“In music the passions enjoy themselves.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
The Lebanese are renowned for their many talents, and music is definitely one of them. With so many outstanding DJs in the country, we thought we’d shine a spotlight to highlight some of the best talents in the field by launching the DJs of Lebanon. It’s a way to thank them for providing the soundtrack to some of the best nights of our lives and keep the beats going and going and going.
DJ Keano Gray lived his whole life in Germany and after achieving some serious success he’s come to Beirut, determined to stay and make a musical difference in his homeland. Now the resident DJ at the luxurious Veer resort in Kaslik, Keano wants to produce more music and impact Lebanon’s music scene.
How did you begin your DJing career?
I actually used to work in a record store selling vinyls in Stuttgart, Germany at the age of 16. Then I entered a competition, and I was the youngest DJ who won 1st place for mixing and scratching. I immediately jumped to work and began DJing at a huge club in Germany – this was around 1995. I was lucky. Later on I opened a club, MGM, in Germany as well. I used to play RnB and Hip Hop. I also went around Germany playing mostly RnB and Hip Hop, which wasn’t that common in Germany at the time. After around 2006 I started playing more House music. I also started produced tracks and I was doing shows in Germany. I used to model and I did the music for several big fashion shows, including the famous Bread and Butter in Berlin, Mercedes Fashion Week, Hugo Boss, 50 Cent’s G-Unit sneakers, Adidas, as well as for celebrities like Naomi Campbell and Dita Von Teese.
Who and what are the inspirations for your music?
I get inspired by everything, sometimes I see ads, movies, sometimes I hear a laugh or a cricket at night and it inspires me – it depends. A lot of good artists inspire me as well, NU for deep house and Tube & Berger as well.
How would you define your genre of music?
In the past I used to play a lot of RnB and Hip Hop music, then it became more Deep House, Deep Minimal House, and Techno. When I came to Lebanon in 2010 for the first time brought with me my collection of that music, which is very “in” in Germany. Here it didn’t work as well, especially at the beach! But now it’s becoming more popular so I’m happy to see that. I also play club music, but I prefer house – “happy” house.
Where can we listen to you play?
Right now I’m the resident DJ at Veer. I play at different events as well. Previously I was the resident DJ at Whiskey Misk in the Phoenicia hotel and at Riviera. I’ved played at many of the popular clubs in Lebanon, like White, Mybar, Central, Pier 7, among others.
Do you have any albums? Or are you working on one?
I produced an album for Riviera, it was a chill out album. I’ve had singles as well.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Future plans are to continue working as a producer. Right now I work with Joe Barotjian and his studio. In 5 years I want to be in the charts. I want to see myself in the studio, producing music, events. I also want to work on videos. Right now I’m working on a music video that shows a different image of Lebanon than the one seen in the West. I might expand to the Middle East or also maybe Europe, but the core should be in Lebanon. I’m really determined to do something here.
What was your favorite event or show you ever played and why?
The show I played for Dita Von Teese was really great, but each show is special in its own way.
What’s the best part of being a DJ?
When I see people happy and dancing and I see everyone in a happy mood – this is for me is the best part. When you get thousands of people at the same on the dance floor and everyone’s in the same good mood and you’re play music – this is the moment I try to catch.
What’s the most difficult part about being a DJ?
I love challenge and I think that competition lets business flow, it’s good for business. Some people see it negatively but I see it in a positive way. I think challenge and competition make you better and it’s good for everyone. One bad thing is you don’t really have holidays and weekends – you’re working then.
Do you have some hobbies? Can you tell us more about those?
I don’t have spare time! But I like going sightseeing and hiking in mountains. I love nature, valleys, rivers, and I also enjoy spending time at the Eco Village.
Where can we follow your news and updates, do you have a fanpage?
What’s your favorite tune on your iPod now?
Love Break – Tube & Berger
How would you describe Lebanon in one sentence?
Party and hope!