By Tamara Clarke
What inspired you to become a DJ?
When I was younger, I always had an ear for music. I would often tell my mum how songs blend together then I started collecting records and practicing in the basement. I just wanted to be the person who got to select the music during our family get-togethers.
You’re known to partygoers as DJ A.L.L.A.D. Tell us about that. Does the name hold special meaning?
Yes, the name was given to me by one of my master teachers, DJ Sicari from Detroit. He taught me how to master the art of blending two tracks to create a perfectly seamless beat.
The abbreviation A.L.L.A.D stands for Arm-Leg-Leg-Arm-Dread, which follows the philosophy of the divine knowledge of man being Arm-Leg-Leg-Arm-Head.
When I started this journey, I wore dread locs so that’s where the dread was adapted from and although I no longer wear locs, I am still a dread.
As an educator by day and DJ by night, you have the opportunity to combine your professions. What positive outcomes have you witnessed by bringing this form of musical expression into the classroom?
I often incorporate rhythmic patterns into my strategy for teaching writing and maths. I find music helps students remember steps for solving equations and inspires writing intended for entertainment.
Music and education go hand-in-hand, and it also has the power to unite people all over the world. I truly enjoy witnessing how music bridges the gap between people.
When you’re out leisurely, are you able to chill and enjoy yourself or do you find yourself correcting someone else’s mix in your head?
Being a DJ it is a gift and a curse.
The gift is the fame associated with you as you build a following. The curse is the fact that you become a bit socially awkward in spots you are not rocking.
It’s hard not to listen to another DJ and analyse their set. For me, if I’m going out to have a good time, I try to attend events where I know the DJ personally and already know I’ll enjoy it.
What tips or recommendations would you give to an aspiring music enthusiast considering a career as a DJ?
Build your library of music. Practice daily.
When you make it to the venue scene, watch and read your crowd and develop ways to recover if your crowd doesn’t agree with the selection.
Last but not least market yourself.
You can rock with DJ A.L.L.A.D. at any of these spots…
Residency: Tunes and Taco’s with DJ Allad
Where: Loca, The Galleria, Al Maryah Island
When: Every Thursday from 8pm to 1am
Residency: Rooftop Rhythms Poetry Showcase
Where: The Marketplace, NYUAD, Saadiyat Island
When: Last Friday of every month 7pm to 10pm
Residency: Shaku Saturdays
Where: Catch Rooftop & Lounge, Nation Tower, Corniche West
When: Every Saturday from 11.30pm to 3.00am
Get social with DJ A.L.L.A.D. on Instagram and Twitter @allad83 and facebook.com/Allad83