I don’t remember when I met Mehdi for the first time, it must have been around five years ago with A-Trak or Dave, sometime after the Sunglasses is a Must tour. We emailed music back and forth and hung out when he was around – he was the type of dude who would go out of his way to keep up friendships.
Once I ran into Mehdi and So Me at the airport on the way to WMC and he insisted on me changing seats so we could sit together on the plane. This is before we even knew each other very well, and he was pretty famous at that point – he had already toured North America with Justice twice. I remember a girl recognized him on the plane and wanted an autograph but didn’t have any paper so we talked her into letting them sign her passport. So Me even drew a little picture in there for her, a fake passport stamp with his name and Ed Banger in it. One of the reasons Mehdi and I got along so well is that we have kids close to the same age and you don’t meet too many DJs who are able to juggle the studio, the tour grind, kids, and still manage to stay present in their marriage. And the thing about Mehdi, he worked very hard but made it all look easy and fun; he was always available, always open and generous and funny.
Last year, Blu Jemz and I went on a tour with Carte Blanche (Mehdi and Riton) for two weeks. We had so much fun, in the clubs and at the hotel pools, dinners, etc. Mehdi was an incredible live DJ, with mix routines, awesome taste in house, disco and hip-hop, and infectious energy – he was always dancing, always smiling. Every night they would end with Hot Chip “I Feel Better” and after that it always reminded me of those guys. I was talking to Sammy Bananas the night after Mehdi passed (Sammy was the one who broke the news to me) and he said “Mehdi was one of a kind, there just wasn’t anyone else like him and there won’t ever be.” When you lose someone it’s easy to gloss over their negatives and only focus on their good side, but as far as I know Mehdi didn’t have a speck of darkness in him, and that makes his death seem so unfair, he didn’t deserve this and none of his friends did either. My heart goes out to Fafi, Neil, Pedro, Henry, Brodinski, Alain and Dave, James, and everyone else who loved Mehdi and was touched by his music.
Here is a good obituary in the Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2011/sep/15/dj-medhi-obituary