Cover Photo by DragonPhoenix Photography
Kareem is giving deodorant a whole new meaning. After a video of him putting deodorant on some friends at Lost Lands went viral, he has assumed the title as the “Fresh Raver/The Deodorant Guy.” Since his Lost Lands 2018 inception, Kareem has freshed artists such as JAUZ, Snails, NGHTMRE, Excision, and many more. We had the chance to chat with Kareem about how his experiences has been, what being The Deodorant Guy means to him, and weird encounters he’s had!
You can watch the original Deodorant Guy video at Lost Lands below!
“I went to my first festival in 2015, and ever since then I’ve been hooked. I love the energy, the music, the people … I had never really witnessed anything like it.” -Kareem
Festival Squad: What is “The Deodorant Guy” and what is the story behind it?
Kareem: This was honestly a one-off video someone at the festival took that somehow went viral. I would always bring two sticks of deodorant into the festivals, one for me and one for the homies. After the video was recorded, it went viral in the Lost Lands Fam group and really took off from there. Once I kind of realized where this was going, I decided to really make something of it and make it more than a guy just putting deodorant on people. It kind of evolved from there.
FS: When you first started freshing artists, how nervous were you? Has the approach gotten easier over time, or is it still a bit nerve wracking?
Kareem: I’m not gonna lie, the first few times I definitely had some liquid courage on my side. I was just psyched to be meeting these artists I hold in such high regard. I love showing my appreciation. Even now, there is always an unsureness that the artist will not even be into what I’m doing. The last thing I want to come off as is a nuisance.
FS: How many artists have you freshed, and what are the typical reactions you get from them?
Kareem: So far I’ve gotten 37 and still counting. My favorite is when they are just so confused as to what is going on, but they’re just like, “Yeah, whatever, I’ll do it.” The crowd backing me up definitely helps the cause. If it weren’t for the crowd, I bet a lot of DJs would have said no. It’s a surreal experience, it’s especially nice when they already know who I am or say something along the lines of, “Yeah, I’ve heard of you before.”
FS: Who are the top three artists on your deodorant wish list and why?
Kareem: Skrillex. Shaq, and Ganja White Night. Shaq is the man, period. Skrillex was really the first dubstep artist I had heard of, and he’s been killing it ever since. Ganja White Night has been my favorite, hands down. I’ve liked all the stuff they put out.
FS: How much money have you spent on deodorant?
Kareem: No comment. Lol.
“Being The Deodorant Guy has allowed me to bring people together in a way, and I’ve been able to meet a lot of cool people because of it. I’m all about positivity and bringing people up.” -Kareem
FS: Do you have a long-term goal with The Deodorant Guy?
Kareem: My goal really is to make sure people are having a good time. As long as the reaction stays positive, I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing. I’d also like to think that I’m spreading awareness about personal hygiene. At these things, you’re dancing in these big crowds and jumping up and down sweating your ass off. Honestly, that’s how it should be. It means you’re having a good time. But anybody that’s been to a festival can tell you that, by the end of the festival, that stuff stinks. If I’m making it a little bit better, then that’s all that matters. I think it’s cool that artists are getting on board, like, “Yeah, it’s cool to smell good; it’s good to be fresh.”
I am also expanding things to have a social/charitable side. I started doing deodorant drives, where people are donating deodorant sticks at events into a box. At the last event, half the sticks went to the wooks in the crowd that were in need, and half the sticks went to a local homeless shelter. I am hoping to increase hygiene in the festival scene, but also for people less fortunate.
FS: What do you do with all those deodorants after they are used?!
Kareem: I keep them, of course! These artists have used them and it’s a reminder to me of what I’m doing. Some of them have even started to sign the sticks, which is even better. I just keep them all in the same place. It’s kind of cool to see how big the collection has gotten, and it reminds me of how lucky of a position I’m in and all the people I’ve been able to meet.
FS: What is your favorite part of being The Deodorant Guy?
Kareem: Taking a deep breath at a show and not being able to smell any B.O. cause everyone has gotten fresh around me. It’s crazy what a little reapplication can do mid-set. I love the excitement of seeing other people excited about it, too, it makes the show experience that much richer.
FS: What has been your funniest encounter?
Kareem: Svdden Death taking the bite out of the deodorant stick. That guy is nuts, and I don’t think anyone will able to top that one.
FS: What has been your strangest encounter?
Kareem: Boogie T taking a sharpie and drawing abs onto my stomach at Holy Ship. He then proceeded to sign my ass. He got so into it … He’s such a funny dude.
FS: What festivals are you planning to go to this year?
Kareem: I, of course, have Lost Lands lined up. I’m going to Electric Forest and Shambhala. Next week, I’ll be in LA for Beyond Wonderland. I’m trying to make EDC and Bass Canyon happen, too.
Kareem is planning to do deodorant drives at all the festivals to raise sticks for the homeless. You can follow him on Instagram here.