THE MAX FACTOR
The life of a DJ is never dull, andturns up the volume on his latest gigs around the world, and why Hong Kong seems like a second home
WELL, IT’S BEEN one and a half years since my exploits last appeared in this splendid magazine and I’m delighted to be back with my old family at Prestige Hong Kong, writing my column once again.
During my absence I’ve embarked upon a myriad of very wild and very loud adventures, which have taken me to some of the most stunning destinations around the world. 2010 was a crazy year, to say the least, with almost six months of constant travel between Europe, Asia and the US, which is where I’ve hung my hat for the past five years.
The first half of last year saw me travelling from my home in Los Angeles to Europe, with gigs in London, Prague, Spain and Switzerland. The latter half of the year was even more frenetic, as I constantly bounced between Asia and LA, with a couple of trips to Europe in between.
With all these trips, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve visited Hong Kong this year, which has become my base when coming to Asia. I’m happy to say that over the years it has become like a second home to me. Its vibrancy and energy are unique among all the major cities I’ve visited, and with each visit I find myself falling for it a little more.
Most recently, I flew over for the Tod’s event in Beijing, where I played last October. The event took place at the end of the month and I had a few weeks to kill before my next engagements in London. The choice was simple; hang out in Hong Kong and party over Halloween or brave zero-degree temperatures in London. Naturally, this would be a hard decision for anyone to make so I decided to sleep on it.
It goes without saying that I decided to forgo the harsh English weather for a little longer and Hong Kong won the draw, so I extended my stay for a few weeks. Having said that, no matter how long I stay there’s never enough time to do everything and see everyone, despite the fact that the whole time I seem to be constantly on the go.
When I finally got to London it was just as action-packed. Besides being there to renew my US visa, I was also booked to play at one of London’s hottest clubs, Boujis. It was my first time playing there and I have to say it was a great night. I wanted to do something a little different from their usual vibe, so I took a chance and played a mainly noncommercial and very underground set of electro pop, minimal and tech house, making sure to throw in plenty of remixes of familiar hits every now and again for good measure. It seemed that my gamble paid off as the club rapidly turned into a three hour rage-a-thon with the dance floor rocking till the bitter end.
As well as the gigs, there were countless other fun social pursuits in London to keep me busy: a close friend’s engagement party, a wild wedding on a Saturday afternoon, a screening with Helena Christensen, dinner with royals and plenty of chilly evenings warming myself by the fire in my local pub. At the same time, I was desperately trying to prepare what seemed to be a never-ending dossier of documents and forms for my interview at the US embassy, an experience I can only compare with having teeth pulled. Fortunately, they were pulled successfully and I emerged triumphant, visa in hand.
London also proved highly productive, business-wise, as I inked deals with two new clients to work on music-related projects; the first client is arguably the world’s most prestigious hotel chain and the other is one of the world’s most famous photographers, Mario Testino. So there was plenty of cause for celebration there, too!
Finally, after all the non-stop thrills and excitement of Europe and Asia, it felt good to get back to my peaceful life in California. I boarded the plane in ice-cold conditions at Heathrow airport, exactly one day before the big snowstorms hit the UK, only to emerge on the other end in LAX to blue skies and sunshine.
I was met by a friend at the airport and whisked back to my house on the renowned street Blue Jay Way, once home to former Beatle George Harrison (where he actually wrote the song “Blue Jay Way”) and now owned by a stunningly beautiful Oscar-winning actress who shall remain nameless, and referred to simply as “The Landlady.” Within no time I was settled back into my LA lifestyle, and I sit here now in my T-shirt and shorts looking back over what has truly been a rollercoaster of a year. And judging by all the signs, it seems that 2011 promises to be even more of a whirlwind.
I may not know exactly what the future holds, but what I do know for sure is that life is every bit what we make of it, and no matter what lies around the corner it’s always a lot more fun if you can view it all as one great big adventure.