Saad Ayub has been stirring up quite some noise in the dance scene as of recent. Pumping out remixes and originals, Saad has been getting some good airtime on A State of Trance and strong support from legends like Armin van Buuren. We got a chance to chat with Saad about his humble beginnings, what the dance music scene could use more or less of, and his latest track with Fenja, “Ever After“. Be sure to check out the music video for “Ever After” and the incredible guestmix he did for Neon Owl!
What are you most grateful for in the world right now?
My friends and family. They keep me going through the ups and downs of being a musician and as well, a human being. I’d be lost without their support.
What is the most exciting thing happening in your life right now?
After 5 and a half years living in Canada, I finally got my Canadian permanent residency. I’ve always considered Canada my home – now it’s official. Oh, and the release of Ever After, of course 😉
How are you feeling about all the buzz with your latest track “Ever After” in collaboration with Fenja?
I am feeling really great, but even more so humbled. It’s incredible and exciting to see feedback and comments from my fans, and massive support from major producers. It makes all the hard work very worthwhile and drives me to produce more great trance music.
A lot of DJs decide to use a moniker outside of their real name. Had you ever thought about having a different stage name? What would it be?
In the early days of my career, playing shows in my home country of Bangladesh and throughout Asia, I actually did have a stage name: it was DJ Venom. Over the years I progressed through house music and into trance – as trance became my main focus, I decided it was time for a new moniker, and it just made sense to me to use my real name.
Many of the well-known DJs originate from Europe, with the USA to follow likely because of the original of dance music and the scene being heavy in those places. We are starting to see more rising artists like yourself come from other countries. How does it feel to be representing your country Bangladesh?
It feels great and is an absolute honour, but let’s not forget about Canada. My biggest supporters – the fans that have helped get me to where I am today – have been in Canada. Toronto, to be specific. Representing Toronto, with its vibrant and diverse music scene, means the world to me and I take it very seriously.
How has the support been from your home country and where do you see the dance music culture headed there in the next few years?
Trance music is not very big in Bangladesh. That said, those who are fans of trance are HUGE supporters and fans of my music. Over the next few years, Bangladesh is going to catch up with the rest of the countries in Asia, which means a lot of growth and wide acceptance. Dance music is coming out from the underground and in to the mainstream, slowly but surely.
What made you decide to move to Toronto of all places? How does the scene compare to the rest of the world?
I could go all day on this question! But, the biggest reason is because of the flourishing scene here. It all started in 2009: Armin held ASOT 450 at The Guvernment (night club), and I have been following the scene here ever since. I was also looking for a great place to complete my degree, and Toronto is known to have some of the best schools. A great scene, awesome people, great schools – what more could I ask for?
You used to play house music from 2008 until the very recent years, but always had a place in your heart for trance. What pushed you to finally decide to make trance?
In one word: break ups. LOL. Living in the big city can be lonely at times, and I found trance was the only genre that could lift me up no matter how I was feeling.
Bring us back to the first time you got noticed by one of your idols and now mentors Armin van Buuren. What were you doing at that moment? How did you feel?
Sunset and I had just finished our remix of Tenishia “Where Do We Begin?” and sent it to Armin for promo, in hopes he would like it. We had seen that he downloaded the track, but weren’t sure if he would play it. Thursday comes around: it’s ASOT 718 and to our surprise, he not only played but mentioned live on-air that he absolutely loved the track! It was a surreal moment. I was working away, listening to the show. I can’t really describe the feeling, but it was absolutely amazing.
Fast forward to the present day. What is your relationship with Armin like and how does it feel to be a part of the Armada family?
Friendly, but of course always professional. It’s all about development of trance and pushing the genre forward. Being part of the Armada family is incredible, and I feel so fortunate to work with them. The entire team is insanely hardworking, dedicated to music and great supporters of their artists. They truly are like a family.
Who would be the absolute dream collab for you?
Hannah Reid of London Grammar <3
Any rising stars that you think we should all be paying attention to right now?
Absolutely! The two that are major on my radar right now are Mike Sanders and Shugz
If you could solve one problem in the world, what would it be?
Trance music is all about unity. If I could, I would bring every single person in the world together to find common ground and let go of their differences. My track Coexist with Rebecca was written based on this idea of oneness.
What do you feel like the music industry needs more or less of?
More lovers, less haters. We’re all in this together. Right now, trance really needs that unity amongst its fans to bring it back to what it once was.
Our motto at Neon Owl is “Dance. Give. Inspire.” We are all about connecting music lovers from fans to artists all over the world to give back, spread love, and be the boldest versions of themselves. What is something you think we can all do to make this world a better place?
We can stop letting our minds control us – our egos, if you will. If people let their spirits, their deeper selves be their guide we’d be much more accepting, bold and inspirational species as a whole.
Is there a cause that is close to your heart or an organization you would like to see Neon Owl and our artists support?
You should check out Apollo Aid. Very in line with Neon Owl’s mission of Dance. Give. Inspire.!
What motivates you everyday when you get out of bed in the morning?
My fans, family, friends and, of course my studio partner Anderson Luis (aka Sunset).
How do you want to be remembered as beyond your time?
A person made a positive impact in the lives of his fans. If I make a difference for even one fan, I will die happy.
Any last words for all your fans out there? What is the best way they can get ahold of you?
From the bottom of my heart I truly want to thank you guys for all your support. I would not be where I am today without you. The best way to get a hold of me is on Twitter @saadayub