Bumping Into DJ MAY KWOK
Recently I had the opportunity to interview the talented artist May Kwok during MADE Fashion Week in New York as she was attending the Cushine Et Ochs show at Milk Studios. Kwok has quickly become a sought after DJ in New York. Her impeccable sense of style has landed her on numerous celebrity best-dressed lists across the internet. When we spoke, I was curious to know about her mindset when she is on the stage and playing for the crowd.
Milk Made: What are currently your main challenges as a DJ? What is it about DJing, compared to, say, producing your own music, that makes it interesting for you?
May Kwok: The most interesting challenge for me as a DJ is maintaining the balance between my life as an event producer and my passion for DJing. Really, there are only so many hours in a day to dedicate to both careers – both things I truly love doing. It’s the instant interaction with the people, the party-goers, the dancers that make me love DJing over, say, producing music in a studio. Of course there’s the prep work, but it’s the organic and unique experience at each event that makes it more fun, rather than work.
MM: What do you usually start with when preparing for a set?
MK: If the set is for a private event, I think about every aspect of the event – the venue, the invitees, the brand – who they are and what the goal for the event is. It becomes very natural for me to think about those things when a majority of my day is spent on the producing side. It’s that kind of background that helps me understand the vibe the client is trying to create and how the music I play contributes to it.
MM: The relationship with the audience is crucial for a DJ, and yet it seems to be a fragile one. How do you see the balance between giving the crowd what they want and treating them to something new?
MK: I am ALWAYS looking into new and fresh bands, artists, DJs and remixes and I really enjoy taking time to develop an ear that can easily adjust to what the people wants. It’s not about playing too much top 40. The balance being: find out what they want to hear, but always making sure to introduce them to something they didn’t know they wanted… and also finding and creating remixes that transform favorites into something new. Blending these things together creates an experience that’s unique to my style and taste.
MM: What are your plans for the future, and what do you hope to accomplish as a DJ?
MK: It’s always about improving on what I already know – wanting to be better is a constant. My SoundCloud has gotten such great feedback which makes me want to create more playlists and mixes, maybe one day it can develop into EPs and mixtapes, world tours, festival gigs, more brand collaborations…I want to be bigger!