DJ Behrouz suffers from a stroke; The dance music scene rallies around him
Before opening the dance-music lounge Don’t sit on the furniture in 2013, Behrouz Nazari made his debut as a DJ in his hometown of San Francisco. By the time he opened the South Beach venue, he was already a leading figure in the American house music scene, touring nationwide and abroad under the mononym Behrouz.
He and his wife, Megan, have been instrumental in promoting the city’s nightlife, with Do Not Sit hosting top house and tech-house artists from around the world. Although the venue encountered obstacle after obstacle — including a pandemic shutdown and the city of Miami Beach threatening to back down from its last call — Behrouz and Megan continued to welcome locals and tourists to the jewel nightclub.
So when Megan announced on social media that Behrouz had suffered a stroke while preparing to perform at a festival in Santa Barbara, California, the dance music scene responded in kind with a wave of support. A The GoFundMe campaign has been launched to help with his medical bills and recovery, raising over $350,000. Donations poured in from big names, including Carl Cox, Damian Lazarus, Nicole Moudaber and Lee Burridge.
new times reached out to Megan last week to ask about Behrouz’s current condition, her path to recovery and the current state of Don’t Sit.
New times: Can you explain to me what happened with Behrouz’s health?
Megan Nazari: On the night of April 24, 2022, Behrouz suffered a severe hemorrhagic stroke while preparing to perform at a festival in Santa Barbara, California. He was quickly airlifted to a hospital in Santa Barbara, where a CT scan confirmed bleeding on the left side of his brain caused by high blood pressure. Doctors quickly put Behrouz into a coma, and he remained in a coma for two weeks to allow the swelling in his brain to subside and the bleeding to heal. Although these latter procedures were successful, Behrouz eventually lost enough oxygen to his brain, causing right-sided paralysis and speech impairment.
The rest of Behrouz’s journey was extremely difficult for him and his family. He has had multiple hospitalizations (nearly five in total), recently suffered a second stroke, and is back in intensive care in Los Angeles. As a result of this unforeseen medical trauma, Behrouz suffers from common but debilitating stroke effects, namely speech aphasia (inability to speak) and severe ongoing impairment of the right side.
Were you surprised by the support from the dance community?
I was more than surprised, and to be honest, we are blessed. To see names like Deep Dish, Carl Cox, Damian Lazarus, Nicole Moudaber, Lee Burridge, Kobi Danon, Disco Donnie, Guy Gerber, Flash Nightclub, DC10’s Antonio, Space’s David Sinopoli and so many more come together to help Behrouz and our family, shows how much love and support there is and that’s what our community should be about, not just in good times but also in bad times, we come together to help each other.
I heard that Deep Dish donated $12,000 for Behrouz’s medical bills. How did that make you feel?
Sharam and Ali from Deep Dish have always been more than friends but like family to Behrouz. They grew up on the house music scene together and have always been close. It was not just the money they gave, but the emotional support and love they gave us that I will never forget. Sharam flew out to see Behrouz in the hospital recently, and Ali had some lovely posts about Behrouz and the journey he’s been through and getting a lot of support in our community. I am forever grateful to these guys.
Are you trying to return to Miami for Behrouz’s recovery, or are you going to stay out west for the foreseeable future?
Our ultimate goal has been to bring Behrouz back to Miami so he’s back home and close to his friends and all the things he loves, more so our home he’s spent most of the pandemic working on. and restore. The plan was to bring him back to Miami from LA [earlier this month]but he had a second stroke [a month] which dashed all hopes of bringing him back to Miami in the near future. It’s like California doesn’t want us to leave, but I manifest that he will get the rehabilitation and medical care he needs to bring him home. You have to look at everything one day at a time. Stroke rehabilitation is a long-term solution, not a short-term one, unfortunately.
Did you encounter any difficulties managing the site and supporting Behrouz?
The support we have received at the club over the past four months has been so beautiful. Our staff have been our backbone, from our manager Seif to our bartender Juan and many more. I don’t know what I would do without these guys. Tears flow thinking of how they have been running the club all these months considering that Behrouz and I have been here for [California] fight this battle. And to so many customers and just the Do Not Sit community all over the world, messaging me all the time, that gives me the strength and the love to fight this and be strong for Behrouz and my daughter, Thalia .
Additionally, local Miami artist Claudia La Bianco has created an art installation in Burning Man playa where everyone will gather before the temple burns via Robot Heart to pray for Behrouz. Just little things like that, I can’t thank everyone enough.