Ten years ago, actress Wong Yat-tung decided that music was her calling, and that she wanted to become a DJ. The avid clubber had a few friends in the industry to teach her, and it wasn’t long before she was playing in venues all over the world, and her alias, Miss Yellow, became a hot name at big events. She had set her sights on performing at Clockenflap long before she was finally booked to play last year. Young Post had a chat with the DJ as she prepared to make her festival debut.
On finding her way in music
I’ve been playing music for 10 years, and my sound has changed a lot since my starting point. I had no knowledge about music: I started from scratch. I only knew commercial, mainstream music, but after I became a DJ, my taste in music started to expand. I did a little travelling and I found that I like European electronica – like France’s Daft Punk, Justice, and [the Belgian duo] Soulwax.
I was an actress before I was a DJ, but I had a lot of friends who were local DJs, so I asked them to teach me. Their [music] selection was pretty mainstream, [so mine was too as] I learned their style. Back in the day, I was very much about the Top 40, a lot of R&B, like Black Eyed Peas, Fergie, Gwen Stefani, Akon, etc. I’ve sung with local hip hop artists too, as I sing. This year, I released two songs: my own single and a collaboration with a Dutch band called Julius. I remixed their single, Love, and wrote the lyrics in Mandarin.
I carried on acting for the first three years of my career as a DJ before stopping. I think I’d go back for the right role though – I kind of miss it sometimes.
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On being a DJ in Hong Kong
I think you really need to know the right people. I knew lots of DJs and I went clubbing a lot, so for me it was quite easy. Sometimes I get messages from strangers, asking me how they can get into the scene, and wanting me to teach them. I’ve never taught anyone before though, and I don’t think I will, as I’m more of a performer. I feel like you need to get to know the person first. You never know if they’ll be the sort of person who will go on to play dark, violent music, and I don’t want to be seen as encouraging that. I’d have to make sure [they won’t play that sort of music] before teaching them, as I’d want to make sure their message was a meaningful and positive one.
It’s difficult to make a living doing music. Clients often want you to play something easy and commercial, and it’s not an easy career to be in if you’re an artist who wants to play music that expresses your true self. I like playing a lot of different stuff, but I have to include more easy-going pop songs [when I perform] at professional events.
I’m really happy to be a part of Clockenflap. I’ve seen it growing bigger every year, and in some ways I’m really proud of it. We don’t really have a music, party or festival culture here in Hong Kong, so I’m thankful that we at least have Clockenflap. It’s very good for Hongkongers.
On working the room from behind the decks
I put a lot of energy into getting people moving [on the dance floor]. I try to read the crowd to see what kind of people they are. Sometimes you can tell what genre they’re into – so I’ll play hip hop [for a hip hop crowd], but I might also drop in some electro or trap. It works. New remixes of classic hip hop always go down well in Asia.
I played at Pacha Macau’s pool party in summer – the audience really enjoyed it. It was really fun. The pool was huge and everyone was having fun and enjoying the music. It was different to playing in a club – I liked the atmosphere.
On future projects
I want to do more remixes as well as release my own singles and music videos. I don’t have a record label backing me up though. Sometimes I’ll ask my friends if they want to work together on a project, like a music video, but it’s not easy as they’re busy. In Hong Kong, everyone’s always busy, and they’ll do the stuff that actually pays them. There’s no incentive for them to collaborate on projects for free. It’s hard for me, as I have all these ideas, but I need more time and more friends to help me [make them a reality].
My advice for people would be: follow your heart. This is so important – don’t try to be someone else. Just be you.
On the best thing about being a DJ
It’s no office job – it’s a completely different way of working. The hours, the people you meet – it’s a lot more exciting and you get to talk to creative people about your interests all the time. I’ve got to go to all these new and totally different places all around the world. I like that. It keeps life exciting.