A homeboy through and through, Syafii - thrower of 'Good Times' and some of the sickest parties in Singapore - got his musical education from his bigger brother ranging from Run DMC to 808 State and Goldie by age 13. Here, we find out more about our man to play come Sat 26 April at the Midnight Shift Label Showcase feat. Kirk Degiorgio.
What do you do, and how did you come to be doing it?
I make music, DJ and run a monthly party called Good Times with my main man Eric Foenander. When I'm not doing these things, I'm cooped up in an office editing copy for a women's magazine. Won't tell you which. :)
Tell us a little about the history of Good Times.
Good Times started out as a one-off birthday bash for my mates Eric and Syaheed at Blujaz Cafe. It went really well, so the birthday boys decided to make it a monthly gig. After a stint as a regular DJ there, I decided to get involved with the planning side of things and the guys were more than happy to have me on board. Six years later and the party's still going on strong. I'd like to think it's because of the casual, fuss-free setting and open and eclectic music policy, but it's probably because of the big ass smoking area.
Best Good Times party so far and why?
Probably last year's New Year's Eve party, which took place over all three floors of Blujaz Cafe. We had a lineup of live acts on the first floor, DJs playing house and UK Bass on the 2nd floor, and hip-hop and dub on the 3rd floor. The place was packed all night, and the fact that the lineup was 100% local shows there's definitely a market for home-grown talent.
The future of Good Times?
Eventually, we'd like to do a day-long festival featuring top local DJs and live acts.
What makes a good DJ to you?
A good DJ engages both head and feet.
What makes a good party?
Good music, good company and exceptional ventilation.
What is a typical day like for you?
After a day at the office, I'm either hanging out in my backyard with my housemates, making tunes in my room or checking out some gig. Quite unexciting lah.
Who/what do you attribute your musical education to?
My brother played a huge part in my musical upbringing. He got me into Run DMC when I was 7, 808 State when I was 10, and Goldie when I was 13. He used to run drum and bass parties with the guerrilla collective back in the late 90s, and the crew's uncompromising, music-first approach influenced my sensibilities as a promoter in a big way.
Your description of the Singapore electronic music scene?
Not to sound hyperbolic, but I think it's on the cusp of a kind of renaissance. I mean, think about it: there's an unprecedented level of cross-pollination going on, with weekend after weekend packed with parties featuring inter-collaborating artists from different collectives. The quality and quantity of producers and DJs here are also steadily rising, and there's a flourishing ecosystem of performers, promoters, labels and music journalists. The scene has never been healthier.
Some of your favourite producers or DJs?
Producers: Kassem Mosse, Ricardo Villalobos, Joe, Actress, Florian Kupfer, DJ Koze, Lukid, Daphni, Joey Anderson, Omar S, Young Marco and Four Tet AKA Burial.
There's some overlap when it comes to DJs: Dixon, Ben UFO, Mr Ties, Kassem Mosse, Ricardo Villalobos and Twitch & Wilkes of Optimo.
Top 5 music albums of all time?
5 difficult lah. 9 can? In no particular order:
Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works 85-92
Mr Bungle - Disco Volante
My Bloody Valentine - Loveless
Dillinger Escape Plan - Calculating Infinity
Radiohead - OK Computer
Autechre - Tri Repetae
Jaco Pastorius - Jaco Pastorius
Meshuggah - Destroy Erase Improve
Ol' Dirty Bastard - Return To The 36 Chambers
What can we expect from you on 26 April at kyo?
A diverse selection of tunes, ranging from the classic strains of house and techno to the progressive sounds of UK Bass and Berlin tech.
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