Live For The Weekend with Jon Besant
Jon Besant is a human dynamo. A familiar face on Dubai’s nightlife scene, Jon wears a number of hats — DJ, promoter, co-owner of talent and event management company Mais Musica and, most recently, Ibiza Global Radio 95.3 UAE presenter. This Manchester lad’s positive energy is infectious, as legions of listeners tuning into his Live For The Weekend show attest. Every Saturday, from 11am, Jon’s two-hour show provides the rocket fuel to boost your mood and elevate your day. We find out more…
When did you learn to DJ?
I learnt to DJ on a pair of Technics 1210 Mark 2 turntables when I was 16 years old. The turntables belonged to my best friend. I was very lucky in that he was so good at DJing, he taught me. The first two tunes I mixed together on vinyl were Degrees of Motion ‘Do You Want It Right Now?’ over Gat Decor ‘Passion’.
First professional DJ gig?
My very first gig was in a pub garden when I was 18. All my friends turned up to see me. I was so nervous that my same friend who taught me to DJ had to take over after just two mixes.
Biggest career moment to date as a DJ and/or promoter?
I’m very blessed to have many highlights in my DJ career, from DJing with the likes of Swedish House Mafia and Tiësto to Steve Aoki, Calvin Harris and many more when I was a resident at BCM in Magaluf for four years. DJing at my own sold-out O Beach events, formerly Ocean Beach, is up there as one of my best promoter/DJ moments too.
Where does your confidence in the radio studio come from?
Everyone always says I’m really confident on the radio but this just comes from passion. I love presenting so much and I guess this helps me come across naturally. Also, Ibiza Global Radio UAE lets me play my own style of music, which totally reflects my personality.
Describe your Live For The Weekend show and what listeners can expect?
Live For The Weekend does exactly what it says on the tin. I’m getting people in the zone for their day, night or party ahead. People can expect absolute anthems and remixed and original classics.
How do you plan and prepare for Live For The Weekend?
The only thing I plan is what 24 tunes I’m going to play and then I literally just say what pops into my head at the time. I always say to people that I have one of those little monkeys playing cymbals in my head – like Homer Simpson – and I just say it as it happens.
What do you most look forward to when you put the mic fader up at the start of each show?
The thing I look forward to most at the start of every show is knowing so many people are tuned in from all over the world and how they just love a simple shout out. It helps the show go by knowing you have a good following of listeners.
What’s been the highlight of the show since it started?
I think interviewing Ibiza moguls and O Beach founders Tony Truman and Wayne Lineker have been the biggest highlights. Plus, I love having some of my closest friends — like Natalie Brogan, Drew Moreland, Grant Collins, Chavez, Tom Higham, Stu Lawrie, Matt West and many more —joining me on a weekly basis.
It’s fair to say you’ve earned your ‘weekend warrior’ stripes. Tell us about your most hectic weekend as a DJ and/or promoter…
My most hectic weekend as a DJ and promoter was when I was in my prime, scooting between Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham. My weekends started off with me driving to Liverpool on a Friday to DJ at Garlands. I’d wake up early on a Saturday morning and drive back to Manchester where I went through the same routine every week — vinyl shopping, sunbed, haircut, car wash and buying a new T-shirt — before my radio show at 5pm. I DJed in a Manchester bar at 9pm, then I’d hightail it to Bolton for an 11pm gig before heading back to Manchester for 1am to DJ the closing set at 2Risqué, where I held a weekly residency. No rest for the wicked, I would then drive to Birmingham and DJ at an after-hours club called Hush. As you can imagine, Sundays were for chilling.
Tell us about your craziest, scariest or most adventurous non-music related weekend escapade…
I don’t really have crazy escapades. Away from the music scene, I’m quite a reserved guy. But I’ve been known to DJ until 3am and then go and cycle 100km in Al Qudra at 7am. That’s about as rock and roll as I get these days!
What’s your idea of the perfect weekend?
Manchester United winning on a Saturday always puts me in a good mood. I love having a Sunday roast with my friends after a huge cycle, followed by an evening chilling with a movie and a foot-long Subway.
You’re DJing at the Ibiza Global Radio 95.3 UAE Beach Festival on 1st October. What can we expect from your set?
I was fortunate enough to attend the last two festivals so know exactly what is expected of me from my warm-up set. I intend to play a mixture of disco and deep house – all very melodic and all cool vibes.
Finally, what tune sums up your attitude to life?
‘Break My Stride’ by Matthew Wilder. “Ain’t nothing gonna break my stride… Nobody gonna slow me down, oh no. I got to keep on movin.’” That’s my life tune.