m i x — Death in Paris x Flora Yin-Wong
13 November, 2016
Winter is here and its time for us to hibernate..
This month we met one creative multiple-faceted girl, Flora Yin-Wong and spoke about Life in London, « proper dreams » and her last EP « City God ». Jeremih meets Turkish EDM, be ready…
I can tell that you are a hard working person. You write for magazines and books, you DJ, work at PAN Records (Berlin) and also produce music. You also kept your real name. Did you always want to be in the creative industry in some way even before composing and producing music? Did you want to be recognizable or you never really thought about it? Some artists change their name to keep a certain privacy and create a mysterious persona, but you chose to assume who you are, kind of.
I never planned it. As a kid I wanted to work in physics lol. I was already really into music and fashion from v. young but thought these were just fun things and not career choices. My mum’s a Cantonese opera singer/writer so I guess music was a part of my life from early even though I hated her stuff. But no one else around me was into music so think I ended up approaching it quite broadly and uninfluenced. My name has always been a big part of my identity, good or bad. Though I kinda wish I’d used something like ‘Headless Demon’, or ‘Belligerent Warmonger’.
You have worked for Dazed and Confused, before being fully invested in the music industry. How did you get there?
I did a Law degree, specialising in Philosophy of Law – but was running clubnights/DJing and ran a music blog during #bloghaus which got me working with some great people from early on. The week after graduating I came in for a 2-week editorial internship at Dazed and stayed for 4 years. I was writing for several music, art/fashion publications, doing A&R bits for record labels, booking agents, syncing and ran a couple club nights at Ace when it opened etc. I got sick of London so relocated to Hong Kong to be Music Director for W Hotels which was super boujie but a mad experience tbh.
I heard you travel a lot?
Well I like to – it’s a really important thing to me, the physicality… my job at Dazed was amazing in that I was able to go to so many places for work, from the Arctic to New York, all over Paris, Milan, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Reykjavik, Monaco, Zurich, Ibiza, etc, also DJing – Miami, Chicago, L.A., Detroit, and time spent in Asia meant I was playing all around Tokyo, Osaka, Seoul, Shanghai, Beijing, and Sydney etc too. I can’t stay in the same place for a month or I feel kinda Bell Jar claustrophobic.
You have been in Berlin for a few months now but you are a real Londoner. Why did you move? What makes Berlin and London different to you? They are two attractive cities for the youth but I see lot of creative people around me moving to Berlin. London always has always been perceived as a promiscuous land. From your point of view, what is happening?
I moved for my job. London is still the best city in the world to me, but it’s good to step out sometimes and have a different perspective. Berlin is a much easier city for artists/musicians because of the (albeit increasing) living costs. It’s a really fun place to be, but kind of feels like a deconstructed club edit/techno bubble. London is very driven and inspiring because of that in a different way.
Your new EP “City God” on CELL, Issue 04 [PTPcell04] was really impressive. I really liked the way you connected the dots between cultural and religious events with your sensibility, and how you were telling us a story in an experimental way. I do think it is important to sometimes express an opinion through experimental music. What was the creative process behind it?
It was built around really random samples and field recordings from all over – some parts were started almost a year ago and some made almost overnight. The process depends, sometimes it’s so easy and clear and others it takes fucking forever to make any sense of jumbled ideas.
Can you tell more about your collaboration with PTP (fka Purple Tape Pedigree)? How did it come to be?
I’ve been making music on/off for years but I didn’t feel like I could produce anything that expressed or sounded right. Tbh I never feel content with my stuff but I actually accidentally set live a private track and didn’t expect the feedback. Then 2 weeks later, Geng from PTP hit me up about working on something for this tape series they’re doing with some interesting producers who I really rate so…
You like playing between different genres from traditional, underground, club and pop music. Do you think building bridges between the Old and the New is essential to help people understand the music and its history?
People can discover stuff in their own way, I just like and listen to a lot of different kinds of music and if I can work it together I’ll try. This mix is pretty questionable in that. Blame the Turkish EDM on a wedding I went to in Thessaloniki.
You’ll play in November at Berghain. It is awesome! How do you feel about it?
Unreal ~!! Bill (Kouligas) from PAN has been so supportive since day one and I 100% died when he asked me to play alongside some great people. It’s a proper dream of mine ofc.
PAN Records is one of the most avant-garde and experimental label in the last 3 years. Do you know which direction is new “brain music” taking ?
The most interesting thing to me about the label is how it manages to create threads between differing genres, sounds, artists, people, visuals and still maintains a curated cohesion. To me, there’s really not any others who manage to bridge so many topics with a real desire to delve beyond the surface.
What is your perfect movie soundtrack?
Guess some of my favourite soundtracks inc. Kynodontas – Matteo Carcassi – Etude, Op. 60, No 7, and Enter The Void (LFO and Cristian Vogel’s Cancion Sintecta), to the super romantic lol like Wong Kar-Wai’s In The Mood For Love. And er, Blade?
Words : Priscillia Amey