The Boston Bar's DJ talks about playing in Dubai to one of the emirate's liveliest audiences in this Satwa-based favourite.
As a DJ at The Boston Bar, DJ Erhan plays tunes for one of the most varied crowds in Dubai. Here’s how he does his thing.
Where are you from? I was born in Turkey but I’m a European by blood because my mother is from Greece and my father is from Bulgaria.
How did you get into DJing? I have loved music since I was a child, but my first real exposure to this business was back in 1996, when I was working as a sound engineer in Turkey. I fell in love with this industry so much that I started to step behind the turntable myself. I started doing private parties for an events company in 1999, and on New Year’s Eve 2003, I played at the Venue Club in Istanbul, where I did the warm up session for Carl Cox. I knew from that moment, that I would spend the rest of my life playing as a DJ.
What other DJing experience experience did you have before you joined Boston Bar? I did a lot of warm up sessions for popular DJs like Roger Sanchez back in 2004 at the Marmaris backstreet club in Turkey. I also work at the Marmariz Grant Azur Hotel as an entertainer/manager in 2005. During those days, I would go out in the evening to play whatever I want in different night clubs. It was late 2006 when I landed in Dubai and I played in other clubs for a short time until I found my home at Boston Bar.
What kind of music do you play at Boston Bar? My personal favourite genres of music are techno and electro house, but Boston’s crowd is different and it also has a restaurant atmosphere, so I just play the kind of music that everyone can enjoy – disco, R&B, hip hop, soul and also rock like ‘Sweet Child O’Mine’ and ‘Summer Of 69’.
Do your sets follow any kind of pattern? I always start with old stuff from the 70s and 80s. Then, after midnight, I change it to my own mix collection.
Which tracks tend to get people really engaged in the evening? It really depends because the crowd in Boston Bar always varies. I look at the crowd then I play what best suits them. For example, for people in their 40s, I play tracks from the 70s and 80’s tracks, but for a younger crowd, I play modern disco, hip hop and soul.
What kind of crowds do you get at Boston Bar? We get people aged from 21 to 85 years old looking for a place to chill out and have fun. I find it quite challenging to keep such a diverse crowd entertained, but the sets I play are effective because everyone jumps into the music after a bit.
How do you want the crowd to feel when you play there? I want the people to enjoy themselves in front of me. Seeing them dance makes me feel so proud and fulfilled!
What tracks do you start and end an evening with? I start with soft tracks from the 70s and 80s and then I slowly build to upbeat tunes and then, before the bar closes, I wrap it up with another piece of soft music.
What are your long-term goals in terms of DJing? Outside of work I play smooth jazz, whch is my favourite genre of jazz music, and can play bass guitar, acoustic guitar and percussion. I want to perfect my abilities so that when I retire, I can play it perfectly – and exclusively for my wife!
DJ Erhan plays Boston Bar Sun-Fri each week from 9.30pm-2.45am, free.