“In music the passions enjoy themselves.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
The Lebanese are renowned for their many talents, and music is definitely one of them. With so many outstanding DJs in the country, we thought we’d shine a spotlight to highlight some of the best talents in the field by launching the DJs of Lebanon. It’s a way to thank them for providing the soundtrack to some of the best nights of our lives and keep the beats going and going and going.
One of the few female DJs in the region Joey, or Josiane, began at a young age and now is not only a DJ. She has found a love for mixing, editing and creating her own tracks, as well as giving DJ-ing courses to the next generation.
How did you begin your DJing career?
I believe the journey started back when I was a little girl and used to listen to the huge collection of my dad’s LPs. Ever since those days, music and I became good friends. I started to listen to different kinds of music, such as Rock and House. It even started to affect my grades at school in the later years lol! I earned my pocket money by selling tapes to my friends in school and bought my records with this money. I was a constant listener to radio and won almost every competition that was broadcast. After that I decided to take it to a new level and I found the style of music that I loved the most: House Music. I began to practice on my mixing every day until I finally got my first gig, which was really impressive. Since then, all I can say is, “I heart music”.
Who and what are the inspirations for your music?
I remember the 1st song I ever heard was from Fairuz, when dad kept the music playing in the house almost all day. Music changed with time and by the time Rock music became popular in Lebanon, loads of bands influenced me like Led Zeppelin, Metallica, Bon Jovi, Queen, The Doors, Courtney Love, Nirvana, Ozzy Ozbourne, Pink Floyd, Pearl Jam, R.E.M, Tori Amos, Bjork, Massive Attack, Portishead and many more. Over time, I got to learn more about different styles like Disco, Latino, French and finally I learned about “Club” Music such as Progressive, Deep House and Trance. Those who influenced me the most in these genres were Paul Oakenfold, Danny Tenaglia, CJ Mackintosh, Pete Tong, Todd Terry, John Digweed, Sasha, Nick Muir, Steve Lawler and Sin Plomo.
How would you define your genre of music?
The music that I play is mainly House. I like my music to be melodic. I believe that a melodic song hits the soul smoothly. I spend many hours listening to music to pick the right sound. Sometimes it’s Deep, Funky and Groovy. Other times the sound switches to Electro, Progressive and a bit of commercial.
Where can we listen to you play?
You can listen to me play at Pier7 during summer, Palais during winter, or fly to Dubai where I play at People by Crystal. You can also downlaod my sets online.
Do you have any albums? Are you working on one?
Yes, LaLa Land. 3 volumes are out already. I’m working on the 4th at the moment – mixed and compiled by yours truly.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Ah that’s a tricky question. I’m the kind of person who lives every day as if it’s my last. My future plans evolve all the time, but the idea of owning a pub has been crossing my mind lately – a place where I can happily play my music to those who appreciate a good sound.
What’s the most difficult part about being a DJ?
To be consistent and to keep the love of your crowd.
Have you ever had a hard time as a DJ because you’re female (in what seems like a mostly male domain, at least in Lebanon)?
I wouldn’t call it a hard time, but I’ve had a few challenges along the way and eventually got through them with a smile upon my face.
Have there been any advantages to being female?
Of course! To name a few, it pleased me to work with famous artists and DJs from around the world. I received tons of compliments, appreciation and offers over the years for being a female DJ behind the decks, for the music I play and for the skills. It never gets old.
Your recently launched Women on Dex, a unique DJing school for women only. When did you launch it exactly?
It was launched in 2012.
How many students have you had already and where have these female DJs ended up after your courses?
I had about 8 girls who came to learn about DJ’ing. Only 2 of them passed the courses. It takes a while to get good and play in public for the first time. I’ve been there.
Do you teach the classes yourself or there are others with you?
What inspired you to launch the program? Why is it important for you to support women in this field?
The idea of teaching only women is because I wanted to create a new concept in Beirut’s clubbing scene, where clubbers are constantly hungry for something new and different. The idea was to get an original group of sexy, twisted, young women, who will each have a different kind of music to play on the decks.
What’s the best part of being a DJ?
To me it would be that chilling moment when the crowd screams to my music. It’s like a cherry on top of my gig.
Do you have some hobbies? Can you tell us more about those?
I love reading novels and cooking. Also, sometimes I like to drive around at night with no particular destination; just me with my thoughts and my music.
Where can we follow your news and updates, do you have a fanpage?
What’s your favorite tune on your iPod now?
Before or after this interview? lol
How would you describe Lebanon in one sentence?
Lebanon is like a crystal vase. It glows on the outside, but it’s scratched on the inside. That’s exactly how I feel.
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