Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 29 November 2020

Danny Howard on the acts on the bill at DXBeach

Danny Howard. Courtesy DXBeach
Danny Howard. Courtesy DXBeach

As the host of the UK career-making radio show Radio One Dance Anthems, Danny Howard knows what makes a hit. And as a big-name superstar DJ who once warmed up for Coldplay and has gone back-to-back with David Guetta, he sure knows what works on the dance floor. Who better to talk us through the DXBeach line-up? We asked the ultimate tastemaker to share his thoughts on his fellow headliners.

Mark Ronson

“He’s just about had the biggest hit in the world ever,” raves Howard. And what’s Uptown Funk’s dirty secret? “It ticks all the boxes – a house DJ can play it, you can play it at wedding, at home, a kid’s birthday party – it just reaches out and connects with so many different people from so many backgrounds and cultures, it’s the perfect pop song. “I’ve never met Mark, but I’ve kind of walked past him, does that count?” Yes. Did he look swish and annoyingly smug? “Er, yeah.”

Onstage at 9.30pm

Jess Glynne

“Jess is pretty much the hottest female artist from the UK right now,” says Howard. “Clean Bandit’s Rather Be and My Love with Route 94 will probably be classics for years and years to come. But with Hold My Hand, she’s made that transition from featured artist to solo artist quite quickly and really come out in full force – she’s going to kill it at DXBeach. “My flatmate is her label manager, so I hear a lot of her new demos played round the flat.”

Onstage at 8.30pm

Nightmares on Wax

“I’m not aware of their music,” admits Howard, “but I’m sure they’ll be great.” So are we. NoW (aka UK producer George Evelyn) is behind the legendary Warp records classic LPs Smokers Delight (1995) and Carboot Soul (1999) – case studies in chilled, trippy electronica – so, add them to your collection today, Danny. Booked for a two-hour DJ/MC set, expect laid-back sundown grooves slowly swelling to welcome nightfall.

Onstage at 5pm

Danny Howard

“I think at every single event they need to have a filler DJ who’s just going to keep music playing through the system while we’re waiting for the next big act – and I think he might do all right,” jokes Howard. He certainly did all right when tasked with the same job at Sandance in October 2013. “It was 15,000 people, it was The Killers, Steve Angello – and just little me on the side,” he remembers.

“It was the most surreal gig I’ve ever had – I just thought it was always like that in Dubai.”

Onstage at 11pm

John Dahlbäck

“I think he may be the most underrated DJ in the dance-music world,” says Howard of the Swedish talent otherwise known as Kaliber. “He’s been around now for more than 10 years and he’s always been really consistent. I sometimes think he’s never quite made that next step up to where he deserves to be. I’ve always been a big fan of John.”

Onstage at midnight

Sneaky Sound System

“I’m vaguely aware of their music – they’ve got a solid string of productions,” says Howard. He’s not wrong, this Aussie electro-pop duo have scored gold records on home turf with UFO, Kansas City and We Love. Best of all? They’re performing a full live set – just as they did to smash it at Sandance in 2011 (twice).

• Onstage at 7pm

DXBeach is on Friday, April 24 from 12pm to 3am at Zero Gravity. Tickets start from Dh250. Visit www.dxbeach.ae

Updated: April 19, 2015 04:00 AM

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