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Check Out Jehan El-dabbagh’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jehan El-dabbagh.

Hi Jehan, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I began as a singer/songwriter originally from London, UK. My passion has always been music and I’ve always worked towards having a career solely in music. I had some chart success in the UK with some songs I wrote and recorded and then got offered a job as a singer working overseas in Asia and the UAE. I went on to live and work in Bangkok, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Malaysia and Dubai for six years before deciding to take a different direction in my career of singing and start to learn to DJ. I began learning to DJ in Singapore and started my career out there however I soon decided to go to LA for three months and attend the Scratch Academy to further improve my skills and feed my love for traveling some more! When I did this – I soon realized how much more there was to learn in the world of DJ’ing as well as how much I loved LA! I fell in love with California and three months has now turned into six years !!! In my time, I went from doing gigs for no money, asking other DJ’s to let me open for them to eventually be the official LA Live DJ for the Lakers, Djing private party’s for celebrities such as The Game and some of the biggest brand name events to date. Los Angeles has been the biggest risk but luckily absolutely worth it.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
When my first song I wrote and recorded -was picked up and remixed for the Ministry of Sound compilation album – it reached number 1 in the UK compilation charts and number 2 in the UK dance charts however I didn’t receive and money as I was young at the time and didn’t know anything about publishing rights so I had no legal protection or contracts in place.

Living and working in Asia was tough being so far from my family and always working – I never got to go home for the holidays etc. also the language barrier was always very tough.

When I changed careers to become a dj I really started from scratch and had to pay for my tuition, visa, etc. to set up home here in California so starting to get gigs was really hard at the beginning as I had very little money.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I’m a performer at heart and a true lover of music. I have always followed my heart and worked within the music industry, whether it be singing, dj-ing. Prior to becoming a DJ, I was known for singing and I am most proud of the traveling around the world I have been able to do through music and working as a musician, the people it has allowed me to meet and the places I have been fortunate to see. I’m also proud of the risks I took, as it’s not always easy moving so far away from your family to pursue your dreams and not knowing what’s ahead but it’s a decision I am forever grateful I made.

I think my experiences, my drive, ambition, passion and true love for music, sets me apart. I’ve been in the music industry for almost 20 years now and have been signed in management deals, EMI publishing, had my songs on CD’s at the front of HMV, Virgin Stores, playing on national radio, to traveling the world, going on tours, to then taking a career risk and suddenly not knowing if I’ll make my next month’s rent…. asking people to let me DJ, to then being the official Lakers LA Live DJ. Being paid to fly to Dubai for New Year’s Eve to DJ and having all these awesome gigs. I’ve had every aspect of the music industry- up and down, but I’d never change anything as my love for music just kept me going and the highs and lows have kept me insanely humble! Lol.

Who else deserves credit in your story?
My mum, for being my biggest supporter from a young age, always taking me to auditions when I was really young and supporting me in my dreams always, no matter what happened. She was my rock always and still is to this day. I’m blessed to have very supportive family around me every though I haven’t lived in the same country as them for 11 years now! We visit regularly and still talk daily on FaceTime etc. During covid has been especially hard.

Definitely through singing, my mentors were Sarah Lockheart and Mark Watts, two people who took me under their wing and gave me huge opportunities in the beginning which led to a lot of great things for me. Mr. Ong whom I met in Malaysia who sponsored me for my music endeavors and finally Mr Choc from the Beat Junkies for being my first Turntablist teacher and making me fall in love with DJ’ing and the art of DJ’ing in a way I could never have imagined!

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Image Credits:

LA Live, Lakers, Alfredo Montes

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