Interview: American DJ Ken Loi on His First China Trip

By Matthew Bossons, October 25, 2016

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In anticipation of Ken Loi's November 4 performance at W Hotel’s Fei, we spoke with him about his breakthroughs in the electronic music scene and his favorite cities to perform in!

Wow!  You had The World's Greatest DJ, the legendry Tiesto, vote for you as personal pick on DJ Mag as 'Breakthrough Artist,' how does that feel?
Wow! describes it fairly well actually. I had no idea until I saw the print and it was definitely an honor to see that! There are hundreds of DJs and producers out there but to be named 'Breakthrough Artist' by Tiesto was just unreal. Almost as unreal as when I won a remix competition for one of Tiesto's records 'Knock You Out' the year before. It felt like a big accomplishment as I had been producing for a long time, so it was awesome to get recognition for it. It opened a lot of doors and I was feeling even more inspired to become better.

You have remixed for Calvin Harris, Tiesto, Kaskade, Nervo and pop acts such as Christina Aguilera, The Killers and even Usher, who was the most fun to work with and why?
It's hard to pick because they are all so different but I'd have to say my remix of 'Only You' by Tiesto and Kaskade was my favorite and also my first ever big remix! There was a lot of pressure to do that one because when you're first coming onto the scene you really want to make a good impression. I had a lot of fun with it and it was a success. I have done a lot of remixes in the past and the one I collaborated with Tiesto remixing Calvin Harris wasn't so bad either!

You're based in California, is this your first China Tour?
Yep, originally born in Australia but I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, in California. This will be my first time playing in China, which I am really looking forward to! Different places have different tastes so I'm excited to bring in my sound and connect with a new audience. Aside from music I'm really looking forward to eating good local food as well!

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You've been featured on numerous top DJ radio shows, such as Hardwell On Air, do you think this has been responsible for getting your work to a larger audience?
Absolutely, every radio show I've been on has always brought in a different audience aside from my own. All these big radio shows have their own following, getting featured is getting exposed to those new listeners. I really love shows that do a live feed as well such as Hardwell On Air, you can really see the responses and how reactive fans are to your tracks.

McDonalds, Pizza Hut, KFC or Burger King? Which would be your go-to fast food location…
I usually prefer good local joints, but if I had to pick a fast food location... Burger King for their fries!

You worked with Musical Freedom, Armada, Spinnin, some of the world's best labels, and you also started your own label, what's next?
Yep, have released music at many labels in the past, all of which I am super proud of! There's still a few more records lined up to be released through Armada but at the moment I'm focusing on dance music that's a bit more crossover. I've been spending a bit of studio time working on new production techniques and back to basic song writing. I'm working with some really talented songwriters and singers so I think the finished product will be really great, that's always been the difficult part in the past. Now it's just a matter of planning and the best way to release them.

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Vegas, New York, San Francisco, Miami, which city is the most fun for DJ’ing?
San Francisco first because of such good memories and good company. Though Vegas is pretty fun, it's pretty much a non-stop party! You really can't go wrong partying there whether you're DJ’ing or just there to have a great weekend. DJ’ing is great, there's a lot of room to experiment and play a variety of music that you'd probably not play in a typical progressive or electro set. I'm thankful to have had so many opportunities to play there as I've learned a lot from it as well.

Which global city has the best audiences? 
I think New York is pretty diverse. There's so many clubs out there and it's such a big stop for artists all over the world, people are open minded to all genres of music. Mainstream, VIP, to underground and after-hours, it's all there. It's a great place to DJ and go clubbing, I love the big city!

   

Anything else?
Very special thanks to the Xin Wang Prestige Group and Music Fest Asia for making my Asia tour! 

Fri Nov 4, 9pm-late; RMB100. Fei (W Hotel Guangzhou)

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