The world of entertainment industry has shifted and expanded, reaching further into uncharted territories around the globe. The music DJ’s play, and the risks they take in exploring sounds and rhythms, put them in control of the energy and mood of their audience. DJ Sean Perry has impressed club-goers with his unique collection of music in New York and Las Vegas, and most surprisingly, Dubai. The globetrotting DJ talked to Clubplanet about embarking on an untapped overseas market and the changes he foresees there.
Clubplanet: You’re a resident DJ at Tenjune, Cain, and One in New York, but you also travel to cities like Chicago, Las Vegas, and Dubai. What’s it like to be a jet-set DJ?
DJ Sean Perry: I’ve been traveling for about a year consistently, and probably in the past few months I’ve been going away pretty much every weekend. By now I’m kind of used to it. It’s not that bad. The longer flights like for example, California and Dubai—which is a really long flight—can take its toll, but I’d much rather be getting outside of New York. That’s the next level in terms of getting your name out there.
Clubplanet: You were just in Dubai this past weekend, right? What did you do while you were there?
DJ Sean Perry: I’ve done a club there a few times now. It’s the same place that has been bringing me out. These guys heard me at Tenjune one night and they basically offered for me to come out there. I went out for the first time, I’d say, in the beginning of the year or maybe the end of last year and it went really well so they keep bringing me out. Usually I stay for two nights. I do a Thursday and a Friday out there because Thursday and Friday are actually the weekends. It’s not Friday and Saturday like it is here. Then I DJ’d at Cain Saturday and then I did One last night, so that’s the hustle.
Clubplanet: How are the nightlife scenes different from NYC? Can you compare the differences you see in Chicago, Las Vegas, Dubai, and New York?
DJ Sean Perry: Let’s take Dubai first. Dubai, I think, is a lot like New York. It’s an expensive tourist destination so you have that classy, upscale crowd, which is good. It’s also a very diverse crowd. You have a lot of Europeans. You have people from all over coming to visit and the club that I do, for example, tends to be a more exclusive, bottle-service-type spot.
They cater to more, they call it R&B over there, but it’s basically Hip hop and kind of a mash-up of all types of music. Hip hop, R&B, house, a little rock, it’s a little bit of everything. They have other clubs over there like house clubs, but they tend to be bigger clubs and they’re not as much bottle service oriented or exclusive. It is actually very similar over there.
In terms of other cities [in the U.S.], outside of New York, it’s definitely different. The crowd in each city varies. Las Vegas, it’s a tourist destination so it’s, I want to say not cheesier music, but you have to have a little bit of a broader range of music.
Clubplanet: Do you have to cater to the masses in Las Vegas?
DJ Sean Perry: Yeah, because you have a lot of corporate people going out there for business meetings and you have guys that are, like, 50 years old in the clubs. Sometimes you might have to throw on YMCA if it’s that bad.
Other cities, I’d pretty much say you can take risks, but you have to be careful with playing too much house because hip hop is still pretty dominant, I’d say, in most of the other cities I go to.
Clubplanet: How are the crowds different in the states? As far as the vibe in New York and Dubai, would you say that they’re pretty similar or is one more laid back than the other?
DJ Sean Perry: No, it’s pretty similar. I know most people in the states when I say I go there, they really are like, “Where is it?” or “What’s going on over there?” They really have no idea, but I was pretty shocked at how similar it was. I wasn’t prepared. I was nervous that I couldn’t do what I do here, but sure enough, I basically play the same exact stuff that I would do here. I don’t take as many risks over there with the music. You have to be a little more commercial.
Other than that, the parties are crazy. People love outdoing each other with buying bottles and they have this whole ritual of when they bring out the magnum bottles, [they] play the Star Wars theme song or the Rocky theme song. You can see clubs here doing that too.
Clubplanet: What does it mean to you to be taking your music international? Was it always a goal or was it something that the opportunity presented itself and you really wanted to do it?
DJ Sean Perry: It was never really a goal. I couldn’t ever really dream of that, but I’d say the past few years have made it possible. Five years ago guys in my position, guys I used to look up to, they didn’t have that opportunity just because mash-up DJ’s—I guess that what you call us, I don’t really like the term—they weren’t being taken outside of their hometowns. They weren’t being flown to places to play music. It was really only house DJ’s. It’s really only come about in the past two or three years. I’m blessed that I can do it. I would’ve never imagined it because, like I said, five years ago I know guys that they actually stopped doing it because they hit a ceiling here. They knew they couldn’t leave and it got kind of tedious.
Clubplanet: Are there any other cities, countries or other parts of the world that you would like to go to and spin or maybe try to cater to those crowds?
DJ Sean Perry: Yeah, definitely. My management team [and I], we’re trying to put together a Europe tour for me now because that’s the next place I’d really like to go. One of our DJ’s just came back from an Asia tour.
I like DJ-ing in the U.S. I’ve done Canada and Cancun, that kind of stuff, but I’d like to go more overseas just because that’s a market that the DJ’s over here haven’t really tapped into yet. It definitely will take some time for the group of guys over here—probably like a dozen or two dozen mash-up guys—to tap into that market, but I think it can be done. There are guys who are starting to do it. I definitely want to get over there by the end of the year. So we’re going to shoot for that.
Clubplanet: Any long-term predictions for the Dubai nightlife scene?
DJ Sean Perry: I really think that it [Dubai] is going to be the next big entertaining capital of the world. It’s really a matter of time, probably in the next year. I know all these companies are going over there from Las Vegas to even the New York/Pink Elephant-type spots [who] are looking to open spots there. I just think a lot of people are unaware or don’t know yet. I’d say look out for it to be the next hotspot even if it is a thirteen-hour plane ride.
DJ Sean Perry is right about Dubai’s potential as the next big entertainment hub in the world. Las Vegas nightclub and hotel entertainment operator, The Light Group—which