Better known as Piek DJ Siam, Thanachote Piensema is an icon of Siam Square. Over the past 15 years, he’s made a name for his record shop, DJ Siam, as well as for himself. He isn’t exactly a celebrity, but Piek is sometimes better-known among hip Siam Square regulars than some of the indie artists whose albums are on his racks.

Networking is important. At first, our shop wasn’t recognized among customers, while other record stores were mentioned on the radio quite a lot. That was when it hit me that to be recognized I had to start networking.

I began going to the concerts and talking to lots of DJs and bands. Now when anyone is throwing a concert or an exhibition, they leave leaflets at DJ Siam.

To run a successful business, you have to build a fan club and find your own unique selling point. At DJ Siam, it’s the entertainment factor. Every staff member is friendly and chatty.

Some think we are loud and annoying. But that’s fine with me. I can’t make everyone like me or DJ Siam.

Boyd Kosiyabong is my favorite artist. He has a knack for blending modern melodies with well-written lyrics.

I like to give new blood an opportunity to express their talent and be heard. That’s how Gunzue Club was born. Each year, we team up with some well-known artists, release a compilation album and donate some money to charity. That’s my way to give back to society.

I’ve become a marketing guru. Budding artists come to me for advice on how to contact the distributors, and labels like RS and Grammy also sometimes ask for my opinions on how to promote their artists.

Music that’s too easy is uninteresting, but music that is too difficult can also be frustrating.

To make a successful album, give 60% for art’s sake and save 40% for the audience. It’s not cool when artists make music without thinking about the audience. You might think your sound is excellent, but if the audience finds it inaccessible, it can’t sell.

Be patient is the advice I always give to budding artists. Study the styles of music that are in the trend before mastering your own. Send some sample CDs to radio stations and wait for their feedback. If it’s good, release the next one.

If you don’t get any feedback whatsoever, you should pause and see what’s wrong. Don’t just push an unfinished product before it’s ready. I’ve seen many flops happen when doing that.

Though there are lots of bands coming out, they fail to make their mark because they are all similar to one another.

The past couple of years have been very quiet—no boom in sales and no artists who can create a buzz. Plus, pirate CDs are more prevalent than ever.

The future of the music scene is uncertain. I don’t know if it’s still marketable to sell CDs. I’m planning to launch a legal download service for iPod and mobile phones.

It’d be great to have a music street. These days it’s all about fashion and shopping streets!

I love the music scene and, despite everything, I never think of doing something else to make a living.


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