When you are dancing your heart out in the club, how aware are you of the DJ up there? I find myself saying “Oh, I like this DJ” or “I don’t like this DJ”. Who are these people behind the music? Does local DJs have what it takes to hold a global audience when masked behind a westernized beat? In the upcoming SongKran9 circuit party, we have three DJs who are all more than well qualified to be opening DJs: DJ Louis T from Malaysia for Wicked party, DJ Head from Hong Kong for Neon party and DJ Spectrum K from Thailand for Pharaoh party. SimplySxy takes the time out to get to know them better.
SimplySxy: When did you start DJing—and what or who were your early passions and influences?
DJ Louis T: I think probably 10 years ago and during that time, my influences were Danny Tenaglia, Peter Rauhofer, Victor Calderone and DJ Paulo too. I was in love with progressive house and tribal music. The tribal sound back in those days was different than current one.
DJ Head: I started DJing 6 years ago, and I attribute my early motivation to a dear friend and mentor, Mr. Tony Moran.
DJ Spectrum K: I love music at a very young age and have collected a lot of CDs. From CDs and music, I learn to speak English.
SimplySxy: What do you personally consider to be the incisive moments in your artistic career?
DJ Louis T: There are a few moments. The first of cause is the moment when I saw how my music brought joy to people, that always makes me smile. I will start to take pictures and videos to capture those moments. Secondly, whenever I am hired for a big party or gigs like Mardigras 2012 in Sydney Australia and even my first SongKran party in Bangkok. During these parties when I see people enjoying themselves, it makes me jump up and down with them as well.
DJ Head: The publication of my first compilation by NERVOUS RECORDS.
DJ Spectrum K: In every (artistic) process there is an incisive moment. When you get the feeling that everything seems to make sense that is an incisive moment. Like when I look forward to go to work, feeling happy about my work and seeing a happy audience. It reminds me that my career in the music business is the right one.
SimplySxy: What are the main challenges as a DJ and producing your own music?
DJ Louis T: My main challenge is to manage my time between DJing, making music and my day job. I often exhausted flying around, come back and start work the next day. But when I am on my deck doing my stuff, everything else stop. I am totally focused and push all other worries aside. The music energizes me and I am not tired. I just want to play good music to the crowd. Plus the crowds keep me going the whole night.
DJ Head: My main challenge is to maintain a good balance of giving the crowd what they want and what I would like them to hear. Producing music is like cooking a meal, no matter how good your food is, your ultimate satisfaction comes from sharing.
DJ Spectrum K: My main challenges as a DJ is to know how to please my audience without changing my style. I would like to produce my own music if I find the time and the right moment. At this point, I am just happy to see my happy audience dancing with me rather than lock myself alone and do music.
SimplySxy: Do you believe in the possibility of “reading an audience”—and how do you put it into practice? Is the relationship with the GoGo dancers a collaborative one or a battle?
DJ Louis T: It is important to read the audience and play what makes them happy but it is also important to make sure you stay within your style and to play a set that you yourself enjoy. I always believe if I myself do not enjoy the music, then the set sucks. With the GoGo dancers, we need to have connection and communication. It is important too to play the right sexy beat so they can do their best to make the night great. It is never a battle, it is a collaboration. Usually we talked about this before the night, and I am a friend to most of them. I love them.
DJ Head: Reading the audience is necessary, which is why you want a live set. As for GoGo dancers, it really depends on the production. I work with organizers to make sure that the performances would enhance the set but if say, the timing, frequency or lighting etc. is off then it could be distracting to say the least.
DJ Spectrum K: All this should come naturally when you are in the club, you can see people how they react. The main focus is the body language whether people are happy, dancing and enjoying. All this will show on their face. As for GoGo boys, it is mostly collaborative but sometimes, a GoGo show changes its mood when they want to perform other types of music or the show is running too long. That makes the audience lose their rhythm and the DJ has to restart the uplifting mood again, unless the GoGo dancers are the professional ones who are able to dance hand in hand with the DJ music style.
SimplySxy: How much, do you feel, is the club experience shaped by cultural differences? Do you, when travelling, take these cultural differences into consideration when DJing?
DJ Louis T: There will be cultural differences in different countries of course. I often find the Asians love their vocals and tribal, not much After Hour. In the West, lesser vocals, more After Hour, stronger tribal and they love to be teased (in music form). Traveling helps me to experiment new styles that fit these cultures but I often try to stick back to my style as much as possible.
DJ Head: Cultural differences are not as big as one may think in this subject, although I do get inspired by different cultures in different cities and also at different times.
DJ Spectrum K: When I get asked by friends “Where are you travelling next?” and I may say Seoul, or Guangzhou “China” (to name a couple). Their replies are always “Wow, do they have a scene?” or “Do they have clubs?” or “How do they know about dance music?”, or the best one is “Do they dance differently?” It’s funny because people learn and change. At first, Guangzhou’s side seems quiet and people don’t know how to dance but eventually, they learn and start to appreciate the music. With the social media, no city is left far behind for long. You can always find people who know how to party and appreciate good music in each city. So yeah, culturally speaking, festivals and clubs worldwide are slightly different. Some are more vocal than the others (yelling, screaming, enthusiasm) or they might allow smoking or not, or drinking or not, or age limits on entry. But this is everywhere, and I don’t see it so much as a cultural thing. Living and working in Bangkok allows me to try different things and being able to stay in touch with social media lets me get the latest music information. Due to the social media, almost everywhere is the same. Everyone knows each other so there is no great difference where you spin or work with different crowds.
SimplySxy: How or what do you feel is the difference between DJs from Europe and USA as compared to Asian DJs or yourself. What edge do you feel that Asian DJs might have?
DJ Louis T: In my opinion, Asian DJs are very adaptable to different genres of music. Europe and USA DJs are very loyal to their roots and style. Asian DJs are also experimental.
DJ Head: The circuit scene is dominated by music from USA and Europe so an Asian DJ does not really have so much an edge other than his fan base.
DJ Spectrum K: Most Europe and USA DJs are well appreciated and respected compared to Asian DJ or maybe Thai DJ. I guess it’s the branding and how they market themselves. Most people will think that since the DJ is from overseas, he/she has got to be famous or popular. It is sad that Asian people don’t really support their own local DJs. Although I might not as popular as other European, American DJs, I do have fans who do appreciate me and I do consider myself blessed.
SimplySxy: Since this article is for Simplysxy, what is your definition of Sexy?
DJ Louis T: On people? Charisma, communication and talent. On music? A Sexy bass line.
DJ Head: Profundity is sexy as I believe the art of seduction lies in enticing the object to further exploration.
DJ Spectrum K: Everyone has a different definition of sexy but my sexy is all about good attitude and letting yourself go and have fun, stop being uptight, let your hair down, be humble and be nice. Leave the attitude behind when you are in the dance floor and that is what I called “sexy”.
Check out our next Songkran9 article on the 10 Things you need to get ready for the Songkran9 Pool Party!
Image courtesy of gCircuit
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