Exclusive: Fatman Scoop Dishes on Bringing the Flavor at FIVE Palm Jumeirah

Published: Tuesday 10th May 2022 by Sam

Fatman Scoop is renowned for his fiery flavor and he’s bringing exactly that to FIVE Palm Jumeirah – one of Dubai’s top music hotspots. 

Playing exclusively at FIVE’s most exclusive nightclub; BLING, the veteran party-starter blends the best in Hip-Hop, R&B, and beyond with buoyant brilliance. 

That Grape Juice caught up with the star, who opened up about his journey at FIVE Palm Jumeirah, navigating testing times, and the endurance that has kept him a household name for almost three decades.

Check out the chat after the jump…

That Grape Juice (Sam): You’re always flying across the globe and we saw you last year in London. Tell us a little about how you became involved with FIVE?

Fatman Scoop: I actually became involved via Charlie Sloth. He had been booked for a gig at FIVE but had another engagement, so he asked me, ‘Can you hop in and do something for me?’ And I said, ‘Sure, I’ll do it. No problem. You’re my guy.’ I then performed at BLING for the first time and I wound up really liking it. I liked how exclusive it was, but it also had a very welcoming, open feel.

That Grape Juice: Right.

Fatman Scoop: It’s an amazing blend because the vibe is a bit what the British call ‘posh’, however, the people that come to party are regular folk looking for a good time. After that first gig, the management reached out to me again, and asked me if I wanted to come back and if I could do two shows, to which I replied ‘Oh definitely! That’s great. Amazing. Let’s do it!’ When you like the place you’re performing at and you like everything from the venue – to the feel – to the audience, it’s just a no-brainer. So I said ‘Alright, good. I’ll come back as often as you like!’ And so now we’re looking to do something where I perform there more consistently. 

That Grape Juice: When I think of Fatman Scoop, I think hype, turn-up, party starter. Is it safe to say that these are the vibes you’re bringing to FIVE?

Fatman Scoop: For me, if you come into a party, what else are you supposed to do? I say this all the time, and I mean it from the bottom of my soul. I’m in the ‘party business’ and in the ‘people business.’ I’m an entertainer. How can you be in this business while at the same time not liking people? How can you be in the people’s business and not interact with the people, be around people, dance with people, stand with people… That’s honestly what has kept me [going] … the vibration that I bring to what I do is what has kept me working for 27 years while technically releasing only three records. That is an anomaly, on top of an anomaly, on top of an anomaly!

That Grape Juice: So, suffice to say, that’s your secret ingredient?

Fatman Scoop: Definitely. I can’t stress it enough. How are you in the people business while you don’t want to be around people? You’ve worked your entire life to come to where you are now, and now you want to stand in VIP? [Laughs]

That Grape Juice: FIVE is such a unique spot in that it truly combines music, luxury, and relaxation. How would you say it differs from other places you’ve been to?

Fatman Scoop: You’ve summed it up perfectly. It’s the energy, it’s the views, it’s where it’s located in Dubai right on the water. It’s everything combined! It’s a very cosmopolitan world, while at the same time feels like home. All of that together creates a feeling that is hard to get [anywhere else]. It’s like lightning in a bottle.

That Grape Juice: You had some amazing collaborations over the years – from Janet Jackson to Mariah Carey. Who would you like to work with next?

Fatman Scoop: For the new kids, it’s about who comes to the table because I love all of them. I’ve honestly only missed one person in my career, and that’s Mary J. Blige. Hopefully, I’ll do a record with her at some point.

I will be honest with you, though. I’m not in a rush to do anything with the new Rap dudes. I love them. But unless it’s a song that fits me, it might not make sense. I could fit on any record from the young, R&B acts, but I know that I won’t fit on some drill record where some kid is talking about, murder and such. With the R&B that’s coming out lately, however easy.

That Grape Juice: Diving into that a little bit. Throw me some names, who are some of the R&B people that are kind of resonating with Fatman Scoop at the moment?

Fatman Scoop: I mean we don’t [typically] call them R&B. They’re like Rap dudes that do R&B. So, guys like A Boogie, YK Osiris, Playboi Carti. Aside from that I of course also love Doja Cat when she gets into those kinds of “Woman, Woman Woman” records. I would love to do a record with WizKid as well! I think that ‘Essence’ record is a great example of a perfectly made record. There are few records that reached the perfection status, but that record is one of them. When I think of records that have reached the perfection status, I think of ‘My Cherie Amour,’ ‘The Devil Came Down to Georgia, ‘Charlie Daniels Band, and some of the James Brown records. Just records that can’t be put together better than they already are.

So for me to jump on a record, It would have to be the right match. Because if I was able to put my “Oh” on a record like ‘Essence’ I wouldn’t want to go and take it over. A lot of people that want to do records with me, and what they do is they try to over “Fatman Scoop” it. And I tell them frequently like ‘if you put too much of me on this record, you won’t get it on the radio because no one wants to hear screaming at two o’clock in the afternoon.’ It’s a certain amount of screaming and spice on it that works. So, for me, I think I could be a nice addition to a record like ‘Essence’.

That Grape Juice: Your longevity is undeniable (27 years and counting). What would you say has been the secret to your lengthy spell in the spotlight and what advice would you give to those looking to last the distance?

Fatman Scoop: God and love. Simple. When I made my breakthrough record, I was making it to put my younger brother through university. I was already known from the radio station in New York that I worked for, I was already the man there. So trying to find a way to pay that 40,000 quid tuition on a yearly basis when my parents couldn’t really afford it created the idea of doing this. I come from the Doug E Fresh system. Doug E and especially DJ Chill Will are my mentors, and I’ve grown up in Harlem, we were under their tutelage and so they inspired me to do what I do.

So, that’s all I know how to do. So I said ‘okay, I’m gonna make a record and I’ll try to make 500 quid a week, and if I can do that for 30 weeks or 50 weeks, I can put him to university for the first year.’ That’s how I wound up putting him through uni, and he wound up getting out of uni and coming on the road with me, and now he’s the Vice President of Black Music at Arista Records in New York. He made his own career and that’s what it’s all about, man. If I would have never done that out of love – number one, I probably wouldn’t have done any records, and number two, they wouldn’t have been this big. That was God saying, ‘you did the right thing. I’m gonna put my hand on you.’ That’s it, simple.

That Grape Juice: We hear you had just wrapped a tour in the UK as the chaos of corona kicked off….

Fatman Scoop: Yes. The day the tour ended, the last stop on the tour, the UK government decided people wouldn’t be able to have people gather in one place anymore. I actually had to take a repatriation flight home. I ended up not being able to work for 24 months, and that was a very sobering time for me because my entire existence and my entire financial structure were based on that. I had a moment of reckoning and I had to understand that I had to go back to multiple streams of income. So, I’m learning about the lorry business in America, a bunch of different things that I’m involved in on top of records. I was able to, by the grace of God, survive the past two years. So, in that respect, it was a blessing. It hurt, It really did, but it made me realize what I need to do.

Prior to that event happening, I had been traveling overseas for 49 weeks a year on average for 27 years straight, and then [just like that] everything shut down. Now I’m back to flying to Manchester in about 20 minutes. This is my life. I take flights the way people take buses. I take flights the way people take the Tube in London.

I’m back at it! But moving forward, and this is for anybody and everybody who would be listening, you should definitely have more than one stream of income.

I looked at it as; if I don’t learn something, or do something with all this spare time I suddenly have, it’s a huge waste. So then I created this whole show on Instagram as a form of therapy. After that I started getting into other things. I have an online music course that I’m about to drop in about six weeks which teaches people how to get from A to B in the music industry, in terms of promotion, in terms of how to put your records together, in terms of how to talk to radio DJs, and a bunch of different things.

I had to pivot. And that was the most important thing about the pandemic. 

That Grape Juice: And lastly, if you had to give the masses three reasons why people need to visit FIVE and see you?

Fatman Scoop: FIVE will make you feel alive. That’s a fact. To be honest with you, I am not a fan of hot weather. I’m a fan of cold weather. I love snow and inclement weather and dreary days, that’s why I love England so much [laughs]. But Dubai is one of the places that touches my soul with its warm weather. And when you go to FIVE, it makes you feel alive. The people, the sights, the cars, the landscape, looking out onto the water, The Penthouse, just the way it’s laid out. It makes you feel great. 

Secondly, the service is amazing. People treat you the way that you should be treated, and that’s with every staff member that I’ve encountered there. And it wasn’t just me, because I would watch how they dealt with every single guest. And that’s important. 

Also, come see me, because listen.. I’m not playing. I give everything that I have to a show because I always perform like someone is watching, so, when I come into the club, I’m gonna give you my best. And if you want the best and you want to party with the best, you can come to see the best.

Connect with FIVE:

FIVE Palm Jumeirah website
FIVE Youtube
FIVE Music Instagram
FIVE Music TikTok
FIVE Music Spotify


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