The Ahlan! Awards' Top 15 DJs

Fresh off the back of their deal with Universal, the UAE's leading music act, Hollaphonic, dropped by to give us the lowdown on the UAE's top spinmasters - vote for your fave at
Thursday , 02 October 2014
The Ahlan! Awards' Top 15 DJs
© Thomas SAITO
Electro duo Hollaphonic gives Ahlan! some insights on the nominees

Benni T
An exciting new addition to the Dubai music scene, this Warehouse Dubai regular combines big bass sounds and a variety of UK house genres with ease. His strengths lie in being able to work up a crowd into a frenzy to welcome guest underground international acts to the emirate. That’s not to say Benni’s talents are limited to being an opening act – this dude can hold his own in any DJ booth in town.

DJ Andy Swift
Andy is nothing if not a grafter. The master of multiple venues, he assesses the nature of a party and is quickly able to adapt his set to fit with the audience to which he’s playing. Amiable, easy to work with and always getting the crowd jumping, Andy’s style flows from R’n’B to EDM and back with ease.

Dany Neville
A true pioneer in the region, Dany is the owner of many Middle East ‘firsts’ – constantly pushing his sound and peddling new music to educate Dubai’s ears. Radio DJ, club DJ, producer and engineer, Dany has been a musical inspiration to many in Dubai, and his commitment to enhancing the scene is unwavering.

David Craig
The ladies' favourite, David is as smooth in sound as he is in appearance. But don't just vote because he looks awesome in a tux – vote because David has arguably led the way in pushing funk and soul classics blended with smooth house vibes for that sunshine moment that you'll never forget. David works hard, pleases the crowd and dispenses good vibes.

Charl Chaka
Charl has always stuck to his sound – an admirable quality in an industry that demands numbers through the door and sometimes values beverage sales over beats. However, his dedication has led to a thriving niche, leading the Infusion parties as head honcho and owning the South African music scene in the region. Charl’s name is a guarantee of a great party.

DJ Mo Tiger
Mo Tiger is one of a small handful of DJs to challenge the scene by adding a mix of visuals to further engage demanding crowds. Looping, scratching and generally hyping up clubbers, this fella is constantly upping the ante. Each time we see him, there’s something fresh – the future of visual DJs here is an exciting one with Mo at the helm.

DJ Pepelz
Basically, this dude is cool, his music is cool, his style is cool and yet he somehow exudes warmth. A unique combination for someone who deals with the ‘elite’ clubber on a nightly basis. Able to please the bubbles-popping crowd with a vast range of musical influences, Pepelz is a true music hunter, wrapping up and delivering sounds from around the world of music in one readily digestible antidote to the status quo.

DJ Shadow
Last year’s winner and the king of desi beats, this fella hasn’t only accrued a fanbase, he’s practically got a country bouncing. If you’re one of the few who’ve never been to a Shadow gig, you’ll find yourself surrounded by familiar tunes blended with his own native beats. DJ Shadow has stayed loyal to his roots and never stops pleasing.

Frederick Stone
Frederick’s is a highly recognisable face on the Dubai nightlife scene, although the last time we saw him was around the pool at Destino Pacha Ibiza! This jet-setting house aficionado has become somewhat of a DJ’s DJ in the region, opening for the greats while becoming one himself, with a steady stream of releases and a boundless passion for
house music.

Jon Besant
A relatively new face on the scene, the History of House impresario has sprinkled his Mancunian flair for a good night with solid sounds from a range of influences. Promoter, charity worker and now nightclub owner, Jon is a hard worker. With Dubai as his new home, we’ll benefit from his experience with a fantastic playlist.

Mr Shef Codes
A gentleman and a scholar, Shef can be heard dropping beats in some of the swankiest clubs in the city. This bow-tie-wearing subtle mixer has mastered the classic drop that gets the crowd going – the moment when you hear the masses screaming when you tease the next tune. His arsenal spans the spectrum, but R’n’B and hip-hop are his weapons of choice in refining his vibe over the last few years.

This creative man has taken to the skies as much as he has stepped on the sand here in Dubai. Much in demand, Raxon has pushed his own productions to the forefront of his sets, which is a good thing, as track after track he increasingly finds himself in the DJ boxes of idols as part of a line-up of modern masters – a position he’s earned the right to occupy.

If you get at far as being able to tell which one’s which, that’s half the battle won. This pair of ‘House Gangsters’ have been producing music for a lifetime. Now both frequenting Dubai’s shores, the Smokingroove brothers use their global connections to ensure each crowd that they ‘release upon’ enjoy a refined mix of fresh beats from around the scene; educating and elevating is exciting when
you surround yourself with
such positivity.

This guy bounces a lot. He bounces behind the decks, he bounces around the club, he bounces everywhere… but it’s infectious. Another DJ’s favourite, Somalie is just brilliant company for a night out. He has such an unbridled passion for learning and growing that it motivates fellow DJs to keep on top of their game.

Tom Ferguson
Another peddler of UK music, this garage-head has embraced the rise of the sound with open arms, and at a sunlit Barasti you can find him week after week in the driving seat of sound. Again, turning to production, his skills lie in the subtleties of music, regularly providing rolling basslines and uplifting vocals throughout his set to whip up a ‘hands in the air’ frenzy every time he drops.

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