Hailing from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, JonnyVicious is one of the most sought-after selectors in the SEA region at the moment, who has been gracing international parties with his highly eclectic mixes and persona. Strolling through most of KL’s underground venues on a monthly basis, Jonny also has strong ties to the Singaporean scene, where he recently played at the packed out Kilo Lounge.
We were very excited to welcome him on the rota for the electrocaine sessions, and oh boy did he deliver: 60 minutes of weird eclectic beats in one of the most outstanding mixes in the season.
Where, when and how was this mix recorded?
My home, last fall, on cdjs :)
How would you describe it to us?
Temperamental, Agressive, Melancholic & Diverse.
Tell us your story, how did you get into DJing?
Damn that’s a short story, shitty music being played all over my city so we threw private parties which led to people realising that I could throw a party which led to club owners allowing my technically disabled self to play some music once a week. it took me a good year to actually be able to mix, things are different when you’re not in a small apartment with 30 people off their face!
From funk, soul, house to techno and beyond, each of your sets tend to be properly curated for each situation. How do you go along preparing them?
I grew up around music, there wasn’t a day that went by without music being played at home, our family house parties usually started with all sorts of music and ended with my drunken family singing all my grandfathers favourites.
So today, I have a mind that’s pretty much open to everything as long as it’s good. My preparation usually involves me researching the club or podcast series and figuring out what the audience of that particular avenue is interested in, with that I would usually throw in my grooves along with cuts that suit whatever I’m prepping for. Music is subjective and everyone has their own way of loving it, paralysing yourself to one form of music to me is intellectual suicide.
Where’s your favourite place to DJ?
I love dark clubs with heavy sound systems, the only reason I do is because I’m a complete introvert when I’m playing, I’m not into much eye contact at all and I prefer if the crowd wasn’t focusing their energy on me. I much prefer the crowd to focus on the music and their dance moves. A little scream or whistle when I make a banging transition or throw on a tune that blows the dance floor apart is all I need. Haha.
What’s your take on the current buzzing SEA scene? Do you feel being at a time where the scene is changing?
That is fundamentally the first time anyone has ever asked me that in this context. I believe I joined the underground scene at a time when it was slowly beginning change here in SEA, around 2011-2012, I felt a mega earthquake in 2014 and realised that we are actually getting somewhere. We’re finally becoming a little bit more competitive and the acts that are being booked could easily be compared to what we had back here in the late 90’s. Big cats are taking notice and actually agreeing to gigs in our small “remote” cities. So I definitely feel amazing and I know quite a few people who feel the same.
Any events/clubs which you think deserve more attention?
One club in SEA that I really think deserves a lot more attention is Savage in Hanoi. It’s a little dystopia in the middle of a very sleepy city that’s run by a team of champions.
Tell us a bit more what you do in Kuala Lumpur.
Well I am the head booker for Pisco Bar and Mr Chews, I organise every bit of music that goes through these two venues, from booking the acts to organising parties to marketing the parties etc. apart from that I am currently working on a small project with a few of my very good friends, can’t really say much at this point, wouldn’t want to jinx it, and of course I’m djing at least 4 times a week.
Do you think dance music helped you to become who you are personally?
If anything dance music has made my life turn into a bigger roller coaster than it already was, I’m not complaining tho, I love roller coasters.
How is it being gay in Malaysia?
I personally love being gay in Malaysia, people aren’t vocal enough to trash you on the streets like in Europe so I hardly ever get stares or bullies, and to be honest, true malay culture is to accept people as they are and respect everyone. Governments try and abuse the rights of not just LGBTQ’s but minorities and so forth but quite typically once you’re done with school (and the horny/violent jocks), life works out pretty well here if you put your energy into creating your own space.
Favourite non-electronic album?
Such a difficult question but if I had to choose I would base it on how trashed that particular CD got. Snow Patrol – Eyes Open. I had that album on repeat for at least 2 years!
We’ve noticed some gear lying around at your place, do you use them?
When and how did you notice anything in my room? This is kinda creepy.