WIP Project Feature Profile - Stev Zar


Melbourne

DJ, DOOR PERSON/HOST, PROMOTER/BOOKER

TECHNO, HIP HOP/R&B, OTHER

Describe your past year in one sentence...


365 days of transformation; spiritually, physically and mentally.


Tell us about your sound/work.


I am a DJ and event mother hailing from Naarm/Melbourne.


As a DJ, I explore the sonic realm of music through brash, cultural, eclectic and queer mixing. Hard rap rubs up against experimental baile funk, drum techno, hypnotic electronica, and ballroom ha's in my sets. It has landed me slots alongside the likes of Leonce, Dinamarca, UNiiQU3, Tygapaw and Martyn Bootyspoon.


I can also be found as one part of Naarm's burgeoning QTPOC club night, UMAMI. The UMAMI crew is known for their emphasis on inclusivity and diversity, maintaining QTPOC lineup with both local and international talent has always been UMAMI's mantra. Drawing links back to 80s Harlem, every night is met with legendary looks, high-energy runways and music to twerk to. Our doors are always welcome for newcomers to enter their little cabinet of curiosities.


Do you have any new work coming out that you'd like to tell us about?


I just self-released GODDESS | MODE as a sort of commentary on 'coming out as trans'. It forced me to view music through a trans-lens, as my sound changed through my new perspective in life. Your identity shapes and shifts, and as such so does your art.


I also perform experimental sets under the alias as AN 1Ć. @Ramashon and I have been working closely together during quarantine online, to create an avant-garde visual experience harkening back to our cultural roots.



What’s the last really fun thing you did?


In June this year, Soju Gang and DJ Swerv curated a live-stream to fundraise for grassroots indigenous organisations. It was the first rewarding project I was blessed to be a part of since Covid entered our realms.



How do you practice self care?


It's funny because my self-care is me dancing by myself. Sometimes I'll have a drink and smoke in my garage, blast club music with the lights off and emulate the sensation of being in a club space for hours.


Otherwise in my down time, I like to educate myself on literature, cinema and discographies that haven't been on my radar. These pieces of art, in turn, inspire me to continuously practice fine-tuning my mixing.


"Self-care is me dancing by myself."

What’s your favourite record at the moment and why?


Tough question, because my music taste constantly bounces between Missy Elliot, Kate Bush, Rage Against the Machine, Sade, Gucci Mane, Fleetwood Mac, Chaka Khan and the list goes on.


But currently, I'd say my favourite record at this moment is the Akira OST by Geinoh Yamashirogumi. It is decades aheads of its time.



What's the best part about being in the music industry?


The sisterhood from the members of our entire industry. A lot of the time it never feels like we're competing against each other, rather that we are uplifting each others strengths and what makes each of us unique. It's really heart-warming.


What or who inspires you?


Female artists continuously inspires me, these women shake scenes to their roots and break rules that aren't even set in place yet. They have so much power in this world it's remarkable. And I want to be a part of that someday at the end of my transition.


"These women shake scenes to their roots and break rules that aren't even set in place yet."

What are your predictions for the future of dance music and the industry?


I truly believe that post-Covid, the dynamic in club spaces will be unrecognisable. Being in quarantine, and having a break from the club, has been a harsh reminder of how we all sub-consciously engage in consumerism. Event organisers might possibly seek out hidden spaces to hosts night such as warehouses, empty lots or non-venue spaces. And I hope that hopefully this could be a cultural reset for newer DJs with fresh ideas to flourish in the scene.


Check out Stev Zar's WIP Profile Page for more!

WIP Project - A Dance Music Database

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We acknowledge the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation as the traditional custodians of the land on which we live, work and create. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.

Contact: hellowipproject@gmail.com

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