Italian-Moroccan electronic music producer Kharfi unveils his long-awaited debut album, Aquarium, on which he mixes delicious flavors of trance with the nervousness of house.
Kharfi explains: “In a world where those who make electronic music mainly work on singles, I wanted to release a real album to give a very precise impression of my musical direction. The album is called ‘AQUARIUM’ because you see it in my world, in my musical and personal abyss, there is also a strong connection with astrology, in fact, there is the logo of the aquarium, the album will be released on the 21st day of January, the first day of the aquarium.
He goes on to add, “Since ‘The Bubble’, the intro, you can immerse yourself in my musical dimension, the title track of the album is called ‘AQUARIUM’ and it’s an authentic journey into my musical universe the more intimate, ‘TANGER’ takes up my Arab origins with very oriental and experimental sounds, ‘Hold Back My Heart’ and ‘Already Know’ are the most radiophonic pieces of the project.
Initially, Kharfi’s sound embodied experimental downtempo flavors, but soon evolved into his dazzling pop-house sound brimming with heavy bass and powerful lyricism. He broke through in 2016 by releasing “Hei Bae” which reached No. 1 on the Italian iTunes Dance Chart, MTV Dance Chart and Spotify Viral Chart.
Since then he has released a series of excellent remixes and performed at the best festivals in Italy. Kharfi shared the stage with Steve Aoki, Skrillex and Martin Garrix.
CelebMix sat down with Kharfi to find out how he developed his unique sound and what inspired his new album, Aquarium.
What are three things you can’t live without?
Friends and family, stroll through the city and parks, and an optimistic view of the future.
What inspired your new album, Aquarium?
I was inspired by the creation of my first album “AQUARIUM” which comes from my zodiac sign, which is Aquarius. Aquarians have a creative personality that gets lost in their bubble, and that’s why the mood is dreamy, right from the cover (made by Dangiuz, an Italian crypto-artist) where you’ll find a 3D rendering of me immersed in my world , my aquarium, with the cool sounds of percussion and arpeggios.
How did you start music?
I started DJing by just plugging in my mp3 player and vocalizing like a DJ on a school trip in 2009, everyone called me “DJ Kharfi” which is my last name and later I started performing at parties and clubs in Milan, later in 2016 I released my first song, “Hei Bae”.
Which musicians/singers influenced you the most?
Skrillex at the start of my career; so today i have a long list, from SG Lewis to Hayden James, Boston Bun, Madeon, and many more
What inspires your writing? Are you inspired by poems, music, television or other media?
My best way to get inspired is to go for a walk in nature. Living in a city can also be chaotic, but walking alone, listening to music and people watching gives me a lot of inspiration.
What can you share about your writing process?
Basically, I start from scratch with some vocal samples and usually I take them from YouTube or elsewhere and pitch them to always be different from the original samples, then I start with some cool percussion (kick, claps, and all the drums) and then with chords that sound cool with vocals.
You have a unique sound. Did it develop naturally over time, or did you push it in a certain direction?
I I’m starting to have a more particular sound since I no longer work with references but instead I don’t give myself any guidelines. It helps me put more anticipation on the song, more climaxes and less prepackaged radio structures
How do you keep your sound fresh?
Listening to genre-differentiated music as much as possible makes you much more resilient and inclined to create something that has multiple influences from multiple different genres, thus creating something unique.
Which artists do you think are killing it right now?
John Summit, Chris Lake, Camoufly, James Hype, MEDUZA! (Italian Pride) and many more in the background
What is the next step for you musically?
In fact, I wanted to release a real album to give a very precise imprint of my musical direction.
Then I would like to start expanding my musical horizons outside of Italy, maybe in the US, UK or wherever the wind takes me.
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