CHARITY BEGINS AT THE TURNTABLES

Tell us something about this charity show tonight at Planetarium? The gig tonight has been organised to raise funds for Ockenden International, a UK-based charity organisation. Ockenden will use these funds for the war-torn countries where people need food, shelter and education.

By Ben Swift (Contributor)

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Published: Thu 10 Jun 2004, 1:54 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 12:47 AM

I do a lot of charity gigs. Which is why I said yes when I was approached by these guys. This is the reason why I am here. People in Dubai are very prosperous and generous, the city hosts many events, and that’s why we are doing this charity show here.

What got you into this profession? The money, the fast life and the pretty girls, or what?

No. I am here to spread the message of peace and love. I look at my musical abilities as a gift of God. I knew I was good with music. And if I am a good DJ and good producer then I want to share that gift with others. So music became my mission in life. Also music can be a very strong source through which to give a positive message to humanity. Music is something that keeps you connected to your real self, other things come and go.

What is typical Pierre Ravan music?

That's a good question. Well, unlike many other DJs I don't just dish out house music. House music has a wide variety, all right, but for me it's all about the musical journey. That’s why I like long sets rather than just a couple of hour gigs. My music is like a journey. I always ask people to come at the beginning of the show so that they can be part of that journey. I start with the very soulful, funky, vocally and emotional stuff, moving to a little bit tribally and then to progressive. Just like the natural progression of life. I just want my audiences to feel and enjoy the journey. That's what my music is all about in general. But if you ask me to name specifically then it would range from soul to tribal and to funky, hippy and progressive.

Your productions and remixes have received high critical acclaim. Which are your personal favourites?

My most favourite would be the 'Persepolis 2000' track, because that was the track where I brought all my tradition of six thousand years to the year 2000. The other favourite is 'Divine Energy'. Why this, because for that I used music of the late great Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. I love his music, so I took his music and mixed it with mine to create Divine Energy. However, unfortunately Nusrat Fateh Ali passed away and there were legal matters to settle so it took two and a half years to release it. But we had faith in this track. The track turned out to be a big time success and was worth the wait. So this is one of my favourites. Wherever you play that track, you can see the reaction of the people. You can tell everyone's feeling the message, the love and the energy of the track.

Tell us something about your collaboration with Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan for Divine Energy.

When my partner and I did this track, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan wasn’t aware of it. We thought we'd finish the track and send it to NFAK and surprise him by asking him how he liked the track. But unfortunately he died before he could listen to it, so then we had to get the approval for the track from his son and his label. But I'm sure he's somewhere up there and knows about it.

You have done gigs both in the West and here. How do you compare the tastes of your listeners?

To be honest it's different here. The musical culture in Dubai is starting to come up. It's still not mature enough. In the West people go to clubs to check you out. To see the type of music the DJ’s gonna play. Here though the crowd is small, but they must realise that DJs can't be expected to only play famous tracks. If the DJ plays the music you don't know, then just close your eyes and try to feel it.

As one of the first Fashion DJs in the world, you have played for biggies such as Paco Rabanne, Dolce & Gabbana, Jean Paul Gaultier and for the Elle Magazine. How did that come about?

I was always involved in the fashion and cosmetics business. So when I started to do music, I was fortunate enough to know fashion designers such as Paco Rabanne and Jean Paul Gaultier personally. They were like you are a DJ and now you are working with us, so why don’t you do music for our fashion shoes. So I would check their collection and do music that would match that. From then on every time there is a fashion show or an after party, they will call me up. Then came Elle magazine, which is a big fashion magazine. They signed a contract with me and I did a world tour with them doing music wherever there was a fashion show or the launch of the magazine. Fashion and music is a great combination. I dig it big time.

What was it like to play alongside greats like Erick Morillo, Junior Sanchez, Deep Dish, Paul Van Dyke, etc?

It was great to play with them. But with some DJs the experience was far from pleasant. There were differences with regards to music and attitude. I love to play with people like Deep Dish and Eric. They are the people who understand what I'm trying to do, there's mutual respect for each other. But the thing you must understand is that big DJs are not about how big they are, but about your ability to recognise good music and good work.

Where in the world do you enjoy performing the most?

Estonia. I don't know how many people know where it is, but I Estonia. Definitely Barcelona, too. And Miami and San Francisco for sure. These are the places I have a swell time performing.

How do you choose the music you play?

To be honest I never choose my music. I take all the records I like and choose what I play when I get to the venue. I decide my music on the spot just by gauging the mood of the moment.

Are you working on any project at the moment? What can we expect from you next?

Yeah. I'm working on a couple of new tracks with Danni Marquez. He's one of the best producers in Barcelona. He's owner of the label called Bubble Soul. The name of the track is gonna be 'Give Peace a Chance'. It's gonna be real big. It's a kinda pro-peace track that we need today, given the current state of the world. Another track I’m working on is called 'I'm The One You Need'. It is in collaboration with Rulers of the Deep and DJ Pippi. This track is already out on the promo.


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