Every month we introduce you to a Belgian living in Dubai.
This month we talked to DJ Daddy K. Sitting down for a talk with him was a memorable and warm encounter.
Who is DJ Daddy K?
My real name Alain De Proost. I am a Brussels born, Belgian artist from Molenbeek.
My career of more than 30 years includes rapping, breakdancing, producing, and hosting for radio and TV, but above all I am considered to be the Dad of all DJs, and a pioneer of the Hip Hop movement in Belgium.
I made a name for myself in the Hip Hop world in the 80s by becoming European Champion in BreakDance and Multiple Champion of Belgium / France on the turntables (deejaying).
At the end of the 80s I created the gimmick "But you are crazy, oh yes" using my children's records (Goldorak, Captain Flam) and I released my first single with my group BENNY-B.
We were number 1 in several European countries with millions of albums and singles sold.
Our group made history by becoming the first gold record in the history of Francophone rap, thus opening the doors of rap in French to the public, the way Sugarhill Gang or Run-DMC had done before for the American rap in the United States.
Since then, I have been incredibly lucky to be able to make a living from my passion and to mix urban rap, r'n'b as well as electro and pop music.
I have performed all over the world in the biggest clubs and festivals. I was the first Belgian DJ in history to fill the Heysel, at Palais 12 in Brussels (20,000 people)
At Tomorrowland, I shared the stage with my wife Nicki Sanchez.
I worked with International artists whom I admire such as Rihanna (3 times Forest National and Sportpaleis), Beyoncé, Stromae, 50 Cents, Drake, Lady Gaga and many more.
I won several awards, such as 2019 Honorary Influence Awards (Brussels), 2020 Awards (The stars of Molenbeek), 2020 Best European Dj Show Golden Panthers Awards (New York / Online).
But what I'm most proud of as a Brussels resident is to have received the medal of honorary citizen of the city of Brussels! I am the first Belgian DJ / urban artist to receive it. I will never forget the day when Manneken Pis dressed up as Daddy K! The concert on the Grand Place in Brussels with more than 8000 people was unforgettable.
In summary, I have lived through and entertained several generations of fans! I had an extraordinary chance to live the Made in Belgium dream.
You are now partly living in Dubai. How come?
I haven't really left Belgium. For over 10 years now I've been going back and forth between Belgium and Dubai.
Dubai is an extraordinary city! Surely one of the most futuristic and cosmopolitan cities I have ever seen, but also tolerant and open to all religions and cultures, it is truly a haven of peace and I love the diversity. When I would go mix in Asia I always tried to stop over in Dubai for a few days to enjoy the sun and recharge my batteries.
Now with COVID-19, my travels are restricted, so I will stay longer in Dubai, waiting for the world to open up again.
How is the music scene here now?
While everywhere in the world the live music scene has almost come to a total stop, here in Dubai the artists have had possibilities to perform, while respecting the health and safety instructions. Unfortunately, the restrictions have recently changed and the same as everywhere we are at a complete standstill as well now. But I have the impression that the prospect of quick recovery is better here than elsewhere.
Are you enthusiastic about Expo 2020 Dubai?
I have already had the chance to visit the Sustainability Pavilion at Expo which was incredible! I can’t wait to see the whole Expo opening up to the world and visit all the pavilions! Furthermore, I'm very excited about seeing the Belgian Pavilion, and I'm dreaming of giving an exclusive show there!
Do you think Expo will be a success?
Without a doubt, we've been waiting for this since 2020!
We all believe 2021 will be the year of recovery with the vaccine and all the health precautions. So yes, for me the exhibition will be a huge success. More than ever people want to travel and what better way to discover the whole world in one and the same place? Long live Expo!