Ever since he was 14-years-old, Mahmoud Islam has had a wild passion for music, but the chorus of BENNY BENASSI released the creative beast that had been dwelling within. Under the moniker 9/STRIKES/TIGER, Islam has been producing hit mixes that even Benassi would be proud of. His most recent podcast Sunset Sessions has been getting excellent reviews across the web as he hones his unique “foreign” style builds anticipation for his upcoming debut EP. It will be unlike anything you have ever heard but not something you want to miss. I recently had the opportunity to chat with the man behind the music about his cultural background, his music influences, and what he has planned for his next release.

What does it mean to “unleash your inner tiger”?

To me it means to bring out the wild part of you. It means to let loose the raw energy that is inside of you.

I read on your Facebook page that you are originally from Ottawa, Canada. How does the music scene there compare to the music scene here in Virginia and DC?

I grew up on the border of Ontario and Quebec so the music I listened to when I lived there was very French influenced, but in Virginia and DC, there is a lot of variety and a great underground scene. I really admire THE FIRE and SHAROM from DC. They used to DJ together in a group called DEEP DISH, but not they work alone.

How did you get started producing and mixing music?

When I was 14-years-old, I heard “Satisfaction” by BENNY BENASSI and it really captured my attention. After that, I knew that I wanted to make my own original productions that will hype people up.

According to your website, you “took up the moniker 9/STRIKES/TIGER as it represented [the] cultural background of Bangladesh.” Can you please explain the meaning behind that?

In Bangladesh, the Bengal Tiger is the national animal, and it is a symbol of royalty. So I chose the name that was personal to me the represented my country and my foreign influences.


Where did you get the idea for Sunset Sessions, and what is your vision for this project?

My first podcast I recorded was called Massive Roar, and it was was more heavy electro like something you might hear at Ultra or Tomorrowland music festivals. For Sunset Sessions, I wanted to make something more laid back in the style of tech house that you could listen to at the pool or at a party. My vision for it is to incorporate more of the underground and foreign styles, such as tribal percussion that comes from Africa. I want to make music that you don’t hear every day, stuff that isn’t on top 40 radio.

I also saw that you recently purchased an electric guitar. How do you plan on incorporating that into your mixes?

My sister had it for a while, but I played guitar in high school so I’m hoping to get back into it and give my mixes a more live effect.

When you are not producing your own music, what are some other local artists you enjoy working with?

I have only been here for a year, and I have been focusing on honing my sound. I would like to work with other DJs down the road, but I have no desire to right now.

When can fans expect your debut EP to be released?

It should be out in about six months, and it will be a combination of electro and tech house as well as my foreign influences. It will be very high energy and groovy.


For more information on 9/STRIKES/TIGER, updates on the next episode of Sunset Sessions and more, visit his Facebook and Twitter. You can also download his mixes for free on his Soundcloud.