Yusef Kifah is the latest trance sensation to be signed to TidyTwo. The Malaysian artist began making music in his early teens and has evolved over the years to become the phenimenal artist he is today, as well as an embassador for trance music in his own country. We caught u with him to talk about his first release on TidyTwo and how music has become his life…
Hi Yusef, welcome to the Tidy family, Your music influences may differ from your standard dance music lover. Can you tell us what your musical influences are and how that transformed into dance music?
Thanks for having me! Been keeping up with the Trance-ier tunes of Tidy for years now and feels great to be a part of the label. Well, I’d say my early musical influences were tracks from the Eurodance, Hands Up and Nightcore genres as well as Trance and early Hardstyle. Euphoric melodies, catchy vocals, fast beats and driving basses have always been my favourite elements in dance music.
So how did you get into making music?
I used to play the guitar when I was much younger and went on to produce my own electronic music at the age of 11 with Garageband. This was after I was exposed to the timeless dance classic, ‘Ravers Fantasy’ by Manian aka Tune Up!. It was merely a hobby until I signed my first record deal when I was 13, which was when I decided that I wanted to pursue this full-on.
How would you describe what you produce and play out?
Three words; evolution, energy & euphoria. I consider my music as future-ready, energetic and ecstatic Hard Trance with a blend of Psy and harder elements of dance music. When I perform, my sets consist of a spectrum of Trance, Hard Trance and Hard Dance bangers, nothing below 142 bpm.
You now produce with Fruity Loops. Why is this your choice of DAW?
I’ve always preferred the user interface of FL Studio. It’s always fun to use and pleasing to the eye. The workflow on FL Studio is also very fluid compared to the other DAWs out there that seem rigid, allowing me to move things around and constantly stay creative.
Tell us the story behind Energy (Feel What I’m Feeling)… what inspired the track?
While the word ‘Energy’ resonates a lot with who I am as an individual, Energy (Feel What I’m Feeling) is a culmination of what I want listeners to feel, mainly to keep being proactive no matter what. I feel that it’s important to seize the day and live the moment at your best, in which I hope the track translates sonically to our listeners.
Musically, which other dance artists have inspired you and why?
Tiësto has always been a major inspiration all this while. I love how he diversified his sound and brand to appeal to the younger generation. Also, from the UK, I’ve admired the sounds of Technikal, NG Rezonance and Mike Steventon since my teenage years. These guys have always inspired me with their electrifying styles.
Do you DJ also or are you happy just to make music?
Of course! I think it’s important for Electronic Music artists to perform on stages, whether it be DJing or performing live with instruments, or even both.
You live in Malaysia. What is the dance scene like out there?
The scene in Malaysia is awesome. It’s very close knit, so everyone technically knows each other or is a mutual friend. Truly hope to see it come back to life once the situation of the pandemic here subsides.
You are the first Malaysian to hit the Global Top 100 Trance Charts… how does that feel?
Hitting number 1 on TrackItDown’s Trance Top 100 charts with my track ‘Exolektra’ back in 2016 was crazy. Being the first in my country to achieve this, it opened the doors to new opportunities for me and gained real traction both locally and internationally. I was only 17 at the time and was still in highschool!
If we came to Malaysia, tell us three places we should visit to experience your club culture..?
One of my favourite spots to party in my country is Zouk Club Kuala Lumpur. It’s ranked as one of the best clubs in the world on DJ Mag’s Top 100 Clubs. Besides that, one of my first debut gigs was at KL Live. It’s one of the biggest indoor venues for major events housing a huge capacity of more than 3000 pax. Though frankly, you would catch me most at Wet Deck, W Hotel Kuala Lumpur. It’s a stunning pool bar with an amazing view of our PETRONAS Twin Towers. When you come, I’ll take you guys around! (We shall soort this! – JD)
How long will it be until we get to see you DJing in the UK?
In the not-so-distant future I hope! Perhaps a Tidy event?
Until there can we see you play anywhere else?
Well, clubs and events have been shut in Malaysia since the pandemic started up to now. So till it reopens, I’ve been occupied with some virtual sets and my monthly Evolution Radioshow, which goes up every 1st of the month on Mixcloud & YouTube.
Where has been the best place you have played and why?
Every venue I’ve played at has been a blast. But the most memorable has to be performing at It’s The Ship, Singapore back in 2018. It was a 4 Day 3 Night music festival on a massive cruise, setting sail from Singapore to Phuket, Thailand, and back. Had such an awesome time playing and partying there, though I was really exhausted when I got back!
What is next for Yusef Kifah?
As I was pretty occupied with completing tertiary studies in the past months, I’m now finally done. So with that, expect more Hard Trance and Hard Dance bangers, exciting social media content as well as live sets. Maybe a follow-up track on Tidy sometime soon? We’ll see!
Stream and download the track here.