German DJ Timo Mass reveals the secrets of his success ahead of his set at Nasimi Beach.
He’s been DJing since the ’80s, yet German house sensation Timo Mass shows no signs of losing his love for music. He started out in Hamburg’s underground scene in the early 1990s and has been championing house, techno and playing across the world ever since. The 44-year-old remains a popular floor filler, with a residency at Ibiza’s iconic DC-10 nightclub for over a decade and nearly 60,000 fans on Facebook serving as a testament to his influence. With his impending headline appearance at Nasimi Beach on Friday February 7, here he talks music, parties and Paris Hilton.
When did you first discover you had a talent for music?
Well, I discovered that I loved music as a young child. The idea of having any talent came many years later.
How would you describe your style of DJing and how has it evolved over your career?
I play trippy, deep and intense electronic music with surprising moments of changes in direction. The basis of how I play my sets has always been like that but obviously the different kinds and style of music has evolved with my tastes.
What are your career highlights?
I have been blessed with loads of highlights, working with and for so many famous and also not-so-famous artists. I’ve played at the most incredible locations and clubs all around the world. I’ve got a couple of favourite performances. I’ve got great memories of DC-10 back in 2003-2004 and also the annual Crobar parties in the early 2000s for WME [William Morris Endeavour talent agency] in Miami, mostly with Loco Dice [German DJ and producer] – those were out of this world.
What do you think are the other ingredients to a good party aside from the music?
Great people, great system, great location... and on a further note, great drinks and sun and warmth (ideally).
What music did you listen to when you were growing up?
Truly everything – I was addicted to every kind of music.
Do you think top DJs need any particular personality traits?
What a question. They should be at least strong characters so they can stand undoubtedly for what they do.
Which other DJs in the industry do you respect and why?
I respect nearly every single one of them for being passionate about the thing they love the most, their music. I don’t respect fake DJs or models that trade on their looks. I don’t understand the whole thing. At the very least, when they are fakes, these people shouldn’t call themselves DJs.
The name says it all – ‘disc jockey’ – you take someone on a musical ride. When someone’s set is all pre-recorded and synched, the person should call themselves a ‘playback artist’.
What do you think of celebrities such as Paris Hilton calling themselves DJs then?
I don’t think she deserves discussion.
How large is your vinyl collection?
I have about 25,000 records on vinyl and they’re stored in a very safe place.
What are your thoughts on playing in Dubai and what have you got planned at Nasimi Beach?
It’s going to be great to be back in Dubai as it has been a while since I played. I’m also looking forward to some warm weather. I don’t plan what I’m going to play in advance – I need to see the location and situation first and make a spontaneous decision.
What one track is guaranteed to get the crowd going?
The track: Timo Maas (featuring Chickaboo), ‘Shifter’.
If you weren’t a DJ, what would you be doing?
I’m sure I’d be a chef.
If you could change one aspect of the clubbing scene, what would it be?
I don’t want to change anything!
Timo Mass kicks off the new Plus Minus Sessions season on Nasimi Beach on Friday February 7. Dhs130 (free for ladies before 7pm) Dhs100 for men before 7pm. 2pm-3am. Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (050 849 7332).