We chat with this hip-hop DJ-turned-electronic producer before he plays the biggest indie music festival in the region
Once you’ve caught as many concerts as we have, feeling jaded at a gig inevitably comes with the territory. Which is why when we stumble upon a musician – a local fellow at that – who’s able to get us psyched, we consider it a pretty big deal. And it’s not just us who think so; even the organisers of Laneway Singapore deem this cutting-edge producer fit to share the stage with the likes of Flume and Hudson Mohawke. Part electronic mood-setter, part hip-hop turntablist; Louis Quek (AKA Intriguant) is able to play both the grandest of music festivals and the grubbiest of underground shindigs; an audial chameleon that not only adapts to his surroundings, but also absorbs and applies them in the form of field recordings. What transpires is a repertoire of downtempo soundscapes that trickle with dreaminess, solemnity, and even a hint of mystery. We cosy up to this studious beat-maker in this pre-Laneway interview, and, incidentally, discover more traits that have naturally gotten us more intrigued.
We’re intrigued by…his progress in attaining his self-made success
To me, it’s all about having a lot of patience in what you do, be it creating new tracks or developing a certain skill. Always be aware of what is happening out there such as gigs or on the Internet (SoundCloud, Bandcamp, etc.), and then find your own sound.
His hip-hop beginnings
Indeed, I started out as a turntablist/DJ a couple of years back. I remember watching the documentary, “Scratch”, and also catching DJ Qbert live at Zouk in 2007, where he did an hour set of breaks and scratches. That’s when I knew that I wanted to pick up turntablism as an artform.
His perspective on the appeal of electronic music
The way I see it, technology-wise, it is an essential set of tools and skills that one can have in your arsenal to create and produce. For example, the laptop or the turntable can be utilised as a musical instrument or several, just like conventional ones. With that in mind, also with the support of the media, people are generally more aware of electronic music and the good people at Laneway recognise that.
His notion of responsibility to the audience
I think for most performers, there will always be an element of self-consciousness when they are on stage. But ultimately, it’s about giving something back to the audience and enjoying what you do. For me personally, I’d want to incorporate live instruments to give a performative human element, plus I enjoy musical collaborations as well.
His desire to work with other artistes
Yes, aside from remixes for DEON and .gif, I have also done a remix of my fellow Syndicate artiste (and Lush 99.5FM boss) Vandetta, for her self-titled remix EP last year. Moving forward, I would love to do a remix for the iconic rock band, B-Quartet, as their sound was so distinctive and different all the time; B-Quartet was the gateway drug to me for local music. I’d also love to collaborate with singer-songwriter, Anise; her debut EP was one of my favourite releases of last year.
His modesty and love for the scene
I consider myself a late bloomer compared to some of the other respected musicians in the scene.
It’s just encouraging for me to know that we are constantly challenging ourselves and sharing with – not only the underground scene – but also the arts and culture community in Singapore.
His work-life balance
I do think it’s important to have a balance in life. Rather than doing music 24/7, find a hobby or pick up a sport. At least that’s what I try to do by going for nature hikes; although, I always tend to record the natural soundscape of the forest and keep a library of sound samples collected from my hikes. Otherwise, I’d have an easy day at home watching TV shows with the girlfriend (just done watching Master of None and Narcos). I would also check out any interesting art exhibitions and gigs happening around.
Yup, the new record is in production now. Come to Laneway Festival 2016 to have a peek of what’s in store – more to be revealed soon!
Your favourite party to play?
Good Times @ Blu Jaz Café
Favourite bar to chill out at?
Gem Bar at Ann Siang Hill
Favourite food haunt?
Pow Sing Chicken Rice at Serangoon Gardens
Favourite piece of clothing?
Supreme x Hanes Black Tee
Favourite act on the Laneway lineup?
Catch Intriguant perform at St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival Singapore 2016; 30 January, 2016; The Meadow, Gardens By The Bay, 18 Marina Gardens Drive, Singapore 018953. Tickets now available via SISTIC; standard ticket: $180, group bundle of 6 tickets: $999. For further news, visit the official website.
You can find out more about Intriguant at his website.