Dance music in Dubai

Dubai Eye’s Zahra looks at the growth of dance music in Dubai and beyond...

Music feature

So far in this series, we’ve looked at genres of music that need constant support to continue making strides here in Dubai. This week, though, I have the luxury of examining a genre that’s doing rather well for itself not just here but all around the world. The secret behind the success of electronic music is its simplicity. Whereas would-be rockers need to assemble at least four band members and grow 10 feet of hair, all you need to start producing electronic music is a laptop and a bit of flair.

Aussie producer Dion Mavath had no choice when it came to electronica and rock: he has no hair. Still, he believes his genre of music is now the ‘second most popular behind R&B when it comes to clubland and probably the third most popular on radio.’

‘It’s growing now,’ he explains. ‘It’s been in a bit of a hiatus at the moment, but it’s getting ready to grow again with people like Greg Stainer and Martijn ten Velden moving here alongside Vas Floyd, Anmol Pinto and myself. There are a lot of good producers making quality music that is being played internationally and this means it will get more and more local play.’

Dance music is also growing outside Dubai. While Dion is preparing to release his first album, Abu Dhabi student Darling Farah is just starting out on his own musical journey. He has been working on his music for some time now and feels he has something different to bring to audiences.

‘My sound and the way I approach producing and remixing is beginning to develop into something unique for me and I think people will be able to notice that,’ he says. ‘I’m now kind of getting a grasp on how things work when it comes to producing music that gives me more room for experimentation and the ability to properly get my ideas out of my head.’

In his mind, the local scene needs his innovation: electronic music is a victim of its own success, he says. ‘There really isn’t anything interesting. It’s still stuck on the same old sound that has been pushed here for so long. The younger crowd around here is into some cool dance music, though.’

But when you look at the success of clubs like Chi, 360° and Alpha’s Thursday night dance sessions it’s clear that dance music has a growing following. As producer and DJ Anmol Pinto says: ‘I see Dubai becoming one of the top clubbing destinations in the world. It has a lot of catching up to do to be on the same level as Ibiza or England, but at the rate it’s going now, I’m sure it will get there soon enough.’

Anmol is certainly optimistic, but I can’t imagine huge beach parties like the ones in Ibiza and Brighton here, at least for the foreseeable future. Still, it’s something to hope for…

Zahra showcases his latest musical talent on Open Mic every Saturday from 8pm-10pm on Dubai Eye 103.8

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