Meet the DJ shutting down venues From Riyadh to Beijing, DJ Shaolin
Updated: Sep 14, 2022
DJ Shaolin (aka Abdu) is a DJ and Turntablist based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Shaolin is known for his technicality when it comes playing music, he created his own style by getting deeper into different genres and blending them together to create a sound that makes him standout. The chase for his DJ dreams started in 2015 while residing in Xi’an,China, playing at a well known underground club by the name of Faces, covering various styles and genres with a focus on hip-hop and trap music. With the development of hi own style, Shaolin began fulfilling openings for DJ’s like Qbert, DJ Angelo, Hedspin and the list goes on. He also did openers for rappers like "Made in TYO", ASAP TyY, ASAP Twelvy and a couple of local rappers, as well as preforming sets in major events such as MDL Beast and Red Sea Film Festival in Saudi Arabia.
How did you get your start with music?
During my teenage phase, I’ve always wanted to be a part of the music industry locally and internationally, so I found it on the decks.
Who were your musical inspirations growing up?
My uncles were a big inspiration to me when it came to music, because one of my uncles was a DJ at the time and his music collection is what inspired me. He had a collection from all hip hop artists and reggae music.
When did you first get introduced to the turntable and what was that like?
It was in 2016 back in Xi’an china. The feeling was love from first sight and the rest is history.
Did you find the environment around you supportive of your pursuit of music, or was it the opposite?
At an early stage there wasn’t much support, but I didn’t care, because I gave up everything and put 100% focus into it. The support started coming after a couple of Fridays nights I shutdown.
Can you describe to us the early days of the music/party scene in Saudi?
It was one of the toughest mental challenges I’ve faced, but linking with Bridge Entertainemnt and being part of it, made life easier.
How did people in China react upon learning that you are a Sudanese DJ who grew up in Saudi?
They always thought that I’m Saudi, so I lived up to that, and it was an honor being called a Saudi, because that’s where home is right ?
What is your favorite gig that you've done so far and why?
I have a couple of favorite gigs, but if we get down to one, I would say the 3rd night of XP Music Conference, Bridge was definitely in the building and defined the word SHUTDOWN!
From the time you started Dj’ing until now, how has the music/event scene in Saudi changed from your perspective?
It changed a lot in a positive way and I’m loving it, we just have to stick together more as artists and help each other out.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Being handed a Grammy (fingers crossed. )
From the beginning of your journey until now, what are the 3 most important things you’ve learned?
Check out Shaolin's instagram at: https://www.instagram.com/shaolindaillest/
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