Time Out talks to amateur hopefuls DJ Volt and DJ Tam about their hopes and dreams as they prepare to do battle.
The second round of the fourth Palme Middle East DJ Competition is upon us. James Wilkinson talks to amateur hopefuls DJ Volt and DJ Tam about their shots at the big time.
DJ Volt Real name – Amir Hayek Age – 22 Nationality – Egyptian/Lebanese Job – Business consultant Residence – Old Town, Burj Dubai
What kind of music do you play? I mostly play uplifting trance, but I play progressive and melodic trance as well. I have also played house music at some Egyptian gigs. Additionally, I compose trance music, and have two released original tracks, ‘Sensation’ and ‘No Limits’, with ‘No Limits’ being featured on the Mellomania compilation along with tracks from Tiësto and ATB.
What’s your favourite track at the moment? My favourite track at the moment is Aly and Fila’s ‘Lost Language (Original Mix)’. These guys are producing the greatest uplifting trance tunes at the moment.
What is the secret to creating a good set? There is no secret; if you just have good music and you playit in the right sequence for the right crowd then you are guaranteed to have a great set. The most important thing is to understand the crowd in front of you and give them what they want.
How well do you think you will do in the competition? I hope I will do well enough, and the most important thing for me is people to enjoy my music. I have played in many gigs before, but I haven’t played since I came to Dubai.
How much experience do you have of playing to crowds? I have been playing since 1999. I began with fairly very small parties, then began to spin in bigger events and played in the biggest clubs all across Egypt such as Latex Club, Liquid, Bliss, Upstairs, Palladium, White and so on. I also played alongside international DJs such as Aly and Fila, etc.
What is the biggest number of people you have played for? The biggest number was 2,000 people in Amsterdam, as I played alongside Menno De Jong and Misja Helsoloot. The crowd over there is just amazing; they party till the very end and they don’t stop.
What do you hope to take from this competition? I want to get my music and sets known in Dubai, which is the clubbing hub in the Middle East. I also want to more contacts with the people in the scene here.
DJ Tam Real name – Uttam Kumar Age – 21 Nationality – Indian Job – Event project executive Residence – Karama, Dubai
What kind of music do you play? I play vocal and non-vocal house music, and my sets include house, club and Bollywood music. Most of the time, I play non-vocal music to start off the party and then at the end I play Hindi club music – because in India the party isn’t complete unless you play Hindi music.
What’s your favourite track at the moment? Eric Prydz’s ‘Proper Education’ is beautiful; it lifts up the room and pumps energy into the crowd. And Supermode’s ‘Tell Me Why’ is great too because it takes you to the next level, where you can dream.
What is the secret to creating a good set? It’s not an exam – you don’t really have to prepare yourself too much – but you should make sure that you mix with the crowd.
How well do you think you will do in the competition? I may not win the competition, but I will definitely make people dance to my music.
How did you get into DJing? I started DJing when I was high school; I used to work as a DJ for a wedding company. Later I got my first break as a junior DJ in a bar called Elixir and from then on I worked in a series of bars and pubs in India. I even started a small company called Tamquest that rents out DJ set-ups.
How much experience do you have of playing to crowds? I have over three years of experience and I have done many private shows, college gatherings, and corporate shows.
What is the biggest number of people you have played for? Around 900 to 1,100; it was a college gathering party. Other than that, I used to work in a pub called Rio’s that usually had a packed crowd of 250.
What do you hope to take from this competition? I want to gain new experiences and develop contacts. I would also like to promote my remixed Hindi music.
What will you be doing in five years’ time? In five years’ time I will be a DJ, a music producer and an event producer.
The second Palme Middle East DJ Competition pre-qualifying heat will take place on Tuesday April 8 at The Lodge, 9pm-12midnight, free till 10pm, then 75Dhs.