ID-X, is a Toronto DJ duo comprised of Eugene Lander and Azam Hassam. Music has always been a passion of both gentlemen with a single concert turning an idea into reality. With one foot firmly planted in the business of music and the other dancing behind the decks, Azam and Eugene’s energies intertwine to reach a common goal.
Currently unsigned, this duos are no strangers to working side by side. From meeting at Cineplex Odeon and attending the same University, these two push and pull their strengths and weaknesses to become a force to reckon with in the local Toronto scene. I had the pleasure of seeing the duo play their first show March 2013, at Virgin Mobile Mod Club. If that night was any indication these guys understand music, know how to read a crowd and make it all look effortless. Mixing dance classics with just released music, these DJs control the dance floor!
With Steve Angello, Kryder, Coldplay and Imogen Heap as artists who inspire them, ID-X will produce music for those not afraid to dance or listen to anything under the music spectrum. Although new to the scene, the duo have already played a few nights at Mix Markham, T2 Lounge and opened for Mazone and Strong. They have also been booked for private events and their debut at Mod Club in 2013. I have no idea where these two will play next, but one thing is for sure, ID-X will become a household name.
1. What drew your interest to start DJing?
Eugene: When I was younger I wasn’t really into rock or pop music, but when I listened to Armin Van Buuren and Tiësto for the first time, it gave me a feeling of escape and tranquility that instantly sucked me into EDM. For many years I was focused on sharing my love for music with all my friends. In 2011, I attended the deadmau5 event at the Rogers Centre in Toronto; after seeing all the people united and cheering because of the music, I knew I wanted to be that person that induced those feelings in people. I want to be the person that plays the music for the people so that they can escape their problems and stresses, Djing was one of the first steps for me to actually achieve that.
Azam: For me it was very natural. I’ve always had a passion for music and I wanted to share what I loved with the world. DJing came pretty easily to me once I knew the basics and I didn’t mind sharing with others. I think it was Fedde Le Grand who actually inspired me the most to become a DJ. I saw one of his performances through a YouTube video and saw the reaction of the crowd and I knew it was something I wanted to do. From there I spent lots of time working on my skill and sharing my love with the world.
2. Dj Genuwhine, is your (Azam’s) solo project. How did that come about and will you continue with your solo career?
DJ Genuwhine started for me many years ago, before I had met Eugene. Knowing that this was something I wanted to do I created a brand around the name and who I was. I now have a pretty good base around DJ Genuwhine and I plan on bringing that into ID-X. I don’t plan on leaving DJ Genuwhine behind because there’s definitely something different about a solo career. It’s a lot of fun, but for now I’m mainly putting my energy and focus on ID-X
3. ID-X, how did you come up with the name and what does it mean?
ID-X came from both of our loves of music. We both have a passion for the industry but feel like nowadays there are a lot of people that enter the business wanting to have a name for themselves. While this is a goal for almost every single artist, our name speaks to how we feel, where our passion for the music drives us every day, in and out. So for us, we feel like we do not need an identity, and that the anonymity of us would drive us to success. We don’t want people to know us for our name, but rather for the music we perform and the show we give. The name to us isn’t our main focus, which is why our name is ID-X, it’s the unknown.
4. How did Azam and Eugene come to be a DJ duo?
We started working together in a part time job and both of us had the same interests, for the most part. I (Azam) had been DJing for a little while already and Eugene had a huge passion for a lot of what I played. We ended up going to a deadmau5 concert together and at this point Eugene felt like he really had something to contribute and from that point we decided to try things out. The duo started almost one year later when we both felt like it was a good idea. In March of 2013 Eugene and I had our first real gig together at the Mod Club in Toronto, where we played for a competition against other DJs and Bands. After this, we knew we were heading in the right direction and we have since started working with some local Toronto talent.
5. What does Eugene contribute to the duo? What does Azam bring to the duo
Eugene looks after a lot of the business aspect of the duo. He brings the passion and time to look for opportunities for which the duo would be perfect for while also keeping both of our interests in mind. Not only that, but he brings a second opinion or a different idea that Azam might not see or come up with.
Azam has been in the industry much longer than Eugene and therefore has some more knowledge about it. He has been able to bring in his previous experience in order to strengthen the duo. His drive also pushes the duo to stay on point to what is important, which as being an artist, is to have fun. No one is perfect but Eugene and I work very well together because we both have different strengths which blend well together. We help each other out in shortcoming and together create something amazing together.
6. What was it like playing your first show together? Does it still feel the same?Our first show was very stressful. We did not know what to expect, and were worried about how people would react. Let’s be real here, it was our first show, we didn’t want to f*** up. Since then we’ve become a lot more confident and are happy with our sound. We both know what we want to do and usually have the same thing in mind. Since we have worked together very closely for a while now, we know each other pretty well. We know what to expect from each other, like a well oiled machine.
7. Are there any DJs/producers who inspire you? What is it about them? The production, their style?
For us, there are many artists that inspire us. Artists like Armin Van Buuren, earlier productions of Tiësto, Dannic, Fedde Le Grand, Imogen Heap, Coldplay. Two artists, however, stand above the rest for us, and that is Steve Angello and Kryder. The sound these two artists bring are completely different but they give us ideas and we look to them for inspiration. Steve Angello has a very deep and dark sound to him, but it’s very dancable, while Kryder is very upbeat and groovy. He has a sort of disco step to his style. For us, this is what we try to be, the middle ground of Steve Angello and Kryder.
Eugene:If I weren’t DJing or starting to produce, I would be doing what I’m doing now, which is continuing with school and education. I’m currently at York University in the Biomedical Science program and if I weren’t focused on music, I would just continue in this direction and work in science or medicine.
Azam: Music or working in the entertainment industry is something I’ve always wanted to do. I think if I wasn’t DJing, I would be working at a record label or at an artist management company. Of course I would also have to finish school which I am currently doing. I have one last year at York University and then I plan on doing a post-grad for music business in college.
9. What venues would you love to play a set in or any producer or DJ you would like to work with?
There are so many venues and artists that we would love to work with but if we had to bring it down to our top three of each, for venues we would have to say: Pacha in Ibiza is our top then would be Hakkasan in Vegas and third would be in our hometown at the legendary Guvernment. Our top three artists with whom we would love to work with would include: Steve Angello, Fedde Le Grand and Dannic. All three of these artists are played throughout our sets and make some of the most memorable music. When we play their tracks people can’t seem to get them out of their heads.
10. What can we expect from you in the future?
We are in the studio trying to develop a unique sound. We hope to have some of our own tracks that we can release in the near future. However, we are putting a heavy focus on our DJ career at the moment so you can catch us at local venues in Toronto this summer.
Catch ID-X spinning Saturday June 21 at Maison Mercer on the patio. Keep an eye to ID-X’s social media accounts for new releases and more upcoming gigs. These two are about to make waves in the local scene and I wish you both the best of luck! Can’t wait to see you guys headline your own worldwide tour! This is super cheesy but I like to keep my ticket stubs. I have the one from your first show…can you both sign it?
Natalia Toussaint – EDM TOR