What made you want to be what you are today? I’ve wanted to be a DJ ever since I was a kid. I would go to parties when I was 15 or 16 and watch the DJ – I remember thinking that I’d like to be behind those decks and making those people dance. And I always got the feeling that I could do it much better than the DJ could.
You’ve just released The Best of REG Project. Most people save the best-ofs until right before they retire. Is there something we don’t know? [Laughs] My REG Project work has gone multi-platinum so I don’t plan to lose it all after one album. However, I have decided to give it a rest – I’ll do this ‘best of’ and make my next few projects compilations under my own name. The REG Project name will remain on the six albums that are already on the market. Maybe in two or three years I’ll release another REG Project album, but for now I’m going to focus on the Karma Kafé compilations – the first will be out in two months.
Speaking of which, you’re the new resident at Karma Kafé in Souk Al Bahar. What do you think of it? Karma Kafé is an experience, and I advise you to come see the place. It’s beautiful. The food is great and the music is fine [laughs]. What I’m trying to do there is create the right mood, one that will complement the food. It’s about creating an atmosphere that will make people relax, enjoy their time and stay longer.
You’ve remixed tracks by operatic singer Sarah Brightman and DJ Claude Challe. How did those things come about? Claude Challe is a very well-known DJ in Europe – he was a DJ at Buddha Bar. He came to [Ralph’s home city of] Beirut and decided that he loved the things that I compose, so he made the decision to launch my first album in Europe under the title Claude Challe Presents New Oriental from REG Project. I send him new tracks every year so he can add them to his compilation. Sarah Brightman – well, I really love her voice, and after we had a meeting at EMI’s Lebanon office she gave me the song ‘It’s a Beautiful Day’ to remix. EMI released it in the States and in Europe on a special, DJ-only vinyl edition.
What has been your greatest DJing moment? It was about eight years ago at a big club in Europe; I had a song called ‘Lebanon, You Are a Piece of Heaven’ – the lyrics were obviously very appealing to Lebanese people. I turned up not knowing that this European club had a Lebanese owner and that 80 per cent of the 4,000 people there were also Lebanese. I’d gone there to demo the song to EMI, and when I played it I saw something gorgeous: every person reacted like they’d known the song for years, and the energy was incredible.
Ralph K plays at Karma Kafé Mon-Wed and Sat, 8pm-2am, Thu-Fri 8pm-3am. The Best of REG Project is available in stores.