Law student by day, exciting new house DJ by night, Sudanese Fatima Osman was born in Saudi Arabia and moved with her family to Stockholm in Sweden in 1993. It was growing up in the country’s capital where her love for music—specifically hip hop and house—took shape. Fatima was originally a hip hop DJ, which comes across through her high-energy, pick-and-mix style that sometimes cuts through records like lightning. It’s also at least partly why her sound is so hard to pin down. Though her incredibly varied background also probably has something to do with it.
“I play literally anything I like,” Fatima says about her style. And it makes for seriously fun, hair down mixing. She’ll be treating the crowd at Into The Valley in Spain with her diverse and energetic house selections at The Container Stage on September 29th, joining Young Marco, Hunee, Dr. Rubinstein and many more under the sun in a 1000-year-old Spanish castle.
We caught up with Fatima via email to find out a bit more about this intriguing Swedish newcomer, and she’s kindly provided a fresh new mix. Turn it up and read on.
Aside from a SoundCloud page with a few mixes, there’s almost no info about you online. So—what can you tell us about yourself?
Haha that’s right, I’m pretty anonymous online… but not for long. As for now: my background is Sudanese. I was born in Saudi Arabia in 1993 and raised in Stockholm, Sweden, where my love for music cultivated and took shape.
Although my daytime occupation is being a law student I’ve had a very creative upbringing characterized by music and dance all around me. I see the law studies are more of a side project, as well as an obligation to my family since they brought me here so I have a better education than they did.
Although I grew up with a lot of hip hop, house specifically has been a part of my life since I was young, being a dancer that danced the “house” dance—one of the four branches of street dance where deep specifically is an integral part of the dance.
Today, I’m a DJ that’s working on her first production, and although my name is new in the house scene, I’ve been an active DJ in the local scene in Stockholm for quite a while now. And I’m really, really excited to see where the future will take me.
How long have you been DJing? How and when did you get into electronic music?
I’ve been a DJ for around five years. Four of those years I’ve actually been a hip hop DJ. Hip hop lies really, really, really close to my heart, but it’s a completely different thing for me sensationally, from house—although there being some fundamental common ground. The transition I made last year to house was really natural for me and anticipated of me for myself. I can’t really explain it but I was drawn to the magic in house music that’s always been seductive to me. I love dancing to house music, I love sharing it, I love the community that is created within it.
Where else have you played?
I’ve played at all the big electronic clubs in Stockholm as well as open-airs. Festival-wise, this summer I’m also playing at Way Out West, which will be my first festival ever, as well as PLX; the new festival in the south of the country.
How would you describe your DJ style? Do you mix with vinyl, CDJs, digital?
I mix on CDJs. My style is really dynamic—I play literally anything I like. But I’m really good at reading the crowd while staying true to my sense of music. If I like a song, I will play it when I feel the time is right. I love hard hitting industrial beats as well as rhythmical beats with percussions. I looove disco too. And I love escaping the bounds of categories.
You seem to cut through tracks very rapidly when you mix. Where did that style come from?
That’s a very good question! That’s definitely from the hip hip legacy. I like creating a red thread but also focusing on a part of a track that I enjoy. It’s a tricky business, because of course you want to convey the artist's intention with the song as well. But I would say I don’t “usually” do anything. It all depends.
Who are your biggest influences, musical and otherwise?
The list is long but I’ll give you a few. Musically, I’m a real sucker for Prince and Michael Jackson (Bad might be one of the best albums ever). Holistically, artistically I’m in love with and really influenced by Erykah Badu’s music and her persona. Everything she touches turns to gold. Lately I’ve really been digging Peggy Gou, so I’m excited to see her as well as the house legend and big influence Omar-S at Into The Valley as well.
Do you produce as well?
Yes! This is a new project for me this year. I have so much in me that’s dying to come out of me and now I finally have decided to channel it into my own sound. I love playing others’ music but there are some things I want to create myself. Hopefully my first release will preceded Into The Valley this year.
Tell us about the mix you’ve delivered for us—what was the idea behind it, and where and when when was it recorded?
It was recorded in my small living room in a white neighbourhood in Sweden. A lot of things happen in the mix but my favorite touch is actually the intro which is a song by Hieroglyphic Being that has a real Sudani-vibe to it. The rest of the mix is kind of like a journey through my head. The best way to know about it is just to listen to it.
Finally, what are you looking forward to most about Into The Valley?
To playing, of course! Asides from that, I will be keeping an eye out for Peggy, Omar-S, Amelie Lens, Hunee, and lots more. Moreover, I’m super excited about the sun and the location—it all looks so magical!