After braving a sandstorm and coming out trumps at their last event, Hed Kandi are back in action on March Friday March 13, with a brand new line up and a Miami-themed party. We caught up with Hed Kandi’s resident DJ and promoter Lokate to find out what’s in store, and dig into his music history…
What’s lined up for the Miami event?
We wanted to bring the people of Dubai, a slice of some of the biggest parties happening in the world this month in Miami for the yearly Winter Music Conference! So we based our next party around the theme of Miami! The party also co- insides with the release of the latest Hed Kandi compilation album “Miami” which is out now! On the night we have glamorous Miami Vice styled dancers, characters, artists and performers who will make you feel like you’re on a beach parting in Miami. Nasimi Beach is a beautiful venue which is the perfect setting for a Miami themed Hed Kandi. We’re bringing in extra sound and lighting to make sure the music is loud and the light show is something special. Expect glitz, glamour and outlandish entertainment, including live sax, percussions, violinists, stilt walkers, fi re dancers as well as international DJs playing the biggest and best house music. We have Ministry of Sound, Toolroom and Hed Kandi producer/ DJ Nathan Cozzetto fl ying in from the UK to play a two hour set along side myself and one of Dubai’s fi nest home grown talents, Benyamin. We also have Nasimi resident David De Luca who always gets the crowd rocking. It’s free entry for ladies between 5 and 7pm, so get there early!
We did some digging, and it turns out that you were pretty famous in your previous life as dubstep DJ Mrk1 – how big did things get for you as a dubstep DJ?
Around 4 years ago when dubstep was at its peak, DJ bookings and shows for me were through the roof. Especially in the states where I would usually spend half of the month going back and forth playing shows. At one point I lived in LA for 6 months where I spent my time playing shows on the weekends and producing during the week.
And were you sad to see the scene die away (at least in the mainstream)?
I wasn’t sad to see it die from the mainstream as dubstep had changed so much from what it started out as when I fi rst started making it in 2002. Back then the sound was completely different to how it ended up sounding when it went into the mainstream a couple of years ago. It then imploded, which I think that it was a good thing as it will end up coming back in the form that it fi rst started as. When it went mainstream it lost everything it originally stood for, and along with that it lost a lot of the original fans and followers.
What extra skills does being a dubstep producer and DJ give you as a house DJ and producer now?
I started out producing and Djing 15 years ago and dubstep is something that I specialised in for many of those years, so I think some of the sound that I created in dubstep have crossed over into my house records now making them sound a little different to the norm. I like the old raw sounding house music with big baselines, just like dubstep used to be except with a 4x4 beat.
We also heard you’ve got some serious pop production credits to your name as well…
As a music producer I produce everything, all different genres of music. I think I would get bored otherwise. I linked up with Hank Shocklee from Public Enemy at Miami Winter Music Conference in 2008 and we became good friends from then. He opened my eyes and ears to making other forms of music. We then worked together on a few projects together over the years and he linked me up with some great people in the New York music scene. I ended up making some pop tracks with some decent pop acts, most of which I wouldn’t admit to, haha. I have worked and released with some cool people like DJ Chuckie, DMX, Public Enemy, Mike Skinner, Neyo, Bass Nectar.
You’re the DJ and promoter for Hed Kandi, which gives you the most satisfaction?
I fell into the promoting and it wasn’t something I planned on doing. My misses lives in Dubai where I end up spending quite a lot of time so my manager who worked at Ministry of Sound suggested the idea of putting on Hed Kandi events whilst I was out here. I then met my Dubai based business partner Abdo from Spot On Events through a mutual friend from London and everything fell into place. I defi nitely get more satisfaction out of DJing and producing than I do out of promoting, there’s a lot less stress involved and I am all about a stress free life! But I do admit it is a good feeling when you put on a huge party where everyone has an amazing time.
Hed Kandi Miami Friday March 13, Nasimi Beach, 5pm-2am, ladies free before 7pm. Tickets Dhs100 in advance, Dhs150 on the door.