Seven things you didn't now about Dubai's popular house DJ
Many people know local house DJ Greg Stainer as a familiar face on the city’s clubbing scene, where he holds a residency at the Crowne Plaza’s Zinc club, among other gigs. What you may not know, however, is that this enterprising 34-year-old Londoner launched his own label, Stained Music, last year, and has been releasing tracks for the past six months. We caught up with him to learn a couple of other things you should know.
Setting up his own label was the best way forward, even though he didn’t think he had time to run it. ‘The music industry has changed so much over the years. It’s not the case that now you’ve made your song, you sit and wait for Richard Branson to knock on your door and sign it to his label. If you want to get noticed, you have to get your music out there in any way you can.’
His releases are taking time to get picked up on the local airwaves. ‘In terms of house music, there are only a couple of DJs representing the scene here, so locally the sort of music I’m making is more club-oriented. Apart from myself playing it or the other club DJs around town playing it, the radio stations here haven’t shown it any love yet.’
Internationally, it’s a different story. ‘I’m getting a really good response and good support from the websites that sell the music, such as Beatport and Traxsource, and so far the label has drummed up a lot of support from DJs and radio stations around the world. I’ve had music played on [UK stations] Kiss FM, Ministry of Sound, Capital FM and on the Hed Kandi radio shows.’
He’s also working on a few more pop productions. ‘Fellow local DJ Dany Neville and I have produced tracks for Karl Wolfe that are A-list on Radio 1, and we’re just doing the finishing touches for his next single. I’m also working with a couple of labels in New York, doing mainstream radio productions.’
He’s not about to change direction, but… ‘I’ll tell you another secret – the latest track I’ve done features me singing. Not the whole song, but we took a sample out of a famous track and couldn’t get the clearance for it, so we had to find another singer. I tried a couple of other people, then ended up doing it myself. I don’t foresee me doing a concert in front of thousands of people, but when I’m in my own studio and I’m locked away on my own, I can experiment with my voice and stuff.’
Though the club-friendly releases will continue, he’s hoping to do a few more mainstream tracks. ‘I’ve got a production set up, a full studio set up and I’ve got my own label now. I’m gaining some really respectable contacts in the industry, so hopefully you’re going to see bigger hits from me, in terms of the underground stuff I’m doing and also the commercial stuff with people like Karl Wolfe. I want to reach that level of production where more people outside sweaty nightclubs will have heard of me. I want people’s mums and dads to have heard of me as well.’
He plans to stay firmly in Dubai ‘Me and my family are happy here. We’re actually thinking about moving to a bigger place and settling in even more. My wife works for Emirates, so our parents get cheap flights, which means any time we miss home we can just fly our mums up to do some home cooking for us and it only costs a couple of hundred dirhams.’
Greg Stainer plays Zinc every Wednesday and Thursday.