A DJ uses vinyl to rediscover Saudi music.

A DJ uses vinyl to rediscover Saudi music.

JEDDAH: Yaser Hammad, a Saudi DJ who specializes in Arabic musical treasures, gets his energy from the age-old ritual of going to record stores and finding original Saudi and Arabic vinyl records.

“I would rather call myself a selector than a traditional DJ,” he tells News. It distinguishes my offerings from other DJs in the area and allows me to introduce the audience to classical songs that they may not be familiar with.

It can be a bit more difficult to master the art of vinyl DJing: “Being a vinyl DJ involves more than just playing music… It has to do with transporting tangible music, which is highly valuable. Vinyl DJing requires a hands-on approach and adds a unique quality to my performances, creating a distinct ambiance for the audience, unlike digital formats that use a USB to carry songs.

The kind of music that Hammad usually chooses depends on the venue and the crowd. Because of his Hijazi heritage, he frequently performs in Jeddah’s historic Al-Balad district, featuring music by well-known singers like Talal Maddah and Fawzi Mahsoun, as well as Hijazi female singers from the golden age, like Touha and Ibtisam Lutfi.

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