Danny Savage introduces Iman Habibi known globally as Habischman an Iranian DJ and Producer appearing on iconic labels like Get Physical, Global Underground, Moda Black, Viva, Noir Music, Knee Deep In Sound and Nonstop whilst also counting industry giants Pete Tong, Nicole Moudaber and John Digweed amongst his ardent supporters. In this episode the pair discuss what it takes to break through within the current scene and they cover goal setting, networking and also the significance of aligning your brand alongside the right labels, venues and agencies to build your following with people that really understand your music. With a frank sharing of inspiration, aspiration and industry experience this Danny Savage Show really provides a deeper insight into the roots of electronic music and how DJs and producers dedicated to reaching the top need to navigate their way the opportunities that arise.
Beginning with a brief pre-history we get to grips with Habischman’s original interest in music progressing from dancing to breakdancing and the evolution from scratching to beatmatching on turntables. Launching his moniker in 2008 Habischman followed numerous forays into production really finding favour on the Ableton platform and taking a major step forward invited onto the famed Redbull Academy in the same year. This unique platform was a supercharged introduction to respected DJs, profile artists, teachers and seasoned experts and covering a mix of work, education and entertainment.
Moving onto the next round of questioning Danny delves deeper into the specific challenges and benefits of Habischman’s local surrounds. Even though we’ve witnessed a long list of great artists breaking through from Iran including Ali Dubfire, Darrius Syrossian and Yousef, Iman is literally one of the only ones still living and producing in his native homeland whilst upholding his international profile. Citing the immediate lack of electronic artists and events shows the reference points are provided over digital media with online radio, Youtube and more for influence. Moving onto the culture Habischman references the amazing beauty of his country as a major instigator in his outlook and viewpoint which then translates into his chosen art-form, on the flipside an immediate challenge could be net speed hindering his information uploads but this is really a minor factor but across the world plenty of other producers may relate with their own defining restrictions.
A major indicator about his character is Habischman shows resilient persistence and placates that his personal drive is in forward motion regardless of anything that arises which leans onto the next phase of Danny’s current e-book series under goal setting. Taking in an overview of the strategy that has helped build his reputation the pair reflect on historic landmarks like Habischman first being introduced to the scene and sound via Global Underground mix series and then taking up as their feature artist 15 years later. Offering up a sound advice for upcoming artists the duo discuss the importance of connecting with the correct calibre of labels and gaining the support of key people as you build.
Looking at the next level in his own career Danny and Iman discuss Radio 1 and the kudos and feelings evoked with the likes of Steve Lawler, Dubfire, Danny Tenaglia, Digweed, Sasha and Pete Tong showing interest in his music and accomplishing widespread radio exposure. Unique areas of interest for listeners comes in the format of direction, inspiration and connection interplaying names like Hot Since 82 and the importance of peer feedback and interaction a prime example is highlighted in Ali Dubfire’s documentary http://www.abovegroundlevelfilm.com/ showing the level of dedication, DJ culture and motivation it takes to gain respect and prime positioning within the industry.
In relation to his existing territory Habischman tells how he produces in a basement in Tehran, helping others with his acquired skills yet his love is touring and a European sound, remixing and collaborations that drive him. We get to know the form his big break took and how technology has allowed him to connect with his audience and the greater industry, listing his own steps of studying labels, tracks, djs and perfecting the strategy to get heard, reminding DJs that today persistence is key as many labels receive thousands of emails weekly and even himself has needed to send multiple reminder emails to stay relevant, suggesting you need a steadfast belief in your sound and look toward all formats to submit.
Returning back to relationships, noting it is a relatively small industry the boys talk about making mutual friendships and leveraging everyone’s advice. Once again we hear that the Redbull Academy was a melting pot of talent Habischman attending the same time as Septa and Jamie Woon with previous luminaries also being Black Coffee and Nina Kravitz. Looking back Iman says it was exciting yet took some adjustments to the balance between partying, playing, studio sessions but digesting it retrospectively the sound engineers and staff (even a previous Grammy award winner) were invaluable resources offering life changing advice.
Bringing it into the present Habischman introduces us to the fact his PR introduction via The Everyday Agency to Jackmode has now positioned him with a family that believe in him and the value of a bespoke booking agent that can really support you. Looking at the key aspects you need to be picked up he lists representation (how you present yourself or your brand to the world, introduction (friends, networks and assets) and the reliance on your activity showing you need to be engaged, show a good history of releases scheduled and momentum building to be considered … assuring it won’t happen overnight. Breaking it down it covers key notes on enquiring with the right people, including fellow DJ’s, your business model, social presence, productions, plans, feedback and following (a comprehensive package) where Danny interjects with some suggested tools for DJs including Hootsuite, Buffer, Track Id’s, formulating engaging content and questions, video lengths and times for posting @6pm -10 as crucial, how to gather stats and data and using that as an advantage.
The next stage takes in the components of licensing tracks, programming and placement for the Global Underground series, Habischmans gigs in Ibiza last season, the platform as a learning experience, stepping foot in Sankeys and Amnesia and a nod to his manager who works for Game Over co-promoting Carl Cox and Resistance parties. He openly shares the VIP culture may push people across to Croatia which holds a lot of current interest before discussing both Berlin and UK scene’s. Reminding people that he prefers to play party’s where his sound specifically fits in preference to the other way round, as international DJs often find in their tours, using a recent GU set in Moscow as an example where the time showcased his groove and tech based preference but many were expecting his more underground and understated sound.
Announcing a commitment to return to Berlin and Ibiza this year we also hear of Habischman’s major desire to play at Fabric or a UK tour which was previously impeded by Visa issues, navigated to feature at ADE and Ministry Of Sound. Outside of music we all like to know more about our favourite figureheads so Habischman shares he is also into swimming (fitness) movies and initiating video editing and script writing. We get to learn more about his side project Time Code TV which is based on Instagram and provides knowledge for young people, taking on the form of an eventual academy. This shares 1 minute clips on DJing, production and music daily with recent introductions from La Fleur and Tini and acts a s a source of giving back whilst also encouraging his interest in documentary’s, editing and media.
Projecting forward we hear that Habischman perceives the world as a relatively small arena and via his touring and experiences notes it’s a similarity we all share through the universal language of music, connecting us, artists and fans together regardless of location or race. Danny asks what the most impacting purchase over time to help form his future to which the reply shares a laptop for production loaded with Ableton (full version) and now a Macbook Pro, the main takeaway is that we hear it’s not about gear it’s about the idea that is the standout theme. In the past 6 months the main purchase has been a Korg Minologue featuring heavily in recent productions with its warmth and depth and the physicality you get from an actual product in preference to software.
In the final roundup we learn about the artists regrets which includes not being able to rewind the Redbull opportunity with his current understanding and capabilities where he could now detail the process better. Reflecting on his failings we hear the wise words that nothing is a quick fix or easy step forward you must pay your dues telling us about the time his hit Leave Me was blowing up and he couldn’t leave the country with National Service he had previously delayed, chalking it all down to a learning experience and reminding him of essential duties which we all hold in our own relevant stories.
Via the quickfire Q&A posed by readers of the www.dannysavage.com blog provides some further insight and hot tips for the audience https://soundcloud.com/phillclintonmusic requests to know more about the importance of social media and which preferred platform is strongest. Habischman shares for him it is more about instagram in preference to Facebook keeping fans updated, feeling more connected especially with shows, sharing appreciation giving away tips and freebies as it isn’t always about money. Next Oblivinato from the uSA asks the best way to produce your own parties but Habischman himself doesn’t promote but he shares poignant tips that you should always aim to be different, create don’t compete, don’t expect loads of money in the infancy, include your friends and gather momentum and fanbase first. Tom Saunders from London enquires whether the Berlin scene is better or worse with the influx of underground versus commercial aspects where Habischman incites it’s always a good thing with variance and there is always good and bad anywhere … globally yet Berlin remains one of the best backdrops and resilient sounds in the world supported by local government who value the clubbing trade in preference to UK as we often witness.
One of the most intriguing sections is when Danny asks something we don’t know about the artist. The first thing Habischman shares is his full name of which his moniker has been derived and next the major footprint that he doesn’t take drugs which in todays current scene is often questioned or promoted. As priority Habischman doesn’t judge but prefers to keep his focus and standards high which reflects throughout his profile and prefers fitness as an on-going fixation. Delving back into his youth he was involved in a car accident where his right ear suffered and incurred tinnitus, now as a DJ he finds the constant hindrance a warning when it comes to long hours in a club and actively suggests ear plugs and protection, something we should all take into account.
Quote of the day comes in the form of Habischman sharing “The word impossible is not in my dictionary” when prompted if he could present a one-off to DJ magazine for potential front-page positioning. Please check out more on Danny Savage and his guest Habischman below and expect something out of the ordinary when he lands in Ibiza this season bringing something intimate not often available on the island to either a villa party, private rooftop event or even a Cliffside pop-up, keep your eyes and ears peeled.
Get to know more about Habischman and also check out his music:
Tune in to the rest of the That Danny Savage Show podcasts and receive unique insights from DJs, Labels, Promoters and many from behind the scene including influencers, managers, marketers and more. That Danny Savage Show is available to listen, download, comment and share:
Please join the DJ Growth Lab Community a facebook group dedicated to giving the skills and information to people wanting to break into the music industry.
All enquiries and feedback to:
Press / Media:
Please support our friends and partners at:
The Everyday Agency – A creative marketing agency that provides Digital Marketing, Graphic Design, Web Design, PR, Social Media Strategy, SEO to the international music industry.
Providing the best news about the electronic music industry including music reviews, music news, clubs, events, Ibiza club news, DJs, labels and more. Covering the hottest Electronic music events and festivals from house to techno, disco, deep house, tech house and minimal.
Last Night A DJ Saved My Life Foundation – A charity creating opportunities & fundraising initiatives to enable the dance music industry to help children in crisis.
Association for Electronic Music (AFEM) – A not-for-profit trade association created to represent the common interests of those companies and individuals whose business is Electronic Music and to advocate best practice for the genre.