IN CONVERSATION WITH FIVE HOTELS AND RESORTS’ MUSIC DIRECTOR, SAM STARKS – ON THE SOUND OF FIVE, AND EUROPE’S HOTTEST NEW LAUNCH, FIVE ZURICH
Sam Starks is a music lover at heart and advocates for his music not to be put in a box. Working as FIVE’s Music Director, Sam uses his expertise from being a long-standing well-known DJ with a broad portfolio and lover of anything from classic house, hip-hop, the newest rap and disco to connect with FIVE fans and visitors through music.
At FIVE, Sam curates the Sound of FIVE heard around the world, from Dubai to Zurich – and beyond! We had the pleasure of talking with Sam about his musical journey with FIVE…
Could you tell us a little about yourself to introduce you to our readers?
“Hi, guys. I am Sam, DJ Sam starks. My career began in France nearly 25 years ago, in the south of France to be precise. That’s where I learnt what it meant to be a DJ, and because I like to listen to diverse musical styles, I naturally became an open format DJ. I adjust my style to the time of the day or night as well as to the mood of the moment – and create and play music that makes you live in, and truly experience, the moment. Instead of boxing myself in with one particular genre, or one particular sub movement, I want to be open to the ‘feel’ of a specific moment.
If you ask people what their favourite music genre is, the answer will usually be that it depends on their mood and time of day. That’s something I am deeply cognitive of – and this gives me the opportunity to be in tune with, and play, all genres.
After playing in some great venues in France and Ibiza such as BMI and Baoli, I came to Dubai in 2019 and met with FIVE Founder and Chairman, Kabir Mulchandani and FIVE CEO, Aloki Batra. We immediately were in sync with our vision for FIVE’s entertainment offerings – of which music lies at the very core. This match in energy and thought, sparked a new and exciting friendship. Our common passion for music and entertaining global audiences in a unique and mindful manner was the beginning of an incredible working relationship that has now entered Europe with FIVE Zurich, which launches 30th June 2022.”
You have much experience and have an exciting career, so there is a lot to talk about, but I am particularly interested in how you describe the sound of FIVE?
“The sound of FIVE is a reflection of the diverse musical stylings that can be found at varied FIVE venues and events. From Hip Hop and R&B to House and Commercial hits, there is a sound just for you at FIVE!
From sunrise to sunset, from beach to rooftop – there are bespoke FIVE-styled moments curated for every ‘FIVER.’
FIVE is an inclusive community of ‘FIVERs’ brought together from across the globe with a love for music, a love of luxury, a love of living your best life in every possible moment – and enjoying it to the fullest!
I personally love to play to a FIVE audience – at Beach by FIVE or The Penthouse at FIVE Palm Jumeirah – because FIVE attracts a multicultural, fun-loving, high energy guest who is in tune with the Sound of FIVE. I look forward to bringing the Sound of FIVE closer to a European audience by playing my sets at FIVE Zurich this Summer. ”
You have lived in Dubai for quite some time. How has the nightlife changed in all these years?
“Dubai has evolved tremendously as an entertainment destination- from Beach Parties to Nightlife; Dubai is an oasis of sun, sea, sand – and sound!
Previously, Dubai was heavily focused on a genre at a time – hip hop and later, on electronic music.
However, since 2017 and with the launch of the iconic FIVE Palm Jumeirah – partying in Dubai changed forever with the introduction of multiple genres under one thrilling roof! FIVE is known for its mega-events – we spare no thought or expense; we aim for the best of the best – from the headlining DJ to the decor to the plush ambiance. FIVE believes in providing a maximalist reality that is a 360 degree experience to tantalise all your senses – sight, smell, sound, taste and touch.”
And what are your plans for the rest of the year here in Dubai?
“FIVE’s brand new and exciting nightlife destination, The Mansion at FIVE Jumeirah Village opens its grand double doors to guests on 1st June 2022. A sensational after-hours concept boasting chart-topping hip-hop beats, a DJ line up of world famous talents, opulent gold and black interiors and a grand staircase leading to the VVIP section – is all set to be an electrifying platform for music, fashion and culinary experiences. This highly-anticipated opening at celebrity favourite FIVE Jumeirah Village (Charlie Sloth, Ehiz, B Praak, Sophie Piper, Chloe Burrows, Laura Anderson, Arturo Vidal etc, have all enjoyed the Vibe at FIVE while staying in their Sky Villas with private pools) is here to add an extra sizzle to Dubai’s Summer.
FIVE Zurich launches in Switzerland with a mega performance by global superstar Lost Frequencies at The Penthouse Zurich. FIVE Zurich will also host FIVE’s homegrown signature venues and events such as Maiden Shanghai and Cinque – with Ladies’ Night and Naughty Noodles making weekly appearances for locals and visitors alike.
Stay Tuned for more original releases with long-time, fan-favourite FIVE collaborators on FIVE’s self named music label, FIVE Music.”
Are you planning any great projects for the future abroad?
“FIVE Zurich will have 87 luxurious suites rooms with 7 dining and nightlife venues, it will be the ultimate new party and gastronomic hotspot in Switzerland. FIVE Zurich boasts a one-of-its-kind outdoor Social Pool – which will host the best pool parties in Zurich!
Watch me playing live poolside – or on the rooftop, as I share the Sound of FIVE with Zurich!”
Words by Wies Kuijpers