Three years ago Natalie Brogan gave up her day job as a beauty therapist to try her luck deejaying for a season in Ibiza, Spain. She has not looked back since and is now based in Abu Dhabi, where she is a resident deejay at the Monte Carlo Beach Club. Here, she talks about how she made a career out of her hobby.
When did you first get into deejaying?
I was about 13. My mum and dad bought my younger brother, Matthew, some decks and he was asked to play at a back garden party and he didn't have the confidence to do it, so I ended up going along. From there I ended up doing weddings and birthday parties and things like that. I [bought] my own decks when I was about 20. I enrolled on a deejay course in Manchester and did that for 12 weeks, and then just ended up deejaying from that.
At what stage did it become a career as opposed to a hobby?
I was working for Chanel [as a beauty therapist] and deejaying at the weekend. I was still living [with my parents] and I wasn't in a relationship or anything, so I decided to just give up my day job and go and try a season in Ibiza, which I did. And from that I was offered [work in] Abu Dhabi. It was probably about that stage I thought, 'This is going to be my career now.'
How did the Abu Dhabi offer come about?
It was another female deejay ...who said her agency was looking for a deejay to come over here. To be totally honest, I had never heard of Abu Dhabi. I had heard of Dubai, so really I was in the predicament that after Ibiza do I go back to work at my day job at Chanel or do I go to Abu Dhabi?
Why did you decide to go for it?
I knew that I wanted to deejay full-time after the summer in Ibiza. I didn't know anyone in Abu Dhabi and it was for a four-month contract, so I thought if I don't like it after four months I've always got my job to fall back on in England.
You have made a name for yourself since then. What high-profile concerts have you done?
In Abu Dhabi I warmed up with MaDJam for the David Guetta concert, which was for 15,000 people. I did Creamfields, which is a UK festival but they do it in Abu Dhabi. Again for the same number of people.
Do you consider yourself an entrepreneur, or is the business side secondary to what you do?
That's a tough question. I have never thought of it like that, so probably not. I have only been deejaying for five years and I have only been a businesswoman for three of them. I never think of it as my job. I always have too much fun. It's like I'm being paid to do my hobby.