If you’re a trance fan in Toronto, chances are you’ve had Saad Ayub on your radar. He’s played at a bunch of clubs and festivals around the city, and has gotten shout outs from trance legend Armin van Buuren himself on the A State of Trance podcast. Now, he’s celebrating his 200th episode of his own podcast, #TRANCED200, at Nest this Saturday, January 14 for a unique open to close set. Beginning at 10pm and taking you into the wee hours of the morning, you’ll be able to fully immerse yourself in trance paradise.
Oh ya — did we mention it’s totally free entry before midnight? Because it is! You now have no excuse. Get there early because everyone is free before the clock strikes midnight.
Saad wants to give back to all his fans (the diehards call themselves the “Saad Squad”) for a night of dancing to euphoric uplifting trance and mind-blowing psytrance – and anything else Saad feels like throwing down depending on the vibe of the crowd. His talent for reading the crowd and tailoring his set to fit the mood perfectly is guaranteed to delight your ears, feet, and heart as you get swept away on a trance journey.
We had the chance to get to know Saad before his show this week. And remember – it’s free entry to Nest before midnight! Get more info here.
You’ve really stayed true to trance throughout your journey as a producer and DJ, what made you know that this was something you loved and wanted to stick to for your career?
I actually started my DJ career spinning house and techno in my home country of Bangladesh. But it wasn’t what I truly loved. I was compelled to play those genres because trance had no scene in Bangladesh back then. I remember one of the club nights I was DJing and I dropped one of Armin’s most popular tracks and the dance floor literally emptied out within minutes. It wasn’t until I moved to Canada that I was finally able to showcase my true passion, and to an audience that shared that same passion. That connection to my fans has helped keep me true to this genre, and feel I have a sense of responsibility to keep pushing trance to the masses.
How would you describe the trance scene here in Toronto? What’s it been like establishing yourself in the city?
Toronto is a tricky market for the EDM scene in general. Something that’s popular right now can die down and be gone in six months. The good thing about Toronto’s trance scene is that we have passionate promoters like Ozmozis, as well as newcomers Electric Escape, who are dedicated to keeping it alive. As for establishing myself in the city – which isn’t easy!—I feel like I got lucky because I was just making a name for myself through gigs like my trance residency at Maison and the trance stage at Digital Dreams Festival 2014 as trance was really making a resurgence in the city.
You always pick such enchanting vocalists. What’s the process like selecting who to have on your tracks?
I’m super picky about vocalists! When it comes to selecting a vocalist to collab with, their work needs to move my soul. If there is no soul to someone’s voice and it feels like they’re trying too hard to make something that’s not natural, I have no interest in working with them. You will be surprised how many vocalists I had to turn down, including some big ones.
When you’re playing an open to close set like you will be at Nest, what are you hoping listeners take away from your show?
This will be my first open to close in Toronto and third in my career, as I like to keep open to close sets for special occasions. For this particular one, we’re celebrating the 200th episode of my radio show as well as 10 years of my DJ career. As with any of my shows, my hope is that fans will leave inspired and with memories that last a lifetime. I want my sets to stay with people long after they walk out of the club. To help make sure that’s the case with my Nest show, I will be playing tracks based exclusively on crowd reaction all night, which means I’ll be giving fans exactly what they want while taking them on a proper journey that crosses many genres.
5 question rapid fire:
Track that always gives you goosebumps:
There are a couple, but Veracocha: Carte Blanche is a big one!
Track you have on repeat right now:
Illenium: fortress (Seven Lions Roots Remix)
A DJ you hope to collaborate with:
Paul Van Dyk
A festival you hope to play
The first DJ you ever saw live