It’s hard not to stifle a snigger when you hear DJ Adam J’s new single for the first time. ‘I’m in Dubai at the Burj Al Arab, acting crazy with some ladies who are trying to get down…’ yells Master Shortie – it’s an occupation so alien to most Dubai residents, you’ll be unsurprised to hear that the tune’s MC has never set foot in the UAE. But while his wordsmith might be a Dubai faker, Adam knows the scene well: he’s a former resident DJ at many of the city’s top clubs. He also knows what makes a dancefloor tick – listen to ‘We Came to Party’ a few more times and you might find yourself nodding your head.
Released this month, the tune he’s penned may be the first mainstream release to have been inspired by our city. Littered with references to landmarks such as the Burj Khalifa and ‘Emirates girls’ going wild, it paints a reductive picture of a modern party town that doesn’t sleep. The accompanying video, which has clocked 20,000 hits and counting, and was expected to hit local TV as we went to press, is a collage of Dubai clichés; Adam and Shortie land at the airport and cruise past the Burj Khalifa in a Lamborghini. They rock up at a luxury villa for a pool party lined with bikini-clad girls, before hitting the club for strobe-striped gig. Later they lark around the desert in dune buggies before crashing, partied out, back at the villa.
‘In Dubai you can go clubbing every night, there are beautiful people, sunshine all the time, but no one’s ever done a tune about the scene,’ says the 26-year-old Iraqi-Polish DJ. ‘I had this idea in my head for a long time but I didn’t tell anyone about it.’
Adam’s inspiration came during two years DJing in the city, both as a resident at award-winning urban night No.1 Fridays, and warming up for stars such as Tinie Tempah and Shaggy at Chi. Now back in the UK, he claims to have come up with the track in just 45 minutes before calling on his old friend, MOBO Award-nominated Master Shortie, to supply the vocals. Having never been to the UAE, Adam sat the MC down and explained a few must-mention landmarks and let Shortie loose to pen his undeniably amusing vocal.
‘In Dubai there’s a big split between the house side and the R&B side. I wanted to make a house track with an R&B artist, like David Guetta and Calvin Harris [have done],’ said Adam, who still returns to DJ in Dubai monthly at venues including Trilogy and People by Crystal.
Released on Nightcrasher Records this month, DJ Adam has already spun his creation to dancefloors in London, where he claims it has been met with an ‘amazing response’. He’s also sent it to all the main players in Dubai, most of whom he says have promised to play it in the city that inspired it. And what next? Adam is already working on his next (top-secret) track, and hopes to have an album out this time next year.
‘There are a lot of great DJs in Dubai, but none of them are getting on the radio,’ adds Adam. ‘Everyone is focusing on their DJing: they do mixes, but there aren’t many new tunes being made. The best five DJs in Dubai can compete with DJs from anywhere in the world. But no one’s out on the airwaves. I’m hoping to change all that.’
We have 200 exclusive free downloads of ‘We Came to Party’ for the first 200 readers to visit www.tinyurl.com/d7fpes4.
Did you know?
• DJ Adam J is into astrology, and defines himself as a ‘true Gemini’.
• He started DJing aged 13 because all his friends were MCs, but he was no good on the mic.
• After his first gig as an underage 15-year-old, at London’s Emporium nightclub, he was given a residency on the spot.
• He’s half Iraqi (dad) and half Polish (mum) and moved to Dubai in 2009 in a bid to discover Middle Eastern culture.
• He’s helped No.1 Events scoop two Time Out Nightlife Awards, with No.1 Fridays winning Best Urban Night in 2010 and 2011.
• His dream collaborations for his debut album would be Chris Brown, Usher, Drake, Ryan Leslie, Cassie, Amerie, Beyoncé and Alicia Keys.
• Despite jetting around the world as DJ, he still rates flying as his greatest fear.