If you’ve ever wondered how possible it is to become an international DJ this next interview is for you. Sinisa Tamamovic hails from Bosnia but is now based in the UK. His jet-setting lifestyle makes him an elusive character but eventually I cornered him at his own party and he agreed to tell me how he makes enough to buy bread.
When did you know you wanted to be a DJ?
It just happened. I was always interested in music and in 1998 I meet a Serbian DJ in my hometown who asked me to play at a local club, without any experience! That first night he left me alone – that was the best way to learn how to play! And that is how everything started.
Did you ever consider a different profession?
Not really. Since my first DJ-ing experience up to now I’ve been sure that this is what I wanted to do. Of course, in order to progress as a musician I’ve learnt as much as I can about the music industry. I started to organize club nights and produce music. I tried to understand how everything works so that I could progress as a DJ and producer on an international level. I also started a record label – Night Light Records – which I’m really proud of.
Who inspired you at the beginning?
Honestly, I never had any idols. I built my skills and knowledge by following different musicians who I felt were going in the same musical direction that I wanted to go in and who had the same musical sense as me, and I used that to build my own style and signature sound. Of course, musicians throughout time frequently change their sound to follow changing music trends or they can get stuck with one sound for the majority of their career. That’s why it would be difficult to be inspired by only one individual artist for a long period of time.
What are your major influences?
In the last few years I’ve been producing Techno and Tech House music and involving a lot of organic and natural sounds within it. My signature bass is always heavy, as well as my kick drum. I guess this is because I first started as a DJ and for me music was always about that strong, pumping festival and club sound.
Have you always been able to make a living as a DJ?
I survived somehow! Yes of course, there were a lot of difficult times and at times it was hard to believe that I could make a living out of this underground music style, especially when I was living and working from Bosnia. But I had faith in my ability to do this job and it is what I really loved to do – and now that still seems to be the case!
At that time in Bosnia we didn’t have any vinyl stores, internet shopping, nor any educational magazines about electronic music, and we were not able to travel in Europe without a visa. But somehow, despite these obstacles, I managed to get hold of music and because of that every single vinyl in my collection has a considerable meaning for me. For some of those vinyls I travelled more than 500 kilometres, even if what I was looking for was just one single record! Those are the real ‘Golden Oldies’ – records full of lovely memories.
How do your family feel about your choice of profession?
At the beginning when I was really young, my parents didn’t even understand what kind of music this was, nor did they understand how serious I was about it. I guess they were also scared, knowing that nobody from Bosnia had actually managed yet to succeed as an international DJ, playing the kind of music I was. They also knew that it would be a difficult journey for me to succeed and for them it seemed almost impossible. But they were always there to support me even if they didn’t understand what I was doing.
Do you have any advice to people who want to become a DJ?
My message to those who want to become a DJ and make it in the music industry is to just follow your feelings and if you really like what you do and believe in yourself then go on and enjoy your moments. Success of course is never guaranteed and it is really hard for all of us to deal with this massive industry which is now so far from the underground scene that I was used to back in the day. The music landscape is constantly changing. But If you love what are you doing, then your way is the right way, whatever may happen!
Interview by Enough To Buy Bread