Dubstep has taken the world by storm over the past 12 months Discuss this article
The dubstep genre has taken the world by storm over the past 12 months, and club nights dedicated to this ever-evolving sound are building up a healthy following in Dubai. There’s another dose on the way when London-based band Dub Pistols arrive to play club night See You Next Friday at Trilogy in early February, but, if you’re new to the scene, meet up-and-coming producer and DJ Ikonika. The young Brit had an incredible 2010, releasing her debut album, Contact, Love, Want, Have and being nominated for DJ magazine’s DJ of the Year in the UK. Here’s what you need to know.
Although Ikonika is considered a dubstep artist, Contact… includes R&B and garage, and marks a departure from the genre’s wobbly-bottomed template.
‘Dubstep gave hope to a lot of people; for producers it meant freedom. I remember feeling a part of something special that was unpretentious and didn’t rely on elitism. I don’t think I will ever see a genre quite like dubstep again: we’ve seen it grow and blossom and we also understand that it can mutate into something entirely new. As a whole, my music is something that shares some elements of dubstep, house and garage.’
Like fellow hot producer Labrinth, Ikonika is influenced by old-school video game soundtracks, especially the work of composer Yuzo Koshiro.
‘It started off being a general sonic aesthetic, but the more I started to investigate, it became very clear that I started listening to music the same time I got into games. When I started work on Contact…, I really wanted to look into why I felt so comfortable with the sounds I was using. I was trying to digitally translate all these memories I had about R&B and UK garage, my sisters’ rave experiences, games consoles and stuff like that. It was really important for me to have a debut album like that.’
Before turning her hand to electronic music, she was a drummer in various bands, which influenced her decision to use a deliberately limited sound.
‘When I was a drummer, it was up to me to make use of the kit. Hit things differently, tune bits, use the wrong hand, those kind of things. I wanted that same idea with production. I really wanted to concentrate on
a certain musical palette that meant a lot to me during a particular time. I like to experiment and progress and this year has been very inspiring for me. I’ve been going out to clubs more, hanging with like-minded people and I just want to capture these vibes I’m feeling – kinda sweaty, melancholy stuff.’
Ikonika originally hails from Hounslow, London’s most noise-polluted suburb.
‘Three years ago I moved away from Heston, which was directly under the flight path for Heathrow Airport. It was so loud, every two minutes a plane would go over and would interrupt the Sky TV. I’ve been DJing abroad a lot this year and planes freak me out a bit. It’s weird – they fascinate me, but they do genuinely scare me.’
Time Out Dubai,
- Atlantis Beach, The Palm(1)
- Buddha Bar(1)
- Casa Latina Bar(1)
- Chinawhite Dubai(1)
- Dubai Media City Amphitheatre(1)
- Dubai Tennis Stadium(1)
- Dubai World Trade Centre(1)
- Emirates Golf Club(1)
- Nasimi Beach(2)
- Pure Sky Lounge(1)
Most viewed galleries
- Soundwave at Nasimi
- Top 50 clubbing pictures of the month
- Lady Gaga in Dubai: The crowd
- Zedd live in Dubai
- Sean Kingston live in Dubai
Most viewed events
- Hip-Hop Chic
- Status Sundays
- S.O.S Sunday Old School
- Amy Winehouse Tribute
- SANDANCE with Axwell, Ingrosso, Rudimental, Empire of the Sun, Clean Bandit, De La Soul & more
Our favourite features
The 50 best things to do in Dubai The emirate's best toilet, burger, elevator, proposal spot and more
Dubai's dining districts The battle of Dubai's best foodie neighbourhoods
Best nightclubs in Dubai The best nightclubs in Dubai revealed. Where do you like to party?
Were you there? The 40 biggest gigs of the year Take a look back at the most memorable UAE concerts from the 2013/14 season
Your essential guide to Dubai Marina Food, drink, play and live in Dubai Marina
Why you should visit Old Dubai Insider's guide to the traditional heart of the city
Dubai's best cafés revealed Top spots which offer books, board games, shisha and more
Dubai's best buffets Loosen the belt and pile up your plate at these all-you-can eat packages
The UAE’s best swim-up bars Refresh your body and your thirst at these poolside spots
86 Friday brunches to try Time for brunch? We run through the options - in price order
Dubai's must-visit mini malls Bigger doesn't always mean better...
How to... 24 must-have Dubai skills From lighting a barbecue to getting a driving licence
...and RELAX: 25 must-try spa treatments From ocean-view treatment rooms at the Burj Al Arab to faultless facials...
Must-see Dubai sights Nine iconic attractions no tourist or resident should miss
Dubai's best breakfasts Brilliant breakfast dishes from around the world available in Dubai