W Insiders – Exclusive Insider Interview with DJ Angus Wong
W Insiders – Valentina interviews DJ Angus Wong at W Barcelona.
First of all, congratulations for being voted BEST LOCAL DJ by HK Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards 2010 and for being selected for this year’s W Hotels & Burn DJ Lab.
But one moment. Before starting, let us tune in to your September chart mix:
Ok. let us begin:
Since what age and where did you realize music was your passion and being a DJ your dream?
I have always loved music but when I grew up I always wanted to work in fashion. That’s why I went to school to study fashion. When I was 20 I was dancing in a club after school (and after finishing my home work!) and it suddenly hit me, I love music! I went up to the DJ and asked what I had to do to start. He told me to go home and burn a couple of CDs and come back the next day, which I did. A month from that day I played my very first gig with only 6 CDs. The rest, well, you kinda already know the rest.
Which artists/DJ´s have been an essential influence in your music?
When I grew up I was lucky to be surrounded by people who loved different genres of music. One of my earliest memories is me dancing in sync with Janet Jackson’s Pleasure Principle music video. When I got to high school all of my friends were UK Rock heads, we listened to Suede, Blur, Radiohead and Coldplay and thought we are the coolest kids in the whole wide world. As I grew older I started to listen to a bunch of very old vinyl records my mom found in a cupboard, that’s how I fell in love with the disco music and soul music from the 70s and the 80s. I think all of those play a big part of who I am now.
Which music genre would you think fits best for your latest bit (such as Sing It Back to Me from Popsicle Chart Mix 2011)
I don’t give my music a genre because I think that’s a box I am trying to get out of. Some people call it pop, some call it disco, others call it house. I think it’s a little bit of all of them, and then something else. My approach with doing music is, I find all the music I like and find a way to work them together.
You were one of the highlights in the music scene at Bangkok Fashion Week, how was the experience for you?
Bangkok has so much energy! The weather was unfortunately not very good but that didn’t stop people from watching the amazing fashion and then party. I feel like Thai people are not shy when it comes to expressing themselves. You can see that through their fashion, and at the same time from how they react to music. When they hear a song they like they are not afraid to sing along, clap their hands and pull shapes on the dance floor and for that I love them!
Music is essential to the story behind a fashion show. In which ways do you think music & fashion link and inspire each other?
Although what designers do and what us DJs do are very different, essentially we are trying to tell a story and hope that we get the message through. Fashion and music in time are all a reflection of what is going on in the world. Over the year you can see how music has a certain trend and so has fashion, and they somehow evolve the same way. I think because good fashion design and great music both speak to the heart and at times can be emotional, that’s why your mind reacts to both of them the same way.
Just keep an open mind and look at all directions. Don’t judge an album by its cover. And most important of all, spend time and listen to as much as you can. I listen to music every second when I am awake, when I am in the shower, when I am ironing, when I am waiting in line. If by the end of the day I am humming to one of the songs I have been listening to then I know I have found something.
What music websites/blogs do you recommend?
Well, let’s see. Popjustice is always good. I also like Gotta Dance Dirty and I follow a bunch of indie artists on SoundCloud so I receive updates on their new releases. Of course, don’t forget our own W Music page and check out our iPhone App!
How did you get selected for W Hotels & Burn DJ Lab?
W Hong Kong opened its door 3 years ago and I have been working with them since they have opened. One day not long ago I got an email from Michaelangelo L’Acqua, our Global Music Director that sayed “Hey buddy, you wanna come to Ibiza with a few other DJs and myself and talk about music?” I replied, “Sure! When?” and the next thing I know I was on a plane heading to Barcelona.
I am actually not entirely sure about the selection process but Michaelangelo and I have always gotten along. We party together when we get the chance and he always takes good care of me. He is my angel. I am so blessed I got to meet him two years ago in Hong Kong and his energy is always great despite the fact that every time I see him he is usually heavily jet lagged. I think we have a connection musically and I am glad he, W Hotels and Burn Studio picked me.
What are your 4 key learnings from your time in Barcelona and Ibiza with the amazing mentors you had?
Well most important of all we got to share a lot. You might not know but being a DJ can sometimes be a lonely job because you travel and you work with different people everyday and don’t exactly have any colleagues. Getting together with a bunch of music producers and DJs and just talk endlessly about music is for me the best thing that came out of the programme.
We also got some great help and advice from our mentors about how to further our career and manage the business side of things. Our mentors have years of experience dealing with record companies and collaborating with big artists and they don’t mind sharing all of them.
Because we are all musicians, we got to play some of our favorite music in our spare time, as well as music that other DJs are working on, which it is great help to get some feedback from professionals and to polish our skills a little bit.
While the first three things I mentioned are what I was expecting when entering the programme, I didn’t expect to make such great connection with the other artists. We became personal friends and now we talk on a daily basis over email and on Facebook. And that allows a lot of great ideas to come along. I think together we built a community of supportive DJs and that’s really amazing.
Are there mixes of yours on the W Hotels Iphone application?
Yes. For this update I have prepared 3 mixes for different moods and I hope you have fun listening to them. When I made “Splashes” I was thinking about the time I spent poolside drinking mojitos at W Barcelona. And then there is “Disco Go!” which is one of my favourite sets to make. “Riff Patch” is for people who need to dance and sweat. I have used some of the remixes and songs from Eiko and Stopmakingme (fellow W Hotels & Burn DJ Lab artists) in my sets too. Try to find them!
What is your perspective on the Spanish/Barcelona music and DJ scene?
The last time I was in Barcelona, I got to go to some really amazing parties. And obviously in Ibiza the music never stops! I think it might have to do with the lifestyle there, being so close to Mediterranean Sea, amazing food and wonderful wine, people really know how to enjoy their lives and that reflects on the scene and the nightlife. People are also very friendly and candid everywhere I go, and that’s very rare nowadays in the night scene. Did I mention that Spanish people are all gorgeous? 😉 That’s all I have got so far but I look forward my days here and this time around I am staying longer so hopefully I will get more out of Barcelona in this occasion!
Thank you for taking the time to talk to me W Barcelona. If you haven’t checked out my music yet, I have made 2 mixtapes I have done available for your guests! Please share the love!
DO NOT MISS DJ ANGUS WONG TONIGHT AT ECLIPSE.