How many Hong Kong artists can say that their first performance was at one of the city’s biggest festivals? Ghostly Park can. The newly formed electronic duo played their debut gig at Sonar Festival back in April, after releasing their first album, Identify, in February.
Founding member Terence Kuong, also known as DJ Saiyan, spoke to Young Post about the experience, as well as the making of their album and new music video.
“Sonar is the [biggest] event for Hong Kong electronic music. It’s the best opportunity for us to present our music live with visuals,” said Kuong. “It was perfect for our first show. The audience was very open-minded, and willing to see something interesting and unusual.”
Part of the draw for listeners was the inclusion of well-known local rapper MC Yan, in the performance.
“He had invited me to his home to have a sound bath experience, which was impressive,” Kuong revealed. “I think it’s interesting to put electronic music and traditional instruments work together, so when I found out we were playing Sonar, I invited him to take part in our performance.”
It was the first opportunity for many concertgoers to hear songs from Identify – a project that began two years ago with Ghostly Park’s other member, bassist and producer Alok Leung.
“First, we discussed the concept and story. Then, we developed a lot of loops, or beats, separately, and we sent them back and forth to each other via email,” explained Kuong. The process began with just three demos, but quickly grew into a wealth of ideas. “We’d meet in the studio and listen to all the demos together and decide the best ones to present our concept [to others], before working on them again.”
One of the stand-out moments on Identify is the title track. The music video for the record was inspired by Kuong’s experience living in Hong Kong and Macau.
“I am the same person I’ve always been but, when I live in a different city, people look at me in a different way,” he said. “They see me the way they want to, and create a different version of me, which is so confusing.”
The video is shot in both cities, in areas where Kuong spends a lot of his time. The two women in the video represent the different versions of Kuong. “The two girls are connected – sometimes they mix together, and sometimes they try to make the other disappear, but they ultimately want to exist together.”
While most musicians have a long list of career goals, Ghostly Park see making music as fun and explorative, and they prefer not to put pressure on themselves.
“We just want to make the music we love and not worry about the music scene,” said Kuong, before summarising it as: “It’s more of a music journey than a goal that we are trying to achieve.”