So just how do great parties come to life in Hong Kong? A venue has to have the right space, people and of course, beats. As the music curator for W Hong Kong, DJ Arun R is not just familiar with the local music scene, but knows just what gets the people going. We spoke to him about what goes on behind the scenes, what's it like working with one of the biggest hospitality brands in the world, and what he thinks need fixing in the scene.
So what is involved in being a Music Curator at W Hong Kong?
Sourcing and curating the music & DJ/talent programme throughout the hotel is a priority and focus. In addition, I am involved in W Happenings & events, proposing new and innovative ideas for Woobar; the ultimate goal usually is to find a strong balance between F&B and music for business development. It's actually a lot more fun that I've made it out to be!
How is it different working with a hotel versus other venues to scheduling the entertainment?
There are intricacies of a larger brand and corporate lifestyle that I've had to adhere to, while still maintaining my own creative outlook and integrity. The full process from creation to execution was certainly a learning curve for me when I first joined the hotel. It's a totally different business environment.
What have been your most memorable events over your career so far?
The pool parties in Hong Kong & Macau have been a lot of fun over the years... A big highlight from last year was playing at the Great Wall for the YinYang Music Festival. Regular trips to Bali and gigs around Asia have been a real eye-opener for me in terms of the future of the regional dance music scene. I've also had the opportunity to recently work and perform with some of my favourite artists like Wolf & Lamb, Atjazz, Ashley Beedle, Session Victim and Lay-Far just in the last year.
So when are we going to hear some new productions form you?
If only I knew the answer to that - I've got some ideas sketched out, so hopefully I'll get to work on them over the next few months.
What would you say is the best thing about DJing in Hong Kong?
Dancing with friends!
If there were three things that you would like to fix with the Hong Kong music scene what would that be?
The realistic answer: I honestly wouldn't change too much, every scene is what is it because of the people, environment and attitude that creates it. If those three things change in their own positive ways, then sure, there are a lot of things that could be fixed.
The optimistic answer: prioritizing sound quality, lower rents to support music-venues, and using quality control to promote more artistic freedom. This means not hiring a DJ to play the same music every week only because he/she plays exactly what people expect them to, but instead booking a DJ who will bring punters back because of the unique experience they just had the night before!
How do you think the scene will change in the next five years?
Hopefully the above 3 things will change... Hopefully.
Any special gigs you are looking forward to later this year?
Gabriele Poso at MyHouse at Saturday 30th April, and the Summer Pool series at the W! And, spending as many afternoons and sunsets on junk boats!