DJ/producer/curator/promoter and festival programmer - it’s hard to pigeon-hole UAE-based James Locksmith, but we suspect that’s just the way he likes it.

James moved to Dubai in 2011 and immediately became an integral part of a new groundbreaking alternative club scene in the GCC and Middle East.  He co-founded the popular DUST parties from 2011 and in no time his reputation was on the rise and talent in demand.

Hailing from Sydney, James has been producing and programming world class, instrumental projects and events and DJing from bars to festival stages for nearly 20 years. HE has been at the forefront of INDEPENDENT music, as a DJ and curator, MUSIC programming, label management, distribution, radio, sound design, tours and events since the early 2000’s. He is recognised and respected across the globe for his well crafted in-depth DJ sets and his role in the development of independent music communities.

Photos by  Marianne Zammaria

A certified full-time music junkie, James Locksmith has been leading the alternative music scene across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) for nearly a decade, brilliantly blurring the lines between funk, international disco, soul, house, electronic, alternative techno and world grooves, creating his own unique, genre-hopping mix that’s seen the native Australian play across the region including Beirut, Bahrain, Kuwait, Egypt, Greece, Morocco and Australia. With music in his veins, he’s become the go-to man for cult brands like Red Bull Music and their world-famous Music Academy AND LEVIS NEW 501 FRIDAY’S MUSIC EVENTS.

Collaborating with Art Dubai, SOLE DXB, Tiger Translate, SATWA 3000, Analog Room and Vibe Series events, past gigs include sharing stages with the likes of Mr Scruff, Kenny Dope, Nightmares on Wax, John Morales, Nicolas Jaar, Nicola Cruz, Hot Chip, Danny Krivit, Gilles Peterson, Princess Nokia, Dam Funk & dozens more. Alongside that, he’s a regular fixture as a performing artist for Groove on the Grass, the leading electronic festival in the region. James is also a co-producer of New York’s Turntables on the Hudson with long time friend Nickodemus, having focussed on exporting the popular event to Australia, the MENA region and Greece since 2005. 

An in-demand DJ & curator, he currently holds down a long-standing residency and head of programming at Barbary in Dubai, with 2019 highlights set to include WORKING WITH Australia’s Electronic Music Conference in November CURATING A SPOTLIGHT ON A MENA PROGRAM and the launch of his new podcast series “Tracks On My Radar”.