DJ Trey French, aka Clement Serge, Pioneer DJ competition winner for Best Short Mix, talks Dubai’s DJ Academy and mixing it up.
How did you get into DJing?
I started when I was 18, back in 2000. I was really in love with music and groove in general. So me and some friends back in France bought our first turntable and we just went from there, playing everything from jazz and funk to electronic music. I then moved to New York to learn more and it changed my career.
You have only been in Dubai for three months and already you’ve won the Pioneer DJ competition for Best Short Mix. What’s your secret?
When I came here I went straight to the DJ Academy and they told me about the competition. It was only two days before the qualifications. My set was mainly hip-hop because in six minutes you have to show everything you can do with the mixer and interacting with the crowd. I played old-school tracks like Snoop Dog and tracks that people would know. When you are DJing you are trained to make your own remix of the track so with producing you can do whatever you want. You can use the music that you love and express your own identity.
Do you have a favourite gig and songs to play?
I DJed five years ago in Brazil and I was still quite new on the professional scene. It was in front of 6,000 people in a stadium and I just fell in love with the crowd’s reaction. I love everything about Brazil – the people, the music. Every time I play a set I like to play ‘Give Me The Night’ by George Benson and ‘Get Lucky’ by Daft Punk.
Which DJs are you a fan of?
I love DJ QBert, who was one of the judges, and he’s incredible with turn tables. I also admire Carl Cox, he’s so inspiring.
What do you think of the DJ scene in Dubai?
I think it’s interesting how people are mixing house with funky music or hip-hop. It’s cool going from one genre to another.
Where can we see you play?
Right now I am preparing my sets and I have just come back from a tour in France. So I do look forward to playing in Dubai. My music is electronic with a Latin vibe and Cuban roots. I love funky style too.
What is your role at the DJ Academy and what is on offer?
I teach scratch and I can prepare students for competitions, if they want to enter for DJing. It’s very hard to teach yourself so the Academy is great – if you take one or two classes a week, you will notice a difference in your skillset very fast. It caters to everyone from absolute beginners to pros. There’s a DJ introduction class for one hour, while other courses teach the skills required to be a DJ over seven weeks in one-on-one teaching sessions.
What makes a good DJ?
You have to want to share your passion for music with people. You have to communicate with them and send good energy.
Courses at the DJ Academy start from Dhs99 for one-hour DJ Introduction. 9am-9pm daily. Warehouse 16, Al Quoz, www.dj-academy.ae