Clockwise from top left: Mark Ronson, Eliza Doolittle and Omar. Image Credit: Supplied

Eliza Doolittle

On stage and screen the role of Eliza Doolittle has been played by Julie Andrews and Audrey Hepburn. Those are big shoes to fill.

The incarnation of Eliza Doolittle coming to Abu Dhabi this weekend is played by 23-year-old Eliza Sophie Caird — but in a slightly more unique manner. Calling yourself Eliza Doolittle is a brave thing to do as an emerging musician, but this is one Londoner who has never looked back.

Having snapped up the name of the My Fair Lady character, because it was her nickname as a child, Doolittle was determined to be discovered. Better still, talent from the UAE be on high alert, she's open to local hook-ups. "Whenever I go to new countries, I love to listen out for local music and if there's something I like, I always try and get in touch," she told tabloid!.
    
Don't miss it
Eliza Doolittle performs at the free entry Beats on the Beach, Abu Dhabi Corniche, on Saturday.

Are you a Formula One fan? What car do you drive and do you like to drive fast?

I have watched it a little bit, because my dad is a huge fan. I'm really looking forward to it. I do like driving fast cars I've been renting a Mustang 5.0 whilst in LA.

I am not as car "driven" as most people, I think.

What is your dream car?

Oooo... I love my Prius, but it would be amazing to drive a classic car. Maybe a beautiful Aston Martin or something.

How are you finding modelling? Do you prefer catwalk or shoots?

Haha. I wouldn't call myself a model at all. I've never done a catwalk. I've done some shoots, but I guess I still see it as me, a singer, shooting for a campaign rather than me, a model.

I will always be a musician first.

Any plans for a clothing line?

Well I do love fashion, but right now music is my priority.

Tell us your best celebrity story of this year.

Well, my personal best is I got to meet the most talented superstar out there, one of my idols — Beyonce. And she was super loverlee.

What can we expect from your show?

Well, me and my boys always try and put on a great show. I'll be singing my heart out.

Tell us the most exciting thing in your life?

The most exciting thing in my life is exactly what I'm working on right now. I am writing my second album and it's getting me giddy.

A word to describe your life so far?

Driven.

You're coming to perform for others. If you could have someone perform for you, who would it be and why?

Stevie Wonder, please. I'm probably one of his biggest fans.

Finish the sentence: Music can save the world because...

...it saved me.

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Fatboy Slim

As a DJ, there are few bigger acts in the world, and while he continues to perform sell-out stadium tours it's on the beach Norman Cook, aka Fatboy Slim, is most at home.

"I love the sand between my toes," the beach lover once said.

Cook has fond memories of the UAE. "When I last played Dubai, there was a sandstorm during my set," he joked.

"Very atmospheric. It's my first time in Abu Dhabi, though, and it's always exciting going somewhere for the first time.

"I don't know what to expect, but thanks to the internet the crowd will probably know what my beach parties look like.

"I'm already picking up the general excitement of the F1 weekend. Let's rave."

Don't miss it
Fatboy Slim performs at the free entry Beats on the Beach tomorrow at 11.50pm, and at Flash Forum on Saturday. Tickets start from Dh600. Visit thinkflash.ae for more.
    
What are your thoughts on the Arab Spring? Can music help in some way?

Music tends to be a barometer of the vibe of how the people feel. My music taps into the celebration of escapism from troubles and worries. I'm hoping there are people who have something to celebrate.

How's the family?

The family are beautiful and happy, thank you. There's always the need to regulate your pace of life between work and home, but over the years we have worked out a happy medium between the two which means never being away from home too long.

What can we expect from your set?

Big visual production, big tunes and a proper party to celebrate the Formula One weekend.

What are you working on right now?

I'm putting on two huge parties at the brand new soccer stadium of my beloved Brighton and Hove Albion FC. It's 10 years on from the first of my infamous Brighton beach parties and I have the honour to present the first live gig at the American Express Community Stadium next year.

What is your dream car and best road trip song or album?

A 1973 Volkswagen split screen camper van playing Give 'Em Enough Rope by the Clash whilst driving Pacific One [highway] from Los Angeles to Seattle.

How do you handle bad press? Can it get a bit much?

On the whole, I don't get much bad press. If I do, I try not to read it. Ultimately, I signed up for this job so you live by the sword.

A word to describe your life so far?

Blessed.

You're coming to perform for others. If you could have someone perform for you, who would it be and why?

I enjoy watching my football team perform on a regular basis. I'd love to have Bill Withers or Al Green come sing for me and my wife at our house.

Finish the sentence: Music can save the world because...

...politicians and bankers don't seem to know how to.

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Omar and Shaf Al Raisi

Emirati DJ duo Omar and Shaf Al Raisi are a force to be reckoned with.

A couple of entrepreneurs from Abu Dhabi, specialising in the music and events industry, the UAE-born brothers decided to have a stab behind the decks for the first time earlier this year.

The results: a coveted gig on the racetrack at the Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

DJ Dantani is Omar (pictured), 24, and Shaf, 26, goes by his birth name even when spinning tracks.

"I am always looking for new ideas and it seemed like something which looked so much fun," said Omar.

"Most DJs are born practising in their bedrooms and I come from a family where my brothers are DJs and producers. It made sense to give it a go."
    
Tell us about DJing at the F1?

Omar: F1 is one of the biggest events in the world and it's a great achievement for the country to be doing it here in Abu Dhabi. It's my first time performing at the F1 and I just can't wait, it's exhilarating.

Shaf: It's a fantastic feeling. The F1 crowd are geared up and pumped for this event in the circuit. With them and the loud F1 cars around, it elevates my adrenaline and in return affects my music in a positive way.

How did it happen and why were you picked?

Omar: The organisers wanted to have a few more DJs on board and they wanted to have someone local, someone who knows the market, and of course someone who can really perform. So I guess that's why I was picked.

Shaf: I was spotted performing in one of my big performances in Abu Dhabi and was asked if I am interested to be part of F1 Abu Dhabi. My reply was "yes" on the spot.

How will you play music above the sound of the cars?

Omar: Magic, ha ha. Actually we will be performing during the race breaks at the Yas Marina, because during the race it's so loud the audience wouldn't hear the music, plus they wouldn't enjoy it.

What's the perfect driving song or album and why?

Omar: Perfect driving song, I think is Deadmau5's Ghost & Stuff, it gets the adrenaline going.

Do you drive fast and what do you drive?

Omar: I am not a very fast driver, but I do have my moments of driving fast, making sure it's safe. I drive a 2010 Prado.

Shaf: Yes I do drive fast, but only in the racing circuits with the right safety. I loved driving an Audi RS6 to 320km per hour. I drive a modified Honda Civic RT with 475HP. Love the sound of the engine roaring.

Are you petrol heads?

Omar: Not really, no. I like cars, but I am not really into it as much as others are, but I would love to get my hands on a Dodge Challenger — I love that car.

Shaf: Yes. Big time, ha ha ha!

What's the difference between an event like this and a club?

Omar: In a club, you start by warming up, playing some deep house and gradually changing to upbeat dance, commercial or progressive house to get the party going, but in an event like the F1, all the audience needs is upbeat, high tempo commercial or progressive house music.

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Mark Ronson

To get an idea of producer Mark Ronson's life, just think of a Wes Anderson film — constant world travel to unique destinations, immense style and, of course, a brilliant soundtrack. But there is a darker edge to the world of the man who took being a knob-twiddler and button pusher to a starring role.

A close friend and collaborator of the late singer Amy Winehouse — Ronson said he'd "lost a sister" when she died earlier this year — he is instrumental in the release of new and unheard material from the British singer in a posthumous album to be released next month.

Don't miss it
Mark Ronson plays at Allure by Cipriani on Sunday. Tickets are Dh350. Call 050-5969543 or 02-6575400.
   
It's your second time performing here after the Trilogy opening last year. What's going to be different this time around, and what will stay the same?

When I came to the UAE to DJ for the first time, I had just started DJing on the Record Collection album. And although the crowd was amazing, I didn't have my best set together yet. Now I do.

You're working on a record for the London Olympics with Katy B. How do you top Chariots of Fire?

Chariots of Fire is a classic. We don't hope to top it, we're just trying to make an anthem for now.

What makes the song about the Olympics? Which elements will you include?

I travelled around the world recording Olympic hopeful athletes. I recorded archery in Singapore, tae kwon do in Mexico, runners in Russia and many more. Then I used the sounds of those athletes to make the beat. And then Katy B wrote a beautiful song about London.

If you were to compete in the Olympics, which sport would it be in?

Lounging.

Who are the new musicians you're listening to these days?

I'm enjoying T-minus and the UK's Champion, among many others.

The Grammys have tasked you with recording a rap track with some high-profile collaborators. What are your plans for this?

I went down to New Orleans with several of the musicians I always record with. Then we teamed up with one of my favourite drummers of all time, Zigaboo Modeliste of the Meters, and Erykah Badu, Trombone Shorty, and Mos Def even stopped by to lay some impromptu vocals. Erykah wrote the lyrics and likened the track to a musical gumbo, which is pretty accurate.

You're working with Rufus Wainwright too. Rufus has said you've made him feel 20 years younger. What are you guys up to in the studio?

I guess he was referring to all the young musicians around. But this record is probably a bit less ornate and sophisticated than his recent stuff, which is a good thing. It sounds amazing.

You've been named the most stylish man in the UK. How would you describe your style? What are your must-have items in your wardrobe? What's your favourite thing you've bought recently?

I don't think of myself as having a specific style, I see things that I like and sometimes I buy them. Right now, Acne is probably my most-worn brand.

******************

Jay Sean

British R&B artist Jay Sean is making giant inroads.

His fourth album, Freeze Time, is due out any day now and features a number of highly anticipated collaborations..

Guests so far include Lil Wayne, Pitbull, Nicki Minaj and Mary J Blige to name a few.

The first single, Hit the Lights, resulted in Sean co-headlining a tour with Joe Jonas. And his next move? He says acting is his "big passion" and that he is looking for a "quality product".

"I've always been interested in acting because I acted before I did singing. In school, I used to write scripts and all that good stuff. I don't want to just do any acting role that comes just for the sake of getting in a film."

Don't miss it
Jay Sean plays at Beats on the Beach tomorrow at 9.20pm and later at SkyBar alongside Shaggy and Skylar Gray. Tickets start from Dh600 and are available at thinkflash.ae . Call 800-FLASH (35274).
    
You're no stranger to the UAE.

It's not my first time at all. I've come so many times. The UAE has been a part of my career since the very beginning and it's exciting to be coming back again. I always have a great time when I'm there.

What can we expect at the weekend?

Expect the old, the new and the unexpected. I can't wait.

What are you working on right now?

[I'm] happiest about releasing my mix tape, The Mistress. I'm really proud of that work and happy that I was able to give it to my fans for free! You can still download a copy at JaySeanWorldwide.com

Are you a Formula One fan? What car do you drive and do you like to drive fast?

I love cars and especially fast cars. I've always been a BMW man, but I recently got an Audi R8 Spyder when I moved to LA. [There's] nothing like the rev of those engines. Love that feeling.

What's your dream car and best road trip song or album?

If I'm honest, I'm blessed to say that I have my dream car, and as far as the journey, Watch The Throne. Full stop.

You're coming to perform for others. If you could have someone perform for you who would it be and why?

I wish I could've had Michael Jackson perform for me. He is just the ultimate and my ultimate inspiration.

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Jason's coming to town

Off the back of his performance at a free concert as part of the MTV EMAs on Sunday, Jason Derulo is coming to Abu Dhabi.

Joining an already impressive line up, the It Girl singer will perform at SkyBar at Flash Forum on Saturday along with Fatboy Slim and Yasmin.

The singer-songwriter was booked yesterday by Flash Entertainment. Tickets, priced from Dh600 for general admission for Flash Forum, are available at thinkflash.ae.