Turning Tables Q&A – MzRizk – DJ, Radio Host, + Event Curator

Congratulations on your recent win in the Music Victoria Awards for ‘Best DJ’!
Where can we generally catch you spinning records?
Section 8, Arbory Afloat, Revolver, Music Room, QT Rooftop and many more venues & events around Melbourne. 

You play mostly vinyl, do you remember the moment you decided you wanted to become a DJ?
I was at a NYD party called Inner City and noticed the line up was mostly men… I never thought it could be a career but I decided to learn because I love music and it has become my life.

Do you remember the first record that started your own collection?
Was it bought, gifted or handed down?
I remember buying records when I bought my turntables but before my Dj life it was mostly cassettes for me, which are available at record stores now. I remember buying Jill Scott’s first album, records from the Naked Music label, a lot of techno, house, and hard trance records. 

What about the first record you purchased for someone else?
Where’d you buy it?

I am always buying doubles of records for friends because sometimes releases are limited. I can’t remember the first record but I know when I do buy records for people it’s always related to J Dilla. My Arabic music records are also very important as many titles hard to come by and I have collected many on my travels. Most of my Arabic records come with lovely memories.

Tell us about the most valuable or rarest (monetary or sentimental) record in your collection. Why is it so important to you?
There are a few, I would say my Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea (RIP) records that are signed by both of them. Also my Wayne Shorter, Pharoah Sanders (RIP), and my signed Chaka Khan record. I have been fortunate to meet them and have my records signed except for Chaka where a friend was meeting her at an event in Palm Springs and she couldn’t get me in but took my record and had it signed. That was sweet. My Arabic music records are also very important as they are titles hard to come by and I have collected many on my travels. They all come with memories.

What’s your go to record to get the party started?
It depends on the party! I play so many genres and these days I usually play 45 sets and I have some amazing remixes and edits by Casserta that have a lovely vibe to get a room going.

Tell us about your favourite artist, and what record of theirs you’d recommend to introduce to someone who’s never heard of them.

Too many favourite artists/albums so you’re getting a few

Prince – 1999
Donald Byrd – Stepping Into Tomorrow
Slum Village – vol.2
Nuyorican Soul should be in everyone’s collection… 
D’Angelo –  Voodoo
Nina Simone – Wild is the Wind
Fairuz – Wahdon

Favourite remixes of all time?
So many but some stand outs include Masters At Work remix of Sinnerman, The Roots remix of Montara, and the Sweetest Taboo remix by Tall Black Guy.  Some of my favourite producers are Danny Krivit, Moodymann, KON, JKriv, MAW, Zepherin Saint, and Mousse T.

Best thing about collecting vinyl?
Finding the music you love is the best feeling. The cover art, linear notes, and discovering artists, musicians, remixes and labels. It’s a physical piece of art. It’s the hunting and discovering for me. I like listening to albums in full at home and it’s nice having a wide range of choices. 

Are you a collector of anything else?
I collect sneakers and tea… that’s why I DJ so mucic. Listening to records while drinking tea is a great time. 

Favourite record store moment from the past 15 years? 

My favourite moments have been spinning at Northside Records and hanging out with our music loving community. It’s always a fun day out, especially when I get to pick up the limited releases I want. It’s almost more about the community than the records that day.

It’s the last song of the night, what’s spinning?
This depends on night as I play at different venues and different genres but the last few have been 

Oum Kalthoum – Alf Leyla We Layla 
Honey Dijon – Work
Stevie Wonder – As
George Duke – Reach Out

Lastly, what local indie stores do you regularly dig in and why?
Northside Records – excellent range of local vinyl and who doesn’t want to spend time with Chris Gill. It’s always a good time once he sees you there.
Natural Selection – They have a great range of second hand records and the service is always friendly, shout out to Charles.

Stay up to date with MzRizk and her upcoming shows via Facebook and Instagram.