What made you decide to make the move to Dubai?
I got kind of fed up with the hustle and bustle of London, going around in circles in the same old rat-race marathon. I needed a change of scenery and I had a friend working out here who had some contacts, so I took him up on that and came out to the Middle East. I’ve been in Dubai for about two years now, and before that I worked in Abu Dhabi for about a year and a half. I’ll probably stay here for a few more years and just see how it all pans out. And then, in the future – well, the world’s my oyster.
What is your musical style?
When I started off in the late ’90s it was house and UK garage. But now I’ll pretty much adapt to anywhere I’m playing. I prefer to play house and some R&B, but with Double Decker it’s a bit of a mixture. You have to kind of accommodate the crowd.
How do you find the nightlife out here compared to other parts of the world?
I find that they spend a lot of money bringing the big guys out here, but if you dig around town you can find some quality DJs in the smaller places that no one really knows about.
Where do you find inspiration?
Er, where do I find it or where did I find it? Both. [Laughs] Um, where do I find it? In the people that come in. Different people help me dig up different kinds of styles of music – especially in Double Decker, where you get everybody coming in.
What do you like to do when you put down your headphones and step away from the decks?
I’ve just bought a lot of studio equipment, so I’m going to start getting into that and warm myself up for the New Year. I want to start putting some tunes out next year too. Other than that, I travel down to Abu Dhabi a couple of times a month and party there with friends. I want to try to get back into jujitsu by the end of the year too.
Who is your favourite performer of all time and why?
Recently I’d probably say Jay-Z. I went to a gig that he did last Thursday when I was back in the UK at The Roundhouse in [the London borough of] Camden. It was just amazing to see the influence he has on people and how all he had to do was play an instrumental and everybody would sing along. They all knew exactly where to start and where to stop.
What are your top five Dubai hotspots and why?
First is Barasti – I just love the atmosphere, and it was one of first places I went to in Dubai. Second, I would say 360° for the views. Third, I’d have to say Rock Bottom, because it is a great place to go to get messy. Fourth would be Madinat Jumeirah, just because of the whole kind of ambience of the place – especially at night. And last but not least, I’d choose Double Decker – especially because I’m there!
DJ Neil plays at Double Decker every Mon-Fri.