calendar_today December 5, 2022

‘We are changing perceptions of Qatar and the Arab world’

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Qatari DJ Deus Deserto is proud to share his music with fans from across the globe during the FIFA World Cup™

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DJ Deus Deserto

Qatari DJ Deus Deserto is proud to be sharing his music with fans from across the globe during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

While fans enjoy exciting action on the pitch, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy’s Cultural Activation Programme is wowing supporters at entertainment sites across the country.

Among the local talent impressing fans is up-and-coming star Deus Deserto, who uses a blend of old school beats and modern-day techno in his act. Deus Deserto kicked off the Aravia by MDL Beast festival on 21 November and will entertain music lovers at the Arcadia Electronic Music Festival on 15 December. Deus Deserto also performed at Al Bayt, Al Janoub and Al Thumama stadiums.

We caught up with Deus Deserto – real name Khalid Al Ibrahim – to learn more about his music and his aspirations beyond Qatar 2022.

What does your name ‘Deus Deserto’ mean?

It means ‘God from the desert’, which is a personal ode to my own origins and my country, Qatar.

Tell us about your music.

My creations are a mix of old school house grooves and melancholic, yet energetic beats. My work is inspired by household names like Eric Prydz, Cristoph, Adam Beyer, Tale of Us and Dubfire, so I infuse that into my tracks to create a positive and upbeat atmosphere.

I produce techno, which can be both dark and energetic. The music reflects who I am as a person and my energy – both as Khalid and when I step on stage as DJ Deus Deserto.

How and when did you start performing?

I began to DJ in college, which was 2014. Since high school, it was my dream to own some decks and learn how to do it. So, before I started college, I worked for six months to save up and buy my own kit. I was ecstatic when I bought them and did a lot of experimenting. In fact, I only started doing this professionally about three years ago – that’s when I started producing music. Then, in 2021, I released my first track.

Music is my part-time job for now. I am proud to say that I’ve been successful in releasing my music with international labels and have been fortunate to land gigs in Qatar and the United States. I plan to push further and see where my art can take me.

How has your World Cup experience been so far?

It’s been amazing, I am really impressed with the organisation and entertainment. The football itself has also been incredible to watch this year. The crowds are super supportive when I’m performing. For me, the cultural performances have been the most fun to see. It helps that we are working with such energetic fans.

I was also lucky to be able to perform in front of a huge crowd at MDL Beast here in Qatar and showcase my music to a diverse audience. It was an amazing experience and the production level was mind-blowing. Next, I’ll be taking my music to the spider stage at Arcadia.

DJ Deus Deserto 2

What has been your favourite part of the tournament so far?

The international fans. Their vibes are so positive and fun. So far, of all the matches I’ve attended, Brazil against Serbia has been my favourite to watch.  

How do you feel about performing at the first FIFA World Cup in the region?

I feel honoured to have been picked to DJ at such a monumental event among so many talented artists. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I feel lucky to be representing my country in the biggest footballing event. I’m also proud to be the first Qatari DJ to be pushing the techno sound on the international scene.

How do people react when they learn you’re a DJ?

Most of the time, people are shocked as they’ve never met a Qatari DJ or techno producer before. This is why the World Cup coming here is so important. We are changing perceptions about Qatar, the Arab world and its people.

What are you most looking forward to during the tournament?

I actually haven’t had chance to check out the FIFA Fan Festival yet, so I would love to watch a match there. I can only imagine the excitement and energy with thousands of other people watching football.

How has it been interacting with fans from all over the world?

I’ve had a lot of positive feedback from fans, which has motivated me to work harder on developing my sound and produce more music. To see my music resonate with people from all walks of life during the World Cup has been a great feeling.

Which team are you supporting?

Of course, I support Qatar, but my second team is Brazil. They’re looking great this year!