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Pakistani music is making its mark globally, no doubt. Coke Studio Season 14’s fame (in particular) is proof of that. But what is also an indicator of global success is how EDM artists like Turhan James are playing their music for an international audience.

Having opened a show for Martin Garrix last year, Turhan just made news again when he opened a show for one of the biggest EDM names in the world: Tiësto. Held in Dubai, the show attracted a massive crowd and Turhan had the opportunity to not only play music for one of the biggest parties of the year, but he also got a chance to play some of his own music there too.



How did this amazing opportunity find Turhan?

“During the Solis Festival in Pakistan, I made a friend who organizes all these events and festivals in Dubai. One day he called me and asked me if I wanted to open the show for Tiësto and I was onboard,” answered Turhan.

Explaining details of how he curated the playlist for this show, Turhan said that the crowd he often plays for in Pakistan is very different from the crowd in Dubai.

“In Pakistan, the crowd loves high-tempo music. But its different when you’re opening a show for an artist like Tiësto. The basic DJ etiquette is that you play a softer set so that the audience starts getting into the mood but still has energy left for the main act.” In the hour-long set, Turhan played songs such as L.A and Feel Alive (which also features Taha G).

Did Turhan get to meet Tiësto though?

“Yes I did! I didn’t think I would but right before he went on stage, we met briefly. I told him I was from Pakistan and he replied ‘oh wow, that’s so cool!'”


Turhan with his sister Parishae and mom, the powerhouse Frieha Altaf, backstage at the concert.


Frieha Altaf couldn’t be more proud of her son: “I’m elated! I had no idea what a DJ could do. I thought they played at parties, I had no idea they produce music too. I understood when he produced his first song and when he started getting international offers that this was real! I believe that your passion should be your profession so I 100% support his dream!”

Turhan has a lot more coming up in the future, but he can’t reveal details right now. But what we can share is that he has more international shows and music collaborations in the pipeline.

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