The Zouk incumbent is one of the pioneers in the Singaporean clubbing scene, who now helms various theme nights at Velvet Underground, including Disco: Very and Velvet Groove. He gives Zul Andra a glimpse into his private life and music.

Tell us a little bit more about yourself.
I am blessed with a wonderful wife and a lovely pair of twin daughters who enjoy the same type of music as me.

Tell us something we don't know about you.
I was a pretty good BMX freestyler during my teenage years.

What's your current preferred sound?
Nu Disco, Deep House, Funky House.

How do you think the local clubbing culture have changed over the years?
It has become more vibrant with lots of choices. I am proud that I played an influential role since its early days through my involvement with Zouk.

What's the best thing about being a resident DJ?
Being a resident DJ at Zouk, I have the opportunity to develop my own repertoire to entertain and educate every week.

For those who have never been to Disco:Very, what can they expect?
Good music and great vibes for an awesome night out.

Soak in a groovy night on Jun 24, 10pm. Velvet Underground, 17 Jiak Kim St., 6738-2988. $28-35 includes two drinks.


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Ahead of his gig at Zouk, the Dutch trance maestro chats to Zul Andra about his year.

How has your year been so far?
It has been great. I just released “Feel It,” which is the first single off my yet to be completed new album. I have been holed up in the studio producing and tweaking the tracks. When I am not in the studio, I am busy with the usual touring, playing in clubs and music festivals around the world.

You just returned from Electric Daisy, one of the most amazing music festivals in the world. Did you make anyone strip?
I don’t recall making anyone strip but I wouldn’t mind if they had thrown their clothes on stage. Jokes aside, it has always been one of my personal favourites to play in because of the great atmosphere and amazing crowd.

Who are your heroes?
There are a lot out there, but the name that comes to my mind now is Carl Cox. I have a lot of respect and admiration for him. He is a great guy and still rocking hard after all these years in the industry.

How do you normally approach producing a track?
There many ways as to how I can approach a track. Sometimes a melody pops in my head or gets zoned in with a particular beat or sound.

What can we expect from your upcoming gig at Zouk?
The crowd is in for an awesome night as I will be playing loads of new stuff that I have been working on in the studio. I am so keen to make everyone hot and sweaty and bring down the roof with my mix.


Gear up for a major tranceformation with Ferry Corsten on Jun 18, 10pm. Zouk, 17 Jiak Kim St., 6738-2988. $28-33 includes two drinks.


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Catch the techno wizard Timo Maas as he lays down an aural assault at Zouk.

Ask someone to Opera in the Park and listen to Mozart, Verdi and Bizet under the stars—trés romantic.

Celebrate the best of the reggaeton era with The Wailers at Hard Rock Hotel.

Participate in Asia’s largest karaoke session and Singapore’s biggest flash mob, or see the world’s oldest DJ Grandma Ruth Flowers blowin’ the decks at this mega outdoor dance festival.

Get spun “Right Round” with badass rapper Flo Rida as he returns to Singapore this month.

Catch rare lithographs and prints from iconic British artist David Hockney at the Singapore Tyler Print Institute.

Marvel at the diverse and prolific oeuvre of the great Catalan Surrealist at Dali: Mind of a Genius.

Can't get enough of rom coms, how about checking out I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change.

Don't forget your goggles as you imbibe the parade of over 250 beers at Beerfest Asia 2011.  

Catch one of Indonesia’s best-loved divas Ruth Sahanaya live in concert as she performs her greatest hits.


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Midnight Shift’s head honcho talks to Zul Andra about changes in the local electronic dance music scene through his parties and new label.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your role in Midnight Shift.
Where should I start? Well, I was never interested in football, basketball or had any real hobbies unlike the rest of my peers in school. During the late 90s, I got to know an owner of a club down Dunlop street called Area 22 and that was the first time I heard Ramesh and a few others playing drum and bass and techno at the venue. The people and music amazed me, electronic music became my instant hobby.

Music became something I could live for. Then, reality hit me... I knew I had to finish up my studies and start a job that had a corporate ladder to climb if I had family and personal responsibilities to cope with. Part time DJing was not secure for me and we already had very good jocks that were doing it much better than me. Competition was too high and there were few clubs back then.

Few years ago, I realised commercialism reached a stage where the lines between quality and mainstream were blurred horribly. My peers were complaining about the "scene", and I decided to do something about it. I had an idea to create likemindedness among people and expose them to more varieties of electronic music. Together with Brendon P, Debbie Chia, Eddie Niguel, Keith Lim and Marvin Kam, each of us took a role and built Midnight Shift based on our perspective of an effective and educational music event.

No, we are not a collective as we do not perform for most of our events. We are working together using our strengths in key business roles such as copywriting, branding, marketing, design and music consultancy, then applying these to create an event where we could invite locals and international artists to work together and perform. We want to optimise exposure for brands and corporate companies that have been supporting the electronic music scene, we want to give back to the givers. It's a long lasting relationship we are looking for, not just a one-off dance music event.

What's the core purpose of MS and what have you guys done so far?
Midnight Shift's aim is to educate and expose -- we want people to put up their hands for the right music and we want the right talent to be heard and be paid their dues. Our parties have not been as consistent in frequency as we would like, but we are pretty happy with the quality we've managed to achieve with each one. We've branched out into a music label this year which will give an additional platform for artists to not just perform but produce as well.

How's the new label kicking?
The Midnight Shift label is launched in partnership with Ibadan Records based in Berlin, which is headed by Jerome Sydenham who has been in the recording industry business for more than 20 years. The concept of the label is peak-time house and techno tracks, which is open to every producer's interpretation of what will work on a dance floor. The label will bring together emerging and established artists on every release. This will give a boost of exposure to new talent and help them cut through the noise.

What do you think of Singapore's dance music scene?
It is still a young scene and not many people appreciate what our local artists have achieved. It needs more time.

If you could change something about the industry, what would it be and how would you approach it?
One thing I would change is the programs available in schools today. The government should play a part in building musical talents (both electronic and classical) at a very young age and provide funding and more programs as a career for these young talents. This way, we can both grow economically and culturally.

What's coming up for Midnight Shift?
We are inking down the party content for the rest of the year with two more events, and are prepping for the first music release in November 2011. We are also working with other collectives, industry partners and stakeholders to help raise the profile of electronic dance music in Singapore.

Last words?
If you are in this for fame, try acting.

Experience the revolution at Midnight Shift 04: Collab on Jun 24, 10pm. SOUL, #02-01 Odeon Towers, 331 North Bridge Rd., 8488-9991/8386-7049 (SMS only). $25-28 includes one drink.


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My dad spends most of his days at work, so to celebrate Father's Day, I went with him

I love my dad don't get me wrong—but for almost my entire life, he's barely been home.

With Father's Day coming up in a little more than a week and a half, I figure it's time the two of us spend more time together.

Dad works at the York Hotel, basically from noon to midnight daily. Even for something as simple as a lunch he couldn't bear to leave his "second home". So I joined him there at the White Rose Cafe (chef speciality dishes at only $12 from May 1-July 31, 11am-11pm) yesterday. Here's what went down:

Me: [passing him a cup that I bought for him] "Dad, here I got you a gift. I love you."

It reads: "When I Become a Dad, I Wanna Be Just Like You" With an image of my dad in a sarong, smiling without his dentures.

Dad: "Where the f*** are my teeth?"

Can't wait for our next date. But maybe Mom would be fun.


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The Dutch trance DJ-producer has been rocking clubs and charts worldwide with his big room sound and distinctive production. Zul Andra talks to the man about his music ahead of his gig at Azzura.

What are you currently working on?
Well I've just finished my remix for Armin van Buuren's "Feel So Good" with vocals by Nadia Ali, a brand new big room mix of "Brace Yourself" will be released very soon and my new release "One Day" with remixes from the guys from Shy Brothers and Erick Strong is coming out in June. I also did a really special Ibiza mix-compilation that will be released on the Be Yourself music label on recently.

Tell us how "Troucid" came about and what were the challenges faced in making that track.
We're always looking for new ideas in the studio, and I thought a combination of house, trance and acid would sound cool together. So Benno and I worked on it in the studio, it was not easy to make it happen, but the end result is there. It is so cool to see that all kinds of DJs play "Troucid," from David Guetta to Armin van Buuren and Axwell to Sander van Doorn. In my opinion when this happens to a track, you have a real club monster!

Your latest release "Rotunda" was produced with Markus Schulz. What is it like working with him?
Markus and I met up in Miami this year at the WMC. We had been really appreciative of each other’s work and were thrilled that we were able to create some time in our schedules to hit the studio together. We got into a great flow immediately and the result of that you've heard! It was great fun working with Markus, as he's not only really professional but also just a great guy to be around!

What can we expect from your set in Azzura Beach, Singapore?
A lot of my own tracks, for sure. I can't wait to get to Singapore for the first time, and I'm sure it's going to be amazing! I'll be giving it my all, and if the people coming to Azzura are with me, we'll make it a night to remember.

Take a journey into sound with Jochen Miller on June 18, 10pm. Azzura, 46 Siloso Beach Walk, 6270-8003. $25-30 includes one drink.


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We pit two DMC champions head to head in an epic battle of scratch mastery and deck supremacy.

DJ Tigerstyle Showcase
The UK-based DJ of Punjabi blood is the holder of three major world titles from 2003: DMC Battle for Supremacy, Allies Allstar beatdown and ITF Advancement Class. Notable for his experimental "live" sets and creating beats on the fly, this globetrotting DJ is a one man army with an arsenal of bass, synths and riffs.

Music: Expect scratching, looping and experimental beats. Almost leftfield, very trip-hop-laden with hip hop sensibilities.

Crowd: There's a reason why it's held at the Esplanade rather than a club setting. We're talking less ravers and more discerning appreciators of his technical abilities.

May 27, 11pm. Esplanade Park, 1 Esplanade Dr., 6828-8377. $35 from Sistic.


DJ Shiftee
The professor (yes, the academic kind) spends most his days teaching at New York University. At night, the Harvard grad is a top-notch turntablist with two DMC World Champion titles, probably shelved right beside his gold Technics turntable—representing his induction to the DMC DJ Hall of Fame.

Music: If someone teaches the art of DJing, one can expect some technical mayhem on the decks when he performs live. With hip hop grooves as his preferred beats, we're looking forward to some extreme attacks on the vinyl.

Crowd: Phuture in Zouk. ‘Nuff said.

May 28, 10pm. Zouk, 17 Jiak Kim St., 6738-2988. $25-30 includes two drinks.


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