Just your friendly neighbourhood Dj from Karachi. Currently, the resident Dj for Darkaar Collective, a teacher and poet, and just someone that loves the freedom of music and what dancefloors gives. I fell in love with electronic music young, I fell in love with DJing while at University in England and was lucky enough to have a regular spot on club nights around town.
Now, it’s been a few years since I moved back home, and I’m trying to find my own place in the local scene.
Connect with Mouseeki Machine on Soundcloud | Instagram
Can you please tell our readers where you are from and what you find inspirational about the city you are residing in?
My name is Samiullah Khokhar, my friends call me Sami and I DJ under the moniker Mouseeki Machine which literally translates to music machine, a play on how I only rely on machinery and it was a Greek friend that adopted me and taught me how to mix and mouseeki is a word Urdu and greek share so it was also a kind of homage to that friendship.
I was born and raised in Karachi, one of the most populated cities in the world. What inspires me about Karachi, is the people. Without a doubt, we have a myriad of problems but the rich history, culture, and resilience of the people to still find humour and still find beauty in a place that almost always is on fire.
Tell us a bit about your musical background. How did it start out for you as Mouseeki Machine, your preferred music genre, …?
I was always into electronic music, I remember being the only kid in my school that listened to deadmau5 and Skrillex when bangarang came out. I guess it was in high school where I really fell in love with more underground music, techno, house, deep house, electronica and distanced myself from the more commercial sounds of your Tiesto’s and martin Garrix’s.
Thankfully, I am not as pigeonholed and snobbish about my taste in techno as I was back then, now I listen to a variety of music, these days I am just in awe of Big L and his legacy.
What or who were your early influences that made you become a DJ?
If anything, it was just being around people that heard top-shelf electronic music, I grew up musically looking at Nicholas Jaar, Oliver Huntemann, Paul Ritch, Stephan Bodzin, Christian Loffler, Gui Boratto to name a few so they have massively influenced how I curate my mixes and what kind of sounds I am attracted to.
How would you describe your sound and style?
I think it really depends, when I am at home recording a mix, I always gravitate towards a more groovy, delicate and meditative style of electronic music whereas if I am playing live, in a club or for people, I just go with the mood of the room and honestly, I have been very lucky because I just play music I vibe to at that moment and people have responded very well.
What can we expect from the mix you made?
I think there is no one static mood, in the start I feel like I was purging my anxieties, playing tracks that lead to movement, and ascension but as the mix progresses you can expect moments of love, happiness, and beauty with maybe hints of sadness here and there. Honestly, songs I would like to hear as the sun is setting and I am surrounded by new and old friends hugging and having a good time on the floor.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years and what are you going to do to achieve that dream or goal?
Hopefully, still DJing, being much more refined and much truer to my sonic vision. Maybe learning how to make the kind of edits and remixes that I am always digging for and also being able to sustain myself from my art. I write poetry and Dj so the goal right now is to be able to pay for the 9999 vinyl records on my wishlist, get the new aiaiai headphones and my own monitors and CDJs but most importantly still be able to be a conduit to help people enjoy their nights out with music.
On a typical day, what does your ‘listening diet’ look like?
a few years ago, I would have said I woke up to electronic music and slept to it. Now it’s all sorts, there is a bunch of indie local and from a lot of different countries, some rock, a lot of old-school hip hop some of the new school as well and of course techno house electronic are always in rotation.
How much do you use social media to stay in contact with your fans? Is the Internet important for you?
Honestly, I wouldn’t say I have fans, but through the grace of God, I do have some friends that really vibe with what I do, plus I have had the importance of P.R beaten into me so I can get gigs hahaha so you know I use my Soundcloud and Instagram to showcase more and more of my work.
And of course, the internet is so important, since Pakistan doesn’t have any record stores how would I find my music. However, I feel it is important to acknowledge that the internet is a double-edged sword so I always am re-evaluating my relationship with it.
What is your absolute favourite track of the moment?
It is a tie between Faris Shafi’s Nazar, The stretch and Bobbito Big L and Jay Z freestyle and Da Bomb by Dj Deeon.
What’s the last thing you saw that made you smile?
A dream I had about my girl.