The sunlight comes lightly through the curtains of the balcony. We're seated in his living room having some afternoon coffee as he recalls the details of what happened 6 years ago.
"It was less like a competition and more like a gathering of friends. We'd sit together during meals and mess around with the utensils making up tunes for fun"
He says laughing as he places his coffee cup on the table. Dressed in something simple and light but still in his now signature man-bun, if you saw him on the street you wouldn't peg him as someone who had toured the world and played for the likes of Destiny's Child, Sean Paul and Fatboy Slim.
With his kindly and soft demeanour, you wouldn't think of him as a titan in the nightlife scene from Dubai. His accolades include being a back to back champion of various titles to being the founder of the largest collective of Asian DJ's based in the Middle East.
With top clubs like Armani/Prive and Zouk under his belt, DJ Mass has also worked with top brands like Ministry of Sound, Pacha and Buddha Bar. Not only being an official Serato DJ but also one of the recognised Pioneer DJs in Asia.
Mass is now based in Singapore and leading DJSENTER, a small agency started in 2015 that aims to train up a new generation of DJ's to lead the change in this new era.
ADM: So Mass, how would you say the competition affected you and led you to what you're doing now?
Mass: The competition was my last hurrah. I had been a DJ for a long time and I didn't want to keep battling. I was a different DJ before 2012. The Pioneer Digital DJ Battle changed my life forever. It was my first defeat after winning 7 consecutive competitions. Although I lost the battle I knew I didn't lose the war. I changed my ways and decided that I wanted to help other DJs.
ADM: What went through your mind to make that decision?
Mass: I realised that I don’t have to battle to make it in the industry. I realised that it was the time for younger DJ’s like Pucuy to compete and challenge the world.
ADM: Could you explain what you mean by not having to battle to make it?
Mass: After the competition I went back to Dubai and changed my focus when it came to teaching. Instead of focusing on just skill I decided to focus on the person, to help encourage DJ’s to be more personable and positive. From the competition I realised that skill and skill alone wasn’t enough to push ahead. That lead me to what I’m doing now in Singapore with DJSENTER where I aim to groom DJ’s to be better people while working on their skills
ADM: With that much change brought to you in that single event do you think Pioneer should start their Digital DJ Battle again?
Mass: I don’t think professional battles are for Pioneer DJ anymore. At the present moment Red Bull is the leader where it comes to professional DJ competitions however Pioneer DJ has begun it’s focus on creating a new breed of DJ’s which is a good focus of their attention through Mix Us Happy and I think that’s a lot more important than just another professional DJ competition.
The Generation Of Change is fort-weekly series that focuses on the finalists of the Pioneer Digital DJ Battle and how their lives were impacted by the competition that has led to them leading the change in grooming a new generation of DJ's