ling:chi has been starring on the local Saigon scene with mesmerizing sets at Candi Shop, The Lighthouse, Bam Bam and beyond. While some DJs trade on their looks alone, ling:chi combines style with substance.
Đọc bài viết bằng Tiếng Việt
But rather than as a female taking on the industry, ling:chi prefers to see herself as part of the vanguard of Vietnamese DJs and artists “like Tri Minh, Dee F, Triple D, the TinyGiant Group” making their musical mark on Vietnam, Asia, and beyond.
ling:chi is also one of the newest to step into the DJ booth. Her first mix was recorded on Traktor in 2018, at only 18 years old. “It was called ‘Trip to the Orient’”, ling:chi remembers, “and I made it just for fun – Middle Eastern sounds and downtempo house – not realizing it might be the start of a career…” Anyway, Bui Phong heard the mix and signed her immediately to his agency. And last year she was featuring alongside international artists at the Ravolution Festival and on the Boiler Room recorded at Saigon’s Khu 13 Club.
And ling:chi is taking her young audience along with her on the ride: “The genres I play haven’t been on the playlists of young Vietnamese, but I think they connect to my sets more than to the genres themselves.” Soon they’ll be able to tune in to her own productions too as the graphic design graduate has started exploring her own sound.
You might think club music had taken over ling:chi’s listening preferences; something she quickly corrects us about. “Actually, I like silence as much as I love music. I often tell people that I DJ so I don’t have to talk. The music can speak on my behalf…”
What was your first meaningful experience of music?
It was 2017. I attended the Monsoon Music Festival. I saw my favorite artist at the time and everything at that moment was perfect: a fresh autumn wind kicked up, the music hit an emotional peak, and I had my best friends around me…and tears of joy filled my eyes.
I realized then how much music means to me. And shortly after I released that first mix…
What role does music play in your daily life?
Music plays a large part in my life. Even typing as I answer these questions, I’m listening to music. I listen to music while at work, when I’m drinking tea, sitting at the computer, having a bath, cooking…
However, I am not the type of person who always plugs in headphones. I like the soundtrack of life: the sound of rain dripping off the eaves, dry leaves whipped by a breeze, even the buzzer of the washing machine as the laundry cycle finishes!
Has what you listen to changed over the years?
When I was a child, my friends were crazy about K-Pop. But I loved collecting records; disco, funk or alternative rock music.
When I discovered modern electronic music, I fell in love with the driving tempo and minimal aesthetic. Now I listen to deep house, progressive house, indie dance, nu-dance, techno. And I’ve fallen in love with sounds like the deep trumpet and saxophone notes in jazz.
What kind of music do you think is overrated? And which kind is underrated?
In my opinion, experimental music is underestimated. I appreciate creativity, artists who diverge from the basic predominant 4-4 beat. However, it can feel jarring to listeners, so I do appreciate it can be an acquired taste.
On the other hand, music that uses simple, predictable chord sequences despite their popularity doesn’t appeal to me. I guess I’m talking about most commercial pop.
What do you listen to when no one’s around?
Jazz, old school R&B, and soul. These genres match the pace of my life. I secretly wish I’d been born in the 1960s in America, so I could have grown up during that golden era of Motown and soul. It’s not a musical preference shared by many of my friends – which is why I usually listen alone.
If you could play a single song to make a person fall in love with music, which song would you play?
I like this question! My answer is very personal. This song helped me to fall in love with music again. It will do the same for you. It’s “Oh Honey” by Delegation.
What songs would you play to someone to help them understand you better?
“Inside Your Love”. This song has all the things I love; a gentle nu-disco beat, some piano, vocals sampled from Minnie Ripperton. It brings to mind a quote from one of my favorite artists, Moodymann, who said “It ain’t what you do, it’s what you do with what you have”. The YouTube clip has 4 million views. I probably contributed 100,000 of those.
And which songs would you want played at your wedding…and your funeral?
During my wedding, “Little L” by Jamiroquai. The beat’s catchy, the description of the girl fits, and it makes me want to dance and dance forever. I accidentally heard this song on the radio while travelling in Italy and it has stayed with me since.
For my funeral, I chose Radiohead’s “Everything In Its Right Place”. Well, it sounds f*cking pitiful…
Finally, you’ve made us a special mix. Can you describe it in a few sentences?
My inspirations are nu-disco, boogie, and jazzy funk – genres I love so much. And it’s music that accompanied me around the world. There’s some other exotica thrown in there too.
How will listeners feel when listening to this mix?
Cheerful and optimistic! Lately, I have had a lot of bad luck in my life. But I’m still keeping a positive attitude, and this mix is me reaffirming my belief in positivity. I hope the happy vibe is contagious. Perfect for getting through these trying COVID times…
Where should we listen to this mix?
Definitely at home. Just turn on the speakers. Maybe clean the house. And dance!
Special thanks to the wonderful people at Dog Walkers In Thao Dien, Ali Nakhila, Ai Ling, and our Dalmatians Pepper, Bruno and Dixon. And also to Sarah Barekzoy and The Brix, and a huge thanks to @FitLanAnh for styling the shoot.