Philadelphia dance wonder DJ Haram balances the nuances of identity in her global sounds | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

Music » Concert Preview

Philadelphia dance wonder DJ Haram balances the nuances of identity in her global sounds


Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe


In a 2015 interview with the blog Electric Llama, Zubeyda Muzeyyen, aka DJ Haram, explains the significance of her taking as a stage name a word that refers to things forbidden by Islamic law. Haram, she says, “refers to my attempt to communicate the nuances of where I’m at—being a Muslim and being queer and being a DJ, spinning global bass and repping the motherland as an American.” A community builder in her hometown, Philadelphia, Muzeyyen is a key player in the city’s young nightlife scene; she’s part of ATM, a collective that throws alternative dance nights, and she also works on noise-rap tracks with experimental artist Moor Mother under the name 700 Bliss. In 2016, she signed with Discwoman, the Brooklyn-based dance collective and booking agency formed to promote women, trans women, and gender-nonbinary artists, a move that has further bolstered her standing as a player in the international scene and has demonstrated that women working together can help make the dance community more welcoming to everyone. As a producer, Muzeyyen is electrifying and inventive, grafting hard-hitting club bass onto Middle Eastern percussion in way that harmonizes disparate sounds and cultures while also allowing them to separately shout out what makes them unique. That last quality shines through on her bustling 2017 track “Body Count.”   v

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Add a comment