|At an early age I was attracted to music
Here I am in the mid 70's in Iran, Circa 1974?
...with a stack of 45s and a turntable
The first Hip-Hop song I ever heard was "Rappers Delight by The Sugar Hill Gang shortly after my family and I arrived in the
United States in Oct. of 1979 shortly after the start of the Iranian revolution.
We came to Arlington VA because we had family here. One of my cousins Ramez Alai was battling Leukemia, which is the
cancer of the bone marrow & blood. His family came to the US, in the early 70's, for his medical treatment. Unfortunately, he did
not win his battle with Leukemia and because he was buried here his family decided to uproot and move to the United States.
That's how we ended up here in Northern Virginia... RIP Cousin Ramez!!!
In the early 80's I got interested in Break dancing (B-Boying) and shortly after, my friends and I formed our own B-Boy crew. We
practiced after school for hours on end and performed at many of our High School functions such as Talent & Fashion shows.
A few of us were even asked to perform with the Drama club in several of our High School plays even though none of us were
members of the Drama club nor took any related classes. Since I was always into art, it was almost natural that I also fell in love
with Graffiti art.
A DCU student named Frank Ski hosted an hour-long radio show called "Breaker's Delight", which turned me on to a lot of new
music. I hadn't started deejaying yet, but I bought all my favorite records and recorded the music on cassette tapes, so my
friends and I could listen to them while we practiced dancing. Soon, I was known as the guy with the newest music and was
regularly asked to bring my records to local parties.
In 1985, I met a Puerto Rican guy from the Bronx named Juan Ortiz, aka DJ Boom, who lived in my building and had his own
deejaying equipment. I began to practice and when he moved out, he used to bring his equipment (one turntable, mixer, and a
crate of records) to school and after school he would ride the bus to my house to set up and practice until i pieced together my
own deejay set. I started making mixtapes and deejaying parties, but I was still too young to work in nightclubs.
Finally, in 1993, I entered a deejay competition at a club called The Vault in downtown DC and came in second place. I didn't
realize the club owner, Kommi, had been standing behind me during my set. He contacted me through the promoter, M.C. Bitch,
a few days later and offered me a chance to play at the Vault on a regular basis.
One night DJ Palash, one of the best promoters in the DC area, stopped by, listened for few minutes and left. Later that night
he asked me to do a guest spot at his party. I went on to play for his events at Down Under and Chicago's and eventually as a
regular deejay at his club, the Chamber of Sound.
I started working at a lot of clubs with a lot of promoters. One of my favorites was Josh Sagman, who had the PUMP party at
Spy Club, They initially asked me to record a few mix tapes for them to play in the Hip-Hop room, but quickly realized that it
would be much better to have a live DJ. I ended up being the resident Hip-Hop DJ for over 2 years.
I did a guest spot one night at party called "Pollen", a weekly rave style party in the 90's, which was held at the Edge night club
in Washington DC. The promoters liked me so much that they made me the resident hip hop dj and i ended up staying for three
years and joining the Pollen Family with Pejman, Sina, Chris Styles and Jimmy.
Tim Sherman & Hooman Pedram who used to be members of the Pollen family, opened up a venue in DC named Club Five.
With bookings of internationally acclaimed DJs as well as the top "A-List" local DJs, Club Five quickly became known as the
premier dance club in DC, with an amazing dance floor, Lighting, DJ booth, and most importantly sound system. Several years
after Pollen ended, The guys agreed to do a "Pollen Reunion" at Club Five. Naturally, they booked many of the same DJs to
spin for the event who used to spin at Pollen. I was lucky enough to be one of the DJs. Similar to Pollen, they decided to have a
Hip-Hop separate from the House music and in this case it happened to be on the rooftop of Club Five!! The night was so well
received that they asked me to spin weekly on the rooftop. I ended up being the friday night resident rooftop DJ at Club five for
over 3 years! Because of this experience, I have a special love and affinity for rooftop events.
My 3 decades of rockin' parties has given me the opportunity to open up and spin with the likes of KRS-One, Phife of ATCQ,
Jungle Brothers, Clipse, Sadat X, Vast Aire, ED O.G., Organized Konfusion, Company Flow, Slick Rick, Ghostface & Raekwon
from Wu Tang, Mark Farina, Francois K, King Britt, Marques Wyatt, Black Coffee and many many more.
I've come a long way since practicing with DJ Boom's turntables after school, been involved with some amazing events and
have met a lot of nice people along the way. I owe everything to a select few of my friends who gave me the support and
encouragement I needed to continue and I'll always be grateful.