A Ripley DJ who started out playing records with his uncle at Tonkers nightclub has landed a prestigious gig in the United Arab Emirates.
Ricky Meakin begins the four-month contract at the five star Park Rotana hotel in Abu Dhabi at the end of the month and is hoping it will be extended to include shows in Thailand.
Ricky, 34, started buying records when he was 12 and his uncle Darren worked at the former nightclub.
He said: “I would save up my pocket money and buy records. When I was the right age my uncle took me up there.
“I spent about seven years playing commercial stuff - accessible music for a general audience - and then aimed myself towards a niche audience.”
Working his way up the show business ladder was a case of “knocking on peoples’ doors and making CDs” until he started running his own parties and events.
Before long, Ricky started playing some of the UK’s top club nights like Gatecrasher and Ministry of Sound.
He said: “In the commercial clubs you do get a lot of people who are drunk and they shout requests and treat you like a jukebox!
“I wanted to be more of an artist and make my own music and events.”
He regularly plays events in London and Ibiza and his biggest audience so far has been a club night in Marbella, where he played to 2,000 people.
He said: “It’s a case of feeling the vibe and playing the right record at the right time - feeling what direction that the audience wants to go in.
“I have always played house music but I collect rare groove and funk from the 70s and 80s, so I mix up the old with the new.
“You’re making people come together and entertaining them in a positive way - it’s a great feeling.”
The last decade has seen Ricky play all over the UK at leading nights supporting artists like Kaiserdiosco, Maya Jane Coles, Agoria, Ramon Tapia, Judge Jools, Brandon Block. He also managed to secure a joint party with the Bootleg Social crew at Pete Tong’s Wonderland party.