As international acts prepare to hit the stage at Clockenflap this weekend, we sat down with Ocean Lam to ask the part-time DJ why she keeps coming back to the annual music fest and how the music scene changed over the years in her native Hong Kong.
LOCALIIZ: I understand this is your fourth year at Clockenflap having played every year since it moved to West Kowloon Cultural District. What is it about the concert that keeps you coming back?
LAM: Good music, the production, memories, and all the smiles keep me coming back!
LOCALIIZ: How has the DJ scene changed since Clockenflap launched?
LAM: I think Hong Kong people and clubs are more open to underground electronic music now. A few years ago there were only a couple of clubs and promoter groups that were bringing in international acts and supporting local DJs. Now you have to choose which event to go every weekend, there are so many quality events happening. The scene in Hong Kong is getting stronger every year.
LOCALIIZ: With DJing, the audience is as much a part of the experience as the music. How do you connect with your audiences?
LAM: I always keep an eye on them if they are giving me smiles and dancing when I am playing, so that I know if I am playing the right music. If no one is dancing or looking happy, then I change up the music a bit.
LOCALIIZ: Digital or vinyl?
LAM: I support both formats, just not using the sync function, which is available with most DJ software now. It takes time to practice and learn how to properly mix tracks.
LLOCALIIZ: Do you remember the track that made you pursue a career as a DJ?
LAM: DJing is not my main job; I do it for fun and because I want to bring international artists to Hong Kong through my Hypnotic series of club nights. But M.A.N.D.Y vs Booka Shade – Body Language is the track that made me want to start learning how to play.
LOCALIIZ: Where was your first gig and how did it go?
LLAM: It was at Yumla, now called Oma, it was good fun and I was very nervous of course. I still remember my hands were shaking!
LOCALIIZ: Any advice for Hong Kong’s upcoming DJs?
LAM: I think it’s important to find your own style and spend lots of time practicing. Always look for new music and try out different styles.
LOCALIIZ: You made an original mix for our readers. Can you tell us a bit about it?
LAM: I used some tracks from some of my favorite labels, Dirt Crew and Blossom Kollektiv; it’s mostly deep house and a bit of techno for my warm up set at Clockenflap on the Friday night from 8-9pm at the Robot Stage.
LOCALIIZ: Which up and coming Hong Kong DJ deserves a spotlight right now?
LAM: There are so many. Jeremy Cheung, Jack Byrne, Cameron yeh, Miya….really a lot more.
LOCALIIZ: What clubs do you go to to listen to a good mix?
LAM: Now Its Oma and it used to be Bassment, which just closed down and we are all very sad about it.
Lam is set to hit the stage at 8pm this Friday, helping to kick-off a weekend of music at Clockenflap.