“My name is Van Anh…and I do everything my heart desires,” DJ Van Anh, who’s set to touch down in Phu Quoc for the Weekend Voyage Festival in mid-November, tells us.
Đọc bài viết bằng Tiếng Việt
The Amsterdam-based DJ and party organizer hosted the experience-driven ISOTOOP events that appeared in different European cities. One was held in Amsterdam’s botanical garden, and explored how plants communicate, through light projections, sound and even fragrances. We wonder then, what would Van Anh’s DJ sets would smell like as a fragrance. “Oh, there would be sandalwood, jasmine, rose, black pepper, a bit of bergamot and some yuzu! Natural, energetic, fresh…and seductive.”
Magic, Chinese Metaphysics And Digging Music
DJ Van Anh was also the organizer of the Under The Stars Festival in Morocco. “That was special,” DJ Van Anh sighs about the “once-in-a-lifetime event that changed her life” where a musical line-up was backdropped by a shifting skyline, and sands, from sunset until sunrise.
When she’s not working on her music she’ll be exploring magic and mysticism. “Right, when I’m not DJing and digging music and developing my skills I practice Chinese metaphysics, and offer consultations on feng shui and people’s destinies,” she explains.
Dancing Like It’s The Last Dance
Most recently, she says the Rhythm Büro Natura Festival in 2020 made the biggest impression on her – partly because of her B2B set, partly because of the difficulty of partying at that time, and partly because of the horrifying recent history in Kiev.
“That festival came just after lockdown. Everything was being canceled. But in Kiev parties were still allowed. It felt risky attending, but my body ached to dance again. I took my chances and went, and everyone danced like it was their last dance. I ended up playing B2B2B with Marco Shuttle and Ben Buitendijk – two of my heroes. Right now, it breaks my heart to think of the tragedy that’s happening in that very special place.”
Fairytale Landscapes And Thousands Of People Dancing
Rewinding to way before that, DJ Van Anh was a classically trained pianist growing up who came of age in the Rotterdam techno scene when she quickly realized “gabber and classical music didn’t really go together.”
But it was seeing Derrick May on stage that fully turned her on to DJing. “Looking back I remember being at parties, and thinking about the music – how it fit, what worked and what didn’t. But only when I saw Derrick May DJing, and mixing with so much dynamism and so much soul, did I start to picture myself being behind the decks on stage too,” DJ Van Anh remembers.
It was sometime before that, she tells us, that she fell in love with electronic music. “That must have been around 2005,” she explains. “There was a festival in Holland called Mysteryland – it was (and still is) one of the country’s largest outdoor events. I was there, in this fairytale landscape, with thousands of other people, dancing to the same groove and…it was just a euphoric feeling! That collective experience really triggered my fascination with techno.”
One Of Weekend Voyage Phu Quoc‘s Headliners
Weekend Voyage Phu Quoc promises to be another euphoric collective experience. The organizers have invited over to the island around 40 DJs including headliners like ANII, Konstantin Sibold, Bell Towers and The Element (besides DJ Van Anh) for something like 36 hours of dance music across 2 stages, during the two-day and two-night event.
The organizers promise a festival full of visual art, sound and light installations that embraces Phu Quoc Island’s majestic nature and surroundings.
Something Of A Homecoming…
It’s going to be something of a homecoming for DJ Van Anh too. “How does my Vietnamese-ness find expression in Holland?” she asks. “Well, I eat spaghetti with chopsticks!” Van Anh laughs. “But I definitely find it through the cuisine and spending time with my family. Plus, recently, I started to notice more Vietnamese at gigs. And I connected with a few. I guess it’s a part of my longing for some connection to Vietnam and finding some sense of belonging…”
DJ Van Anh’s been eyeing the evolving techno scene here in Vietnam with intrigue too. “My impression is that a revolution has taken place in a relatively short space of time. Three or four years ago, I felt the scene was more tourist-oriented and expat-driven. Now, I’m inundated with news about communities growing around the scene and talented artists emerging. There’s nothing like experiencing it yourself though. I need to be swept away by a set and caught up in the moment – so I’m really looking forward to catching some sets at the Weekend Voyage Festival.”
Tickets are available to purchase from the official Weekend Voyage website with prices starting for weekend passes at VND 1,600,000. For more information follow the festival Facebook event page. The Dot Magazine also has three pairs of tickets to giveaway over on our Instagram channel.