It’s not often you get to see Timbaland, Will.i.am and Quincy Jones in the same room but today (Wednesday September 25) at The Palm’s Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, that’s what happened.
The superstars are in town for Dubai Music Week and were holding a press conference to promote the event. Timbaland revealed that he had just got off a plane. ‘It was a long flight but I’m happy to be here,’ he told journalists. The Justin Timberlake producer went on to praise the region’s music, explaining the influence it had on his tracks, like Missy Elliott’s ‘Get Ur Freak On.’ He gushed that ‘the Middle East sound is the best sound ever. The Middle East makes the best rhythms.’
He then referred to his previous visits to the UAE, admitting ‘every time we come here and perform it becomes a big party and we lose track of time.’ About his upcoming DJ set at The World Trade Centre with Will.i.am, he tantalised the audience, saying that ‘you can expect the unexpected. You got me and Will – anything can happen.’
Will.i.am – dressed in black and white, complete with white circular shades – sat doodling furiously. He spoke about the Dubai’s potential to produce a globally famous musician, stating that ‘very few artists become global acts. You have J-Lo from Puerto Rico and Shakira but we haven’t seen an Arabic or Asian global superstar yet, so the world is waiting for someone from the Middle East to be the big global superstar.’ He then explained that he would relish the opportunity to work with an artist from the region, announcing ‘I would like to walk hand-in-hand with someone from this region and try and crack them globally – that would be fun.’
The venerable Michael Jackson producer Quincy Jones, 80, was equally upbeat following his lecture yesterday at The World Trade Centre about the making of Jackson’s Off the Wall, Bad, and Thriller. He disclosed that he has ‘been travelling over the Middle East for 60 over years.’ About a trip to Iran, he said that he ‘was a militant then. I was out with Iranian kids trying to get the Ayatollah out of prison.’ Now much calmer the legend heaped yet more compliments on the UAE, declaring that ‘culture here is unbelievable’ and that Dubai and Abu Dhabi are some of ‘the most modern progressive cultures and cities on the planet.’ He also revealed that both he and Timbaland see music in different colours and can visualise the colours mixing together. He joked that ‘it’s out there, but I’d like to stay out there.’
To see pictures of Will.i.am, Timbaland and Quincy Jones in Dubai click here.