Real Name: Faiza
Ma Faiza Age: 52 years
Birth Place: Tanzania, Africa
Partner: Anuradha Sharma
Who is DJ Ma Faiza?
Ma Faiza is one of the biggest and most well known DJs in the country today. Ma Faiza’s real name is Faiza; she was given the prefix “Ma” when she was in Pune at an ashram. She has redefined the Indian electronic scene and is considered to be the Mother Of Electronica in India. Her music has evolved from psychedelic trance into something she calls “genre-defying.” From progressive to deep and chill to dirty house and techno, Ma Faiza never fails to impress. The presence she exudes to her fans sets her apart from other DJs. The artist blurs the lines between cultures and genres, free from conventionality, without boundaries or limits.
Family and Growing Up
Ma Faiza was born in Tanzania, Africa and shifted to England shortly thereafter with her family. She was raised in a traditionally English neighbourhood of London, but her roots are Indian. Her father is a lawyer in London and he is a Gujarati, while her mother is Kutchi. Her great grandfather freed the last slaves on Zanzibar as the PM of that country. Faiza was the only brown kid in her school of 1800 English students. As a child she was exceptionally bright and was invited to Mensa at age 11, but she disliked the school system of exams. She studied lots of subjects at school, such as Sociology, Economics and Business Studies, as well as learned how to read and write music.
Growing up in London, Faiza was quite an avid music lover and a computer geek who enjoyed building computers and writing software. She also fondly remembers her chess classes, horse riding, working in the stables and being part of many protests in the country. She came out at 17 and calls being openly gay one of her biggest struggles. Her parents expected a dutiful daughter who conformed, but she was a tattooed lesbian girl with piercings. For her parents to accept her as she is, she had to go through ten years of being isolated from them. She received institutional assistance in London during that time, which made the journey easier. Her parents now visit her frequently and spend the majority of the year in India with her.
Music and Career
Music was an integral part of Faiza’s life. Listening to Gary Numan’s song “Cars” is one of her earliest memories. While she was growing up in London, she listened to Madonna, Prince, and watched music videos on MTV. She knows how to play the trumpet, flute, tuba, piano and guitar, as well as sings in orchestras. When she was 10, she first performed with an orchestra of about 3000 people at the Royal Albert Hall.
When she was 23, she visited India with her girlfriend for three weeks and spent most of her time partying in Goa. Living near the beach, she discovered tapes with music at flea markets, which she thought were terrible. It was here that her career as a DJ was sown. She began putting together compilation tapes to sell at these flea markets. In three months she sold enough to travel for another three months in India. She repeated this for six months the following year.
Faiza then began to distribute the music in shops, boutiques, and restaurants she visited. Enough people began to buy and share the music which helped spread the word about her. Eventually, she began to DJ with tapes. She was able to record about 50 tapes a week despite numerous power outages. There were parties thrown by the lake, by a secluded area, in houses, etc., where she used to perform for foreigners and Indian fans. She began performing internationally in 2001. Toward the end of 2006, she decided to live in India full-time and did fewer festivals and concerts abroad.
Ma Faiza has quickly grown to become India’s top female DJ, receiving more attention, fame, and money than any other Indian female DJ in the past decade. Her music has totally revolutionised the EDM scene in India.