Subcultures are springing up in Singapore and at least part of that is thanks to the promoters behind NoPartyHere. Mixmag Asia sat down with the extraordinarily charming Audrey Choy and talked about how she made her homegrown and nonconformist promotional endeavor work by doing things exactly how you’re taught not to – by not following the rules.
How did you first get into a music industry?
My roots go back to Kinemat where I first started learning the ropes of the music industry from extraordinaires like Don Wong, I went on to Zirca followed Avalon, so that was four years of eye-opening experiences, having had the rare opportunity to conceptualise and run my own nights in mega clubs, booking international Ds and live acts, etc. Along the way, it has also given me the opportunity to learn from and eventually work with mentors like Kelvin and Roy from Home Club (now: Canvas) and many others. Having been on both sides of the underground and above allows me to now know what I truly appreciate in the vast aspects of this industry to start out on my own.
What is your role in the Singaporean music scene?
In cahoots with Louis Lam, my partner-in-crime at NoPartyHere, we aspire to make having a good time a priority and good music a given. Celebrating a time when a night out was the promise of all non-sense fun and credible tunes; A time when you find who you want to be only to losing it and find yourself in the morning on your best friend’s ugly but oh-so-comfy red sofa. A time acceptance was a given. Think of our parties as opportunities to emancipate oneself, to lose self-consciousness and forget the missed chances to Instagram, to forget biases against music genres. Here is the Party where good music is just good music, never too mainstream and never too purist.
What brought you and Ming (former partner of Canvas) together?
We met at a wedding 5 years ago and I had the honour of being hit on by him. That never worked out but it brought us working together professionally because according to Ming, we share a mutual love for pretentiousness. I’m not sure what that means, but it’s probably true because Ming is always right.
Why did you choose a more whimsical approach to the way you promote NoPartyHere?
Underwhelming-ly, NoPartyHere was not the product of deliberate branding exercises. NoPartyHere is our shotgun labour-of-love; born of our endearing attraction to the wrong, relentless perpetuation of the now, and the belief of losing yourself is the only way for you to be found. It is an outlet for us to execute our vision without compromise. Our mutual promise for decisions to made based on how much fun we get out of it makes relationships and partnerships with other promoters, sponsors and venues surpassingly pleasant.
Collaborations and honesty are the only way forward.
From where do you draw influence or inspiration when you put together an event?
If we have to think any longer than the time taken to finish my kopi-peng, it will not work. Ideas are picked based on a first-come-first-serve manner, it does not have to make sense if it puts a smile on your face and put your hand up.
What challenges have you faced being a female in a male dominated industry?
I believe it is a fairly gender-balanced industry. Being a female has its society-driven setbacks that I believe happens across all industries; from the expectation to socialise, to permanently be dressed like Kim Kadashian, to you’re-in-nightlife-so-you-must-be-easier-to-score, down to constant association with over-sensitivity over legitimate issues at work.
What is the Singapore market like compared to the rest of the world?
Every country has different inclinations to different trends. It’s no different when it comes to music, except that there’s still a universal preference for EDM (Progressive House).
EDM may be shunned by many industry players, but it could very well act as a gateway genre for the young to be exposed to the whole spectrum of electronic music. The ever-noble task of striking that delicate balance between pleasing and educating the crowd has always been something I respect many local DJs for doing. It is also always good to know they bring it back to funk and disco from time to time, injecting emotions and soul back to the playlists of our nights.
What’s your typical day in Singapore like?
Daily Opening Hours
Monday – Thursday : 4pm – 6am
Friday – Saturday : 7pm – 7am
Sunday : Closed
Monday – Friday : Clearing emails, liaising with agents/partners/sponsors, scrolling Tumblr.
Saturday : Nursing Friday’s hangover, regret and remorse, drink more.
Sunday : Meditation. Horizontally. Eyes shut. Brain switched off. (Snoring occasional).