EJ Missy l DJ, Copywriter, Tyrant
Known for her essential selections of techno and minimal house tunes, EJ Missy has been helming decks around Singapore from Ku De Ta to Home Club and Zouk to Zirca. A Juice DJ Quest 2008 champion, her techno night Loop has been causing a fine frenzy among local dance music lovers. ActuallyMag speaks to the multi-talented lady about her music, the nightlife scene and going on loop.
Share with us a little bit about yourself.
That’s a scary question to even ask myself. But based on what others are telling me, I can be quite hardcore when it comes to work since I set high standards on discipline and put so much value on best practices. I live and do things simply, but I can’t say the same about how I think. Common sense and good communication is key to pretty much everything to me.
You are a copywriter by profession; would you consider DJing as a profession or a personal passion? Where are the lines drawn?
By good fortune, I managed to take my passion for the written word to the next level; likewise for DJing. But if I have to play something which I can’t move to or best represent me, I give it up even if the money is good. Apart from that, I project manage too, which allows me to be a tyrant, though not necessarily by choice.
In 2007 you finished as a semi-finalist and subsequently won Juice DJ Quest the following year. How did that impact your DJing career?
As much as it was a little easier to earn gigs with that title, I had to prove harder that I can actually deliver, whether it’s a bar set or a club set. It led me to many doors, but it was up to me which one to open. Most would think, as a female DJ, it wouldn’t be so hard to get your foot in the door. I agree, but to keep it in there, you have to keep working at it.
Downtempo for it’s laidback-ness, charm and versatility. Minimal house and techno for it’s stripped-down beats and cerebral quality. Techno (also) for it’s influences, it’s high and low energy beats, thumping bass lines and how it can take me to another place without kicking me in the stomach.
Would you say that your sound reflect the kind of person you are?
I believe it is, since music taste is an intrinsic thing, a personal thing. What I play has and need to speak to me.
A common observation is the lack of female DJs in Singapore. Why do you think this is so?
The notion that it’s a male-dominated industry so it shouldn’t be challenged? From what I gather, many would rather be the life of the party rather than the one who sets and control the vibe of the party. They see it as a big responsibility. To be a DJ, you have to be willing to choose music over everything else. No offence intended, but how many girls you know will do that?
What are your general observations of the electronic music industry in Singapore?
It’s moving…slowly, and it’s fragile. There is room for growth but only if all the forces and elements open their doors to the right people, at the right time, for the right reasons.
You’ve played in a number of clubs, from Ku De Ta to Zirca, and Zouk’s Velvet Underground to Loof; how do you think clubbers have evolved over the years?
Still spoilt for choice. But more receptive yet less forgiving and more informed but yet fickle. Thanks to the herd mentality.
After listening to so many foreign DJs playing techno, we decided it was time to do it ourselves. So we the three musketeers (Artihc, Avneesh and myself) approached Home club, the only venue we believed could help spread this love. Kelvin with an equal or if not more affection for techno, came into the picture. That was how it was birthed.
Then Mr Josh M wanted to add some spice and “soul” into Zirca, and offered us a challenge to feed techno to an audience that are mostly strangers to the sound. Like a miracle, we did it from the get-go by bringing both our crowd and their crowd together.
Now if that’s not enough, we are faced yet with another challenge – to bring techno to a hip-hop club, Rebel, starting from Sept 10!
I guess the challenge is not just for us, it’s also for those who profess that they love techno. You see, if you truly love the sound, it doesn’t matter where it’s played at or from. Venue and spaces don’t make the music as much as the people do. In fact, with the venue being small, it’s a chance for us to get closer to the crowd and for us to play a different sound from what we used to play in Zirca. We’re talking deeper, and darker.
Loop is here to help prove that techno is alive and well, never dead, but just misunderstood; especially in this part of the world.
– Zul Andra
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