What initially got you into dance music?
I started DJing when I was 13 because the people around me were doing the same thing – a lot of my friends were into garage and house and became DJs, so I went down that route with them. You started out in house and garage, but now you mostly play hip hop and R&B in Elegante.
Why did you change?
I realised that the clubs in London didn’t really want house and garage. One thing led to another and I moved into the hip hop circle. I met different people, played different clubs and worked with different promoters and managers. I also did a lot of pirate radio work that led to mainstream radio. In my sets at the minute I play both R&B and house, so I provide for both kinds of people. I try to keep everyone a bit happy, you know?
When and why did you move to the city?
I came out from the UK in March to do a night here. The guys I was working for were so happy with me they made me a resident.
How do you find the clubbing scene out here?
It is a bit different to London, but obviously as a DJ you have to learn to work with different crowds and different people. Everything seems to be going well at the moment.
How are you finding the life here?
It’s hot, but then again it’s lovely to wake up every day and see the sun is shining. Better than London, where the sun shines and then 10 minutes later it rains and then 10 minutes later it’s sunny again. I’m not complaining.
What’s your favourite thing about being a DJ?
Pleasing the crowd – their response gives me a buzz and makes me continue what I’m doing. I’ve always tried to play that game where you try to get a better crowd response with each new track you play.
What do you like to do when you’re not DJing?
I’m into sports. Football is a big thing in my life: playing football, watching football…
What advice would you give to anyone interested in starting a career in DJing?
Anything is possible, but you have to put the work in. I remember when I first started, I always thought I was really good, you know, and then six months later I thought to myself: Wow, I’m better now than I was before. Even now I’m improving every time I do a gig. And make sure any time someone gives you advice you just take it on the chin and be positive about it.
Do you think working in Dubai has helped you improve?
Yeah, definitely – my main dream was to go international. I’ve got three residencies at the moment and a fourth one starting in June. I’m doing Tuesday’s Slam nights at Chi, then I do a house night on Thursdays at Elegante, and R&B and hip hop on Fridays at Elegante. I’m also playing on Saturdays at Horizon, and I’ll also be playing a club called King that will be opening soon.
Adam J plays Chi Tuesdays, Elegante Thursdays and Fridays, and Horizon on Saturdays.