Notable British house music DJ Danny Rampling and his wife, American DJ Ilona Rampling, are in Rocca this month to treat us to one Valentine’s night of good fun and great music. We have a chat with them ahead of their arrival to find out more about this musical marriage.
How is playing together as a duo?
Danny: It happened very naturally. Our DJ partnership is like our marriage. I never thought I would DJ alongside another as a duo and always have admired others who have worked together so well. Then all of a sudden I am DJ-ing with my wife Ilona. Life is filled with pleasant unexpected surprises.
Ilona: With being a couple and both being in the spotlight it is so much fun to share special moments on stage together and it enhances what we had before individually when we weren’t touring together. We are together 24/7 and blessed to be travelling with each other rather than apart with respect to our DJ careers.
What does a set with the both of you sound like?
Ilona: We love to play uplifting fun party music – nothing too self indulgent and we are in the business of entertainment. We have a very broad joint taste in music and it can be anything from underground house music to commercial EDM (Electronic Dance Music), and sometimes play eclectic lounge beach bar sets. We DJ frequently at high-end private events so we tailor our sets to the type of parties we play at.
How are gigs in the Middle East different to those elsewhere?
Ilona: It’s very luxurious in the Middle East and it has its own style with the high-end clubs, friendly people and distinct culture. I always look forward to coming to visit. The modern architecture in Doha is one of our favourites over many cities we have been fortunate to visit. It’s so futuristic.
What can we expect from your show in Doha?
Danny: As it’s a Valentine’s Day party we will play a Love Groove Dance Party selection with lots of current upbeat vocal music with the theme of love.
Mr Rampling – you literally wrote the book on how to DJ and become successful. If you were to give three important tips to budding DJs, what would they be?
Danny: 1. Learn to DJ on vinyl or CD first before moving to digital mixing software.
2. Focus daily on your goals and don’t lose sight of your dream. Stay on the path and do take action daily.
3. Network with others, attend industry events, create a radio podcast and also learn to produce music.
Away from the decks, what do you both do in your spare time?
Both: We love to watch movies, go to art galleries, fashion shows, cooking, fitness, reading books and visiting historic places.
You’ve both had prolific careers individually and together but if you had to name one highlight from it all so far, what would it be?
Danny: Personally, hosting the Love Groove Dance Party on BBC Radio 1, a prime time Saturday night slot for seven years has been a major highlight for me.
Ilona: DJ-ing to a huge audience in the dance arena of one of the world’s biggest festivals at Glastonbury recently was pretty awesome I have to say.
If you were both going to host a dinner party and you could choose any three people (alive or dead), who would you invite?
Danny: We certainly don’t do ‘dead dinners’. Professor Brian Cox (we can talk about astronomy for hours), film director of The Killing Fields, Roland Joffe (history and movie making chat), and motivational expert Anthony Robbins (great inspiring stories to share).
Ilona: Comedienne Carole Burnett (I grew up watching her TV show, she’s a true original), Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie (I’m sure a good laugh and a compassionate couple) and fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier (he’s my favourite designer who is so much fun).
What does the future hold for Mr and Mrs Rampling?
Both: We have been in the studio recently and are close to completing five hit songs, which are to be released as singles under a new name.
We have a very exciting year ahead with our new project launch in 2014!
Danny and Ilona Rampling are DJ-ing at Coco Latte’s The Red Ball on the Rocca terrace on February 14. It’s QR100 for entrance including two free drinks vouchers. Grand Hyatt Doha, West Bay Lagoon (7021 8096).