by Andrew Atang Hidajat (17S03I)
I’m a DJ. I get the party started.” Such were the words of Avicii, a Swedish DJ well-known in the world of EDM (electronic dance music). DJs are the very soul of a rave. They sense the mood of the crowd and select tracks based on their interpretations. Entertaining swiftly-bored audiences requires DJs to transition from one track to the next seamlessly. Knowledge of beats and the ability to improvise make DJ-ing so much more than just putting on records and pressing “play”.
The AVU club’s DJ Showcase on Tuesday, 17 May 2016, was a marvellous display of the Raffles Crew’s skills. The event was organised by the Year 6s who sought to flaunt what they have grasped during a two-month long DJ course they took last year. It was a desire to learn something new and a thirst for more stage experience that led them to request for this opportunity.
Anyone walking in the area outside of the TSD would have noticed the boom of speakers emanating from the mysterious, dark room they’ve always passed by but never entered. As soon as one steps into the TSD, one is welcomed by EDM and electropop tracks featuring J-pop, K-pop and Western pop artists, blaring from the speakers as multi-coloured lights flashed across the dance floor. These different genres were played alternatingly, with the Year 6s taking turns to DJ. Even the most reserved, expressionless students took little time to begin heating up the dance floor! Some were engaging in dance battles, while others simply moved their bodies in whichever way the music called them to. Familiar hits from Billboard’s ‘The Hot 100’ charts by Coldplay, Avicii, Big Bang, BTS (Bangtan Boys) and even Japanese vocaloids (programmed voices) provide one with more than sufficient incentive to let loose and shake off the stresses of school.
Though it was not a full house, many Rafflesians arrived in small groups and mingled with one another. ‘Snapping’ (using Snapchat), taking selfies and videos were the norm. The vibrant atmosphere was evident in how boisterous everyone was. Neon glow sticks were waved around and laughter was heard everywhere. The relaxing atmosphere made socialising effortless, even for those who are introverted. Towards the finale, the AVU club members invited everyone to get on the dance floor, to bounce to the beat together one last time before the event came to a conclusion.
As students began to gather in front of the DJs, many of them looked at each other with so much anticipation for the beat to drop, and for the signal to jump. When the moment did arrive, the crowd erupted into cheers. It was delightfully chaotic. Surreally unforgettable. The announcement of the end of the event was met with roaring applause and disappointment that the party is over. The Raffles Crew brought out the ‘party animal’ in every guest!
Wong Jiaru (16A01C), the Chairperson of AVU said that despite the turnout for the event being not too spectacular, “the members were enjoying themselves as they do not have many opportunities to do something like this”. Apart from learning a new skill, the members had the opportunity to bond with one another, especially in the arduous planning process.
It was challenging to convene for a meeting when there was no fixed schedule, but constant reminders and genuine interest in DJ-ing motivated the members to work diligently and consistently. Having to serve the school by assisting in many of its events limited their ability to come up with and execute publicity strategies that would have reached out to more Rafflesians. As such, they utilised digital posters and morning assembly announcements to advertise the showcase. Financial support from the Arts and Aesthetics Department helped AVU overcome its budget constraints.
Mr Dalley Sani, their instructor, commended them for their efforts and was “proud of them”. “They understood the concept of DJ-ing and only needed practice,” he added. He hopes that they can relax after their examinations and express their creativity through music. Mr Dalley’s last words: “Keep up the good work, continue to practice and learn, and always have a love for music, because they never know if they want to pursue a career in DJ-ing in the future!”
We wish AVU all the best for future events, and eagerly look forward to more fabulous throw-downs!