Meet The 2020 Australian DMC Finalists: DJ ZAH

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DJ ZAH is a finalist in the 2020 Australian DMC Championships. DJ ZAH is a finalist in the 2020 Australian DMC Championships. Image © Dion Zancanaro

Turntablist, beatmaker and potato enthusiast (thanks Insta), DJ ZAH is one of ten finalists in the 2020 Australian DMC DJ Championships.

What does it mean to be a finalist in the 2020 Australian DMC DJ Championships?
It's a real honour to make it through to the top 10 and a great opportunity to be able to show an audience what I'm really passionate about, which is music and DJing.

The creative and practical aspects of your championship video set; how's it all coming together?
It's coming along well. I've got all the ideas that I want to be in my set. I'm just trying to get it to the point where I'm executing it proficiently.

Describe your championship video set in six words?
Fun, funky, with a lot of flow.

How many hours/ days have you put aside to practice your routine; and biggest sacrifice you've had to make to maintain that focus?
That's a good question. It changes to be honest. Some nights it's less than an hour. Other nights it could be three to four. I don't really see it as a sacrifice because I love scratching, juggling and DJing.

Who has been the biggest influence re: your own scratching techniques?
Locally, that would have to be DJ Speedracer and DJ Broke. They are absolute weapons. In terms of international influence, it would have to be Jazzy Jeff, the X-ecutioners, JFB, and Vekked.

When you're not home practising your turntable skills, where can we find you DJing when COVID allows it?
You can catch me DJing with the Madhouse DJs Crew from Newcastle. We have a livestream coming up next week. If not there, then I'm jamming with Skratcher Sydney, which is an open jam and really fun. I also play at a bar called Hustle & Flow in Redfern.

Otherwise, I have a monthly mixtape series that I put out on Mixcloud and also uploaed weekly videos on my Instagram page, @zahthedj.

Don't get ahead of yourself; from the other finalists, who's your pick to be crowned Australian champion?
Other than me, hahaha. It's either going to be Wallzee or Max Best. Wallzee is reigning champ and super clean. Max Best always takes things in such a creative direction that it's fresh. It will all come down to who has the most perfect routine.

You're at a party and someone asks what exactly turntablism is, how do you respond?
Turntablism is a musical art form where the turntable is manipulated to create new sounds and melodic notes. You are using the turntable as if it were an instrument.

To watch DJ ZAH's routine and comment, visit the official DMC page.

The Australian finalists will each upload a new, four-minute set by 15 October (national finals streamed on 18 October), with the national winner announced on 25 October. The global DMC champion will be crowned 30 November.



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