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Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates | Established. Jan 01, 2009 | SELF

Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates | SELF
Established on Jan, 2009
Band Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Broken Dreams"

Channeling Breaking Benjamin from the get-go, the opening riff of "Broken Dream" is a glorious smack in the face, with escalating licks interspersed with furious drum work. The track drops down to a delicate first verse before resuming its anthemic hook for the chorus. Dubai-based (and unsigned) Nikotin have stepped it up a level - Rolling Stone ME

"An addictive sound"

April 30, 2009

Nikotin are hoping to take their music from Dubai to the rest of the planet. First stop – Abu Dhabi, for the Big Boys Toys show this weekend

“WE WANT TO go around the world and spread love, peace, unity and cheeseburgers.”

This is the mission statement of Nikotin, the Dubai-based rock outfit who will play a mix of their own tunes and unusual covers at the Big Boys Toys show, Abu Dhabi.

The band’s beginnings stretch back to 2005, when drummer Psycho and lead guitarist Mr. P met in a music shop and began jamming, albeit “aimlessly” at the time.

After a few false starts, the current lineup began to take shape in February last year, with the arrival of guitarist Charlie and bassist Dirty. The band soon began writing their own material.

“We’ve got tonnes of songs written, but so far we’ve recorded about five,” says Psycho.

The band recently recruited a new singer, Cruize, after their former vocalist left the country. They plan to head back into the studio soon to record some new material with Cruize at the helm.

The band boasts a diverse list of influences, name-checking everything from BB King to Korn to jazz to thrash metal.

“I literally love playing anything as long as I can learn from it,” added Psycho. Wait a second – City Times just had to ask – where does the moniker come from?

“Because if you get to know me a little bit I’m a bit psycho,” he replies. “I seek perfection in almost everything and I can go crazy on people. I’m generally very unpredictable. But I’m a good guy – I’m not evil,” he adds hastily.

“If we screw up during practice then we see his drumsticks flying around!” adds a laughing Mr. P.

And the band’s name?

“We were smoking at a bar and trying to come up with a name. I was looking at a cigarette packet,” says Psycho, who writes many of Nikotin’s lyrics.

The band will perform two sets at Big Boys Toys, and they’re hoping to play at the emirate’s inaugural Formula One Grand Prix later in the year. The lads have also seen their music played on radio station Dubai 92.

The group’s main aim is to take their music out of the UAE and “rock” the rest of the world.

“We love the music ourselves and that’s what makes the people love it. We want to prove to everyone that music has no limits,” adds Psycho.


Nikotin will be performing in the Music Lounge on Friday (6.15pm-7pm) and Saturday (8pm-8.45pm). For more information on the Big Boys Toys show, being held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, visit - Khaleej Times

"Top New Dubai Band"

June 02, 2009

These guys have played numerous gigs in the last month alone and are eager for more. This is the kind of thing we like to hear. As they put it in their blurb, ‘Nikotin promise to bring the local and international scene an energetic, addictive sound as never heard before.’ That’s a pretty high bar to set yourself, all right. Is it doable? I wouldn’t put it past them, especially with their killer melodic guitar riffs, solos and catchy lyrics. - TImeOut Magazine (Dubai)

"The Big 7 with Nikotin"

October 15, 2009

What UK-based Lebanese musician Ramzi and local band Nikotin will feature at this year's exclusive event undeRage. For the first time in the UAE, students will have the opportunity to see the artists of the future take the stage

Nikotin will open up for Ramzi, whose hits have already made him famous in the UK. But how is Nikotin going on the Dubai scene? We spoke to lead vocalist Cruize to find out more about Dubai’s version of The Killers.

1 How would you define your style? What are Nikotin’s strengths?
Our music can basically be defined as Rock/Alternative, but it has a lot of influences, ranging from mellow pop to extreme metal. Even though we’re all different, our love for music blurs the boundaries between our dissimilarities and ties us together to produce the Nikotin sound.

2 As an up-and-coming band, what are the difficulties you faced (or are facing) when entering the music world?
As a rock band in Dubai trying to create a niche for ourselves in a sea of hip hop, RnB, rap and so forth, we were met with some resistance in the sense that there weren’t many venues showcasing our kind of music. Eventually, as our fan base increased, so did our drive to make available our music and share our passion for creating rock music.

3 What was your first big gig?
Our first major gig, a very special milestone for us, took place in early March 2009 at the Dubai Autodrome Race Pits during one of the Race Days. This kicked off a string of successful live performances at venues and events like the BMW One Mini Launch, Big Boys Toys (Abu Dhabi), and the Dred Rock Festival among others.

4 How does Nikotin feel about performing at a university campus?
Most of our fan base are below 21, and finding a venue that caters to this age group is nearly impossible. When advertising for our past gigs, we always had to put a disclaimer saying admission to people “21 & above only”, which was heartbreaking for us. So you can imagine how thrilled we were about this initiative. Plus, many famous artists and bands like The Killers were discovered after playing at festivals touring universities.

5 What do you think of Ramzi’s music? How do you think opening up for him will add to your performance?
Ramzi is a very young and talented musician who has been able to carve himself a position on the international music scene, which in itself is inspiring for a young band like us. Granted, our genre is very different from his, but opening for him will showcase how successful a union of such diversified music can be for both performer and audience.

6 Can you unveil something about the gig for us?
We’re cooking up a very special show with an eclectic mix of original tracks from our debut EP, plus a couple of covers that have the Nikotin twist. We hope to have at least one bone in your body rocking to our music.

7 What are Nikotin’s dreams as a band?
As the band puts it, we want to go around the world spreading love, peace, unity and cheeseburgers! And we hope one day to perform at every music festival around the world.

You will be able to buy Nikotin’s new self-produced EP Short of PanoDrama at UndeRage.
When: Wednesday, October 21, doors open at 6pm
Where: Dubai International Academic City
How: Tickets are available at the Live National Middle East Office in Media City, at the SAE Campus in Knowledge Village, and at the Student Hub at Dubai International Academic City. - Gulf News

"No smoke without amplifiers"

October 21, 2009

Hard rock quintet Nikotin are looking to whip Dubai’s youth into a frenzy tonight. Lead singer, Cruize talks to City Times

Q: How is Dubai’s music scene coming along for bands such as yours?
A: It’s quite difficult to get people wanting to showcase our kind of music.

UPCOMING LOCAL ACT Nikotin will be supporting British R&B star Ramzi at tonight’s ‘undeRage’ concert in Dubai International Academic City.

Organised by Live Nation, ‘undeRage’ provides UAE students with the chance to see the big names of tomorrow playing at select campuses.

We caught up with Nikotin frontman Cruize.
So what have the five of you been up to of late?

A lot, actually. We’ve been recording and we’re about to release an EP of four tracks. It’s special to us because we’ve mixed, mastered, recorded it without even going into a studio. We recorded it in our bedrooms, even the drums, and we did it all with our own equipment, so we’ve really personalised this entire CD.

How is Dubai’s music scene coming along for bands such as yours?

It’s quite difficult to get people wanting to showcase our kind of music. Usually it’s more on the mellow side, or it’ll be in clubs where it’s predominantly R&B, hip-hop or house music. Not that we’re against that music, we love it, but it’s difficult. The scene here is very scared to try new things. But as of this year, I can see it changing more or less. A lot of people are looking for more live energetic performances, and we are so confident we can deliver that.

What are the new tracks about?

Well, the EP is called Short of Panodrama – it’s a term we coined ourselves. Usually albums have a certain concept they’re trying to portray to the listener; we’re dealing with all human emotions – everything from love, hate, sorrow…it’s like a ‘panodrama’ of emotions. But we’re short of a couple, which will be completed in the next four-song EP in January.

How long has the band been together now?

The guys have been jamming since 2005, but they really didn’t expect it to become so big. Actually it all kicked off when they asked me to join in February last year – I’m the new kid on the block.

How did you come to be part of the band?

I just got a call; somebody recommended me. They asked me if I wanted to try out, I listened to some of their stuff with a vocalist whose style was very different to mine, and I just thought I’d put in my two cents. They liked it a lot and the rest is history.

Would you describe Nikotin’s style as straightforward hard rock?

Actually we try to bring a lot of influences, from rock to pop to metal. We play originals and we do covers with a Nikotin touch – using our own spices, if you like.

Have you heard much of Ramzi’s music? How do you think your two styles will mesh on the same bill?

Music, no matter how different it is, is always good to share. Even though our style is a little more intense than his, at the end of the day it’s all music.

What’s the best way to keep up to date with Nikotin’s progress?

People can catch us on, and

Event details

What: ‘undeRage’ featuring Ramzi and Nikotin

Where: Dubai International Academic City

When: Wednesday, October 21 (tonight), from 6pm

Cost: Dhs 30

Tickets: Call 04 427 8166, 04 361 6173 or 04 360 2060

For more info: Visit - City Times

"Nikotin Rocks Dubai"

September 3, 2009

When it comes to five-star hotels, Dubai might have some of the best selections in the world. With a splendid talent for combining both innovation and tradition, featuring high-tech amenities and luxurious hospitality, Dubai knows how to take care of travelers. Our hotels are no exception, and are carefully selected from this already-magnificent selection, to provide you with the best of the best when it comes to excellence in accommodations. Dubai is a very exciting place, and there are reasons why it is one of the world’s hottest spots for travelers. After a stay in our lodgings, it will be plainly simple to understand why. With gorgeous rooms decorated by our designers to showcase the best of international and local splendor, and meals prepared by top chefs trained in all the intricacies of world cuisine, you will be ready to have your own Dubai adventure.
Dubai is growing by leaps and bounds, seeing unprecedented development. It has some of the finest shopping malls in the world, where ostentatiousness is embraced to demonstrate an unmistakable sense of material plenty. There are a fantastic number of new galleries opening every year, taking part in Dubai’s rise in reputation in the international art world. It attracts new generations of artists all year, looking to be part of the next scene, and doing a terrific job of creating one. The new alternative rock band Nikotin is a fine example of this. They are part of a local music scene that is rather stunning, with a large number of festivals taking place in Dubai every year. Add to this a number of tours that come through, and countless local music events that happen in the city every night. Things are happening here.
Nikotin started, it might be said, at the right place at the right time. The guitarist and lead drummer, Mr. P. and Psycho that is, met in 2005 at a music shop. It was a watershed year, as the two hungry youth started talking about mutual interests, and soon found themselves practicing together. This was the formation of Nikotin a band of five young men, from Dubai and the U.S., who are causing heads (and ears) to turn in the UAE. Their sound is a pretty solid and crisp classic rock, mixed with some alternative music sensibilities, to make for a sonic experience that touches roots. They’ve been playing locally at all the right haunts, with their driving rhythms and solid vocals, including even some acoustic sets, to the delight of local fans, and international audiences who are just starting to catch on. -

"Hard rock acts Nikotin go big in Dubai"

The band were understandably super excited and could hardly contain themselves when tabloid! caught up with them

If you thought the Gulf Bike Festival is just about those big headline acts and hard-core Harley-Davidson fans, you would be very wrong.

There's a spot for the little guy, too. Nikotin, one of the biggest up-and-coming Dubai-based bands will be strutting their stuff and rocking Festival City this weekend as they open for Canadian rock giants Nickelback.

The band are understandably excited and could hardly contain themselves when tabloid! caught up with them.

"Nickelback rocks man, we are going to make them proud," said the drummer, Psycho. (The members go by nicknames, and won't disclose their real names.)

"Well, I am probably going to have to change my diaper tonight, that's all!" added bassist Dirty.

Lead singer Cruize was more coherent: "Really excited, this is a once in a lifetime, it never gets better than this!"

And the band's quiet rhythm guitarist Charlie puts it plainly: "We are really excited and we hope that the show will rock, and we are looking forward to it very much."

Fans aplenty

Local hard rock ingénues Nikotin (who also include Mr P, on lead guitar) have gathered quite a following here in Dubai in a very short time. Their first live on-air set on Dubai Eye radio was in October; more interviews followed in quick succession and when they were asked to play the undeRage Festival that same month, little did they realise it would lead them to one of their biggest and most important performances to date.

As the band came off stage at undeRage, the organisers, concert promoters Live Nation, took them aside and asked if they wanted to play at Gulf Bike Festival.

"We had been spreading our music around a lot to get it noticed, so we sent it to a couple of promoters. This event called undeRage came about in October and they were looking for a band to open their first undeRage event and they came across our MySpace [page]," Cruize said.

Psycho butted in with, "Yeah, they practically Googled us, put in UAE bands and we were the first ones there and they liked us!"

Cruize added: "After we did that event, as soon as we finished the show they said, ‘You guys are on for Bike Week.'"

"We weren't even done coming down from the stage and they were like, ‘Come play for Bike Week,'" said Psycho.

‘We love our music'

Their debut original single Dance Dance was put up on MySpace in May last year and it got a whopping 600 views within three days and with their new EP release, Short of PanoDrama, coming out soon and their second release following shortly after, these guys are on a rocketship to the big time.

Their hard rock sound and crashing guitar riffs are sure to get your heart racing. "Even to us, the people who made it [the songs], we are still fascinated by them and the amount of energy they provide. We really love our music. If I am in a bad mood, I would listen to our music," said Psycho.

Cruize takes on the lead vocals with a cheeky edge and a twinkle in his eye, backed by brooding maestro Mr P on lead guitars, charming Charlie on rhythm guitars, Dirty on bass and Psycho on drums. (A word of warning here, watch out for Psycho and his flying drum sticks, as he gets over-enthusiastic).

So put on your torn jeans, dig out your black eyeliner and show this home-grown act your support.

Don't Miss it

See Nikotin at the Gulf Bike Festival tomorrow at 7.30pm, just before Nickelback. They will also play tonight at 7pm on the Piazza stage, and at 2pm on Saturday. - Gulf News


Still working on that hot first release.



Nikotin, now truly grounded in the Dubai music scene with the growing support of thousands of fans, have since released the rock and roll and post-grunge sounds of Overloaded and Decide. Having appeared on local TV shows (Dubai Ones Out & About and 20 Something); opening for Canadian Rock giants, Nickelback at the Middle Easts Gulf Bike Festival 2010; supporting Maximo park at Wakestock Abu Dhabi 2010 and having won the Silver Award for Best Rock Band at the Asian Pacific Voice Independent Music Awards 2010, there is nothing stopping these unusually talented members from taking the music world by storm!

Band Members