Interview with Cotton Candy’s DJette
IN AN INDUSTRY dominated by kings of the turntables, along came Beyrouth’s queen. The title DJ wouldn’t do for Laila Sarkis, so the era of the DJette was born.
This small town village girl is paving a path of tricked out beats and electro funk across the globe, leaving no club unturned. Her uninhibited artistry reveals a sexy, cool and fiercely spirited master of the mix; a true force to be reckoned with. On a mission to turn the party out, the DJette is requesting all hands on the dance floor this Friday as she reminds us of what a party is supposed to sound like.
What was it like sharing a stage with 50 Cent and do you feel that it was a huge step in your career?
I warmed up for 50 Cent with Guy Manokian, but it never felt any more important as warming up for the underground DJ’s like Jamie Jones, Jennifer Cardini, Athony Collins or Burnski-Shonky. I don’t believe warming up for huge artists is what helps your career; I believe its all about hard work and believing in what you want to do in life.
Tell us about the infamous and legendary Beirut nightlife. Is it as wild, crazy and fun as people describe it as?
For me, wild is sexy, crazy is unusual and fun is memorable so we definitely have an attitude to our night life! If we’re talking about the underground nightlife it’s pure-sexy, unusual and super memorable (especially when the cops show up). Nowadays we have special guests joining us called ‘darak’ (Arabic for police)!
What is it like being a female DJ in the Middle east? Do you wish that more women would pursue it as a career?
Have you ever heard the saying ‘What if God was a Djette?’ Well I’ve tried to help many women pursue this as a career, and I even wish my mama was a DJette too!
Music continuously goes through changes and transitions so where do you see house/trance going in the next five years?
Music in all genres are evolving lately — even the artists too! Haifa Wehbe now has some trancy tunes, Cindy Lauper is hitting the electro-tunes and Madonna is about to lift up the mic and spin some rap tunes for us. Maybe Lady Fayrouz might release her latest drum and bass solo album! I totally think change is healthy and everything seems to be switching so dramatically. I have noticed that all genres are mixing together from electro-rock to house-disco to synth-pop, so I feel that this is what people want to hear. Then again, pure house never dies and its still rocking our shiny disco shoes onto the dance floors!
Do you ever incorporate your Arab heritage and culture into the music you play?
It all depends on which city I’m spinning and the mood the crowd puts me in.
You’ve travelled the world and performed at countless clubs. What’s the funniest thing that has happened to you during a performance?
Haha! I don’t think you want me to go there, but I feel like every evening there is a comedy that rocks my night.
Are you trying to follow in the footsteps of any particular person, or are you trying to pave your own way?
I guess I have paved my own way there, and I feel very comfortable too!
Dubai’s nightlife has changed drastically in the past few years. What do you think of it and how would you improve it?
I fully respect Dubai but I think nightlife in the UAE is only really half a night. I think it’s a half night of music education and leaving the clubs hung up on the DJ or DJette. I think more ‘trash’ needs to be added (I hope real clubbers understand what I mean).
I have a theory that we all secretly wanted to be DJ’s at one point. What does it take to do what you do?
You need to have a good pair of ears!
What is your favorite quote?
“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” – Bob Marley
But I think if he was still alive he would change it to, “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel sweet pain.”
– Article by Mohamad Kadry
WHAT: Sundowner Sessions featuring DJette spinning the turntables
WHERE: CHILL Rooftop, Royal Ascot Hotel, Bur Dubai
WHEN: Friday, March 27. Starting with all inclusive Barbecue/Brunch pool party plus bubbly for the ladies (Dhs250)
ENTRY: Free Entry after 5pm. Priority Guest List. Air Crew: 20 per cent off @ The Bar
Filed under: Culturel, nightlife, Strictly Lebanese | 12 Comments
Tags: C U NXT CANDY, Cotton Candy, DJette, Laila Sarkis