Amr Gawdat Hassan, better known as Martin Jordan, is a 20 year-old Egyptian producer and DJ. With three years of production under his belt, he's ready to take the world by storm with countless unreleased tracks and collaborations coming out over the next few years. He's also just beginning to play live in his hometown of Alexandria. Martin stopped by to talk about his workflow, upcoming projects, and how he's managed to make a name all the way from Egypt.
What sort of musical background do you have and how you become involved in the EDM community?
I came from a musical family like my mom plays piano and my dad plays guitar. We’re just a bunch of musicians and we all love music together. I started playing piano when I was five years old and learned how to play the drums when I was eight. As for EDM, I got into it about three years ago after listening to people like Hardwell, Martin Garrix, Nicky Romero, W&W, Armin Van Buuren, Arston, and watching their live shows and whatnot. I couldn’t get enough of their music and so I decided that I wanted to try and become producer and DJ. I downloaded FL Studio and bought a DJ controller and got down to learning the tricks of the trade!
Have you kept up your skills with the piano and drums?
Definitely! Everyday I love to play piano and jam out on the drums in my best friend’s studio. I’ll play percussion while he rips on the bass guitar. Sometimes our other friends will join us on the saxophone and trumpet. Once in a blue moon we’ll get some singers in there and then we’re unstoppable!
How did you manage to get five bookings in a week in Egypt?
I was sitting around one day and thinking about how I could start playing out. I figured I would start contacting the clubs around my city of Alexandria and show them some of my work as a producer. They were really impressed and shortly after, the bookings just started rolling in! Now I’m getting a new show everyday and on track to doing multiple shows in a day in the near future!
You’re twenty years old and skilled with vinyl?
I absolutely adore it! You have to be really tight and fast with selecting your tracks and putting them on. There is no such thing as cue and sync in vinyl which is how it should be in my opinion. No DJ should be able to use sync and call themselves a real DJ. The vinyl world taught me how to play tracks in time and manually beatmatch. If you can mix well on vinyl, any digital setup will be extremely easy to learn because you’ll have the basics down and know the roots of all of its functionality.
You’ve been involved in some ghost productions. What can you tell us about your experience in that side of the industry?
I’ve been involved in a lot of ghost productions as well as producing for singers. I’ve also done mixing and mastering services. Projects like those are definitely a good way to make real money with your production skills. For ghost productions, the clients tend not to care all too much about the track as long as it sounds good; the people I have worked with have been pretty hands off. Sometimes they ask me to tweak a few notes here and there but largely it’s just whatever I thought sounded good.
Can you walk us through how you create your tracks?
Throughout the day I’ll be listening to something and hear an idea I like or something will just pop into my head so I’ll rush to my DAW the first chance I get to start working on fleshing out that idea. Sometimes it’ll be a melody or something for the drop. If I just don’t have any ideas at all, I’ll work on the low end and mess around with some presets and samples till something starts to come together. I spent a lot of time making my own presets because it took me a while to get a good handle on sound design. I’m a big fan of Vandalism, Splice sounds, and Revealed Packs. For my synths, I’ll layer my original presets with some well-known sounds. In the mixing, I use a lot of plugins such as Fabfilter & Izotope Collection, Waves Bundle, Soundtoys and also FL Studio stock plugins like Fruity Reverb! Even though I primarily use FL Studio, I know how to use Logic and Ableton as well which is super helpful for collaborations.
What sort of stuff do get up to outside of music?
When I’m not producing, mixing, or jamming out, I love to go racing and drifting in my Kia Cerato. Getting exercise is also important so I’ll go and play soccer with my friends or go boxing. Managing my time between all of these things is pretty difficult as I’m a third year business student at university. I’ll also take whatever chance I can get to travel and get a change of scenery. I love to go get my laptop and headphones and take it to the beach just to get some different inspirations.
What plans do you have to branch out genre wise and how have you tackled the various challenges that come with a new genre?
While I have my own style in festival music like big room, progressive house, and groove, Ii also love to produce other genres like pop, future bass, downtempo, trance, psy-trance, future house, cinematic, deep house, brazilian bass, and hardstyle. Sometimes, I’ll try to mix genres together to create something really unique and special. For example, in my new style I try to mix big room and trap in the drops and even lowering the tempo to get some moombah in there like in my release Ficusta with PL4YFIELDS! I love thinking out of the box as much as I can so that I can stand out in the scene!
Where are you hoping to go next with your career?
I’m aiming and dreaming of so much stuff! Outside of music, I’m looking forward to graduating from university and seeing where that takes me. However with music, I’m aiming for the biggest labels as Revealed, Spinnin’, Armada. And Mainstage. Hopefully after that, I’ll be able to start touring and seeing all of the different parts of the world to spread my music!
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