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On A Night Like This: Hong Kong

Some Hong Kong magic revealed itself to me inside a superclub called Volar over a year ago, and here I am once again. Tonight, Volar played host to Hype Nasty, named by Time Out magazine as the best new club night of the year in the city.

Why? Because right in the heart of Hong Kong on D’Aguilar Street in Central, where Hong Kong nightclubbers put their hands up in the air to mainstream dance music, there’s Hype Nasty. Just close your eyes (well it’s dark enough so no need) and breathe in some new eclectic and euphoric bass beats.

I’m familiar with the FLY boys DJing here tonight: Kid Fresh, Enso and Yao, who never fail to entice locals with danceable yet unconventional club music. And for the international audience that have chosen to take a “stopover” in Hong Kong , the sweet spins make them feel right at home.

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As I observe the floor, with my red drink behind the decks, I soak up all that drum and bass and start to appreciate what actually makes a DJ a good DJ.

(DISCLAIMER: Enso mixed me up the drink before spinning up his tracks.)

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The Good and the Hype Nasty

I stood by as the boys infused different styles and genres into their sets. They read the crowd. They took calculated risk here and there…  And it it blew me away…

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DJ Kid Fresh, German DJ Championship winner and mastermind behind Hype Nasty

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DJ Enso, San Francisco native and founder of Solos Records

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U.S. based DJ Yao, producer and Enso’s partner in crime

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Chic Meets Fusion Meets Eve Speciall

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And then I started talking to Eve Speciall and my thoughts were “voila, a girl DJ and very chic.”

Eve is the epitome of good DJing. Of course, every DJ is unique for their sound, but not everyone has that stage persona. Eve rocked it. At first it was her fabulous smile, and then behind the decks she worked the crowd and lip-synced to her tracks (as opposed to head buried in the mixer with massive headphones the entire time). It was hands-up-in-the-air, full-on, fun personality.

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A hugely successful model (featured in Harper’s Bazaar, Elle and Grazia), Eve has held long-term DJ residencies at FLY and The W Hotel in Hong Kong. In fact, Eve is the only DJ to have opened Topshop stores in two different countries. The very first store in Hong Kong, and then was flown to LA to DJ for the opening of Topshop in The Grove to perform alongside Demi Lovato.

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A Little Interview with Eve

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L: So why Eve Speciall the name?

E: A friend joked that I should name myself Eve Special. But then Facebook wouldn’t let me spell it Eve ‘Special’. Thanks Facebook.

L: (I think that makes the name all the more “special” don’t you think?)

L: Where’s your next big event?

E: Singapore for Digital Fashion Week, I’m flying out to DJ for Topshop… I can’t wait cos they are a super dope client. I can spin heaps of genres of music that suit the brand, it’s gonna be a real party.

L: Where do you get inspiration from?

E: I listen to a lot of hip hop, chopped and screw-ed, trip hop, beat music, trap, as well as dancehall, electro, indie, chillwave. I have a rule that I’ll play any music as long as it’s GOOD music. I’m inspired by Tokyo, hip hop culture, fashion, underground scenes and pop culture.

L: (Are these terms made up? Chopped and screw-ed?? I am sure being educated here …)

L: What’s it like DJing with the FLY boys?

E: I love DJing with Kid Fresh, Enso and Yao… they have been really open to me and encouraging. Plus they inadvertently make me work harder cos I don’t want to let them down… I never want anyone to have the capacity to say “oh those guys are dope but the girl sucks…” These boys are kind of fearless with their DJing. Many HK DJ’s play it safe but I think it’s insulting the crowd to ‘dumb it down’. The Hype Nasty boys are tirelessly bringing new music to reach a wider audience.

L: So why HK?

E: I started here on a modeling contract for what was meant to last 2 months but then the city really opened its arms to me so I stayed on… modeling work was great and HK gave me my first DJ residency (Fly) and I will always be grateful for that. It’s been two and a half years since that first contract…

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It’s another magical night that has opened my eyes to unconventional bass music and fashion fairytale with street-cred fusion. And that’s what I love about Hong Kong… on a night like this.

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Pics by © Paulsta Wong Photography // Party host: @ Volar_HK