Ramin Majlessi is more than just a DJ. One of the most respected names in the San Diego scene, he works as a promoter, event producer, talent manager, agent and record label head. Well-known in San Diego and across the industry for his work at the influential Music is 4 Lovers blog, he;’s helped elevate the blog to a point where it’s many things to many people. To give you a flavour of what we mean, notable guests on their mix series include the likes of Christian Smith, Jay Tripwire, Joyce Muniz, Huxley, John Summit, Golf Clap and many more. From a gigging perspective, they’ve helped to launch the San Diego scene in a big way, always with one ear on discerning sounds. We caught up with Ramin recently, as he talked us through his story so far…
Where does your love of music come from? Can you talk us through some of your early influences?
My father listened to lots of classical Persian music when I was younger so I think the music gene just kinda runs in our family haha. Also artists like Daft Punk and M83 would be some of my early influences in electronic music.
At what stage did you begin to take electronic music seriously?
I would say once I got more involved with Music is 4 Lovers I started to take it seriously..
In such a competitive game, how do you manage to stay one step ahead? Do you ever find it difficult to stay motivated?
I’m constantly digging for new music which keeps me on my feet but also keeps me motivated at the same time. I’m very curious about how things work, so I am constantly searching for new ideas.
As someone so involved in the US scene, what advice would you give to someone else starting out and looking to make a career in electronic music?
As for someone starting out, don’t rush into it. Take your time producing and curating your DJ sets. You will eventually find where your music will land. I’ve been Djing for 12 yrs and I’m just now finding my own sound. Djing and promoting your gigs isn’t about the number of people you can get through the door, but about the connections you make with the crowd that will set yourself apart from the influx of new dj’s.
You mentioned the US blog, Music is 4 Lovers, which you’re heavily involved with. Can you tell us a bit about your involvement there? What does it entail?
I’m kind of all over the place to be honest. I help with A&R for the label, work on the blog, help with bookings from time to time, and heavily help with promoting our parties.
The scene in San Diego seems to be really something right now. How long have you been throwing parties there? And what’s been the highlights?
Music is 4 Lovers started around 2010 but I didn’t join until 2014/2015. They were the first crew in San Diego to get the ball rolling on house and techno scene that I knew of. They are the OG crew of San Diego and I am super proud to be a part of their journey!
Tell us a bit about San Diego as a city to run techno events. Is it a difficult place to work as a promoter? Or is the crowd generally open to DJs and producers that aren’t necessarily ‘superstars’?
I would say after the covid pandemic lots of new DJs and promoters came out of nowhere which has saturated the scene a bit but at the same time I saw it growing in a positive way. Yes it can be competitive at times but this is a good thing.
Is the local government and authorities generally supportive of music events? Is that a barrier at all?
At least in San Diego they don’t really bother us too much. We’ve gotten cops called on us for the music being too loud but they usually just tell us to turn it down once and they never come back ever again..
If we’d 24 hours to spend in San Diego, where would you recommend we go digging, clubbing and to eat?
Every month we do a vinyl market at a restaurant called Kettner Exchange. You can crate dig and eat amazing food at the same time. Also one of my favourite clubs right now is Bang Bang. They’ve been bringing some solid talent like Prunk, Lauren Lo Sung, Chklte, and many more great names!
Outside of San Diego, where do you love to party in the US?
I would say LA. Not too far from me and they always bring great Romanian talent. Doesn’t happen too often here in San Diego..
You also work as a talent manager for a number of acts. Can you tell us a bit about what that involves? Anyone we should watch out for?
It mostly involves local San Diego talent. Kids who are constantly producing and getting booked here regularly. I help manage their bookings from time to time if they get overwhelmed. Create them EPKs, Hosp/Tech Rider, personal advice, help get them mixes or blogs written up if needed. Helping them to get to that next tier. Watch out for all of them!
What are you looking for when you sign an act then?
Someone who is motivated. Zero ego. Humble. Positive.
You’ve had the likes of Christian Smith, Golf Clap, Jay Tripwire and dozens of others on your mix series. What tips would you give to readers doing the same? At what stage did the series begin to get momentum?
It’s really simple actually. I would just reach out to artists that I liked personally and see if they would be interested. If not, just move on to the next one. One of my first artists was Dennis Cruz. A year or two later he blew up and now is a world renowned touring DJ. I would say after him and getting my podcast signed to Music is 4 Lovers I saw lots of engagement on the podcast.
Production-wise, you’re perhaps best known for your work on Whoyostro, which is in itself a label that’s been on a great run of form recently. Are you still busy production-wise? What’s next for you on that front?
From time to time I produce but I would say I’m more of a DJ than a producer. I do have two more tracks coming out. One will be out on David’s San label Psicodelica which is a two track EP and another track on Morpei’s label Buriloop.
As a DJ/producer, label owner etc, do you make yourself goals? What is the ultimate aim for you musically and professionally?
It would be nice to quit my full time job and do music full time but not stressing on that. Just playing it by ear and looking forward to the future!
Finally, what more can we look forward to from you over the next while?
Got some great artists in mind for 2023. If you are ever in San Diego, let me know and I’ll take care of ya!
Keep up with Ramin Majlessi on Spotify, Instagram and Soundcloud