INTERVIEW: DJ Mr V on Dubai and dance music trends

360˚ is beginning to get its groove on for the new season. Taking to the decks on Thursday, October 5, at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel venue is New York native Mr V, a house DJ who fuses elements of Latin music into his high-energy sets and has become best known for his work with Louis Vega and Fedde Le Grande.

Before his much-awaited gig, we ask him what he’s got up his sleeve for Dubai’s clubbers…

You’re from New York City, which is fabulously diverse. What were the sounds you grew up with?
I come from a neighbourhood in New York where there’s a strong music culture and hipster vibe. I grew up listening to a lot of pop radio, hip-hip and disco music; this was around the time MTV was born and pop and rock music dominated the music scene.

The Lower East Side has gentrified a lot in the last 15 years… can you still find the same vibe as when you started out?
Yeah, that eclectic vibe is more muted today compared to when I grew up there. While some hidden gems and iconic music institutions can still be found, the atmosphere and neighbourhood facade has definitely changed – largely driven by increased property value and the influx of new businesses. Watching the atmosphere that communities create and culture of the Lower East side slowly disappear, brings about a touch of nostalgia for the old days.

New York has thrown up so many essential dance trends… is there a new one brewing?
I moved out to Brooklyn when I was 22 and, although I no longer live there, a lot of the music and dance soul has moved to Brooklyn. You’ll find more of a growing trend today for warehouse parties and underground sounds. In fact, New York as a whole is going back to basics. People are more about the actual music today; real music just the way it was when it all began and that does bring a revival of culture.

Why Mr V?
I wanted a name that wasn’t complicated. Long story short, I filled up a form once and added V next to the Mr column instead of my entire name. Looking at that form, I instantly had the answer – short, succinct and exactly what I was after.

What is the ethos/philosophy of the music you put out on Sole Channel Music?
Since we launched back in 2004, it’s always been about the deep and soulful side of dance music. While I play a lot of my own music here and tap into the deeper sounds of house, Soul Channel has licensed a few music tracks that keep up with our philosophy – so expect to hear the same sound of what we started with.

What kind of tracks are you dropping into your sets to get everyone jumping right now?
I believe that as a DJ, I need to play visually – I need to see what sets get people moving and I believe in being able to play and create sets with different styles. I don’t limit myself to one type of style when taking to the decks. But the E-Disco sound is definitely something you’ll catch more of now and, one track you can expect to hear is Cardie B’s “Bodak Yellow”…

What do you know about Dubai? Ever played here before?
Yes, I’ve played in Dubai before and, I loved it. I first came out here in 2007 and, between then and my last visit in 2015 so much had changed; I remember seeing a lot of sand and then everything just seemed to turn into something bigger overnight! It’s amazing seeing a city being built, especially one with such a vibrant young vibe. I love the DJ scene here – a lot of hip-hop presence and a great party vibe.

Mr V at 360˚
When: Thursday, October 5
Where: 360˚, Jumeirah Beach Hotel
Contact: +971 4 432 3232, website

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