The familiar face of Dubai's club scene talks to Time Out about life in the emirate, his latest sets, and why he's happy to call the emirate home.
Anyone who’s hit the clubbing scene in Dubai will recognise Ricardo Da Force, resident at The Apartment. But what’s the man up to this week? Read on...
You’re going to be playing this week – what can we expect from you, music-wise? Being the resident DJ at The Apartment, I play there three-to-four times a week. Thursdays are usually fun packed nights ranging from classic house nights to more up-front fare – and sometimes we get some themed nights like Hat Club, Pukka Up and Tickled Pink. I always play house music suitable for when and where I’m playing on the night; in the lounge we like to keep it fresh and funky and in the club it’s more full-on, but there’s always a good time to be had, a great atmosphere and most of all great music! This Thursday Dasendri and myself are getting together for Lettherebehouse, where we basically play tracks from the last 20 years of house music. It’s one of the most enjoyable nights, because I get the chance to play tracks that many people will never have heard before. So far the response to the Letherebehouse nights has been great, and I’ve enjoyed compiling the music for the nights.
What’s your top track at the moment? Too many to mention: ‘2012’ by Nick Holder, ‘Mild Pitch’ by Manuel Tur & Dplay and ‘Eleanor Rigby (Quentin Harris Remix)’ by Ray Charles. And the Letherebehouse nights got me buggin’ on the old tunes.
How has DJing changed your life? When you become a DJ, you become so attuned to the music and so passionate about it that if you hear another DJ make a mistake, you just can’t stand it. So it becomes really hard to just go clubbing anywhere. On the other hand, it means that I only go to DJs that are completely awe-inspiring.
Your vocals on the 1995 N-Trance cover of ‘Stayin’ Alive’ helped take it to international success; how did it feel? I’d enjoyed success with The KLF and other chart-topping artists in my earlier forays into the music business – it was the second or third time around for me. So you can say I was better prepared for all the attention, but what I really enjoyed most about the whole experience was the amount of fun and enjoyment it created for the fans of the group.
Did you wear any Bee Gees-style unfeasibly tight, groin-squeezing trousers while singing it? Why? Does it sound like it? I’m a big guy, so yeah – it would be fair to say that ostensibly all my trousers are slightly groin squeezing.
What are your best and worst memories of working with The KLF in the 90s? It was an amazing learning experience – and it was never work, just a lot of creativity and fun. I was 18 years old and had a forum to sound off. The worst experience, I think, is people trying to define me by something I happened to do 20 years ago. It’s over, let it go.
In that case, what have you got lined up for the future? You can catch me at The Apartment, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, most nights, and on Fridays I’ve just started a little chill-out session post-360° and pre-Smooth Grooves at the Uptown Bar in Jumeirah Beach Hotel. That place is one of the best kept secrets of Dubai – amazing views, amazing ambience. Musically, I haven’t done anything for a while, but this city and my surroundings inspire me – so just watch out!
Ricardo plays Letherebehouse at The Apartment, Thursday May 15, Dhs85 or Dhs35 for Face card holders. Also at The Uptown Bar, Fridays, 10am-2pm, free.