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Elm Park DJ shoots for the stars with rising fame in LA

PUBLISHED: 13:00 08 June 2018

Jehan El-dabbagh, also known as DJ Allura. Picture: Pedro Rodriguez

Jehan El-dabbagh, also known as DJ Allura. Picture: Pedro Rodriguez

Pedro Rodriguez

An upcoming DJ from Elm Park is aiming high in the music industry by making her name in Los Angeles.

Jehan El-dabbagh, 30, known by her stage name Allura, now lives in Santa Monica, playing in nightclubs across the city’s luxury beach resort of Venice.

Her passion for music stemmed from listening to numerous neo soul and R&B artists whilst growing up.

Jehan said: “My mum was always playing a lot of power ballad singers and my dad would play Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie so I had a broad spectrum of music! Top of the Pops was religious viewing for me every week.”

Before Jehan began considering spinning the decks for a living, her first love was singing, especially covers of Beyoncé.

The DJ said hearing Lauryn Hill’s hit, Ex Factor, became the turning point in wanting to pursue a career in the performing arts.

She said: “I’d never heard somebody sing with such soul and emotion before. I was used to hearing singers with great range but never feeling somebody’s words and what they’re saying.”

After finishing studying at Gaynes School in Upminster, Jehan began being managed at the bespoke Artist and Repertoire department at EMI Music Publishing.

Shortly after this, she saw an audition advertised in The Stage newspaper to be a member of a three piece band called My Girls.

Jehan was quickly signed up and My Girls set off on a worldwide tour performing in 13 countries across Europe and Asia.

Reflecting on her time in the girl group, the singer said: “Touring was amazing. Performing to different audiences every night and connecting with people through music was the best feeling ever.”

However after four years the band decided to split leaving Jehan unsure what step to take next to make her dreams a reality.

She explained: “I felt drained for a while and my first love has always been music so I was trying to think of ways to still do music but through different outlets.”

In 2015, the singer decided head to LA for three months learning DJing at The Scratch Academy founded by Jam Master Jay of Run DMC.

During this time, Jehan mastered the key elements of being a great hip-hop DJ from researching new songs to play, remixing tracks and turntablism.

It didn’t take long for her to fall in love with the city’s infamous West Coast and soon decided to settle and make her break.

She said: “I was so in awe from the second I arrived. I was trying to think of ways to still do music but through different outlets. The idea of DJing seemed amazing to me as I could play music I love and share it with people.

“It’s a really buzzing music scene too. You can literally go to your local bar for a drink and somebody who you’ve been inspired by all your life is casually performing. It’s crazy!”

Within the past year, Jehan’s musical talents have caught the attention of leading worldwide brands and hip-hop royalty through several entertainment agencies.

Cosmetics manufacturer M.A.C and American department store Bloomingdales both invited her to perform for bespoke shows and have continued to book her for exclusive events.

At the beginning of the year, she decided to get back in tune with her love of singing and head back to the recording studio.

Her main project has been producing a new track with founding member of N.W.A, Arabian Prince, due to be realised later this year.

Despite now living and thriving in LA, Jehan has not ruled out performing back in London for one-off gigs or short tours, saying: “I love meeting different people from back home in LA and I love touring so I will follow where my career takes me.”

Jehan’s work is available to listen on SoundCloud or on her website alluramusic.com

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