Words by Henry Sawbridge
Motez is an icon in the world of electronic music here in Adelaide. The house producer has played some of the biggest festivals in the world, however lives here in Adelaide after immigrating from Iraq with his family ten years ago. Yewth caught up with him and talked about his next set here in Adelaide at Day Club and life as a refugee.
Henry: Being a local in our city but having travelled the world, what is it about little old Adelaide that brings you back every time?
Motez: I just love that it's a cosy little city. It's beautiful. There's some vibe about it, it's old and new. Of course I love the wine in Adelaide, or South Australia rather, it's one of the best wine regions in the world. I see it when I travel, its tangible. Last time I was in Canada I checked in and without them knowing where I was from they gave me a bottle of wine and it was from South Australia. Apart from that though, Adelaide is my home, its cruisy and it's nice you know? But you know what, the best looking girls are from Adelaide.
Oh for sure man we will agree with you there! You've played some pretty big name festivals with Holy Ship, TomorrowWorld, Splendour and EDC all under your belt, but is there a standout performance or set from your career to date?
EDC Las Vegas on main stage, that was incredible because there was about 30,000 people there, in front of me and I was playing my own music that I had made in my bedroom you know. It was a big check for me, it was kind of surreal in a way, but I didn't process it until I had finished and they had broadcast the sets around the world. I got the recording of my set and I was like 'Holy shit! this is huge.' It was a rare moment for me because I'm the kind of person that goes 'Ok I've done this, that's cool, whats next?" Even when I was on stage there I was thinking, 'Well I've got a flight to Dallas to catch in the morning,' so I wasn't absorbing the moment and I only realised that then.
The Vibe EP is brilliant, is there a track on that or out of any of your records that you're most proud of?
Thanks man, oh I don't know! I love them all, but I think 'Know Me' is my favourite because it's got bits of music that I love and elements of music that I like making, it's got the piano, it's got a sensual kind of emotive element to it and it's a two-step beat which I'm a big fan of. It's also very different to what I've done, which is something I always want to do, I always want to do something completely different for the next release. So this is a taste for the people that listen to my music that I can do things differently.
So for people who might be listening to you for the first time or who haven't seen a Motez live set before, what should they expect?
They should expect anything in the realm of dance music, I play a lot of things! From sort of harder, tougher house music to things that are nice and light and I guess, happy? It depends on the vibe, it depends on the venue, the people around me and it depends on the atmosphere. They can expect anything, if they enjoy musicality and actual music then they will hopefully enjoy my sets.
Day Club is a really cool event, and it's great to see that you are doing a second season! What's the vibe like playing a gig like that compared to a late night club gig for you?
So this gig, as you might know, is a charity event for the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) as I am a big advocate for people seeking asylum and immigrants, given that I am [a refugee] and my dad was a boat person. So I know what it feels like to feel like them, needing help and support from anybody. That's why this event is really important to me because I want to advocate that, and to also celebrate the city.
The best way to celebrate the city is doing it somewhere we are known as a city for, which for me is the McLaren Vale wine region. Collaborating with the Day Club boys, Dylan and Ryley, Ryley is one of my best mates, I've known him for eight years or something. We love the same music and enjoy doing things that make us proud of the city. Day Club has always had an amazing reputation with four events last season, the first of which I played at was incredible. It's one of those gigs that everyone still talks about. So I definitely recommend people coming because its not only for a good cause, it's a great party, a celebration of the city and the people that live in it.
Is there something you want people to know about refugees or a stand out memory from your past that's influenced your life now as a result of your parents or your lives coming from Iraq to Australia?
What I would like to say is that refuges are just regular people like you and me. None of us wanted to come here and just sit back. We all wanted to come here and prove ourselves, build something for ourselves and I find that in particular immigrants that come over in a later stage of their lives, like my father and mother, work extra hard because they want to contribute and 'catch up'. If you've lived here your whole life you've built yourself a secure life and a network of people like relatives and friends. Us, my family came here with nothing. We left everything in Iraq.
You can catch Motez playing at Alpha Box & Dice Winery in McLaren Vale for 'Day Club' with friends FLAMINGO and MERYL CREEP on Saturday December 3rd. Tix available HERE.