The Art of Love | Ming Yuen and Holly Grabarek
Home Club resident DJ Ming Yuen and MTV VJ Holly Grabarek both have an affair with the same thing that got them together in the first place – music. But it’s a wonder how Holly’s mainstream pop sensibilities and Ming’s underground drum and bass could intertwine these genre-crossed lovers into one. ActuallyMAG delves deeper into their contrasting characters and finds out that opposites do attract.
How are you lovebirds doing?
Holly Grabarek (HG): We’re okay. I wish Ming walked faster, but apart from that we are good!
Ming Yuen (MY): She’s tired. I’m the lively one. We’re lying on her bed. She walks too fast so she’s taking a nap!
Was your meeting something out of music video?
HG: We met like 4 years ago outside Home Club. It was Ming’s first day in Singapore and one of my first times there. No sparks though, I had a boyfriend then (laughs). We did become like best friends though. I guess it just happened?
MY: (Laughs) I remember. I tried many times to woo her, and apparently I wasn’t “obvious” enough. Like she said, we were best friends and it happened to be the right time and place. Well not really time, but right place.
Ming the DJ, Holly the MTV VJ; does that make you guys an audio-visual spectacle?
HG: I’m audio he’s visual. I’m the one who talks excessively and has a million things to say about the weather and the sky and my feelings. Ming on the other hand, is a good listener. I guess that is what DJs are good at huh? Listening. I got the right one!
MY: Actually yeah, in our relationship she is the “aural tyrant”. We never run out of things to talk about [because] she never runs out of things to say; which is a good thing! At home, she’ll always pick what we listen to: Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber (in the beginning), and now her taste has vastly improved if I do say so myself (laughs).
How much of a critic are you guys of each other’s profession?
HG: A good amount. I like his music more than anything. A number one fan, but I do not know much about music technically, so I guess I am just supportive 99% of the time. The 1% is when he plays this Hercules song (I can’t remember the title). It hurts my head.
MY: I’m always supportive of her many ventures, including her band project Sunny Cloud as well as MTV. Because we both have hectic schedules it works out to be quite good. We spend all the time we can together and when we have to go away for work, we have time alone to do our things -like music for me, band practice for her!
Holly, what do you think of Ming’s DJ sets?
HG: Best! I remember 4 years ago, that was the first time I heard drum and bass when Ming and a few other DJs played. I wasn’t aware what “genre” it was but I really enjoyed it, and then slowly became a big fan of the music. And since he was one of the first people I knew/watched to play drum and bass, I have since taken a strong liking to his sets. I like the flow (laughs) -this is me trying to speak in technical terms- and I told him the other day that his music speaks to me. He laughed, but it’s true!
Ming, what do you think Holly’s hosting abilities?
MY: I think she should talk closer to the microphone (laughs). Kidding! Holly is the bubbliest person I know and naturally likeable so she’s good at what she does. I think it’s amazing how confident she can be on stage even though she is nervous. She’s gorgeous and with her international accent. There’s no stopping her.
Holly, if Ming was a MTV VJ how do you think he would do?
HG: He’d look good, but no one in Asia would understand what he is saying. Subtitles would have to be on every segment. Ming mumbles a lot and talks very softly. I have started saying “huh?” a lot. But the good thing is that everything he says makes good sense -which is all that matters! So the subtitles would enlighten viewers (laughs).
Ming, Holly’s eating disorder has been heavily publicized, how have this affected you?
MY: If by eating disorder you mean eating disorderly, then it’s one of the best things about our relationship. When I eat by myself I like to order a lot of things and have a bit of everything, and usually everything would be wasted and I’d feel bad about it. But with Holly around as my trusty vacuum cleaner, everything is gobbled up before you know it. But like every girl I guess she’s quite conscious of her weight, but it just means I have to remind her how pretty she really is, and walk slowly with her everywhere.
Both of you share a hectic professional life, how do you handle everyday relationship issues like trust, communication and spending time with each other?
HG: We hang out practically every time the other is not working, and I am there when he is working (if i am not working) because I love his music and dancing, dancing, dancing. We do fun activities like go to church (after the dancing), he’ll attempt to teach me how to make “beats” (no success yet), and we’re going to try cooking soon, I think? When I am away we usually just do our own things, we trust each other and besides, we both are different people with different lives, so we should still keep some of that up I feel. But yeah, we hang out more than necessary so that will never be an issue.
MY: I think I’m the crazy paranoid psycho boyfriend. Well not really. Well sometimes. For her she is closer to guys than to girls, and for me it’s the opposite. So for us it’s ok to see whoever we want, as long as we tell each other about it. At the end of the day we’re best friends and will always be so she knows I wouldn’t hurt her and vice versa. We spend practically every day or night together so like she said, it’s not really an issue.
What’s love to you?
HG: It’s being with someone a lot and still wanting to be with them some more. I say this because I have a very short attention span and have previously had trouble spending more than a day with one individual person.
MY: I think love is about compatibility and compromise. I think we get along the best. She makes me happily do things that I wouldn’t usually do, like wake up early or walk. And she does things for me that she usually wouldn’t do, like watch movies with me with her short attention span!
Name a song that relates closely to your relationship.
HG: “Open Page” by Lenzman feat. Riya. The lyrics go: “we’re in this thing together, neither one of us pretends, naturally progressing, and we’ll be here till the end.” Makes sense as we are both are at points of lives where we are growing up, and getting our lives in check, so it’s good we don’t have too much pressure on the relationship but rather just let it progress naturally, no force.
MY: “When Children Sleep” by Long Arm. I think music plays a large part in our lives, with her working at MTV, and me being a DJ. In the beginning of our relationship, she’d play me Taylor Swift and Katy Perry on YouTube. This was the first song that I genuinely liked and reminded me that actually she does have amazing taste (laughs).
Holly’s famous last quote of Ming.
“Ming! We’re going to be late.”
Ming’s famous last quote of Holly.
“Holly, put the cookie down!”
– Zul Andra
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