HADJ SAMEER / DJ
"Vinyl are like fine wine, they are pieces of art, their appeal endures the test of time. They are mystical artifacts. I started collecting them when I was 16, playing them was a natural occurrence". Parisian flea markets are modern archaeological sites, they are exotic bazaars transplanted in the shadow of mesmerizing futuristic sites. Layer after layer, vinyl after vinyl, Hadj Sameer's hands perceive the frequency of vibrations, habits and musical influences. Record hunter, music collector, defining this digger of sounds is equivalent to revealing his infinite nuances, to understanding his all-encompassing passion.
Hundreds of musical paintings monopolize the entire flat of Hadj, an endless mosaic of covers that crowd walls, sofas, floors. In the only white space of the whole house stands out an Algerian flag, human and musical origins of this 31 years old dj: "My father left Algeria and arrived in Paris alone. He used to bring vinyl as a gift to my mother every time he returned home. When the whole family got together in France, our weekends started to follow a real ritual: we all sat in the living room, around a sound system, and listened to my parents' vinyl collection. They had a few hundred and they ranged from Arabic music to French disco and American jazz. Thanks to those moments of sharing, my mind was opened: those listenings formed my musical sensibility, they formed who I am".
Fingers and fingertips move simultaneously on the console, the turntables caress a pair of vinyl, setting them to rhyme. The glow of a Parisian afternoon is instantly tinged with afrofunk, groovy house and West Indies notes. Just a few gestures are enough to enter Hadj's multifaceted kingdom, the crowded laboratory where rhythmic combinations take shape, ready to pulsate in underground clubs and boiler rooms: "My music doesn't change according to trends. Over the years the collective taste has changed, the scene has evolved, but I still love every vinyl I own, I remain faithful even to those I bought as a teenager. I don't like the idea of following a trend, I rather like going deep, connecting musicians and bands, really understanding their productions, and traveling through their vibes".
Curiosity and research. Hadj's whole life gravitates around these concepts, it proceeds incisively and fascinatingly, like a Bateaux Mouche on the ripples of the Seine, dividing the musical shore from the apparently antithetical one of the biomedical field. Because Hadj is an engineer, as well as a DJ, and associates the careful analysis of vinyl with the design and development of biomedical instruments. "I feel like a researcher in both areas. After finishing high school, I decided not to leave out an academic career, I didn't want to waste my parents' sacrifices. For the migrants who came here in the 1960s, it was important that the new generations were able to progress in their studies, to create a career for themselves. Certain social classes had enormous difficulties in allowing their children to study; today, fortunately, the situation has changed and more young musicians are pursuing a university career. These two worlds can be intertwined, you can be a hip hop star and an engineer at the same time. In my case, then, there are enormous similarities between musical research and biomedical research: they are opposite spheres only in appearance, curiosity is the basis of everything".