We talk to Emirati Marwan Parham, DJ at our 10th birthday party
Time Out Abu Dhabi staff
You started DJing 10 years ago. How different was the Dubai scene then? Completely different. You didn’t have as many clubs, and obviously the music was a lot different. It was also the year UK garage was really popular, and that’s what I used to play a lot when I first started DJing.
What do you wish you’d known then? That garage was going to die. [Laughs] I still love garage and still play it in a lot of my sets, and even today it’s one of those classic things. They never made any new UK garage music, but there are classics so you can still throw those songs in.
What did you want to be when you were 10? I had no idea. My dad was in the toy business – he brought Smurfs over here, and those little plastic trolls – so it was always on the table to take over the family business. I never thought I’d become a DJ full time. Even when I was at university I was studying computers. My two older brothers worked for multinational companies, so they were in nine-to-five suit-type jobs. My parents were quite conservative about me DJing, but I think they’re happy about it now they’ve seen how I’ve progressed.
You’ve just released your first single for download. Can you tell us a bit about it? It’s called ‘Everything About You’. I’ve been working on the production for a while now. I’m really in the learning process, but I’ve been working with some very talented individuals. This one just worked out – it sounded fresh. It’s a pop-R&B song featuring a 20-year-old singer from Saudi Arabia. His name is Ayzee and he’s very talented. The song isn’t too deep, it’s just a guy talking about a girl, how he loves everything about her, how he feels lost now that she’s not around any more. It’s quite a clubby song, yet it’s a bit sad.
What’s next on your agenda? I’m just about to do a new news-style TV show called That’s Entertainment. It talks about news that’s happening internationally, over here, celebrity news and that kind of stuff. It will air in another couple of weeks – we’re currently testing the pilot.
What about your DJ work? Music is something I’m really concentrating on. I just came back from a tour of Europe. I’ve travelled before, but this one went really well – we did almost 20 shows and the response was really good. A lot of the clubs have asked me back, so I’ll probably be doing more shows there in the winter and also in South-East Asia.
Where do you hope to be 10 years from now? I definitely don’t think I’ll be DJing that much when I’m 40, although the thought of not DJing does kill me a little bit. It’s not that once you get past a certain age you have to stop DJing, but everything I’ve done has always been related to music, so I’m sure I’ll still be DJ Bliss’s debut single, ‘Everything About You’, is available to download free from www.djbliss.com.