Club legend Norman Jay returns to Dubai. We contain our excitement for long enough to have a quick chat with the man himself. Oh yes.
Norman Jay, club legend and official Member of The British Empire, is returning to Dubai to spin vinyl at The Apartment. James Wilkinson called up to find out what the Godfather of British house music has been up to.
The last time I went to a concert was… New York’s Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kicks, playing in Sydney, Australia, last night. I was very impressed; it was packed and they are brilliant performers. I was right there in the middle of the dance floor.
Last time I came to Dubai, I was impressed by… Everything, really, without wanting to sound corny. I’ve never been to Dubai for any other gigs so I don’t have much to compare it to, but the crowd seemed to have quite a lot of love for me – a huge amount of support, people screaming, beautiful girls at the front; you couldn’t ask for much more, could you?
The last time I saw a movie was… I was in New Zealand recently and I saw a film called Once Were Warriors that is very well shot and has a very compelling storyline. I’m not a film buff, but I bought it on DVD on my way home. It’s very realistic and looks at the underbelly of working class New Zealand amongst the indigenous tribes.
The last time someone recognised me in the street was… Wandering around Sydney on the way to the Sharon Jones concert. A few people saw me because I’d just played a weekender there. I acknowledge people but I don’t stop to talk because I’m normally quite late for everything, so I’m always in a hurry.
The last track I played was… ‘After All’, a reggae track by John Holt. It’s a signal that the night’s winding down and it’s a good way to relax. I don’t always play dance music – sometimes I need something a bit easier on my ear.
The last time I was impressed by another DJ was… LTJ Bookem, the drum ’n’ bass DJ; him and MC Conrad were absolutely mindblowing. I’m a closet drum ’n’ bass fan. Well, not exactly closeted, but it’s not one of the types of music that I’m known for. They played a blinding spot on Sunday and they had the place absolutely rocking.
The last celebrity gig I played was… Well, I can’t remember because there have been so many of them, but I recently DJed at the World Economic Forum at a high-end ski resort in the Swiss Alps in front of 500 people who basically run the word’s economy. Heads of businesses and speculators; the most powerful, and by far richest, audience I’ve ever played. Lots of them I didn’t recognise, but they were hugely important. I had the men loosening silk ties and undoing the top buttons of very expensive shirts, and had the ladies dropping their Gucci shoes and Prada handbags to dance – it was great!
The last holiday I had was… I don’t tend to do many holidays; I go to a lot of places on work and then take a few days off inbetween gigs. I’m a long weekender man, not a holiday man. I love what I do; to be able to do what I do for a living and get paid for it – you can’t make that one up.
The last time I saw someone from my childhood was… Probably when I was DJing on New Years Eve in London. I saw some people from my childhood in the crowd – a couple of schoolfriends and familiar faces. A note got passed up to me through security and there were people frantically waving to me and pointing cameras, but when I went down at the end it was too chaotic to find them.
The last thought I want to leave with Time Out ’s readers is… I hope they turn up to the gig and I hope they enjoy themselves and share my love and passion for an eclectic mix of music.
Norman Jay plays The Apartment, Thursday March 27, 9pm-3am, Dhs85, ladies get free champagne before midnight.