25 Jul 2012

When I'm not being an accountant I...

From magic tricks to mountain cllimbing, tap-dancing to taking the controls of a plane, we have been finding out what ICAEW members do after hours. David Adams speaks to Ali Miraj about banking by day and DJing by night

Ali Miraj, 37, works for a major European bank in the City of London, has been a local councillor at Ruislip Manor in Hillingdon, Greater London and stood as a Parliamentary candidate for the Conservative Party, at Aberavon in 2001 and Watford in 2005.

And whenever he gets the chance he is also a dance music DJ, specialising in “soulful, uplifting house”.

He’s played at various dance music clubs in London, alongside some of the most famous names in the business.

The idea of someone with a deep understanding of both DJ-ing and auditing is delightfully surprising, but what’s even more unexpected is that Ali developed his interest in this type of music through his work as an accountant. In the late 90s he was working as an auditor delving into the business dealings of one of London’s most famous clubs and record labels, Ministry of Sound. He started to attend the club regularly.

Ali took courses in DJ-ing and dance music production at Point Blank DJ School in Hoxton, east London, then started playing more gigs, at bigger events and venues. He thinks the link between dance music and drugs is not as strong as some observers suggest. “I’m a Muslim, so I’ve never drunk alcohol or taken drugs,” he points out. “

Yes, you do see some of this, but often I don’t see it – I just see people enjoying music. I think if you listen to the music it’s all you need.”

At the time of writing music has had to take a back seat to the pressures of work, but Ali is hoping to be back behind the decks very soon. “House gives me a very uplifting feeling,” he says.

“It takes you to a different place. You can forget about your work and just listen to the music. It’s a release.”


Look out for more "When I'm not being an accountant I..." in this month's economia

David Adams