Lebanese DJ Tony H is pumpin' out the tunes at two UAE locations
DJ Tony H from Lebanon brings Abu Dhabi a "Showdown" every week. (Courtesy of Khaleej Times)
Since 1992 Lebanese DJ Tony H has been pumping out the tunes in his native Beirut and in 2013, moved to the Emirates to continue his career.
People by Crystal’s dance-floors in both Dubai and now Abu Dhabi have been his playground and now the weekly night ‘Showdown’ at People by Crystal Abu Dhabi is his own.
We speak to the mixer to find out more.
What does your usual UAE set consist of? Is it different to any other countries you’ve played in?
My sets consist of Deep House, House, Commercial House, and not to forget Hip Hop & RnB. I like to call it an “Ear Friendly Set”, one satisfying everyone’s taste while the crowd can sing along– that connection is what I crave, it is the purpose of every DJ: connecting with his crowd while “doing his thing”. All my sets are selected depending on the venue – each has a different identity but we can say it remains mainstream and appreciable by most: good music makes it into all the top charts all over the world. playing in the UAE is the same as anywhere else.
What is the UAE’s reputation for clubbing like in the DJ community?
The UAE is considered one of the most happening places in the clubbing industry, it is a scene for all genres and Class A DJs. It is common to have names play in the city, it has almost become on a weekly basis.
Where is the best place to DJ and why?
I find myself at ease when I am playing in a club specially People By Crystal Abu Dhabi, I play different genres of music and what really matters to me is the crowd reaction when I drop their favourite tracks.
Did you ever consider going for a gimmicky DJ name? Why didn’t you?
I did consider it, but all the good ones were gone. I prefer to use my original name – not because of a lack of creativity – I just find it easier to have a certain logic between my name and scene name when I am introducing myself to people.
What is the secret behind creating a hit? Is there any formula to the success of tunes? Did you ever create anything that you thought was definitely going to make it and it just didn’t work?
The secret is the combination between the DJ and the media involvement - not to forget what I like to call the magical taste. If a track makes it into my playlist I am sure it will have the proper effect on the dance floor. A good production with catchy vocals, or an outstanding instrumental is the secret formula for a HIT. I wouldn’t say I am producing, what I currently do are mash-ups, great tunes mashed up in a way to fit the scene always works out for me.
What advice do you have for any aspiring DJs?
Focus on the crowd – Play the genre you like but don’t impose the tunes you like. Play what people react to, learn to understand what they are into. At the end of the day, they will be the ones to judge if you are worthy of your role, and you are there for their pleasure.
Who do you admire in the industry?
I admire every single artist or DJ who created beautiful music and successful tunes, but I am extra fond of Axwell, Ingrosso and Kryder
Would you like to collaborate with any artists in particular?
The artist I would dream of collaborating with is Kryderit – it would literally be a dream coming true.
What have you got planned for the rest of the year?
I am more focused on my production. I’ve been working on a big project with an class A DJ – we are all set and still awaiting the label’s approval.