From engineering calculations to spinning turntables, resident DJ Dadou dabbles with beats as seamlessly as he does with blueprints.

Where transistors dance alongside traditional tunes and where algorithms share a rhythm with raw emotion, where microprocessors and mixers merge, where CAD designs compete with DJ decks, DJ Dadou, finds his groove.

He’s a maestro with a motherboard, a DJ with a doctorate in daydreams—well, not literally, but you get the drift.

"As melodies wafted through our home, the notes whispered promises of grand stages to a younger me," Dadou recalls. A preteen Dadou, at 13, didn’t just bob his head to beats; he was entranced, living every day to unearth musical gems, imitating the iconic Tiesto, replicating his dance moves as if preparing for a grand showdown. The universe, it seems, was listening.

Photo credits: @nunocostafernandes

Fast-forward to his twenties in France, a place renowned for its romance, but for Dadou, the true love affair was with music. Amidst a vibrant student life, when the chance to DJ for a significant student party popped up, it was serendipity. The event had him crossing paths with three city-famed DJs. And just like a twist in a groovy track, by the evening's end, they weren’t just nodding in appreciation, they were extending an invite to their sanctum—the DJ school.

The experience ignited back my obsession with music, DJing, and the joy of bringing people together.

But the rhythm of life often carries its own surprises. At 23, with a suitcase filled with engineering tools and dreams of turntables, Dadou landed in Dubai. Intended as a technical detour, Dubai’s siren call of music was hard to resist. "While engineering might've brought me here, the beats kept me enthralled," Dadou reflects. And soon, the city's iconic DJs weren't just names he revered, they became his mentors. Through sheer will, consistent beats, and maybe a drop or two of sweat, the decks at the illustrious @blabla beckoned, naming him their resident DJ.

In the heart of Dubai, where sand meets sky and dreams intertwine with reality, a melody arose one day. It was on the rooftop of Public Restaurant (@public), with the ever-imposing Burj Khalifa standing sentinel, watching over a city that never stops dreaming. As the sun painted the sky in hues of gold, DJ Dadou, accompanied by the vibrant team from Crank (@crank.uae), gave Downtown Dubai a performance that’s etched in his memory like a classic vinyl.

Photo credits: @nunocostafernandes

But, let's rewind a tad. Picture a young Dadou, lost in the tender notes of Elton John's 'Sacrifice.' The soulful strains of this classic are a portal, taking him back to the very first music memory he cherishes. Now, while many have tapped their feet to its "housy" remixes, Dadou yearns to catapult it into the ethereal realms of uplifting trance. The reasons are far from commercial—it’s personal, tethered to heartstrings and whispers of nostalgia.
By the break of day, the beat morphs into something else entirely. Instead of bass lines and synths, there's the rhythmic hum of machinery and the persistent notes of innovation. "Technology and science are both my passions," his face lights up. DJ Dadou is no ordinary music maven; he's also a man intrigued by the dance of electrons and the vast expanse of the cosmos. His day job as an engineer is a testament to his love for technology and science. And, when he's not engineering soundscapes or actual bridges, he's engrossed in the mysteries of the universe, pondering our place amongst the stars.

Now, not every performance is a dream. Some come with their share of quirks and comic relief. Like the time when he was asked to play a floor set, quite literally. No tables, no elevated space, just Dadou and the floor. While it might've been a toe-tapping conundrum then, today, it's an anecdote that never fails to evoke a chuckle.

But perhaps the most resonant string in Dadou’s symphony is the undeniable bond between music and the mind. To him, music isn't just a melody; it's therapy. It's the ethereal bridge that carries him away from life's chaos, ushering him into tranquil sanctuaries of sound. "Music is the answer," he avows. Amidst the throes of stress, whether from work or the daily rigmaroles of life, the dulcet tones in the background are his panacea, his elixir. His conviction is unwavering—give music a moment, and it'll give you solace in return. In his words, and probably echoing the sentiment of many, "It's pure magic."

"I firmly believe there's no better remedy than music."

From the tender dreams of a 13-year-old boy dancing in the dim light of his room to the roaring applause as he sets the decks on fire in Dubai's swankiest joints, the journey has been nothing short of an electric slide. And as DJ Dadou will tell you, that young boy—enamored with Tiesto, and dreaming of vast venues—is still very much alive, probably doing a little jig somewhere deep inside, ecstatic with the ride so far. And with that, DJ Dadou drops the metaphorical mic, leaving us with notes that linger, long after the last beat fades.

HOMEGROWN is musivv’s segment dedicated to featuring UAE-based artists. Features under this segment are eligible for a nomination under this category in the Musivv Awards’ annual recognition.

September 24, 2023

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