We are very pleased to grab some time with one of Malaysia’s most prominent DJ’s, – DJ CHINOIS! Many of you will recognise him from his ‘SKOOL DAZE SESSIONS’ on RED FM, some from his work in clubs in and around Malaysia.
Luxurious Magazine: We know you as DJ Chinois, what’s your real name?
DJ Chinois: KC Chin is my real name!
Where were you born and did you grow up there?
DJ Chinois: I was born in Penang Island, grew up there during my formative years then moved to KL during the mid-’90s.
What did your parents do for a living?
DJ.Chinois: They are both school teachers!
Did your parents/family have any influence on you becoming a DJ and working within the music industry?
DJ Chinois: They nearly murdered me when I chose this path!
When did you decide that you wanted to be a DJ and how did you go about becoming one?
DJ Chinois: I used to watch some of the DJ’s in Penang work way back in the late ’80s and thought to myself ‘I can DO this…Better!’ I started to do part-time gigs in small bars & clubs, learning & polishing my skills along the way. That was THE time of transition! I realized back then, being a dj in Malaysia is not only about how well you mix but rather how you portray yourself to your patrons & how well you can interact with them. Armed with this knowledge, I started to create my Dj persona which until today, I’m still working to perfect it; changing with times as I progress.
Do you remember your first paid gig and if so how did it go?
DJ.Chinois: Yes! I was hosting a party on board the Penang ferry! I had to spin on two cassette decks, do a game show & emcee for the event…I think it was back in 1987! I got paid RM150 for that event! I guess it went well as I got everyone, young and old on their feet!
How different was the DJ scene when you started out compared with today?
DJ.Chinois: Well, those days people do not actually dictate what a Dj must play. The guests will politely request for his or her favourite songs and ask if you could fit in the set at any time. Nowadays, they will demand their song to be played NOW! If not they will bug the hell out of my life! I remembered an experience in Bar Flam Bangsar whereby this regular lady guest will bug me at least 20 times a night for that Black Eyed Peas song ‘Where Is The Love’!’
Do you prefer the club scene when you first started out or the club scene today?
DJ Chinois: It depends on what kind of club you are referring to. During my formative years, I used to spin in those ‘gangster’ oriented clubs in Penang Road. If I’m slow to play a request, that means I’ve disrespected them! Then, I have to be prepared to duck as a beer glass or a beer jug will fly in my direction! Can you imagine if there are 10 requests that came in at the same time? But in general, I’d prefer yesterday’s crowd but with today’s technology!
Is there one particular place you have worked that stands out above all others and if so why?
DJ Chinois: Many fit the bill but I must say that the now-defunct Cafe Flam in Sunway Pyramid Oasis Boulevard is my favourite! It’s a classy restaurant from 12noon to 8 pm, a bar from 6 pm to 10 pm & a full-fledged dance club from 10 pm till 3 am! It’s packed every day…and I mean every day! There will be people dancing everywhere, from the sofa tops to the podiums! I can experiment with all kinds of music genres there, warming up after dinner time with some very Cafe Del Mar & Ibiza Balearic House, moving to some Hed Kandi Disco Vocal House.
As the night progresses I can experiment with Electro, Tribal, Progressive and Trance! I can firmly state that we at Cafe Flam those days started the Electro movement! Of course, we will explore the Urban genre of music as well. After 12.45 am, we will drop to some classic Hip-Hop & R&B stuff, then slowly work up the tempo and pump it high before closing. On top of that, we were the only establishment in Sunway to feature foreign guest DJs successfully! We also had John-Boy as a guest on Saturdays with a theme coined by the owner Sebastien Haegel called ‘FlamBoYant’! I spent 5 lovely years there!
The resident DJs were treated like Kings! Up till today, many patrons and DJs still misses Cafe Flam with its tag line For Love And More! I’d like to add that I met my current sweetheart there!
Besides being a DJ, what else do you do?
DJ Chinois: I’m a partner in a Dj services company called DJ M Studio which is based in SS19/6 in Subang Jaya, Selangor. We supply disc-jockeys to many well-established clubs in KL such as Uncle Chilis in Hilton PJ, Pulse Ultra Club at the Grand Millennium KL to Luna Chill Out Bar & Cristallo Lounge at the Pacific Regency, just to name a few; and of course Soju Club at the Penang Times Square!
My other partner, Dj Soya was my ex-partner in crime from Cafe Flam! Besides supplying DJ’s, we are also an events management company, multi-tasking to even turnkey F&B and entertainment projects; we are the consultants that helps our clients to conceptualize, set-up, train their team, set their music policy and eventually help them to manage and successfully steer their business to be very profitable!
Plus, I’m also involved in the radio broadcasting industry. I’m a producer & presenter for Red Fm since 2005. My current show is called Skool Daze which airs every Saturdays from 7 pm to 1 am. Terry is the vocal host and I am the silent partner with a non-stop set that runs for 20 minutes every hour.
Do you believe that being a DJ is a viable career?
DJ Chinois: To me it’s actually a business. A DJ must manage his/her time, plan for today to progress tomorrow. It’s not a viable career per se as compared to the normal 9-6 jobs because it’s a very competitive, exclusive ‘career’; and if properly planned it can be rather lucrative. I was ‘lectured’ by this prominent British DJ from Juliana’s of London back in the ’80s. Something he said really woke me up.
He said ‘choose – you want to only be a DJ just like the sand on the beach or the few precious exclusive diamonds around?” I then realized I had to stand out and be above the rest if I want to survive in this business! It’s never an easy path. I had my extreme highs and extreme lows during my journey of being a DJ. My advice to all the budding DJ’s – if you choose this path, make sure you end up like a Rock Star!
Does working as a DJ have a ‘Shelflife’? How long are you planning to go on being one of Malaysia’s prominent DJ’s
DJ.Chinois: Well, if you believe you have a shelf life, then you will have a SHELF LIFE! As for me, I will always change with times. I don’t think I will actually stop dj-ing as there will always be a need for a DJ!
What are you currently working on and in an ideal world what do you want to be doing ten years from now?
DJ.Chinois: I’m currently working to expand my company’s business to create more services like marketing, Dj academy etc. 10 years from now, I’d like to be an owner of a massively huge club or a chain of franchised establishment across Asia and maybe Europe! I’m starting my plans now in fact by helping some selected people to be club owners!
Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions, do you have a website so that people can get in contact with you?
DJ.Chinois: My pleasure! I used to have a site called www.djchinois.com but it was hacked to bits! So I closed it down. By early 2011, you can reach me through ‘www.djmstudio.net’. Currently, the site is still under ‘construction’! You can also look for me on Facebook under my real name ‘Chin Kee Chong’.
I may create another account under ‘DJ Chinois‘ soon that has all my DJ contents such as my radio sets, non-stop mixes, international radio sets, up and coming ‘live’ gig information, guest list and of course agents can book me through this sit! Oh, you can also find me on Multiply under ‘Chinois Dj’.