Palestinian DJ, producer and curator ODDZ, real name Odai Masri, has died.
Istanbul-based station Root Radio, where Mastri was a resident DJ, broke the news on Friday, June 30, sharing a tribute on Instagram, writing: “Hard to find words to describe this.. our friend, resident, brother, one of the closest people to root community has left us today.. we were your backbone and we will always carry your fight. Rest well beautiful soul”.
ODDZ was a pivotal figure in Ramallah’s dance music underground since 2006, and helmed Harara Records, which describes itself as the “First Palestinian Electronic Music Record Label” and was based between Haifa, Ramallah and Berlin.
He also co-founded Exist Festival which launched in Ramallah in 2019 as a showcase of the finest talents in the Palestinian underground. In its own words the event: “takes advantage of the fertility of Palestine’s counterculture and injects some of the most brilliant names in sound in Palestine and the worldwide scene.”
He was also one of three figures at the head of internet station Radio Nard since 2015, having joined Ramzi Hazboun to link up with founder Laith AlBandak, who had founded the station the year previously.
ODDZ was also a producer, with releases including his 2018 collaborative EP ‘Acid Martire‘ with Bonime and 2021’s ‘Land Of A Loss أرض الخسائر’ EP‘ EP as one half of techno duo ANTS alongside Italian producer Soulless.
Masri would often use his music to express or mirror the socio-political unrest within his nation.
On June 24, he posted an emotional statement on Instagram, addressing issues with mental and physical health, writing: “The last three years was heavy, very heavy that I always had thoughts to give up… But I was blessed and lucky enough to have my family, friends and the community supporting my ass. People that I will be forever and ever thankful for, those who’ve always been there for me, lifting me up and never letting me down. Thank you!!”
The caption continued “For the past three months I was fully focused on my mental and physical health recovery. Without the beautiful people around me, I know for a fact that this will never happen and I’ll be still down or maybe gave up everything earlier!”
At this time, the cause of death remains unknown.
Earlier this year, a GoFundMe campaign was set up by Kaos London to raise funds for an operation that would bring back his hearing, with a caption reading “Last November, our dear friend Odai Masri, founder of the Palestinian electronic music festival Exist, was diagnosed with a serious ear condition that threatens to end his music career, We started this campaign to raise £3000 to cover Odai’s medical bills plus attendant costs and post-op recovery time.”
A number of platforms have paid tribute to ODDZ, read some below.
Tiffany Ibe is Mixmag’s Digital Intern, follow her on Instagram
Written by: Tim Hopkins