that gave me the purpose to pursue my music further.

-  Having garnered support from industry heavyweights like Maceo Plex, Nicole Moudaber, and ANNA, what do you believe sets your sound apart in the competitive techno landscape, especially coming from the Middle East?

That’s a difficult question to answer right now, as I am still developing my sound. I do believe that originality is everything these days, there are so many copy cats and it’s becoming harder and harder to stand out as an artist, but to me music is king and that is why my music is getting picked up. I am trying my best to be in my own lane and not get tempted to follow someone else’s.

- You've performed alongside renowned artists such as Sama Abdulhadi, Victor Ruiz, and Joris Voorn. How has sharing the stage with such luminaries influenced your artistic journey, and what lessons have you learned from these experiences?

I have learned a lot from these artists, whether listening to their music, watching them perform or even being in the studio with them. Having Victor Ruiz as a mentor has really helped me develop as an Artist, he truly has been giving the best feedback on my music. For example, when Victor heard ‘Explode’ he really loved the idea but gave me feedback to make it better, I took his suggestions and put in the track and kept going back and forth until the track is what you hear today. The track has gone through 16 iterations till all parties were happy with the final result. I am really thankful for that because ‘Explode’ wouldn’t be at the quality that it is at today. This process also taught me what it takes to be an artist with the caliber of Victor and having a lot of patience is key.

- Your presence in the techno scene in Qatar has been instrumental in its growth, and you've been featured in international clubs and festivals like MDLBeast and Awakenings. What challenges have you faced in cultivating the techno community in Qatar, and how do you envision its future?

It mostly has to do with stubborn promoters here, we have proven time and time again that peaktime techno has a fan base here, but they tend to be hesitant with this and go with the safer options. I hope it will change sooner rather than later as we are seeing huge techno artists have an interest in playing in Qatar, this will eventually change the perception of techno in my home country and will definitely help it grow.

- With 2024 promising exciting releases on major labels, what can fans expect from your upcoming tracks, and how do you perceive your evolution as an artist in the coming years?

There’s a lot coming for 2024, I am definitely starting to find my own sound this year, you’ll be hearing lots of my signature grooves on these upcoming releases and some experimental and futuristic sounds. I will always push the boundaries on my music and I want to be at the forefront of techno as an artist, it is a huge goal of mine. I will be releasing on MDLBEASTS’ new techno label ‘Mahool’ and the rising techno label ‘Hypnostate’. But that’s all I can tease for now. So stayed tuned on socials for info on my upcoming releases @Deus.Deserto

- Lastly, your collaborations and support for emerging talents like SwayDee and S.A.A.D showcase a commitment to fostering local talent. How important is it for you to uplift and collaborate with fellow artists from Qatar and the Middle East, and what message do you hope to convey through your collaborative efforts?

It is really important to me to collaborate and help where I can with Local Qatari talent, the local scene here is small as you expect, however there are a lot of talented people such as S.A.A.D and SwayDee whom I love to work with. This release has been a landmark for the local scene and it has been making noise locally. The goal of this release was to inspire cross-genre collaborations and all of us are getting messaged about this release on how inspiring it is, which was one of the goals behind making this track.

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