Spotlight on: Smokingroove

Sandance resident Marko on following David Guetta and Fatboy Slim


DJ names: Smokingroove / MSG
Real name: Marko
Age: 35
Nationality: British
How long in Dubai: Six years

Introduce yourself in the length of a Tweet.
One half of Smokingroove, brand ambassador for Adidas Originals & New Era and an official Pioneer DJ for the UAE. I’m the resident DJ for Sandance & Nasimi Beach, best known for jackin/tech House sets & all round nice guy!

What brought you to Dubai?
A change of scene from the grey clouds of London, I was originally going to come for a year.

Describe your DJ sound in five words?
Groovy, tech, jackin house music.

Now describe your personality in five words?
Motivated, focused, humble, easily pleased…

What do you think of the Dubai music scene?
It’s a great scene and is constantly growing. There are not many places in the world you’d get as spoilt for music as we are here. There’ll always be the constant battle between underground and commercial music wherever you are in the world, but the Dubai promoters do a good job of keeping up with the world and giving this city a firm place on the musical map. We just need more good venues and open minded club managers.

Tell us three of your biggest musical influences.
DJ Sneak, Derrick Carter, Mark Farina.

Now tell us one guilty pleasure.
I’m easily tempted by ice cream… wherever possible.

What is your greatest achievement in life or music?
Turning up to the gates of Dubai with no job, £100 [Dhs560] and a suitcase. Six years later I have a healthy dream career and a wife.

If the world was going to end in the next five minutes, what tune would you put on?
Steve Miller Band – ‘Abracadabra’, or the theme tune to Minder.

If your home was on fire, what one physical object would you save?
My iMac! We live in a digital world and I’d be pretty [lost] without it. It’s all backed up in a cloud, but you never know...

Best Dubai memory behind the decks?
I have three:

1 Taking over from Fatboy Slim at Sandance to a capacity crowd – that was a career goal to share the decks with him.

2 Taking over from David Guetta to a 13,000 strong crowd. We had both crouched down in his private DJ booth when he told me to go on, the entire crowd were still chanting his name when I played my first track. Thankfully they were very receptive to my sound and style of house music and most stayed to the end of my set. That was hard work, but well worth it!

3 Meeting my wife.

...worst Dubai memory behind the decks?
Playing at a nightclub – I won’t mention the name – with the worst equipment I have ever seen, I had to hold the cables at the back of the CD player in while mixing with one hand, there were no spare cables… longest two hours of my life!

Where can we hear your music online?

If I could warm up for any DJ in the world, it would be...
Carl Cox, Steve Lawler or Loco Dice will do…

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