From Handsworth to Maldives, exclusive celebrity hotels dream of working

A popular DJ from Handsworth has revealed his dream life of working in an exclusive hotel in front of the stars.

Singer Jamilia’s uncle Des Michel works at the five-star-rated Six Senses Lamu resort on the beautiful island of Maldives in the Indian Ocean.

He was invited by the hotel’s boss to work at the resort and is currently enjoying his seventh winter on the island.

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There she has performed for stars including actor Danny DeVito, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, actor Sam Worthington, actress Dakota Johnson, singer Jessie J, and TV presenters Davina McCall and Holly Willoughby.

This is a far cry from the early life of Dess, who grew up in Handsworth, where he admitted that he was a bit tearful.

A student of Rookery Road Junior School, Des was born in Westbourne Road, Handsworth, where The Desmonds TV program was filmed.

He became a roadie for a famous local DJ named Johnny Olsen and was bitten by the showbiz bug.

Des soon went out on his own and was building a reputation as a top performer around venues in the Black Country.

He then graduated to his BBC radio show, playing the latest soul, dance and reggae sound.

He built a sprawling Birmingham after gigs at the famous downtown nightspots of Liberty, Face and Peppermint Place.

However, a friend took some cassettes of Des’s music to Spain and the fun at the holiday resorts soon demanded to know who had produced the top tunes that inspired their holiday memories.

A spell in Tenerife was followed by a residence in Europe’s biggest nightclub BCM Majorca, where Des built his summer home.

Other celebrity names he has performed with during his illustrious music career include Prince of Monaco, Indian steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal and Dolce & Gabbana’s Domenico Dolce.

DJ Des Michel is the uncle of the singing superstar Jamelia

Des told Birmingham Live: “I’m halfway through my seventh to eighth winter at the moment and there’s always something a little special here.

“I was lucky enough to have a luxury villa as my home during my contract and they are $11,000 a night or about £8,000 so I have a big smile on my face, especially when the boss continues to offer the same deal. An annual basis.

“I just love it here and have met a lot of interesting people. I’ve performed for a lot of celebrities over the years.

Jamelia's uncle DJ Des Michele reveals his life as a DJ at an exclusive hotel for stars in Maldives.  Pictured with Dolce & Gabbana's Domenico Dolce
Jamelia’s uncle DJ Des Michele reveals his life as a DJ at an exclusive hotel for stars in Maldives. Pictured with Dolce & Gabbana’s Domenico Dolce

“Actor Sam Worthington is a great friendly person. Holly Willoughby and her partner even asked me to join them for drinks at the wine cellar, where we have wine evenings.

“East German football manager Joachim Low asked me if I could teach him to DJ.

“Years ago when I was at Dolce & Gabbana’s Mallorca Demonico Dolce, when I was sitting by the pool.

“He says ‘Great music last night.’ After that he posed for a photo with me.

“I have performed for many celebrities. Obviously I would never approach them but if they approach me for a chat that is great.

DJ Des Michel performing
DJ Des Michel performing

“I just love my job and I’m so lucky.”

In April, Des will return to the BCM International Hotel in Mallorca and Magaluf where he is a resident DJ.

Former Sound Ministry of Sound frontman Des was the mixer behind Top Five club anthems, such as Watergate’s Heart of Asia, which reached number three on the chart, and Welcome to the Dance, which went right to the top.

They also have a new club track for the summer called ‘My Planet Rocks’ and will be released through UK Manchester label My Oh My Records for the Summer and will be writing new tracks for upcoming UK singer Rebecca Parry. Huh.

Des still records his 6pm Drive Time radio show for Radio One Mallorca.

Jamilia's uncle DJ Des Michele reveals his life as DJ at Maldives exclusive hotel for stars
Jamelia’s uncle DJ Des Michele reveals his life as a DJ at an exclusive hotel for stars in Maldives.

He has also served as the face of the Ministry of Sound in London, Thailand and Singapore.

He has also topped club bills in Korea, India, South Africa, China, Taiwan, Canada, Miami and many other overseas destinations, along with DJ stalwarts such as Judge Jules, Carl Cox, Paul Oakenfold and Radio One’s Chris Moyles.

But Des will never forget his Birmingham roots and will go back to Handsworth when he can.

He continued: “I grew up in Handsworth, which is probably a million miles away from the way I live now, but I’ve never forgotten because that’s what drives me.

“I venture back whenever possible because my mother still lives in Handsworth Park and I always walk through the bandstand where I did my first outdoor broadcast for Radio WM in 1982. Handsworth is always in my heart “

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