DJ Qemist is one of Memphis' premiere DJs and an up-and-coming leader in the electronic music space of Memphis. He has performed with several labels, brands and collectives, including BODYWERK, MESH: Focus, and Future Everything.
C: Where are you from and how did you get into DJing & electronic music?
Q: I am born and raised in Memphis,TN. I got into electronic music when I was 13 and started producing and DJing when I was 16.
C: Who inspired you to pursue music in this capacity?
Q:I have a couple of inspirations: Kerri Chandler, DJ Assault, DJ Deeon, and Egyptian Lover. I had a period of time where I was not able to find people who looked like me that were making dance music due to mainstream whitewashing.
C: How would you describe your style? What do you look for in the music that you utilize, and how does that reflect or contribute to the end result?
Q: My style is very fun, but technically sound. I like to create and spin out music that celebrates the spirit of the underground dance scene. I try to find songs that evoke a carefree, but deep sound, and I build my sets around that.
C: You've spent the past few years traveling the country performing. How did that start, and how does it feel?
Q: I think I first started touring in 2017 and my first official out of town show was at SXSW (South by South West). It was a true eye opening experience. I was able to meet and network with artists and creatives that I had only met online, and thats when my journey really began. It feels great to be able to continue to connect with new friends and forge new opportunities for my music!
C: What does Memphis offer that’s unique?
Q: Memphis has allowed me to develop a genuine taste in how I create my electronic music. I have a southern flare that I cant get without being from Memphis and listening to the Rap, Jazz, and Electronic music that comes out of the city. From the food, to the places, and even the schools, Memphis truly has molded my sound in a way I’m very grateful.
C: What do you think can be done to expand the culture of the electronic music scene?
Q: More dedicated spaces to hear and dance to the genre and more support from the city and in the southern regions of America.
C: Why do you think DJing / electronic music is important?
Q: This music is important because they are one of the few sounds of modern resistance and freedom and they also are one of the most expressive forms of sonic creativity. The DJ is NOT the center of the party but the DJ IS the leader and should always lead with care, empathy, and love.
C: What are some of your hopes and goals with music?
Q: My goal is to continue to make dance music and perform while spreading the genre to different, new ears!