Locals: Chouhal Interview

Who are you? How old are you?

I’m Sarah, aka Chouhal 🙂 I just turned 20 a few months ago.


How many months/ years have you been Djing / producing?

I felt I was sure I wanted to start DJing in December and I got my first controller in March. Technically, my first gig was in late February/early March, before even getting my first controller – courtesy of my friend Isaiah showing me the controls on his equipment, then proceeding to say “okay now play” (I ended up playing for an hour – I learned SO MUCH in that chaotic “idk any of these tracks or wtf I’m doing” though, so I am very grateful for żi).

Mention an artist that inspired you to become a DJ/producer?

I’ve always loved expressing my inner world through creating, however up until techno, that creating was done through pursuits like poetry. Till about 2 years ago, my life was heavily focused on sports, which for a while, made me believe that I wouldn’t be able to make it in the music industry. I felt I had no rhythm and always thought that I’d be wasting my time trying to pursue music. There were also the “it’s way too late now” and “I don’t think I’m talented enough to make it” thoughts that with everything else, held me back for a while. Fast forward to me breaking my toe (thank fuck) and having to get a surgery that left me unable to walk for a few months, I had to do some soul searching to find out who I was without sports. Even though I didn’t believe I could pursue music, privately I still had a passion for it, which I expressed through appreciating music and curating playlists.Then, during my first year of university (which started a week after the surgery btw), someone I care about complimented my music taste and how I had an ear for it. That pure expression of love from a friend fueled my love for myself. “They’re right” I started to own it – making playlists, embracing my love for certain tracks and artists publicly and even getting back into singing and rapping (because there actually was a point where I tried to pursue music, but let’s just say it didn’t work out to simplify the story). Fast forward to October or so of last year and another person I’m close to sent me some chill melodic techno tracks, knowing that I love Lofi. From there on out, I just couldn’t stop listening and flowing with the beats. Techno instantly clicked with me and especially after my first proper rave (may the techno gods bless you Klangkuenstler), I was hooked. 

Honestly though? Falling in love with techno sparked up my passion for music tenfold and then all of a sudden, I started getting ideas. I’ve never found something that makes my thoughts and emotions flow as much as techno does. Becoming a DJ was about me sharing my passion with the world. I feel it’s also important to mention that unlike how I was with sports, I don’t really have any particular goals with DJing other than being able to do what I love and contribute to a world I love. The beautiful thing about art is that, there’s no real competition for it, as each piece of art is unique and an expression of the creator’s vision. I don’t know about you, but I really like the idea of living in a world with an abundance of art. 

Is there a local artist that you look up to and love to see play at events?

Yes, LUIGI 🙂 We’ve known each other for a few years but the first time I saw him perform was back in February. I remember really connecting with his set that day (and going through all my epiphanies) and afterwards telling him about what I felt throughout different moments of the set. As we were talking, I got to know that the little details I noticed were actually intentional and that he, in his own unique way, was expressing his art through music and pulling out all the stops because “the right people will appreciate it”. It was beautiful to see someone I care about express themselves so purely and so bravely. After that, I’ve raved to LUIGI quite a few times – each time being in awe of the new things he creates and the new ways in which he expresses himself through sound.

How do you stay up to date with the latest music trends?

Going to different raves and events is probably what keeps me up to date the most… I mean, being on socials helps too but honestly I have never been one to consciously try and keep up with trends. I like exploring and finding cool things – if a cool thing also happens to be one of the latest music trends, that’s cool!

What would you say is the most rewarding part of being a DJ?

I think being able to connect with myself and the people around me. If I can get you to experience something – a smile, a realization, a moment of peace… it genuinely makes me so happy. Life is short – we are here to experience the full spectrum of human emotions and I want my music to be an outlet of pure human emotions.