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Joris Voorn: "Hong Kong is my second home. Hong Kong is the future."

We met the Dutch DJ in Hong Kong, chatting about his love for the city he was born in, photography and his upcoming project

  • Words: Alexandros Raptis Photography: Joris Voorn
  • 6 July 2016

* All photography provided by Joris Voorn

After waiting a half an hour at the wrong Cupping Room in downtown Hong Kong and walking from its Central branch location to Sheung Wan, at around half past 10am on Saturday morning Joris Voorn finally enters the tiny café where I’ve already finished my coffee. The slim, blonde-haired and humbly dressed Dutch legend smiles as he sits down in the chair across from me, which is bordering on miniature and likely used to save space rather than provide any kind of comfort to cramped Hong Kongers. Although Joris is more accustomed to playing in places like the pulsating underground clubs found in Amsterdam or the high-end decks typical to Ibiza, he’s found himself on a smaller and more humble tour across Asia where he played both Womb in Tokyo and Tazmania Ballroom in Hong Kong. That said, while small, both venues were about as packed as a Japanese subway at 6pm and that’s something he’s definitely used to.

Joris orders a cappuccino and a butter croissant, as most westerners would do in a western café, and rests for a second to take in his surroundings, which are made up of tech-house tunes combined with the abstract conversational voices of people – they nicely fill the background void in our minimalistic meeting space. Then he tells me that he’s ready for the interview to start.

At first mention of the name Joris Voorn, who was born in Hong Kong to expatriate parents but raised in the Netherlands, everyone knows what kind of gig to expect and the hangover that will inevitably ensue. But what not everyone knows is exactly what the contemporary electronic music idol has been working on while spending quality time in the world’s biggest commercial port – Hong Kong.

Although recently he hasn’t been performing as much in Asia as he has in Europe, Asia’s city of lights is a unique place that he is deeply connected to and he has been coming here as much as six times a year. His family was born and raised in Hong Kong and his first record company, called Green, was initially based here. Hong Kong is also where his first ever album was released and it’s also where he met his wife.

Because of his rather frequent jaunts to the area he has seen Hong Kong and its music scene through many different stages. He’s performed legendary sets at Rockets Festival, Yuamla, which was one of the most influential venues in Hong Kong’s club scene, Kee Club and more recently Tazmania Ballroom.

He says of Hong Kong and its dance scene: “I really try to learn the city, as it feels like my second home. It is a place where I always really want to come back to. When I was here in 2004, I noticed it was a huge city with so much activity and so many things going on – the city has so many different places.”

“Especially 10 years ago, this place [Sheung Wan] wasn’t a very good neighborhood but there was still a lot of character everywhere, like the little places. The fact that the city is built on hills is also very beautiful. Hong Kong has a very dynamic character, which I really love”.

(cont'd below)

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