Ahlan! Catches up with DJ EZ Ahead of his Zero Gravity Gig
He's been playing garage since before the masses had even conceived a name for the genre, and now DJ EZ is bringing his unrivalled expertise on the decks to Dubai.
The UK legend will spin classics from the likes of So Solid Crew, Lisa Maffia, Pay As You Go Crew, Heartless Crew and More Fire Crew at Zero Gravity on Thursday 17 December. As the greatest ever mixer to come out of the UK, DJ EZ has cemented himself as the best to ever do it, so naturally Team Ahlan! had to meet the humble man himself and ask him a few questions about music, longevity and of course Zero Gravity.
How and why do you think you’re still so in demand, when garage music has been out of the mainstream for so long?
I believe that garage music has always been there and will continue to be a huge part of the world-wide music scene. With regards to my demand, I like to think that’s mainly thanks to my supporters, loyal and new, and the fact that I prefer to play both classic garage anthems, as well as up-to-the-minute sounds. Also, with so many other great garage DJs churning out ear tempting tracks on the scene today and helping to make garage music more popular, many doors continue to open for me.
What’s your fave garage tune of all time?
Wow, now that’s a tricky question. Honestly, there are too many amazing garage tunes by artists I love that are legendary, and even some that are up and coming. For me to choose just one - that’s simply impossible.
What do you do to relax?
The same things that most people my age enjoy. Spending time with my family is a big deal for me, as I don’t get as much free time these days to just chill. You know, like enjoying a good home cooked meal by my Mum or laughing about past times with close friends, and all those little things you took for granted when you used to have hours to kill. Playing Fifa and watching my beloved Tottenham Hotspur football games is a must and a great way for me to relax when at home.
What keeps your energy levels so high during your sets?
The only thing I need to keep me going behind my decks is intoxicating crowd energy and sincere reactions. As a teetotal, non-smoker, I guess you could say that the only thing I’m addicted to is pleasing my fans and making my family proud and friends. Occasionally, I can be seen drinking a can of Redbull, but I mostly drink water or a soft drink during my performances. Rock and roll! Or should that be garage and bass – ha-ha!
A lot of people assume that you have produced many tracks that have gone viral. Does it bother you that these producers aren’t getting the recognition they deserve?
Yes, majorly! I guess it’s a bit like being the frontman of a band. You hear time and again how singers receive more credit and media attention, but in reality, everyone that’s a part of something so good deserves to be saluted for their efforts. Producers should be getting the recognition for these amazing tracks and not just the DJs for playing them.
It was easier for me to announce track names and the producers responsible for making them to the masses when I was on the radio, so that’s a downside to me no longer being on the air. Having said that, I always go to great lengths to make it clear when and where I can to ensure the world knows how incredible producers are. I have recently put two mixes on my Soundcloud account https://soundcloud.com/djez along with tracklists on the music page of my website DJEZ.com so that everyone can see the real masters behind such great creations.
Apart from yourself, who is the best DJ you’ve ever heard play?
Firstly, thank you! That’s very kind of you to say, however, I don't class myself as the best and have only achieved success thanks to everyone who has continually supported me throughout my career. Again, that is another impossible question for me to answer as I have so much respect for so many DJ’s, old and new. What I will say is that you can tell which DJs genuinely have a passion for delivering an exceptional experience for their crowds, and that’s something I always salute.
Have you heard good things about Zero Gravity, and what can the crowd expect from you that’s different for this gig?
I’ve heard and seen tonnes of great stuff about Zero Gravity. As one of the largest shows that I will be performing at in Dubai, you can expect a lot of what you hear during my current shows. Hang on, I don’t want to give too much away here, so you’ll just have to come along and find that out for yourself. Ha-ha!
What is the Dubai crowd like to play to, compared to other cities?
All cities are unique, but I love spending time and performing in Dubai. You guys truly embrace the garage scene over there, and I can only see it getting bigger and better. I’ve played to some very memorable crowds in Dubai and genuinely hope I get to experience more crazy nights like the one’s I feel proud to have already been a part of in the past.
What’s your fave Middle Eastern magazine? (You better say Ahlan!)
Hmmm... That's a hard one! There are too many questions been asked about my favourite things in this interview – ha-ha! Of course, I enjoy sharing my experiences and story with as many people as possible and feel humbled that you guys and all my supporters want to know more.
INFO: FREE for ladies before midnight, guys before 10pm, Dhs100 after