Goldfish & Blink
Malaysia’s number one DJs caught the attention of Hardwell and that opened the door to the world
The thing about Malaysia is you wouldn’t expect it to be home to two of Asia’s top DJs. You wouldn’t expect it to have much of a scene at all. Perhaps that’s why the parents of one half of the DJ duo Goldfish & Blink had such a hard time warming up their son’s not so traditional trade, but it seems they had a change of heart. Who wouldn’t when your kid is closing it out for David Guetta in front of tens of thousands of people?
DJs Goldfish and Blink, or Alvin Teoh and Lau Hoe Yin respectively, have for over a decade been championing Malaysia’s booming dance music scene through its glory days. Blink first found fervor in progressive house and then hip-hop when in 2003 and 2004 he was the runner up in a Vestax scratch competition. He delved even further down the gamut by experimenting with breakbeats, which when fused all together produces the electronic meets indie sound that he is best known for throwing down today during his residency at Zouk in Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur.
Goldfish’s crusade proved more challenging in that he had to prove to his parents that music was more than just a leisurely pastime. But it didn’t stop him from honing his skills with which he eventually became a DMC champion and got to shimmy the stage alongside other masters of turntablism like A-Trak, Craze, and Jazzy Jeff.
Apart, their paths were identical but together they have built an empire that now extends far beyond Malaysia and into rest of the world. Since finally collaborating just a few years ago they have since played festivals in Europe, signed an exclusive publishing deal, put out a full length album, topped Beatport charts, and of course, won the hearts of DJs like Tiesto, Hardwell, Nicky Romero, and more.
To whom or what do you owe the opportunity or moment that you would call your lucky break – the moment you went from being average DJs to Malaysia’s best?
We would say thanks to Hardwell last year during WMC where he played our tune Here We Go Again, which gave us a massive boost. And of course him ending up signing the song and signing us under his publishing house topped it all off.
Both of you enjoyed success as solo artists and in other projects for many years before joining forces, so what finally brought you together to make an album?
Well actually the album is very different from what we are doing currently. Two years ago EDM hadn’t really exploded yet in Malaysia and it was a time where we needed to be more than just DJs, so we took nearly a year and completed the album with collaborations from around the region. But what started it all was the first single In The House, we wanted to make a KL dance anthem and from then we were like lets make an album after the success that followed the music video coming out.
Being DJs first and producers second, what has producing taught you about deejaying that you completely overlooked before?
I think were grateful it turned out this way because as DJs we have experienced many dance floors around the world and can gauge what makes people dance. But producing has taught us that it is not as simple as just pressing a play button and moving the crowd of thousands in front of you.
I imagine that both of you have different talents. Who does what in Goldfish and Blink collaborations and DJ sets?
Well we both bring the energy and vibes from our roots to the sounds, the diverse genres of hip hop, techno, progressive, breakbeat, house and a whole wide spectrum. One of us is really great in chords and piano, and the other likes the science behind the sounds. We just compliment each other either on decks or the studio.
What has been the biggest obstacle for you being DJs in a conservative country that is bound by religion and strict laws?
It hasn’t been an obstacle being in Malaysia, the people here are actually very up to date in what’s going on around the world and the past two years have been great for the festival scene as well. It was only this year that due to some issues surrounding drug related deaths, Malaysia has definitely slowed down in terms of the dance scene.
You guys have been labeled as EDM DJs and it is unarguably the most popular sound in Malaysia. Why do you think EDM has caught on in such a massive way but underground electronic music has not?
Due to the crossover on radio, artists like Calvin Harris, Avicii, Hardwell are played most of the time on the prime time slots and EDM I would say doesn’t take up too many of your brain cells to understand the music. You get in the club, have a drink, good melodies, sing along and you have a good time with your friends.
Asia has long been thought of as being a few years behind the rest of the world. As far as music goes, do you think this still applies and what has been the biggest change from when you started deejaying until now?
In terms of the masses, yes but ut there will be always pockets in Malaysia where they are actually on par with what goes on around in the world. Slowly, it’s picking up with our number one urban station playing tech house and techno in the 9pm to 12am slot, which is peak time I would say.
What five tracks do you consider to be timeless and always find yourselves playing in your sets?
Hardwell – Spaceman
Sebastian Ingrosso & Tommy Trash – Reload
Zombie Nation – Kernkraft 400
Tiesto – Lethal Industry
Goldfish & Blink – Here We Go Again
Of all the top DJs you’ve shared the stage with, who has surprised you the most in terms of support, friendship, and humbleness?
Hardwell & Laidback Luke are both by far the most humbled guys in the industry that we’ve met. They are always helping people out and they are also the sickest DJs and producers out there. They are always entertaining the crowd, playing new music and also making great songs in the studio.
How would you recommend that a discerning traveler spend 24 hours in KL?
Eat, eat, and just eat and pop by Zouk around 12AM and then eat again after.