Ministry of Sound returns to Dubai on July 7 with a headline set from 25-year-old Glasgow-based DJ Rebecca Vasmant. One of the newest members of Ministry’s stable of touring acts, we gave her a call to find out more.
She’s half French. ‘I grew up in Fife in Scotland, but I spent half my childhood between Paris and Scotland because my dad’s side of the family is French. We went to Paris quite often for holidays.’
But her brother isn’t quite as French as she is. ‘I grew up speaking French as a first language. But I’ve got a little brother who’s five years younger than me; when he was born we started speaking English more because he didn’t really pick up French.’
She enjoys globetrotting with Ministry of Sound… ‘About five months ago, Ministry of Sound asked me to do gigs for them, so I started doing all the brand’s world tours. They’ll ask me: ‘Can you do Dubai?’ or ‘Can you do India?’ I’ve just come back from India and Bulgaria. I base myself in Glasgow and I have a studio in my house.’
…but her heart lies at home – Sub Club in Glasgow is her favourite place to DJ. ‘I could honestly say that in all the places I been and played, as a clubber or a DJ, that’s my favourite. They do a night called Sub Culture on Saturday, and it’s really deep, Detroit house and techno, and everyone who goes there is just a complete and utter music head. You can take people on a journey, you can play for two hours and bring them up and back down. It’s a really intelligent crowd. I’ve never had a bad experience there. I love it.’
Playing in India was an eye-opener. ‘It was quite shocking to see the way the government and everything works – it’s completely different from the UK. There was adverse poverty on one side of the road, and on the other were these big hotels blocked off by police barriers so poor people can’t get in.’
But they appreciated her music. ‘I didn’t know what to expect, musically, because some people might consider my music a bit specialist – a lot of my sound comes from jazz and funk and soul, and I try to find a way to interpret that for the dancefloor into electronic music. But in India I found that as long as there was a lot of high energy in the music, people appreciated it, even though they weren’t necessarily familiar with the music. They were really open-minded.’
She hasn’t been to Dubai before, but is filled in on all the details. ‘My best friend goes to Dubai quite often. She’s moving out there in a week, so she’s told me what it’s like, and what the people are like and what the music’s like. I think the culture is totally different to the UK. I’m excited to see what it’s like.’
Weird requests leave her perplexed. ‘I don’t have many complaints about DJing, because there have been more good things than bad. The only time when it’s really bad is when no one’s there – which is obviously down to the promotion of the event – or when it’s the wrong crowd for the music you’ve been sent out to play. When I was in India, I was on a break and a man outside asked if I could change the music to ’60s and ’70s pop music. That was a weird one.’
Rebecca Vasmant plays Ministry of Sound at XL Beach Club on July 7.