We’re back on with another episode of Locals by Locals, our insider’s guide to all things Sydney. We’ve touched on food, art, design, wine and dine — and now, it’s time to dance. Who better to speak to on such matters than a DJ? That is, local muso, music marketing guru and beat mixing queen, DJ Munasib. As the wearer of many hats (Exhibit A pictured above), including that of Digital Marketing Manager at Sydney’s multi-armed music juggernaut, Astral People AND as a founding member of South-Asian collective, KERFEW, Muna’s vantage point on the industry — the music, arts and therefore, Sydney’s general social scene — is far reaching and pretty darn invigorating.
Speaking of invigorating, KERFEW is a collection of DJs, artists, radio hosts, photographers, illustrators and graphic designers who are shining the light on South Asian excellence across Australia’s artistic scene. It’s all about collaboration, pluralism, representation and creativity — values which Muna carries with her in everyday life. It’s on these themes that today’s discussion is built, rather than honing in on one side of town, Muna took us to all corners *and clubs* — across Roseberry, Lakemba to Oxford Street and back again. So! Hold onto your headphones folks, we’re going OUT.
Tell us a little about your local neighbourhood:
Technically, it’s Roseberry, but I like to drive out of my own area a lot, to enjoy all the city has to offer. All of these feel in ‘local’ reach really (thank you M8 and accompanying motorways). Honestly, I feel close to so much of Sydney — I’ve lived and grown up here since primary school, across multiple postcodes (prior to that I was in country Australia), from the south-east to the south-west and everywhere in between. In general, some of the places I like to frequent are Lakemba, Harris Park, Rockdale and Brighton. I don’t tend to stick to ‘my local’ as I’m always going out to explore the depths of the suburbs — partly because I like seeing migrant communities existing together in different parts of Sydney, it’s one of the beauties of living here.
Five tracks that capture the look/feel/flavour of the area(s)?
Considering Sydney as a whole, here are some tracks that capture the overall vibe for me, the flavour of the suburbs.
Bando Diaries (Remix) [feat. OneFour, Kekra, Noizy & DIVINE] : features from all over just like our city
As a music marketing guru at Astral People, which has a pulse on both local and international music scenes, what do you find truly distinctive about Sydney’s music landscape?
It has the capacity to be the home of a new wave of music, unlike any seen around the world. It’s the perfect size, with a nice enough blend of people from all backgrounds/ethnicities. If we continue to support their narratives and celebrate the diversity of the city I think we’re in for a treat. Whether that be by listening to music that’s not in your native tongue, trying to explore what else is going on artistically deep in the suburbs or simply going to local live gigs/jams.
“I don’t tend to stick to ‘my local’ as I’m always going out to explore the depths of the suburbs — partly because I like seeing migrant communities existing together in different parts of Sydney, it’s one of the beauties of living here.”
Any go-to live music venues/hidden gems you’d recommend to hotel guests who want to experience authentic Sydney music culture during their stay?
I’d say, go and check out websites for venues like the Sydney Modern, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the MCA, Opera House, the Powerhouse Museum in Darling Harbour as well as Casula, the Campbelltown Arts Centre, Pari Ari and other galleries in Parramatta. A lot of these places are making the effort to have interesting programming and are tapping into the community to help curate shows seven days a week! Other local venues I find myself at for shows would probably be Mary’s Underground, Oxford Arts Factory, Alcatraz and House of MBC in St Peters.
Fill us in on some local artists you’re thinking about lately:
I have to go Australia wide for this!
Aside from Astral activities, you moonlight as a DJ too — how does your local community shape you and inform your sound?
It’s shaped me by giving me the space to help cofound the South Asian collective I’m part of called, ‘Kerfew’. We could see a gap in the current ecosystem of the city but the beauty of Sydney is that even if it’s not across something, it will always listen and give you a platform, so that’s what why I appreciate it, because of the things it has made us think about and the space it gives for you to try new things.
Can you tell us about a favourite onstage moment?
I’d say big ones like playing to 5000 people at Splendour In The Grass and the Northern Broadwalk at the Opera House but also playing the ‘Out Past Kerfew’ event during Pride earlier this year.It was one of the first times we were able to bring out an entirely new group of people together who you barely see congregated in the same space, from all walks of life and all parts of Sydney, celebrating what it means to be South Asian in Sydney and in Australia more broadly.
What’s your view on the future of Sydney’s club culture?
Needs work, looks promising.
What’s next on the horizon for DJ Munasib?
I want to continue telling stories, through whatever medium I can.
Lakemba for the vibes and authentic Bengali food!
I actually love that little truck in the petrol station next to the Red Rattler in Marrickville AKA Boss Kebabs.
Room in The Old Clare Hotel? EXPLORE HERE
The one with the bathtub in it, of course!!! The Abercrombie.
Kaahe Chhed – From Devdas crazy flow
POV: you’re at The Old Clare Hotel on a self-care staycation in the Abercrombie Room — what’s your room service *girl dinner* order BROWSE THIS MENU
Halloumi roll plz
Go-to binge show
ATLANTA, RAMY or The White Lotus
Skin care lineup
Anything by Arnob!