Heavy Hitters: Meet MARQUEE Singapore's line-up of resident DJs

Heavy Hitters: Meet MARQUEE Singapore's line-up of resident DJs

Presented by MARQUEE Singapore

Since its grand opening back in April earlier this year, MARQUEE Singapore has quickly risen up the ranks to become the country's premier night club, and for good reason; it boasts a gorgeous, unrivaled interior with ground breaking production value and constantly ropes in the biggest acts in the world to perform on a weekly basis. 

But if there's one thing MARQUEE Singapore's supremely underrated for, it's its roster of resident DJs, who, besides MARQUEE, blast the decks at other TAO Group Hospitality venues such as AVENUE Lounge and LAVO Italian Restaurant & Rooftop Bar. On any given night, they present a next-level array of genre-blasting sounds that take the average pundit on a multi-sensory journey.

Below, we spotlight some of the club's standout resident DJs, talk to a handful of them, and even get them to curate a special mix, so you know exactly what to expect from them whenever they take over the decks. 


DJ MASS

DJ Mass' career is widely prolific. The Sri Lankan-born-Dubai-raised DJ who is now based in Singapore has performed at festivals and clubs across the globe, including Creamfields Dubai, Swag Ibiza, and Ultra Singapore, before being recruited as a mainstay in MARQUEE Singapore's line-up. The multiple time award-winning DJ is now part of the megaclub's exclusive and elite group of resident DJs. Repping the genres of trap and future bass, DJ Mass' sets are always highly energetic and memorable. 

We speak to Mass below, on how he got his start in DJing, amongst other things. 

How did you get into DJing as opposed to playing an instrument?

I read an article in a magazine when I was nine, which explained in detail the life as a DJ and what they do. I still remember vividly the description of the job – “Seamlessly mixing two songs using a tempo control whilst maintaining the flow and energy to keep the crowd hyped.”

Instantly, I knew that I wanted to get my hands into DJing. To me, the turntables are the perfect instrument. In my eyes, I  considered them a futuristic instrument.

Which artists and/or DJs do you look up to and why?

Norman Cook, better known by his stage name Fatboy Slim. He was my inspiration at an early age. His music was a mix of funk, soul, indie, and punk rock, all sampled in a genius way to create some of the greatest big beat, drum & bass and house tunes ever.

I look up to him as he always seems to enjoy performing on stage with a big smile, despite taking his music and production seriously. He was the man who made these phrases – “Right Here, Right Now”, “Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat” – a part of pop-culture. My other favorites are DJ Craze, RL Grime, Skrillex and Qbert.

What was one major challenge you overcame in your career?

As an Asian DJ in the early 2000s living alone in Dubai, searching for gigs was challenging in the beginning. With no family, I had to find means for an income to even afford a turntable or CDJs.

However, I was fired up with my passion for music, DJing and the will to succeed. I took part in DJ competitions in Dubai, won three years in a row, and became recognized by the people in the industry.

This helped to boost my credibility as a DJ and from then on, I maintained the momentum by giving my best at every gig that came after.

Because of the struggles I’ve been through, I worked closely with Pioneer DJ Dubai to help with their DJ training programs, to nurture budding talents – some of whom now have residencies at Dubai’s top clubs!

Why did you pick the sound you play?

I consider myself an open format DJ who truly loves and is open to various genre of music, hence I am versatile on the decks, depending on the vibe of the venue. At Marquee, I play mainstream EDM hits with a hint of trap music. At Avenue Lounge, hip-hop and R&B. At Lavo, funk soul and retro. It would be right to say that I didn’t pick the sound, the sound picked me ☺

That being said, though I am versatile, my personal favorite is still trap.

What must a song have for you to include it in your set?

I will read the crowd’s energy and play any song that is relevant that will get the crowd going.

What’s the process of building your set like?

First, I choose a song which has an impact, like more of an intro, then build it up from there. Although I prep a set which I think works for that night, it always changes depending on how the crowd reacts. Most of the time, I make changes as and when it is needed. If a track or two doesn’t work, I switch it up and think at least a song or two ahead. Reading the crowd, interaction and engaging with my audience plays a vital part of my set.

In your opinion, what’s one essential quality that a DJ must absolutely possess?

A positive personality. Regardless tof he venue, be it a super club or simply a bar, once you enter the venue, leave your troubles behind, always smile and play every gig as if it’s your last.

How does it feel to be a resident DJ at MARQUEE?

Its an absolute honour, and an amazing experience. I’ve worked as a resident DJ at many super clubs in Dubai, but MARQUEE Singapore takes the cake. I feel a sense of belonging here and it makes me the happy every time I step into that booth.

And lastly, from your point of view, how does MARQUEE stand out in the local clubscape?

MARQUEE has set the standards for all future clubs in Singapore. The venue itself is absolutely gorgeous. The diverse artist line-up gives everyone something to look forward to. It has been six months and I still feel like it’s a concert or festival every weekend. Loads of hard work put in by an amazing team of over 250 staff to create an experience like no other. It is not often you get to say “We got a ferris wheel and a slide in a club.”

Catch DJ Mass on Friday, 1 November, as he supports Vini Vici. For tickets and more information, click here


TANG

DJ Tang is one of the most prominent faces in the global open format and turntable industry, having performed with the likes of Grandmaster Flash, Jazzy Jeff, Diplo and Tiesto. He has also worked with many high-profile organisations from fashion events for Louis Vuitton to private functions with David Beckham.

Since his relocation to Singapore, Tang has been a resident DJ for the biggest clubs in Singapore's history, such as Ministry of Sound Singapore, Zirca/Rebel, The Butter Factory and Avalon. Now, Tang's shining under one of the brightest spotlights in the world, as he further elevates his lush career with a residency at MARQUEE Singapore. 

Catch DJ Tang as he puts on a masterclass on the decks at MARQUEE Academy on 9 November. For more information, click here


KYA

KyA, one half of local dance music duo Mix Mischiefs, is no stranger to the bright lights of Singapore's nightlife scene, having been approached as a permanent fixture for the beloved, but now defunct, H.A.M. at Zouk Singapore. The 28-year-old DJ possesses skills beyond his years; showcasing his versatility through various genres of music, from the hottest Top 40s to current club bangers, 80’s mambo to 90’s bubblegum pop and everything in between.

Now, KyA and Mix Mischiefs have been tapped to bring their signature sound to MARQUEE Singapore, where they'll serve as resident DJs. 

Catch KyA spin under the Mix Mischiefs banner at MARQUEE Academy on Saturday, 9 November. For more information, click here


FVDER

DJ FVDER has shared the decks with the likes of the A$AP Mob, DJ Craze, Virgil Abloh and the Higher Brothers. The self-taught Singaporean DJ has blazed a path for himself with the craft and intensity of his sets, which collapse house, nu-disco, hip-hop, trap, house, Baile Funk and neo-soul into a singular brew that blasts through the grateful bodies gathered to see him. 

Watch him bring the dance at AVENUE from Wednesdays to Saturdays.

ZIPPY

Meet Zippy, MARQUEE Singapore's newest resident DJ. Zippy picked up DJing as a hobby at the age of 20, and has rapidly grown his dance music arsenal since then. After playing his debut gig back in 2016, Zippy has quickly risen through the ranks, performing at the biggest clubs in The Lion City, before finding a home at MARQUEE. 

Below, we talk to Zippy on the music he plays, and what it's like getting to perform at MARQUEE. 

How did you get into DJing as opposed to playing an instrument?

When I was in secondary school, I had a connection with music. I would stay behind in class with some peers during recess period to listen to music by plugging in the audio jack to my phone to connect it to the communal classroom speakers. One day my classmate and I fought over the choice of song to be played, that’s when I decided that I wanted to be a DJ, as I always enjoyed sharing the music I discovered with my friends. This may seem random and not the most typical way one would discover their passion to DJ, but this was how it went down for me.

Which artists and/or DJs do you look up to and why?

First on my list of artists/producers will be KSHMR, as he has a unique blend of producing sounds that incorporate his own ethnic culture into electronic music. His music also proudly tells a story about his country and culture, which I really respect. My love for him grew even more when I found out that he was part of The Cataracs!

Second on my list is Afrojack. His unconventional sound which later became known as Dutch house got me inspired and now reflects to the sound that I play on stage.

There is one DJ whom I really respect and see as my mentor: DJ Lincey. He mentored me and eventually a friendship was built. I am where I am today because of his guidance. He believed in me and I will forever be grateful for that.

What was one major challenge you overcame in your career?

I used to have glossophobia and stage fright. After getting more experience on the decks, I slowly overcame this obstacle.

Why did you pick the sound you play?

I really like to incorporate groove house and bass house into my sets (especially for opening sets). I feel that these genres are underappreciated in the local scene and I would like to educate the masses that there are other sounds out there, too. I like to push the boundaries. By playing opening sets, I get to showcase great music that aren’t commonly played.

I also incorporate groove and bass house into my sets as it is groovy but not too hard, which is the best way to warm up the crowd to get the night started.

What must a song have for you to include it in your set?

I have a lot of favourite tracks that I’d love to play, but if I have to choose one that would be SAG’s remix of Axwell’s classic track, 'Nothing But Love'. It’s a groove house remix of the original. The track itself is not too energetic but it will get you grooving. This subconsciously signals to clubbers that the party’s about to get wild.

What’s the process of building your set like?

Typically, I don’t like the idea of having a pre-set of songs planned for the night, as it is always dependent on the crowd and vibe. Pre-setting some songs are a definite, but I would read on the likes and dislikes of the crowd on the night and decide what track to put on next. I try to throw in some fresh hits to see the responses of the crowd too. 

In your opinion, what’s one essential quality that a DJ must absolutely possess?

To read what sounds work for the crowd. This skill comes with experience, as it cannot be learnt or studied overnight as, on different nights, you get a different crowds with different vibes

How does it feel to be a resident DJ at MARQUEE?

It’s a huge privilege and honour to be part of one the MARQUEE team as it has given me the opportunity to work alongside the top DJs in the world and my fellow DJ colleagues, who are more experienced, and who guide and teach me every day. It is the start of my journey to being a DJ, where I am constantly learning and striving to become a better version of myself.

And lastly, from your point of view, how does MARQUEE stand out in the local clubscape?

The club itself is massive and has a three-storey-high 8K LED Screen. I was blown away when I set foot into the club for the very first time. Having other amenities like a slide and ferris wheel indoors was something that I’ve never experienced at any nightclub before.

Catch Zippy at MARQUEE Academy on Saturday, 9 November. Get your tickets here


For all MARQUEE Singapore shows and information, click here

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