DJ He­roes Shadi Me­gal­laa

Infusion Magazine - - LOOK AND LISTEN -

Dubai is boom­ing with new nights, new venues and new DJs. But our new regular fea­ture shines a spot­light on the DJs that have been set­ting the scene long be­fore the SYNC but­ton was even a con­cept. First up is Ark to Ashes head hon­cho Shadi Me­gal­laa, and also the man be­hind the forth­com­ing vinyl shop set to open later this year…

First club you played in Dubai?

If my mem­ory serves me cor­rectly I be­lieve it was M- level at the Hil­ton Dubai Creek. It was a night called Deep Tex­tures and I played with my friend Kennedy who I played with fre­quently back in those days. The year was 2000.

First track you played?

There is no way I’m even go­ing to try to re­mem­ber what it was. It was prob­a­bly some UK Tech House or West Coast house. Prob­a­bly some­thing by the likes of Terry Fran­cis, Kenny Hawkes or some­one from the Swag Records crew.

Best change in the city’s club scene?

It’s not one spe­cific change. I’ve been in­volved in the mu­sic scene in Dubai for a very long time. The change was very grad­ual and took a lot of time. The change hap­pened over 15 years and is still hap­pen­ing. ex­cept th­ese days it hap­pens on a much faster rate. It took many many years of get­ting peo­ple used to new sounds. You have to re­mem­ber that back in those days, ter­ri­ble R’n’b and Hip Hop ruled the lands and places like Cy­clone ex­isted.

Worst change in the city’s club scene?

I’d have to say that the worst thing about the mu­sic scene here in Dubai is mega clubs that are run by peo­ple who have no idea about mu­sic cul­ture and are get­ting in­volved in it for all the wrong rea­sons. I’m also not a fan of Dubai’s Cham­pagne sparkler cul­ture. I’d rather fo­cus on be­ing pos­i­tive so that’s all I’m go­ing to say about that.

Best club still run­ning from when you started?

none. I was very lucky to be a regular at Ter­mi­nal iBO. Un­for­tu­nately it isn’t around any­more but its spirit still lives. Ana­log Room comes clos­est to that spirit. All you need is four black walls, a bar, a well laid out DJ booth and a killer sound sys­tem.

The key to longevity as a DJ is…

The key to longevity dif­fers from per­son to per­son. As for my­self I would have to say is to al­ways put mu­sic and my craft first. It’s very easy to get lost in the deep dark

trenches of nightlife and all the fickle BS that comes with it. An­other key for me was to never pay at­ten­tion to things like awards and all the hype in­volved in this in­dus­try. An­other sav­ing grace for me has been my stu­dio. It’s my tem­ple. Also al­ways keep search­ing, dig­ging and learn­ing. never let your­self get stag­nant. Most im­por­tantly, stay away from the pol­i­tics of the scene and don’t take your­self too se­ri­ously. Have fun.

The best way to get gigs is…

Ah­hhh, that’s a tricky one. It’s a bit of a catch 22 sit­u­a­tion. Un­for­tu­nately you need to go out fre­quently and be vis­i­ble. This can be very danger­ous as you will slowly find your­self fo­cus­ing on ev­ery­thing other than the mu­sic. As for me, I’d rather spend time in the stu­dio or dig for mu­sic. The key is to have a bal­ance be­tween go­ing out and sup­port­ing your fel­low Djs/ pro­mot­ers but also be­ing very fo­cused on your craft. I’ve been DJing for about 1 years and have yet to fully mas­ter this art.

Un­sung hero?

For me it would have to be Kennedy. He rarely DJs around town th­ese days, but back in the day Kennedy used to play a party at The Cel­lar at the Dubai Avi­a­tion Club ev­ery Fri­day. The party was thrown by an­other friend of mine, Bong Guer­rero. Kennedy laid it down ev­ery Fri­day. The vibe at that party was amaz­ing. I rarely ever made it to my first class in Uni on Satur­days. Un­for­tu­nately, in the mu­sic scene if you aren’t around you are quickly forgotten. Much re­spect to Kennedy.

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