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Behind the Scenes with Turhan James | The First Solis Festival | Feb 9 2019

Behind the Scenes with Turhan James | The First Solis Festival | Feb 9 2019

Written By: Adam M. Haidermota

Islamabad was treated to one of Pakistan’s first electronic music festivals this weekend. Foreign and local DJs alike came together to create an incredible experience for the city’s residents. The Solis Music and Arts Festival brought together DJs that included established names like Danny Avila and Kris Kaiden as well as emerging stars Turhan James and Maleo.

Turhan James has been producing music for two and a half years – he started out DJing at his high-school’s dances and sharing his songs with friends through Soundcloud. Since then, he’s been performing at festivals and events in Canada, and in 2018 hit 1 million streams on Spotify. Solis was the first time that this native Karachiite has performed at a major music event in Pakistan.

Behind the Scenes with Turhan James/Ticketwala.pk

Ticket Wala recently had a chance to chat with him and get the inside scoop on his experience at Solis:

Q: Congratulations on getting your first chance to perform in Pakistan Turhan! How was the overall experience on stage at Solis – what did it feel like dropping your first set in Islamabad?

Man, the experience was unreal. I was not really expecting it to be that good – it surpassed all expectations. I honestly had no idea what to expect because I’ve only ever been to festivals in the US and in Canada. I was scared, not gonna lie, because I didn’t know what kind of music the crowd would be into as that lineup was mostly progressive house, but I got an amazing reaction.

Turhan James

Q: What was the crowds response like?

They kept the same high energy from when the first opener went on to the closing set. It was amazing to perform with a crowd that was incredibly responsive and open minded as well. Totally blew my mind. Seeing nearly a thousand people react to every single track that I played out is a feeling I can’t really explain.

Turhan James

Q: How would you describe your music and the set you played at Solis?

The music that I produce so far has been very chill house and on the EDM/pop side of things but I’ve got a lot of music from many different sub-genres of EDM. The set I played at Solis was very different from what everyone else in the lineup was playing. Quoting my mom on this one, she said “your set was dark and disturbing” and that’s because it was a set filled with G-House and Deep House with me ending with my single “LA”.

Turhan James

Q: Did you get the chance to interact with any foreign artists backstage?

Yeah actually, I got a chance to interact with all of them about their experience at the festival and what they thought and they all responded saying that it was really well set up. When I asked them about their experience visiting Pakistan they said it was nothing like they had imagined. They were blown away by the beauty of Islamabad.

Turhan James

Q: How would you say Solis compares with the other festivals you’ve been to, locally and abroad?

I’ve been to a concert Salt Arts organised where FDVM performed, and I know that Diplo has performed twice here in the last two years, but common consensus is that Solis Festival blew those concerts out of the water. I’ve been to two of the biggest festivals in the world – Ultra Music Festival in Miami and Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas. Obviously Solis isn’t as big as those two established festivals, but when looking at a country that practically had nothing going for it in terms of the culture, I would say Solis was the best start Pakistan could’ve asked for. The only thing that I could say that I wish Solis had or will do in the future is move into cities like Lahore and Karachi but I’m already sure they’re working hard towards approaching those cities.

Turhan James

Q: The perceptions of how events go down in Pakistan are generally mixed. In retrospect, would you say the event was a safe, inclusive space for all attendees?

There wasn’t a single issue in the event! It was definitely more than a safe space for all concert goers. No segregation, fights or any such concerns. I can expect a lot more of these events to be executed to that standard – and they will come to Karachi a lot sooner than you think!

Turhan James

Solis was ultimately a great success and an important festival to help kickstart “the culture” Turhan referred to. Electronic music fans in Pakistan should be excited because Solis seems to have given EDM events the push it needs in order to feature more regularly. Ticket Wala will be watching closely for the next EDM concert, the next Solis festival, and the next song by Turhan James. Like us on Facebook and we’ll help you do the same!

Turhan James - LA (feat. Kelsey Hayes)

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