Monday, April 20, 2015

Zainab Hasnain

Photo Courtesy Of  Zainab Hasnain

DJ ZEEMUFFIN, HOW DID IT ALL BEGIN (START FROM THE CRADLE)?
I was born in Lahore, Pakistan and came over to the States when I was five. The earliest memory of an album I loved was probably “Dookie” by Green Day. I had a huge love for punk, indie and rock music, and then eventually fell in love with hip-hop when I was in middle school. It was N.E.R.D and The Neptunes that helped bridge the gap between rock and rap for me. I remember playing “In Search of.” and “Clones” over and over again. Then I became obsessed with G- Unit, De La Soul and so on. Not many people know this but I played viola for like 13 years. That was fun, but I really loved the drums, and picked them up when I was 11 or 12. Then I started messing around on the guitar.

I was always going to shows as early as I can remember. I was never the “cool kid” in high school and never went to parties. My sister and I would go to shows in the city instead whenever we got the chance. We would camp outside Bowery Ballroom for the Kooks, or get fake IDs so we could see the Arctic Monkeys at Hammerstein Ballroom- that was the thrill for me. When I got into college I wanted to learn how to produce and DJ but didn’t know where to start and also didn’t really allow myself to take it seriously because my parents were paying for me to study something “real”. After college though, I got a job in banking and paid for a class at Dubspot and then purchased my first set of turntables when I was 20. I just knew I wanted to express my love for all types of music by telling a story of how these songs and artists connected in my head. I’ve always been fascinated with telling stories through sound.

YOU’RE ALSO AN NYU GRADUATE, WHAT WAS YOUR MAJOR?
I majored in Politics and double-minored in Economics and Business Studies. I was an investment banker for a short period of time after school and held other jobs at startups after that. Needless to say, it totally sucked and I would always spend a majority of my time on music blogs or Wikipedia reading about music. I'm still very passionate about world politics though, you can see how opinionated I am on my Twitter.

WHO’S THROWING THE BEST PARTIES IN NEW YORK RIGHT NOW?
Man I still have to give it to Venus X. Her Ghettogothik parties are still one of the only authentic parties remaining in New York. I’m going to add in a little shameless self-promotion in here too. I just started a new weekly party with Jillioniare of Major Lazer, Richie Beretta and Jay White on Tuesday’s at Kinfolk in Williamsburg. Look out for that. It’ll be nuts.

YOU RECENTLY CREATED AN EXCLUSIVE MEDLEY FOR THE TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL 2015,  HOW DID THIS VENTURE COME ABOUT?
When I worked at a digital agency for a brief period of time, I worked on a project with Tribeca Film Institute for the Nas documentary, “Time Is Illmatic”. After leaving the agency I was still good friends with the folks over there since they loved my work I did for the social side of the film. A person high up there follows me on Instagram and reached out to me because he was loving my photos of Lahore. He told me he wanted to do something with them and Tribeca. I met with the Tribeca team and brainstormed on the piece together and the rest was history. I knew I wanted to do something with my experience there regardless, and I was lucky enough to have an incredible institution like Tribeca reach out to me and provide a greater platform for the story I wanted to tell through words, sounds, and photos. It was the first time I was able to combine many of the mediums of expression I enjoy and turn it into something meaningful and close to my heart. I think that’s really tough to do and Tribeca made it really easy, which I'm eternally grateful for.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE MIX SET OF ALL TIME?
That’s a tough one! It’s impossible to pick a favorite mix - I have too many favorites. For the sake of brevity I’ll go with Jackmaster’s Mastermix from 2014. That was an insane mix and really showed me that you can pretty much blur the lines of producer and DJ if your song selection and mixing are on point.

WHAT’S THE MC's ROLE IN POPULAR CULTURE?
Well Kendrick has sort of set the bar to show us how someone can transcend being a rapper and become a voice for a generation. I really think America is going through another civil rights era/movement and “Pimp a Butterfly” is the soundtrack for that. He’s one of the most important voices out there period. Someone like that can show you how art can insert itself into the narrative of our present day culture and shift the conversations we are having amongst each other. MC's have the power to make the world more conscious of their own surroundings - not a lot of artists care about that factor or think it's "cool" to be conscious, but Kendrick has showed everyone how it's done. He talked about meaningful things and didn't do it in a corny way. King Kunta is deep, but it's also a banger. How many people can do that?

AS FAR AS DJs GO, WHO’S THE BADDEST BITCH OR MITCH IN THE GAME?
Baddest Bitch/es: Louisahhh, Jubilee, Anna Lunoe and Venus X. And Baddest Mitch: too many to pick from. Jacques Greene and Q-Tip are crazy good live.

WHAT’S ON YOUR PERENNIAL TO-DO LIST AND WHAT DO YOU GET UP TO OUTSIDE OF THE MUSIC SCENE?
Music is just the start for me. I want to write a book, direct a film, start a clothing line and build my own creative agency and record label. My mom always tells me I don’t have a focus. I think it’s because I just want to express myself in as many ways as possible! One thing at a time though.

ON A SEPARATE NOTE, YOUR SENSE OF STYLE NEEDS TO BE DISSECTED AND DISCUSSED. WALK US THROUGH YOUR CLOSET
Why thank you. For me, style is all in the details. I don’t think expensive equals stylish. I think it's all about dressing in a way that makes you feel confident and sexy, and that’s different for everyone. I used to buy trendy things but recently I’ve just been wearing a lot of sneakers, kimono’s and jewelry. I like to keep the clothes themselves simple but wear crazy sneakers, or a headpiece, or one item like a blazer that pops out. I love buying vintage things and pairing them with more modern items. Sneakers are everything.

WHAT SHOULD EVERY WOMAN TRY AT LEAST ONCE IN HER LIFE?
Every woman should try loving herself more. It’s the hardest thing to do. It’s also the most important.

3 comments:

  1. East meets West fusion. Love the look ❤

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  2. Interesting story.

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  3. Interesting person :)

    ReplyDelete