Pete Tong interview

Iconic DJ chatted to Time Out at the Dubai Nightlife Award party

The Knowledge

You’re here to play at our awards. What do you think of the Time Out brand?
I think it’s massive. I used to read it religiously back when I started DJing in London – it was the only magazine you could go to for decent club listings. The music editor back then was a good friend of mine. These days I tend to use the Time Out guides whenever I go to a new city.

You worked on a magazine…
That’s right. For a few years I was features editor at Blues & Soul magazine in the UK. I enjoyed the writing and interviewing musicians, but it was such a small operation I ended up having to sell ads as well, which I didn’t expect.

You’ve been to Dubai before.
Many, many times. I’ve been coming here for… I want to say 10 years. I’ve played lots of excellent nights, and some very weird events too.

What do you make of the nightlife scene here, then?
I’d just say, that overall, it needs some regularity. It needs one night that everyone goes crazy about – that clubbers talk about all the time, and can’t wait to see who’s on the line-up. I remember playing a place at the Madinat a few years ago, that had that kind of energy.

That’s right. I heard it’s closed and reopened again?

Yes. Mark Ronson played the reopening party last September.
Well, depending on how well the venue’s doing, I’d like to play there again. Who knows?

There are lots of ambitious local DJs here tonight. What would be your top tip for those trying to make it internationally?
You have a great opportunity in Dubai. There are always big-name DJs flying in and out of here. As I said before – if you run a big, successful night here that has a big following, you will get noticed sooner or later.

You’ve just landed here, and yet you’re jetting off immediately after the gig again. Do you still enjoy being so busy?
I do. I don’t get burnt out because I still love what I’m doing. Plus I don’t do huge tours like David Guetta.

‘It’s All Gone Pete Tong’. Do you hate that phrase by now?
Not at all! It originates from a fanzine that was trying to get at me years ago. But now, it’s like part of me.

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