Working 24h each day and currently making his Australia debut, Sifa has come a long way to establish himself in the scene. Being the A&R of Belgian label Offering Recordings and running his own label DEPTH, the DJ and producer is about to release his remix for Mr. ID‘s track ‘Salat Ala Nabina‘ that currently made it into Dixon‘s set. Torture the Artist spoke to the honest and loyal companion about his musical beginnings and preferences outside of the business and exclusively premieres Sifa‘s remix for Mr. ID.
Listen to Torture the Artist’s exclusive premiere of Mr. ID ‘Salat Ala Nabina (Sifa Remix)’ in the link below.
Torture the Artist: How did you get involved with electronic music in the first place?
Sifa: It all started for me as being a dancer. I used to be in a Brussels based dance school that used to teach HipHop choreographies. One day one of the teacher told us that we were going to do something different and I still do remember him teaching us a House dance routine to Alicia Keys‘ track ‘Feelin Me, Feelin you (Alix Alvarez Remix)‘. This I believe was the moment when I realized that electronic music was really something that I liked.
After that I still was taking the HipHop dance classes, but I also tried to find those soulful House tacks. It was only a few years later, around 2010, that I really started to get involved with electronic music and organized my first event in Belgium having Boddhi Satva as a guest. Since that event we stayed in touch and one day he and Ivan invited me over to offer me a job as social media manager for Offering Recordings. It allowed me to discover the scene and the music industry from another perspective.
In 2013 I decided to move to Canada and helped Nuno, a friend of mine, with his events. I also played at his parties and my sound became a little bit darker and more techy. It was a great time and it allowed me to connect with artists such as DJ Tennis, Dennis Ferrer, Blond:ish and more. Around 2016 Boddhi asked me whether I would be interested in running Offering Recordings. I took this chance and moved back to Europe.
I wouldn’t say that I represent the sound of Brussels. Belgians still like sets to be ‘hard‘ and I’m totally not into that kind of sound.
Torture the Artist: You nicely represent the sound of Brussel in the electronic music scene. What do you appreciate most about your hometown? And more specifically, its music?
Sifa: I wouldn’t say that I represent the sound of Brussels. Belgians still like sets to be ‘hard‘ and I’m totally not into that kind of sound. I guess that’s the legacy of the new beat and techno scene. The older generations like the tech-sound a bit more, while the younger ones are more into Techno and Minimal. But honestly speaking, aside from my regular nights at Stereo in Brussels, I do not play any other venues in Belgium. I believe it‘s because my sound is a bit different and is more appealing to people who live outside of Belgium. Even though I believe that I’ve found the right balance between the Afro-House sound and the deeper sound and that I’m able to please some more people in Brussels now.
F*ck this I should be home working on music with different artists instead of killing my back and getting yelled at by the chef.
Torture the Artist: Besides being the A&R of Offering Recordings you run a label called Depth. How did this come about?
Sifa: Depth was originally an idea to have artists from Offering Recordings getting together and play a series of events. We organized an event once at ADE (editor‘s note: Amsterdam Dance Event), but the musical result was not what I had expected. So I decided – as I had been working for Offering quite some time – to start my own label some months ago.
I’ve always wanted to have my own label, but never found the right formula. When I was in Canada and working my day job, which was washing the dishes, I thought to myself: ‘F*ck this I should be home working on music with different artists instead of killing my back and getting yelled at by the chef.
Torture the Artist: What is the idea behind Depth?
The idea behind Depth is to have different artists from different countries come together for some events and have a few releases on the label. I contacted a few artists that I admire and that I believe deserve recoginition. I just want to support their music and help them to further their career. That being said you find the following artists on the label: Aaaron (Germany), Rancido (Netherlands), Nandu (Denmark), MYNY (Germany), Ivory (Italy), West & Hill (Netherlands), Les Enchanted (Belgium), D-Malice (UK) and myself. But we are not a collective or a crew, Depth is a platform to push these guys. As we‘ve had already two events, we will finally have the first release from West & Hill and Les Enchanted on the label that is due April 28th. It‘s called ‘Mantwe‘ – deriving from their hometown names Maastrich and Antwerpen and includes remixes by Rancido and Mâhfoud.
One day I was at home and messing around with my studio gear and decided to play with the vocals. I must admit that I really got inspired by all my previous love stories, so this remix for me is a sort of testimony to the ladies that have crossed my path until now.
Torture the Artist: Your remix for Mr. ID‘s ‘Salat Ala Nabina‘ is causing quite a buzz. What does a track have to have so that you remix it?
Sifa: Indeed my remix is getting some attention ever since some video occured when Dixon played it in his sets. But to answer the question, I think that first off all the original track needs to attractive to me and have a nice groove. But if the original version is already amazing, I never touch it. I remember the first time I met Mr. ID in Casablanca. Hhe let us hear the instrumental in the car and Boddhi and me where immediately into it. A few months after he sent us the track with the vocals and it was like how we say in french: ‘La cerise sur le gateau‘ (editor‘s note: the icing on the cake). One day I was at home and messing around with my studio gear and decided to play with the vocals. I must admit that I really got inspired by all my previous love stories, so this remix for me is a sort of testimony to the ladies that have crossed my path until now.
Torture the Artist: What goals do you want to achieve as an artist?
Sifa: I think that like every artist I would like my music to touch people and last forever. It is great to have huge hits, but unfortunately nowadays they only last 2-3 weeks.
Torture the Artist: Your social media accounts give the impression that you live and breathe music. What are your other interests, beside music?
Sifa: Ahm… the reason why my social media accounts give that impression is because I don’t really like to post about my personal life on social media. But to answer your questions besides music I like to cook, enjoy good company and travelling. But I promise I’ll try to post more about myself on the social media platforms from now on.
Torture the Artist: Aside from music, what is a treat for you?
Sifa: I’m addicted to tiramisu. I’m secretly on a quest to find the best tiramisu ever, but that’s another story.
Torture the Artist: What would you do with your life, if it wasn’t dedicated to music?
Sifa: I would probably listen to my mother and have a 9-5 job right now. Most likely in the communication sector like I once did for Mercedes-Benz and IATA . It was fun though, but at a certain point I got bored and asked myself, if this was really what you wanted to do in life. The fact that our generation is more ‘free‘ to go for their dreams, makes it also possible for others to believe and achieve them.
Torture the Artist: Name three locations that you’d recommend in Brussels. For example, a bar, a club, or a coffee shop.
Sifa: ‘Or Espresso Bar‘ is where I get my fix! The place is nice and they have good coffee, if you are a coffee-addict.
Of course, when it comes to clubs, you have to visit ‘Stereo Club‘, because that’s where I’m most of the time when I’m not home. The venue is not fancy, but has a special energy. People attend it because of the music. My third recommendation is the little area in Rue de Stalingrad, they have the best little Moroccan restaurant of the city.
Torture the Artist: Who is your favorite fashion designer?
Sifa: Most of my favourite fashion designers are Italian, but if I had to chose one, I would say Brunello Cucinellii and Layers and Layers.