Olly Wood of Hollaphonic interview

Brit DJ and Hollaphonic member talks dares and the beauty of live music Discuss this article

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The British DJ and one half of Dubai’s electronic duo Hollaphonic talks dares and the beauty of live music.

You’ve been working with Ray-Ban for their Order of Never Hide campaign, and starred in a series of ‘dare’ videos with Myles Galloway, shot around Dubai. Which has been your favourite?
If I have to be honest my favourite one was actually Myles’ Hummer prank. It was really funny, and perhaps because it’s the UAE so people actually thought the toy car was a new model of sports car. Search for ‘Myles Car Maintenance’ on YouTube to check it out.

How did you feel going around town and doing these dares?
It was good fun. It was a bit awkward walking around my street dressed as a boy scout – that was weird. A lot of fast food joints that I rapped my order to were less than pleased. We definitely blended out – which was the idea.

Are you always up for a dare?
Yes. It depends on how late in the night it is – towards the end of the night I’m pretty much up for anything.

What’s the weirdest prank you’ve done?
I’ve done things in Noel Gallagher’s changing room that nobody should ever know about. It was a dare, it was at Sandance, but I can’t say more about it than that.

Does Dubai have a good sense of humour for pranks?
It’s getting better – as long as you get the right people on-side it’s fine. You can do dares and still be respectful of local cultures as well.

What’s new with Hollaphonic?
We’re just drawing up a contract with Universal Music Group, which will be officially announced soon. And we’ve got our own headphones line coming up with a big brand too – that will be out in a few months.

What are your plans for the rest of summer?
We’re building a new studio, so we’re in there a lot. We have more international artists coming into the studio so we want to make it bigger and badder. Music evolves so quickly we want to keep up with what’s going on. During Ramadan we get a bit more time in the afternoons to get in the studio and put our heads down.

Which artists are you into right now?
I really like Shiftk3y. We saw them perform live and the guy DJs and sings and he’s got an annoyingly good voice. We’ve also teamed up with Tennessee Kids who are backing singers for Justin Timberlake.

Do you think there’s a strong appetite for new music in Dubai or do commercial sounds rule?
It’s a question of exposure – I think you’ll find that audiences tend to grow by exposure to music, whereas businesses grow by how much money they make.

Do you prefer being in the studio or performing live gigs?
I love doing live shows. Mainly because there’s a massive amount of adrenaline and it’s just such a buzz.
To join the Order of Never Hide and win a trip to the Ray-Ban party in London, visit www.ray-ban.com/orderofneverhide.

By Benita Adesuyan
Time Out Doha,

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