For its season-closing session, dance club night Atelier is throwing a mega-party headlined by superstar French DJ Bob Sinclar, the man behind hit singles ‘Love Generation’ and ‘World, Hold On’. Having spent the past few months lighting up the Godolphin Ballroom at Emirates Towers, Atelier’s organisers decided the venue’s 500-person capacity just wouldn’t cut it this time, and instead opted to throw a party for 2,000 revellers at Chi.
We caught up with Sinclar, real name Christophe Le Friant, as he prepared for the January 13 gig to talk about his latest album, the resulting Grammy nomination and what we can expect on the night.
Welcome back to Dubai (almost). Are you looking forward to playing at Chi?
Thank you! Yes, for sure. It’s always a big party in Dubai. I’ve been there at Chi, and it’s really nice, really glamorous – I love the sound.
What can we expect from you this time around?
I have a lot of new tracks coming for 2011, so I have a lot of unreleased material, remixes and all the classics – and peace and love! Peace, love and house music.
Your latest album, Made in Jamaica, has been nominated for a Grammy. How do you feel about that?
Wow, it’s beautiful. I’ve been going to Jamaica for five years, and I’ve discovered amazing, warm people and it’s like everyone knows how to sing, so it was really beautiful to record there. I met Sly and Robbie, two legendary reggae producers who worked with Bob Marley, Grace Jones, Chaka Demus & Pliers… The album is like a ‘best of’ with totally acoustic reggae – it’s a fantastic project. I didn’t look at it as a commercial project, and I’ve seen that when you do things with your heart, it pays in the end. To be nominated for the best reggae album of the year in the US is really beautiful.
Do you think you’ll win?
To be nominated is winning something. I don’t expect to win because there are albums from Sly and Robbie, Gregory Isaacs, Buju Banton, Andrew Tosh, Lee Perry – all these legends. To be a part of it is already amazing.
Who are you going to the ceremony with?
I don’t know yet… maybe my mum! They’re going to send me two invitations so I’m going to be there, just to enjoy the moment.
What ambitions did you have when you were starting out at the age of 16?
Not really a lot. In France we didn’t really have an example of a DJ who had been successful as an artist. I didn’t really expect anything – I just wanted to do my mixtapes in my room, and maybe a few parties in Paris. Then I started my label, Yellow Production, but even then, how could I expect…? It’s unbelievable how much DJs are doing now.
Where do you go from here?
I have a lot of goals – it’s hard to have more. I get loads of awards, and loads of things, so it’s crazy to ask for more. But why not continue along the same vein? Great associations with musicians, continuing to play around the world, interviews – I’m not tired of it.
So you’ll still be making music when you’re 100?
[Laughs] I’m not sure what state I’m going to be in at 100, but they say we can live until 120 now. It’s amazing. My job, when people ask me what I’m doing – most people know, but some don’t – I say I entertain people. I give pleasure to people. I like to give happiness to the crowd when I’m playing my music. It’s amazing to have this kind of job, to have fun with people and to be paid for it!
What are the weirdest situations you’ve found yourself in?
The weird moments are when you do the big hits and the crowd sings your song. I feel like I could be Mick Jagger or a big, big superstar like Prince on stage. When you’re a DJ or producer, this is the thing you
enjoy the most, when you kill the music and people sing the song. It’s just unreal. I’ve also been in many clubs in Spain and Italy where I’m really popular, and I have some girls send me some underwear. Mainly
bras – and more than that, of course – but I only take the bras.
Bob Sinclar headlines Atelier’s season-closing party at Chi on Thursday January 13.