DJ FlippSide has been crowned the winner of 360°’s Battle of the DJs competition – winning a season-long residency at the iconic venue in the process.

He wowed the crowd and impressed judges – including local hip-hop guru Ron E Jaxx and award-winning UK DJ and Kiss FM radio presenter Shortee Blitz – with his versatile and daring routine, taking in hip-hop, R&B and a dash of rock.

The self-taught DJ from Uganda began DJing as a hobby but it “quickly grew into more than that” and he bagged a weekly Friday night gig there before moving to Dubai, over three years ago, to study International Business. “It wasn’t until I graduated that I was then pushed by friends to turn my hand to professional DJing,” the delighted winner told Hype.

At the point of entering the 360° DJ battle, he was no stranger to DJing competitions. He was runner-up in the 2014/2015 Pioneer Middle East event and was later impressively selected as the winner of the Red Bull Thre3Style DJ competition. The experiences and tips picked up during those events were invaluable, he claimed.

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“Past competitions really helped me prepare for 360°’s Battle of the DJs,” he said. “At the Red Bull event, I put less focus on crowd interaction and more on the skill set, but this was a bit of a mistake as interaction with the crowd is a core area of DJing. So going into the 360° event I focused much more on crowd interaction.”

He also cites his extensive music knowledge as a key to his success. “Song selection is key and I pride my self on being quite knowledgeable as I play for people of all ages. At the competition, I was able to showcase all my various influences and the two biggest tracks for me were Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit and Marvin Gaye’s Lets Get It On – the crowd went crazy.”

FlippSide can’t quite believe he’s now a 360° resident. He’ll play at weekly hip-hop and R&B party 360° Presents Rone E Jaxx & Friends. “When I moved to Dubai I would hang out at 360° a lot; it’s one of those venues where you dream of performing,” he said. “The fact I’ll now be joining Ron E Jaxx there every Thursday is amazing.”

DETAILS: Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai, Thursday, 10pm to 3am, free guestlist. Taxi: Jumeirah Beach Hotel. Tel: (05) 5008518.

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