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Palestinian DJ Yasmine Eve on the Sunshine State, techno, and equality

Palestinian DJ Yasmine Eve on the Sunshine State, techno, and equality
Courtesy of Yasmine Eve

Tell us about your background.

My mom is American and my dad is Palestinian-Arab. We moved to the States, to Florida, when I was thirteen and I lived there for ten years before I decided to come back. I like it better here. I was born and raised here, it’s where I see myself living. It’s my home. My friends and people I grew up with here mean a lot to me and the energy I get here from them. I’m just more motivated here. Shout out to West Palm Beach, though! Florida is a beautiful state. The beaches, the warm weather, you know. I didn’t really connect with the people or find myself there. America is no doubt one of the greatest countries in the world. But the warmth and connection of people here I haven’t found anywhere else.

When did you get into music?

I decided to become a DJ after I went to a Steve Aoki show. I was blown away by the energy of the crowd and how he could bring everyone to a different level through music alone. It’s amazing to affect people, changing their whole mood and taking them on a sound journey. Music gets you thinking and moving; in a way it’s therapeutic. Before, I never had thought that I would be a DJ. I always liked music, but it wasn’t some dream of mine. But after this event blew me away, I decided to give it a shot. I signed up for a course at BPM in Haifa, and the rest is history.

Courtesy of Yasmine Eve

What genres inspire you lately? Which artists?

From rock to hip hop, down tempo to techno, tech house to progressive. Oriental, Arabic, you name it. It can all be connected. It all depends on your mood. I prefer to DJ and build a set as a journey through techno and tech house. I don’t really listen to Steve Aoki anymore. Because once you start recognizing new sounds, it’s normal to grow and start liking other things. Techno, its history and sound and expressiveness, is what I currently connect to the most. Techno also relates more to the underground scene. To any sort of struggle you’re going through or dealing with. It is music with a deep impact. From Detroit to Berlin and beyond, its history is through struggle.

Name one track that gets the crowd bumpin’? 

All depends when you use it in the set. But I’d say “Take my Hand” by Deniz Kabu.

And to calm them down?

I don’t calm them down!

Most memorable DJing experience? 

Here in Haifa I DJ’d a pre-party for Boiler Room at Kabareet, while the Boiler Room was in Ramallah. The set was nice, and it was very exciting to be part of something way bigger than myself. After this I performed at the DJAM Festival. It was a mini competition but we were all really there just to have fun. It was a really cool experience for me just to meet the rest of the guys that DJ’d. It opened more doors for me.

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How do you feel about the title of “only female DJ in Palestine”? Are you still the only one?

I’m not! But there aren’t many, and especially those that play electro. Two of my friends, Hiba Salameh and Sana Jam, are DJs, and there is Sama Abd Elhadi who is huge now. It’s really exciting to see a Palestinian female who has reached this global stage. But the music and DJing I do from the heart. I don’t think that because I’m a female I should get extra credit. Whoever you are, wherever you are, it’s still art, whether coming from a 90-year-old or a 5-year-old, a man or a woman.But in today’s world, with equality issues between men and woman, I get that this is an issue. To provide an example for younger women to follow their dreams and passions is the most important thing. I chose this path and made decisions that took me to amazing places. So I hope that all women can similarly do what they want, no matter their circumstances. The important thing is to do what you love.

You say you’re Palestinian, but you also say that you’re human first. Can you tell us about your personal identity?

I was born into a mixed family. My mom is half Italian, half Belgian. My grandfather was Palestinian, and his family is Arab. But the reality of the situation is that I was born in Israel, and I have an Israeli passport and ID. But this, alongside my American documents, doesn’t define me. The documents and associations are just how the modern world works. Me, I’m no different or better than anyone else. For anyone who wants to see change and love, we have to look at each other as the same, to not put up borders between us and expectations for others to act in certain ways. I don’t believe or think like this. We are born, it is out of our control in a way, but everything happens for a reason, there’s always a good and a bad and if we can help enliven the people around us, that’s the most important thing. That’s why I’m not into politics; I don’t get involved or like to talk about it. It’s a complicated and sensitive topic. Everyone has different views and we can’t judge each other in such away that we stop accepting one another.

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Anything else you want our readers to know about you?

I don't know...hmm...I like walks on the beach! Ha, I'm kidding.

Future plans?

In August there's a festival called MoynMoyn in Berlin that I will hopefully play at, if everything goes as planned and God's will.

Find DJ Yasmine on Facebook, Instagram:@yasminexevesoundcloud.com/yasmine-eve

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