A six-figure deal with Sony means Dion could be Dubai’s first superstar DJ; but what else does the future hold for this talented Aussie?
On the press release it says you signed a ‘multi-dollar’ deal with Sony International... I didn’t really want to say how much it was exactly because I think that’s a bit rude, but the PR said we had to say something.
‘Multi-dollar’, though. That could be two dollars. Ha! It’s more than that. We’re saying it’s a six-figure deal. And that’s the whole package: the first two singles, the Warrior album and another album that I somehow have to provide them. And then they have an option for two more after that.
You sound a bit nervous. Well, Warrior is in the bag [it was launched in the UAE last year] and there’s no real deadline for the second album – I imagine I’ll start at the end of the year. But there’s an added pressure now because they were telling me who else has been signed to contracts like mine, and the names are very daunting: David Guetta, Fatboy Slim, Mark Ronson. I basically thought: f***.
How did it all come about? I finished Warrior in early 2009 and started shopping it around to big labels, small labels, people with one person in the office… anyone, basically. I had a lot of refusals, but then I got a single released through Defected and a second one on another label, and as things were picking up I decided to get a manager. He was meeting with the head of A&R for Sony France about another artist on his books and as they were leaving the meeting the Sony guy heard my CD playing in his car. He asked who made it, my manager said it was this guy in Dubai he was promoting and as soon as the Dubai thing came out, he was interested.
You have regular meetings in Paris now, right? I have a meeting with them in Paris almost every month to follow up on promotional aspects and activities within Europe. At the moment they’re releasing the first single, ‘Refugee’, in Europe. That will be followed by the video, which we’re filming this month.
Will Dubai feature in the video? Definitely – I’d like to sell Dubai at an international level. I’ve been here for 10 years [after moving from Australia] and I don’t intend to move anywhere else any time soon.
Tell us about ‘Refugee’. It’s a song that I did two years ago. It’s a love story song about a guy who has to jump through hoops to impress this girl. The main line is ‘You got me running like a refugee’, which I thought might be a bit politically incorrect.
Um, yeah. It does sound a little suspect. Sony’s quite happy with it; they have no issues, so…
Fair enough. What’s the sound like? It’s vocal, energetic house. It’s commercial, it’s good for radio play – I have no problems with being called commercial.
Will you keep playing at Dubai club Quantum? Yeah – I love playing at Quantum, I feel really at home there. I couldn’t give it up. Warrior is available now in stores. Dion Mavath plays Quantum at Crowne Plaza Dubai every Thursday.