Virgin Radio’s Kris Fade on performing with Two Tone at RedfestDxb

Breakfast radio host and occasional music artist Kris Fade talks about performing his latest hit In It For Love at Redfestdxb.

Kris Fade is set to make his live-music debut performancein at RedfestDxb. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National
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Kris Fade has made a career of goofing off. The Australian radio presenter's lightheartedness is not only responsible for the popularity of his breakfast show on Virgin Radio, but also for his two hit singles – last year's I'm Famous and his recent iTunes chart-topping collaboration with Moroccan rapper Two Tone, In It For Love. Fade will make his live-music debut performing the latter song on Friday at RedfestDxb, a prospect he admits is "pretty nerve wracking".

How did In It For Love come together?

I was introduced to Two Tone about seven months ago and we became friends. One day I went over to his house where he had a studio. He played me some beats and I started playing around with this song and he said, “Hey, this doesn’t sound bad.” So I wrote some lyrics and he did a verse and at the end of it he said “I think this is not a bad song – we should put it on the radio.”

Would your colleagues have told you if it sucked?

They would have said to me, “Kris, we aren’t playing it man” and I would have said, “I understand.” But before I took it to the Virgin guys I played it to a couple of friends of mine that are not in the industry and they liked it because it was catchy.

You wrote the hook for the song. Did your pop radio station experience contribute to knowing what makes a good pop song?

Working in radio for 12 years, you hear so much music every day that you get to a stage where you just know whether the song is a hit. I remember hearing Ke$ha's Tik Tok for the first time and by 30 seconds in I just knew this song would blow up. When I wrote In It For Love, I knew it could be catchy. I think if a song can get stuck in someone's head by the second listen then it's going to be big.

Hosting a breakfast radio show is a prized slot but you have to wake up at dawn nearly every day. Do you miss sleeping in?

Breakfast radio is the best and worst job at the same time. I am blessed to have it because of the opportunities I get every day. I also have a good routine where I spend time with my beautiful children and pick them up from school every day, have lunch and play together. The only downfall is the sleep factor because I am up at 4.30am in the morning and I go to bed by eleven at night. You don’t get used to four hours sleep a day and I always feel like I am jet lagged.

You will be performing In It For Love live for the first time on Friday. Do you see yourself eventually moving from radio to being a fully fledged singer?

I always feel entertainment will be my focus but from the other side of the stage. I am a background guy and that's what I am good at. If opportunities come up to do something like In It For Love again I will look at it, but it always needs to be fun – because that is what it's about for me.

• Kris Fade performs with Two Tone at Redfestdxb on Friday at 4pm. Dubai Media City Amphi­theatre. Doors open at 6pm and ticket prices start at Dh350 from www.timeouttickets.com