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Sam Starks Talks About His Role At FIVE Music, Vinyl Collecting, Becoming A DJ, Plans For The Future & More!

An avid music lover and vinyl collector turned DJ and now working as FIVE Music‘s Music Director, Sam Starks is a veteran within the electronic dance music scene and beyond. With a broad musical knowledge that spans everything from classic house to upfront hip hop, the freshest rap to the coolest disco, Sam has helped establish FIVE‘s various venues and club nights as some of the best in the world. His stylish, authentic selections have given the brand a unique musical identity. For that reason, its many dance floors remain packed with high-class international guests every night of the week. We had the pleasure of speaking with Sam on a number of topics, you can read the full interview below!

Q1. Hey Sam, thanks for taking the time to speak with me. How are you doing today?
I’m very well, Thank you! It’s an exciting time for me in my journey as a music lover in creating and curating music while entertaining guests at FIVE.

Q2. Let’s kick things off by speaking about FIVE Music and your role as a Music Director. Can you give us some insight on what you do on a daily basis?
Being the Music Director of FIVE is a way of life, as music is a huge part of the FIVE experience. The FIVE Music team ensures that each venue has its own unique and significant musical identity. How do we do this? By choosing the ‘perfect fit’ DJ or by creating FIVE-styled playlists for every experience and venue (now also available on Spotify!). FIVE invites fan-favourite and musically revered International artists for our signature events such as Skyline Thursdays and Bohemia at Beach by FIVE, and BLING. Recently, we welcomed Pete Tong to The Penthouse, FIVE Palm Jumeirah for Skyline Thursdays which was amazing! And shortly we’ll be hosting Anjunadeep at Bohemia on Beach by FIVE, which is going to be surreal. FIVE is all set to conquer global shores in the Summer of ‘22 with FIVE Zurich, and we’re looking to find a balance between maintaining the FIVE identity we’ve built in Dubai and adapting to this new market. Aside from that, I’m developing the FIVE playlists on Spotify and YouTube every day – that perfectly summarise the Sound of FIVE for a global audience that can tune in from anywhere. And, as FIVE’s resident DJ, I also have lots of weekly gigs at FIVE – so I hope to see you on the dance floor!

Q3: An extravagant holiday destination, what is the vibe like around FIVE and its parties?
FIVE Hotels and Resorts is an incredible hospitality experience where guests can indulge in musically-driven parties – in each corner of all of the hotels. FIVE aims to provide the best entertainment experience to everyone who wants to have fun, even if you are not a hotel guest. We are the only ones who provide these FIVE-styled bespoke spectaculars in the Middle East – and will soon be providing this experience in Europe with the opening of FIVE Zurich in the Summer of 2022!

Q4. You originally started your career as an avid vinyl collector before becoming a DJ. What was it that first got you hooked on vinyls and spinning records?
Back then, the music industry was so very different. There were no digital options and streaming didn’t exist, so collecting vinyl was the only way to get new music that wasn’t already being played on the radio. The sensation of playing with vinyl is very special because of the ability to physically touch the record and the sound of the music on vinyl.

Although you still perform during many of FIVE’s parties, how has the transition been from DJ to Music Director?
I’ve loved the path I have been on so far and am thrilled about the next chapter! I’ve always been an avid curator of music and as a music director, who loves all styles of music, I am able to be the guardian of varied entertainment experiences at FIVE, all of which have music at its core! Working alongside the FIVE Music team is always an intoxicating opportunity to push the boundaries of where music meets hospitality!”

FIVE Music’s success can be brought largely down to your wide musical taste and ability to set the mood for any occasion. How does it feel for you to see the success of FIVE Music and its parties?
It makes us feel so proud to be able to give all those moments of joy and happiness to each and every one of our guests. It’s an ever-evolving process, because we need to adapt to so many kinds of tastes, moods and moments, but it’s electrifying because we love a good challenge.

FIVE announced that it would be launching in Zurich this year, how does it feel to be bringing this brand to Europe?
We cannot wait!! FIVE is all set to bring the glitz, glamour and pizzaz that is characteristic of FIVE in Dubai to European shores – specifically Zurich because we feel it’s the perfect hub for luxury-seeking, party-loving, discerning millennials looking for customised entertainment experiences. We believe FIVE Zurich will be a game changer!”

Thanks for taking the time to speak with me, have you got any plans for 2022 that you’d like to reveal with our readers?
Aside from spending my time spinning at FIVE in Dubai and FIVE in Zurich, I’m planning on releasing some fresh Sam Starks tracks on FIVE Music, FIVE’s newly launched record label. I’ve got a huge event I’m playing this summer, so I’m really looking forward to the year ahead!

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