Dubainight.com presents exclusive interview with DJ Chris Degenis.
Tell us more about your background?
My background is very atypical as I have been a DJ for 20 years including 7 years of experience in events & restaurant management mainly in Paris (France), Sydney (Australia), Bodrum (Turkey), Dalian (China)…
When I moved to Dubai, I didn't know anyone and I had the chance to meet someone extremely important to me, she is like sister for me now Muna Salah from Cartertainment who immediately believed in me and introduced me to the right people.
The first 2 years. I worked with an amazing group called Add-mind (White, Indie, Iris…) Then I became freelancer DJ and started working for several venues.
What type of DJ are you?
Music is a passion, I am open format like I always say music for me is the language of emotions. I love music in general that is why I play all type of Electronic music, Urban, Old School... Underground or Indie either commercial.
Let me share this anecdote to describe myself especially when someone ask what type of music I play.
3 years ago I was speaking about my style with a friend, who is a very talented and famous DJ in Dubai “DJ Keza” and he told me: “Chris if we compare you to a car you would be a 4X4 as you can adapt yourself to any types of crowds.”
When did you start DJing?
I started DJiing in 1997, and this year 2017 I am celebrating my 20 years in the music industry.
What/who were your early influences?
Back to late 90’s there were no Internet to see what’s happening in the world of even in other regions of my country, so my influences were residents DJs from my region Marseille (France).
What was your first record you bought?
I remember like if it was yesterday it was a vinyl called “Aly Us - Follow Me “(Strictly Rhythm Records)
What inspire your music today?
My second passion is traveling until now I have visited 48 countries, which also helped me to open myself to different cultures, which gave me a lot to find inspiration.
I also love cooking, while I am cooking I am always listening to music and associating music with flavors and colors also give me inspiration.
What are the challenges of being a successful DJ today?
Every DJ is an artist and there are 2 types of DJs: DJ/Producer and DJs who play them productions.
I am in the second category and my challenges of being a successful DJ today are:
- To always find new music made by talented DJ/producer
- To read and understand on what music people will enjoy, bringing them always fresh tunes.
- Behind the music industry there is a business but the most important is to stay passionate, accessible and down to earth.
What do you usually start with when preparing for a set?
My first track is always happy with positive or love lyrics, but before I start I always check the sound system and the DJ equipment.
What defines a good crowd for you?
A good crowd doesn’t request song but just enjoy the moment.
Why do you think so few women are DJ’s?
Firstly before being a DJ you have to become a DJ, which means hours and hours of learning and training this work for women and men.
Secondly you need to be passionate about music and music culture takes years and years.
Unfortunately too many female believe they will become a good DJ after making a photo shot by using them physical appearance. This is a short-term vision and I think that is the main reason why there are a few female DJs.
Where do you think the scene is headed? One year from now? Five years from now?
It’s been almost 4 years I’m in Dubai and I can see that the music culture is improving and clubbing scene is growing.
Tell us more about your upcoming projects and gigs?
I work very hard to be active and busy.
I will keep developing my live band concept which is the 1st wireless DJ system in the world: www.evolutiondj.eu
I am Middle East official DJ of the luxury fashion magazines Savoir Flair & Styly, and also Middle East official DJ of Sotheby’s and I have regular gigs in 3 venues.
I am one of the resident DJs of Roberto’s in DIFC.
I am also working on the opening of a new French concept called “Chez Charles” which will be located in Dubai Design District (D3).
And in March every Friday we will launch the “French Bazar night” in one of the most established venues in UAE: “Sho Cho”
My weekly schedule is:
Monday: “Roberto’s DIFC”
Tuesday: “Chez Charles D3”
Wednesday: “Roberto’s DIFC”
Thursday: “Roberto’s DIFC”
Friday: Sho Cho Dubai (Brunch & French bazaar Night)
Saturday: “Roberto’s DIFC”
Sunday: “Chez Charles D3”