TV Times

Ramli: allround talent
They say that in order to succeed, you need to have a vision. Mass Ramli, 25, had a vision at the age of twelve to become a professional DJ. Today he holds the title of PALME DJ of the Year 2004 - the most prestigious and sought after title in the entertainment scene in the Middle East.

PALME, Professional Audio Lighting in the Middle East, holds competitions on an annual basis to find and crown the best DJ in the region. This year the competition that took place over three days from 17-19 February 2004 brought hundreds to the Dubai International Exhibition Centre to support many local and international DJs as they battled it out for the title of PALME DJ of the Year 2004.

On the third day, the panel of judges chose 6 grand finalists. At the end of the day only two were left standing with identical scores; DJ Greg Steiner from England and DJ Mass Ramli from Sri Lanka. The judges decided it was only fair that the two DJs had a ‘play-off’ in order to determine who the title should go to, and from this Mass Ramli emerged a clear winner.

On 19 February 2004, when he raised the trophy high above his head to the sound of his cheering fans, Mass had not only fulfilled one of his dreams, he had also became the first Sri Lankan to hold a title in the international entertainment arena.

For Mass, who was the resident DJ at the Quality Inn Dubai at the time of the competition, finding time to prepare himself for the event was not easy. “I work from 9pm to 3am, come home around 5 am and then practise until 8, sleep at 9, wake up at 12 noon and go for the exhibition ‘cause I needed to see the other DJ’s who were participating. I come back home at seven, hit the shower and get dressed, only to go back to work again.” This was his routine for the three days leading up to the final round.

Ramli is no stranger to the local scene. He also won the Sun FM DJ of the Year Competition in July 2000. “I knew that after this competition I had to take it to the next level and represent Sri Lanka in an international competition and bring home the title. I wanted to show the world that Sri Lanka produces good DJs.”

After winning the competition in Colombo Ramli joined Sun FM as a DJ/radio presenter and hosted the weekend mix shows. He was also one of the first DJs to be a part of the “Bathiya and Santhush” fame, whose hit single “Siri Sangabodhi” was re-mixed by Mass.

Mass recounts that his biggest breakthrough came when he was selected to sign a 2 year contract as a resident DJ in an exclusive club in Doha. After the 2 years in Doha, Mass moved to Dubai where, he says, “the grass is greener” in terms of entertainment. “I had the honour and privilege of working with some of the top Sri Lankan bands who came to Dubai-Aquarius, Revelation and Wildfire to name a few. We jammed together and put on an excellent show. I think that’s something I don’t see in Sri Lanka, where most DJs intend to work against bands when they should be working with the bands.”

“I started out at Curzon DJs lead by Udayanga Wijesekera, who taught me my ABCs on the professional DJ gear and guided my initial steps. Afterwards I received tremendous support from Kamesh Malwana, who helped me to pursue my career while I was working at Cool Tempo. “Inspired by many local DJs such as Bonnie, Sam, Tarique, and Naushad, Ramli knew that he had to do whatever it takes to stand alongiside the best. Watching and learning from DJs who had already made their mark locally and internationally, countless hours practising his skills, stamina, perseverance and of course talent have all paid off as this young DJ now plays alongside some of the top artistes in the world such as Snoop Dogg, Punjabi MC, Tiesto and Paul Oakendfold.

“I most recently began producing my own music and I’m concentrating more on Turntablism which is totally a different ball game in DJing. I want to take this to the next level, that is the world championship. With God’s grace and luck on my side I intend to make it someday”.

“Music is the universal language, people from various communities forget their differences, and racial, religious, and cultural barriers are broken on the dance floor. Through music DJs make the world bond together in peace, love, unity, and respect for one another.”

Ramli is also thankful to the members of his family, his mum in particular, and his numerous friends and fans, both locally and in Dubai for giving him the moral support and strength to pursue his dream.


Copyright © 2001 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd. All rights reserved.